Cracking start by Rose
What a night for Danny Rose – presumably not named after Woody Allen’s lounge singer from the film Broadway Danny Rose. It was the stuff of boyhood dreams, tonking one past the local rivals.
And it may yet rank as one of the finest English club debuts of all time. With that in mind, after the jump you can find five of the best…
Jimmy Greaves, Numerous Times
The undisputed champion of magnificent debuts, Greavsie scored on his first outings for Chelsea, England, Spurs (with a hat-trick, no less), AC Milan, and West Ham. He has since gone on to battle the booze (and win), become one half of Saint and Greavsie, and he recently said this: “this country really needs another Margaret Thatcher”. Yeah, not quite sure about that one, Greavsie.
Tony Cottee, West Ham v Spurs, 1983
According to his Wikipedia page, Tony Cottee spent much of his downtime during his 20 year career studiously putting together a scrapbook of press cuttings about his goals. By the time he finished, with 240 goals, it’s probably safe to assume that the book weighed somewhere in the region of a small dog, or a very large cat. Either way, a great debutant, he scored on his West Ham debut, aged just 17. Then again for Everton, with a hat-trick against Newcastle in 1988. Must have been a scissor-happy weekend, that one.
Alan Shearer, Southampton v Arsenal, 1988
Although he had appeared as a substitute a couple of weeks earlier, Shearer’s full debut came against Arsenal in 1988, and he chose – quite wisely – to mark the occasion by becoming the youngest player to ever score a hat-trick in top-flight English football. He was only 17 at the time. Like Greavsie, Shearer decided to move into punditry after his retirement, and can now be found stating the bloody obvious on MOTD every Saturday night. What’s that Alan? Goals win football matches? Good point.
Fabrizio Ravanelli, Middlesbrough v Liverpool, 1996
When Ravanelli first arrived on Teeside, it’s probably fair to say that the local fans were rather confused. What exactly could this old man possibly have to offer? And then he showed them, in the form of a fabulous hat-trick against Liverpool during his first game for the club. Grey-haired old men all over the country went berserk, thinking that they’d found their very own Jesus Christ. And then someone pointed out that, actually, he was only 28, and everyone puffed out their cheeks with shock. They’d never seen anything like it! Now a pundit.
Wayne Rooney, Man United v Fenerbahce, 2004
Rarely short of confidence, Rooney had famously marked his arrival on the scene with a wondergoal against Arsenal in 2002, and after a blistering Euro 2004, expectations before his Man United debut were high. Rooney did not disappoint. After weeks on the sidelines coming back from injury, he marked his first outing for the club by smashing a hat-trick past Fenerbahce. As everyone knows, he’s now the greatest footballer in the whole world. Unless you count Lionel Messi… and possibly Cristiano Ronaldo.