“What’s the longest time a staff has had on the high of the Premier League with out profitable it?” asks Paul Martin.
Regardless of the report is, it could possibly be about to be damaged. Arsenal’s win over Chelsea on Tuesday evening means they’ve been high of the desk for 248 days, however Manchester Metropolis (16 days) have two video games in hand and are odds-on favourites for the Premier League title.
The present holders of this unwelcome report are Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle, who led the best way for 212 days in 1995-96 earlier than they have been reeled in by Manchester United. Newcastle beat Coventry 3-0 on the opening day of the season and went high of the fledgling desk. Barring two days in August (on every event, the leaders Leeds had performed a recreation extra), Newcastle have been high till Eric Cantona scored an injury-time equaliser at QPR on 16 March 1996. Lower than two months earlier, Newcastle had been 12 factors clear.
Keegan’s staff went again to the highest two days later, beating West Ham 3-0 in certainly one of their two video games in hand on United. That put them forward on objective distinction – however just for 5 extra days. At 3.03pm on 23 March 1996, the Scottish centre-back Scott Marshall headed Arsenal forward at Highbury, and Newcastle slipped beneath United within the as-it-stands desk. Ian Wright accomplished a 2-0 win with an insouciant end, and Newcastle dropped off high spot for the ultimate time that season.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s staff did it once more in 2002-03, extinguishing Arsenal’s hopes of retaining the title for the primary time for the reason that Nineteen Thirties. Arsenal, taking part in a few of the finest soccer ever seen on this nation, led the desk for a lot of the season, together with an uninterrupted spell from mid-November to mid-April. However issues began to get furry, significantly away from dwelling – this was when Ferguson coined the phrase “squeaky-bum time” – and Ruud van Nistelrooy went into overdrive. He scored 13 objectives within the final eight video games, and United gained the title by 5 factors. Arsenal had been high for 189 days of the season.
Arsenal and Manchester United swapped roles in 1997-98. A younger United aspect, taking part in a few of the finest soccer ever seen on this nation, led the desk for a lot of the season, together with an uninterrupted spell from late-October to mid-April. However when the going obtained powerful they desperately missed Roy Keane, who was out for the season after injuring himself whereas attempting to go away one on Erling Haaland’s future dad.
Most individuals thought United had the title wrapped up firstly of March, and one publicity-shy bookmaker even paid out, however Arsenal had quite a lot of video games in hand. Their quietly emphatic 1-0 victory at Outdated Trafford in mid-March meant the title was of their fingers and out of United’s, even when they nonetheless weren’t high of the league. Arsenal stored profitable and eventually went high – nonetheless with two video games in hand – after thrashing Wimbledon 5-0 on 18 April. United had been high for 175 days consecutively and 187 throughout the entire season. Arsenal’s superior, unprecedented run of 10 straight victories culminated in a title celebration in opposition to Everton, when Tony Adams summed all of it up.
A decade later, Arsenal’s younger aspect have been high for many of autumn and winter, 156 days in whole, however it was a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired United who gained the league. Arsenal misplaced the lead as soon as and for all on 15 March after they drew 1-1 at dwelling to Middlesbrough. It was their fourth consecutive draw, a expensive run that began with an notorious recreation at Birmingham.
Lastly, in probably the most unyielding Premier League race of all 4 seasons in the past, Liverpool led the desk for 141 days. They went high on 14 completely different events, however finally attracts value them, particularly 4 in six video games as winter became spring, culminating in a goalless match at Goodison Park on 3 March. Liverpool gained their final 9 matches, and have been high of the desk at numerous factors in April and Could due to the best way the matches have been scheduled. However from early March, Metropolis knew it was of their fingers. They gained their final 14 video games, an superior, unprecedented run that decided the title by one level.
We expect these are the highest 5 unfortunate losers of the Premier League period. But when we’ve missed any person or utterly tousled our calculations, what to do.
Interim managers being sacked
Cristian Stellini isn’t even the primary Italian caretaker to go away a London membership prematurely, although whether or not Attilio Lombardo jumped or was pushed is open to debate. In March 1998, Crystal Palace have been heading for relegation and determined to take an enormous gamble: the supervisor Steve Coppell grew to become director of soccer, and Lombardo – a positive participant however one who barely spoke English – took over as player-manager. Tomas Brolin was his assistant/translator.
Chelsea had simply appointed Lombardo’s previous Sampdoria and Juventus teammate, Gianluca Vialli, in the same function, although Lombardo was eager to emphasize one minor distinction. “Gianluca is in the same place,” he stated, “though he’s driving a Method One automotive, because it have been, whereas I’m answerable for a sinking ship.”
Palace conceded after 59 seconds of Lombardo’s first recreation, a 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa, though it wasn’t all unhealthy information. Throughout his brief spell in cost, they gained at dwelling for the primary time within the league that season. On 18 April.
Lombardo lasted seven video games (W2 D0 L5) earlier than leaving when relegation was confirmed on the finish of April. It was reported that he had stepped down, although that story quickly modified: in keeping with quite a lot of studies he was sacked, and discovered about it on Ceefax. He was changed by an unlikely administration duo: Ray Lewington (at present Roy Hodgson’s No 2 at Selhurst Park) and the outgoing chairman Ron Noades.
Noades left Palace that summer time and have become each chairman and supervisor of Brentford, who have been promoted in his first season. Lombardo managed just a few golf equipment within the 2000s however has extra not too long ago labored as an assistant to Roberto Mancini and others.
Lengthy odds: a brief replace
In final week’s Data, we checked out English champions who had the longest pre-season odds. We couldn’t discover Nottingham Forest’s in 1977-78, so due to Chris Clarke for guiding us to this entry from RedRobbo on the Forest discussion board LTLF:
We have been 66-1. I do know as a result of I wrote out a £10 win wager after which chucked the slip within the bin considering I used to be being crazily optimistic. A mate of mine positioned a wager and continued to speculate every week – he gained a great few bob.
“If Luton end greater than twelfth within the Championship, which appears to be like more and more possible, it is going to be the seventh consecutive 12 months they’ve improved their league place. Would that be a report?” puzzled Bogdan Kotarlic in 2022.
First, a correction from John Curry: “Luton completed eleventh in League Two in 2015-16 after coming eighth the 12 months earlier than – in order that they have been chasing a sixth straight season of enchancment. Native rivals Watford may beat that – they improved their league place for eight consecutive seasons between 1975-76 and 1982-83.” The Hornets climbed from eighth in Division 4 to second in Division One in that point.
Chris Roe chimed in: “This is not going to be a report, not even for Luton. Their finest report stands at 9 straight seasons, beginning in 1978. Solely Gillingham (from 1994) and Oldham (from 1969) have equalled this.” One other set of Hatters, this time at Stockport, are coming, thoughts [update: they improved again].
Ian Ditchfield nominated Nationwide League South aspect Dorking Wanderers. “Their report stands at seven consecutive enhancements, from fifth within the Sussex County League Division 3 in 2008-09 to second within the Isthmian League Division 1 South in 2015-16. The run was solely damaged by two consecutive second-place finishes, though they gained the playoffs the second time. If that counts, and we disregard the voided 2021-22 season, the run will attain 12 so long as Wanderers (at present second) end within the high six this time period.” You possibly can learn extra about Dorking’s outstanding rise right here [update: they improved again].
Are you able to assist?
“Sheffield Wednesday and Derby play one another on the final day of the League One season; if the desk stays as it’s, they’ll then play one another within the playoffs. I’m presuming this isn’t a primary, however can anybody present any examples?” asks James Murton.
“After Erling Haaland’s mid-game change of haircut in opposition to Arsenal, are there another main cases of this taking place?” asks Tim Robinson.
“Idly taking a look at league tables pre-match on the weekend, and we found what we reckon was the worst season anybody has ever suffered, Airbus, within the Welsh Premier Division,” writes Andy Pechey. “Performed 32, scored 18, conceded 100, factors -4 (deducted 6). Can anybody discover a grimmer marketing campaign?”
“João Palhinha is on 12 yellow playing cards with six video games to go, giving him a good probability of reaching 15, which has by no means been ‘achieved’ within the Premier League,” notes Richard Powell. “Is there a suspension for reaching 15 yellows and what’s the highest variety of bookings in a single season anyplace?”
“San Marino’s SS Cosmos completed second within the league this 12 months – and have been only one level from profitable the title, which is outstanding contemplating they completed all-time low final season with simply 5 factors. Has another staff ever gained a league having completed in such a nasty place the 12 months earlier than?” wonders Matthew Gregory.
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