With the start of the 23rd Premier League season less than a away, we take a look at the 3 newly promoted clubs and their chances of achieving more than one season in the top division. There is always talk of the gap between Premiership and Championship widening, and for many the newly promoted sides are favourites to go down, but is this a fair judgement?
There has been only one season (97-98) in which all 3 promoted teams went straight back down. However, in only two seasons (2001-02 and 2011-12) all 3 promoted teams stayed up, a rare feat in modern football. In all other seasons of the greatest league in the world at least one of the newly promoted clubs was relegated, more catastrophically for some such as Wolves, who suffered back to back relegations from the Premier League and then the Championship.
Recent history also gives their fans of Leicester City, Burnley and Queens Park Rangers cause for optimism, as in each of the last 6 years only one of the three promoted clubs has gone straight back down, and remarkably, 3 of these came to the premier league as Champions of their former division (West Brom, Reading and Cardiff).
Will this be the case for a Leicester City outfit that left finished deserved winners of one of the toughest leagues in the world? Their fans will certainly hope not, and will look to see a continuation of the stability that has brought them their premier league status, sticking with manager Nigel Pearson the season before last, and his attention to detail has seen LCFC reaping rewards. Pearson has moulded a team ethic typified in Wes Morgan who is leaner, better faster and stronger than when he joined them, and it is no secret that he and his backroom staff put some serious work into the fitness of a team that took countless points in the final 10 minutes of games. Could their superior fitness see them survive?
Sean Dyche’s Burnley were the surprise package of last season. With one of the smallest squads in the League, the consistency in team selection, tactics, discipline and performance levels were there for all to see. A big question for Burnley fans has been how long will they hold on to the manager, never mind some of the key players. But loyalty has won through and it will be interesting to see if Sordell can recapture the confidence and form that made him an England Under 21 prospect now that he is back under Dyche’s wing.
Queens Park Rangers are the enigma. They scraped through to the play-off final and won with a magnificent goal against the run of play in the 90th minute (echoes of Crystal Palace the season before who hadn’t won for 13 games until the last day of the season but went on to win the play-off.) Harry Redknapp is the man of experience who has seen this all before. He still appears to have money to spend as well so has every chance to use that Wembley win as a springboard.
Of course, unless you’re Alan Hansen, it’s impossible to predict which of these 3 will prevail and which will slide back into the Championship but it will be a fabulous ride. Good luck to you all.
Let us know who you think will stay up and what will be the secret to success in the comments section below.