Worst ever… starts to a football season
Here are seven teams whose campaigns got off to a slippery start…
Crystal Palace – 2017/18 season
Palace unveiled Dutch legend Frank de Boer as their new manager in June 2017 promising to revolutionise their style of play. Unfortunately for him, the Palace Chairman’s confidence in ushering in a bold new era of ‘Total Football’ wavered as the Eagles slumped to four Premier League defeats in a row without scoring a single goal, as de Boer made a quick exit from South London.
Replacement Roy Hodgson took a while to stop the rot, but his more pragmatic approach paid dividends as Palace comfortably avoided relegation.
FC Köln – 2017/18 season
A terrible turnaround in fortunes for a side that had finished in fifth in the Bundesliga the year before, as the Billy Goats registered no wins, three draws and 13 defeats at the start of the 2017/18 season. A mid-season rally wouldn’t prove enough to save Köln from an inevitable relegation to Bundesliga 2.
Spurs – 2008/2009 season
It won’t go down as the worst ever start to a Premier League season, but it probably goes down as the one of the most surprising.
Things were looking bright for Spurs in the summer of 2008. Juande Ramos had steered the club to League Cup glory the previous season, but confidence evaporated at White Hart Lane as his highly-fancied Spurs side slipped to the bottom of the table after eight games having clocked up just two points. Ramos was replaced by Harry Redknapp, who would go on to make a much greater fist of things in North London.
Man Utd – 1930/31 season
A delve into the history books reveals a surprising record holder for most consecutive defeats to start the season – Man Utd. It would take until November for the Red Devils to get off the mark. That run of 12 successive defeats at the start of a season remains an English record as they meekly surrendered their top flight status.
Chelsea – 2014/15 season
With Man Utd off to a difficult start to this campaign, many fans are already wondering whether history could be about to repeat itself, with Jose Mourinho suffering a third-season slump at one of the pre-season title favourites.
By the time Roman Abramovich finally lost patience with his three-time title winner, the defending champions had lost nine of their 16 Premier League matches and sat 16th in the Premier League table.
RBC Roosendaal – 2005/6 season
Forget that Premier League season where Derby County finished rock bottom with a measly 11 points – RBC went two better in 2006, finishing up on just nine points and recording one win all season. Those precious three points came in the 26th game of the season – with fans waiting until February for the sweet taste of victory.
Brechin City – 2017/18 season
If RBC saved face with one win on the board, there was no such luck for long-suffering Brechin City fans in 2017/18. The club didn’t just have a difficult start – they never got going at all. City became the first club in 126 years to fail to win a league match, picking up just four points from four draws, but finally ended their 38-match, 470-day barren run with victory over East Fife in August 2018.
All image sources from PA Images.
Can you think of any other shocking starts?
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