What went wrong for the teams that got relegated from the Premier League last season?
The English Premier League is one of the best and most viewed football leagues in the world. With 20 teams competing in the league, it is always difficult to predict who will win the league. The 2017-2018 season was largely predictable in terms of who would win it, as Manchester City won the title with an excellent all round performance from the team managed by Pep Guardiola.
It was a very interesting battle at the bottom of the table with 5 clubs fighting for survival. Huddersfield Town stunned everybody by drawing against Chelsea & champions City, results which guaranteed their stay for another season in the Premier League. Southampton, on the other hand, made sure they played another season in England's top flight by beating Swansea City.
Meanwhile it was an unexpected and sad ending for 3 clubs and their fans as they got relegated from the Premier league.
The first team to be relegated was Stoke City. With just 7 wins out of 38 in the premier league this season, Stoke's hopes ended as Crystal Palace bounced back from a goal down to beat them at the Bet 365 stadium on 5 May 2018.
Xherdan Shaqiri, being their key player, failed to perform until mid-season but still managed to become Stoke's top scorer with just 8 goals in the 36 games he played . Two more key players for Stoke, Joe Allen and Peter Crouch, failed to meet the expectations of the manager and the fans.This was their first relegation after a 10 year stay in the Premier League.
Paul Lambert's poor management by not giving Jese Rodriguez enough playing time also contributed to Stoke’s failure. Signed on a season-long loan from Paris Saint-Germain by Lambert's predecessor Mark Hughes, the former Real Madrid star scored on his debut against Arsenal in August, but hardly got any playing time later on in the season.
Known as the Atletico Madrid of the Premier League because of their tough defensive game and great performance on their home turf, teams found it difficult to beat Stoke at home for the past few seasons. Still, it was a very poor season defensively, as the oppositions netted a total of 68 goals, that is the highest goals conceded by any team this season along with West ham. Also Stoke kept only 5 clean sheets from the 38 games they played. With just 5 wins and 5 draws from 19 home games, Stoke got just 20 points at home from a possible 57.
The second team to be relegated was West Bromwich Albion. West Brom ended their campaign at the bottom of the table. After finishing 10th in the 2016-17 league season, it came as a shock to many football fans who never expected this to happen.
West Brom started their campaign with consecutive victories, but a poor performance later in the season put them in a tough spot on the table. Hopes were restored as they beat Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and drew against Liverpool nearing the end of the season, but it all ended when Southampton saved themselves from relegation by beating Swansea which confirmed the Baggies exit.
One of the main reasons was poor defensive performances. Key players like Jonny Evans, Gareth McCauley, Craig Dawson and Chris Brunt, who had performed extremely well not only defensively, but also by scoring a total of 15 goals in the 2016-17 season failed to impress this season. Al Ahly loanee Ahmed Hegazi, who was later signed by the club could not help the team stay in the Premier League.
The attack force, which included Solomon Rondon and Jay Rodriguez failed to score on a regular basis. Robson Kanu didn't get much playing time. Daniel Sturridge, who was brought to the club on loan from Liverpool, couldn't do much because of his injuries. West Brom were the third lowest scorers in the league this season.
Lack of proper management also cost the Baggies their season. Tony Pulis, who was in charge for 3 years, was sacked after a very poor performance. He had won just 2 games of the previous 21. Alan Pardew, who succeeded Pulis at the end of November, left by mutual consent after a terrible performance of just 1 win in 18 games.
Darren Moore, who made more than 100 appearances for the club between 2001 and 2006 before coaching West Brom’s under-23 side, was given charge as the Caretaker of the senior team. He tried his best but failed.
Having seen local rivals Wolves into the Premier League, the Baggies will surely try and bounce back.
The third team to get relegated from Premier League this season was Swansea City. No wins in the last 9 games of the season meant that Swansea were out of the league. Swansea's 7 year stay in the league came to an end with a 2-1 loss against already relegated Stoke on the final day of the season.
Swansea's 2016-17 player of the year Gylfi Siggurdson was surely missed, as the team failed to impress after his transfer to Everton.
Another disappointing factor was the poor performance of Renato Sanchez, who played for the Swans on loan from Bayern Munich. After a great performance in the Euro 2016 tournament and Bundesliga, it was very much fair to expect a lot from the 20 year old Portuguese.
Varying formations throughout the season and no specific striker also cost the Swans their season. Rotation in the strike force of the team included Jordan and Andre Ayew, Tammy Abraham and Luciano Narsingh, all of whom failed to impress. Jordan Ayew was the top scorer of the club with only 7 goals.
Injuries played another major role here. Wilfried Bony and Leroy Fer were injured for quite a long time which also affected Swansea's performance. Although Lukasz Fabianski was Swansea's best player of the season with his heroic saves, he still couldn't save his team from getting relegated.
It was a sad ending for these 3 clubs, but a new beginning for the 3 clubs who got promoted to the Premier League. The first is Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are back in England's top flight 6 years after their exit from it.
Cardiff city was the second team to be promoted on the last day, as Fulham who had been unbeaten for the last 23 games lost on the final day to Birmingham. The third and the final team to get promoted to the Premier League is Fulham after a play-off win over Aston Villa.