Kirchhoff’s SAFC debut agony: He’s not the only player to suffer a nightmare on his bow

Debutant sub Jan Kirchhoff marks Harry Kane
Debutant sub Jan Kirchhoff marks Harry Kane
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Newly-signed Sunderland defender Jan Kirchhoff endured a nightmare debut at Tottenham today, coming off the bench at 1-1 and seeing Spurs romp to a 4-1 victory.

The 25-year-old, snapped up from Bayern Munich, was a 59th-minute substitute at White Hart Lane and was quickly in the heart of the action, with his attempt to block a Christian Eriksen strike seeing the ball deflect past his own goalkeeper.

Matters got worse for out-of-sorts Kirchhoff when he brought down Danny Rose in the box, allowing Harry Kane to wrap up a 4-1 win for Spurs.

In the wake of the German defender’s miserable time, Simon Peach of the Press Association looks at 10 other torrid debuts.

Jonathan Woodgate (Real Madrid)

The England international’s nightmare start to life at Real Madrid is one of the most well-known. A month after arriving from Newcastle in a £13.4million deal, Woodgate scored a spectacular own goal and was then sent off against Athletic Bilbao. Fortunately for the defender, his side still won 3-1.

Michael Theoklitos (Norwich)

A summer signing from Melbourne Victory, the Australian goalkeeper’s first match for Norwich proved his last. Theoklitos saw seven fly past him as Colchester won the 2009/10 season opener 7-1 at Carrow Road.

Ali Dia (Southampton)

Who can forget George Weah’s cousin? Graeme Souness took a phone call purporting to be from the former World Player of the Year (it wasn’t) and Dia made his Premier League debut just days later, replacing Southampton great Matthew Le Tissier. So bad was his display that he was brought off with five minutes remaining of the 2-0 defeat to Leeds.

Joe Cole (Liverpool) and Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)

A joint entry from August 15, 2010 as Liverpool drew 1-1 with Arsenal at Anfield. Cole’s Premier League debut for the Reds was brought to a premature end after seeing red for a lunge on fellow debutant Koscielny, who was later sent off for a second bookable offence.

Stanley Milton (Halifax)

For this we go way back to 1934, when the goalkeeper’s debut for Halifax ended in a 13-0 defeat to Stockport. Incredibly, 11 of those goals came in the second half and the result remains the joint-highest defeat in the Football League.

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Yes, even the five-time Ballon d’Or winner can have an off day. Less than a minute after making his Argentina debut as a substitute against Hungary in 2005, Messi was sent off for retaliating to a challenge from Vilmos Vanczak.

Chris Iwelumo (Scotland)

Awarded his debut for his fine form at Wolves, the striker’s transition to international football did not go to plan in 2008. Iwelumo could have made a dream start to life as Scotland international, but instead his open-goal miss in the 0-0 draw with Norway will always follow him.

John O’Neill (Norwich)

The Northern Ireland’s debut for Norwich against Wimbledon in 1987 lasted just 34 minutes. A horrific challenge from John Fashanu not only ended O’Neill’s match but his career due to damaged knee ligaments.

Jason Crowe (Arsenal)

Handed his debut in a League Cup tie with Birmingham in 1997, he came on in extra time and was sent off for a high tackle 33 seconds later. Crowe’s career never really recovered.