Rabu, 2 Mei 2012
Top Ten: Worst Teams To Stay Up
Top ten worst teams to survive in the BPL:
10. Wolves 2010/11
The 2010/11 campaign looked like being the year Wolves would finally kick on and avoid fighting a season-long relegation battle. After spending around £13million in the summer, including a £6.5million splurge on Steven Fletcher, the squad was equipped with numbers to survive injuries and a dip in form. Five points from the first three matches had fans feeling optimistic, but a run of just one win in 11 followed. It transpired that although Wolves had plenty of bodies, a lot of them weren't actually very good and six of Mick McCarthy's pre-season signings have since exited the club either permanently or on loan. Survival was secured in pathetic fashion on the last day of the season, when a 3-2 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Blackburn failed to push Wolves through the trap door. It has come as no surprise to see them propping up the division this season.
9. Sunderland 2001/02
After two consecutive seventh-placed finishes, the wheels came off at Peter Reid's Sunderland and the club struggled throughout the 2001/02 campaign. In Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn the Black Cats supposedly possessed one of the best strikeforces outside the top six, but the team managed only a shockingly poor 29 goals all season. Reid had filled the squad with mediocre players and after the club ended the season in 17th, calls for the manager's heid were answered at the start of the following campaign. However, despite attempts to stave off relegation, first with Howard Wilkinson and then Mick McCarthy - who lost his first eight games as manager - Sunderland soon fell back into the Championship.
8. Wigan 2006/07
The 2006/07 season was the closest the perennial Premier League relegation-battlers have come to the drop. Despite having plenty of forward power in Emile Heskey and Lee McCulloch, Wigan were lightweight in midfield, and the centre-back pairing of Arjan de Zeeuw and Fitz Hall looked particularly susceptible. The Latics travelled to Neil Warnock's Sheffield United on the final day of the season needing a victory to survive. They earned the win courtesy of a David Unsworth penalty, relegating United in the process. It was all a bit too much for Paul Jewell, though, and the Wigan boss resigned a day later.
7. Everton 1997/98
The return of Howard Kendall lifted hopes at Goodison at the start of the 1997/98 season and several new signings, including Slaven Bilic and John Oster, brought balance to the squad. However, things didn't work out as the fans had expected and the campaign soon became a desperate fight to stay up. Survival was achieved on the last day when a 1-1 draw at home to Coventry put the Toffees equal on points with Bolton, but with a marginally better goal difference. Controversy reigned, though, as earlier in the season Bolton scored against Everton, but the officials failed to see that the shot had crossed the line. The match ended 0-0 and the lucky Toffees clung on to their Premier League place.
6. Ipswich 1993/94
The Tractor Boys love a flirt with top-flight relegation and in 1994 they took part in some particularly heavy petting, staying up by a point earned on the last day at Blackburn. There were one or two half-decent players in the class of '93/94 - I've always had a soft spot for Boncho Genchev, while John Wark deserves credit for being John Wark - but ultimately the team was padded out with too many poor players. They survived by the skin of their teeth but dropped the following season with just 27 points from 42 fixtures.
5. Oldham 1992/93
When the Premier League bounded into existence in 1992, it was supposed to be all flashing lights and chimps on pogo sticks. Stars such as Eric Cantona, Alan Shearer and Dean Holdsworth were going to sell English football to the world in a chorus of 'ooohs' and 'aaahs'. And yet there was little old Oldham, from the outskirts of Manchester, punching above their weight with Richard Jobson and Andy Ritchie. You know a team are pants when they're the first page you complete in the sticker album and the next six months are spent desperately trying to trade your 37 copies of Neil Pointon. The Latics survived the season by just two goals but dropped the year after, winning only nine of their 42 matches.
4. Hull 2008/09
The Tigers started life in the top division in superb fashion, winning six of their first nine games including memorable victories at Arsenal and Tottenham. However, it turned out that Hull's form was as fake as Phil Brown's sun tan and the following 29 matches brought just two more wins. A single point was gained from the last seven matches, but it was enough to haul the team to a total of 35 - one above a Newcastle team struggling with the repressed memories of Joe Kinnear's brief reign. Brazilian midfielder Geovanni ended the season as Hull's top scorer with a meagre eight strikes, and despite the club desperately ditching Brown in 2009/10, the team soon plummeted back to the Championship. Mind you, it was still the best trip Phil Brown has ever been on.
3. West Brom 2004/05
Bryan Robson's great escapers became the first team to survive relegation despite finding themselves bottom of the Premier League at Christmas. But the 2004/05 season was nothing more than a tallest dwarf competition in terms of beating the drop. Indeed the Baggies won only one of their last seven matches but still managed to remain in spitting distance of 17th. Survival, and a paltry points total of 34, was secured in the final round of fixtures courtesy of a 2-0 win against Portsmouth and Norwich's 6-0 shellacking at Fulham. It was merely a stay of execution, though, and like all dags, West Brom dropped eventually.
2. Bradford 1999/00
The final day of the 1999/00 season brought high drama with Bradford and Wimbledon separated across the safety line by just five goals. The Dons travelled to Southampton knowing they only had to better Bradford's result to stay in the league. But while they went down 2-0, the Bantams pulled off a shock victory over Liverpool thanks to a David Wetherall header. Three wins in the last four matches helped Bradford achieve a remarkable survival, but a final total of just 36 points demonstrates the lack of quality at the bottom of the division that season. Bradford's team was a hotchpotch, consisting of journeymen and Yorkshiremen all charged with finishing 17th. The trick worked once, but the following year they finished 20th, never to be seen again.
1. Coventry 1995/96 & 1996/97
Being a Coventry fan is a thankless task. Only twice in the last 22 years have the club finished in the top half of whichever division they've found themselves in and not once did they manage this feat in the Premier League. A particularly poor season came in 1995/96, when the Sky Blues matched bottom-placed Bolton for the fewest wins of the campaign. Despite managing a side whose only real quality was Dion Dublin, Ron Atkinson kept Coventry afloat on goal difference. However, to call it an achievement would be overstating things, as Atkinson recruited 11 new faces for a significant outlay over the course of the season. The Sky Blues continued to struggle in 1996/97, owing their survival to Middlesbrough's three-point deduction for postponing their match against Blackburn at short notice. It was a truly abysmal two years.