It’s that time of year folks, the good ole relegation battle heats up and teams fight for their lives to stay in the Premier League. Well.. that’s usually how it goes; this season has been a little different compared to the rest of Premier League history. Cellar dwellers Huddersfield Town and Fulham have been relegated from the Premier League with 5+ matches to go. After last season’s remarkable run, Huddersfield failed to get the same momentum going and head back down to the Championship after a 2 year stay in the English top flight. Fulham, who spent a good deal of cash in the summer, head straight back down to the Championship after just securing promotion via the promotion playoffs last season. For both teams, it was collective performances that led to 2 of the worst Premier League sides that history of the competition has ever seen.
Huddersfield, earning just 14 points in 32 games, scored just 18 goals and allowed 59 in their own net. Through a manager change that saw club icon David Wagner depart the club for Jan Siewart (Borussia Dortmund II coach), Huddersfield Town became the joint-earliest team to become relegated from the Premier League. Personally gutted to see an American (Danny Williams) relegated from the Prem, but I’m not at all surprised and a move back to the Championship will suit the style of Huddersfield more and I expect a long stay in England’s second division for the Terriers.
I have not seen a season so abysmal since Aston Villa’s 2015-16 season that saw their reserve side absolutely SPANK the first team in a training session. With a season so terrible, they shouldn’t worry much about team’s poaching their top talents, with the exception of Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy who may seek a move away from the club.
And jeez oh my, where do I even start with Fulham. Many pundits, fans and observers of the league tipped Fulham for a top half finish following their summer transfer window that saw the club acquire Aleksandar Mitrovic, Andre Schurrle, Calum Chambers, Timothy Fosu Mensah, Jean Seri, Ryan Babel, Alfie Mawson, Lazar Markovic… the list goes on. In articles I’ve written before, I predicted that the addition of too many first team players will create instability and a lack of cohesiveness within the team and that’s exactly what happened to Fulham this season. Going through 3 managers does not help the cause either. Defensive injuries hurt the team and it showed greatly after having the most goals conceded (76) in the Premier League this season. With 5 games to go, they may tie the record for the most goals conceded in a single 38 games Premier League season at 89 goals set by Derby County in the 2007-08 season.
Unlike Huddersfield, Fulham have some big names and should worry that bigger clubs will poach their top talent. If that does not end up being the case, Fulham, contingent on having a steady manager, could easily see themselves back in the Premier League very soon.
Cardiff City currently occupy the last relegation spot but still have a chance at survival, with Burnley, Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United the teams in immediate danger.
Who do you think will be next? Talk to Andrew about it on twitter @DiefDorf to let him know your picks to get relegated.