It’s no secret that this season’s Premier League is a bit bonkers.
So, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to us that a year on from a humiliating 9-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester, Southampton secured the weekend’s fixtures with a 2-0 win over Newcastle on Friday evening. I got the top position.
Stop counting pic.twitter.com/rS94knWEhO
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 6, 2020
They are not the only team to enjoy a dramatic turnaround of late, with last season’s relegation candidates Aston Villa also sitting pretty at the top of the league table after an emphatic 3-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates.
However – while this season has been particularly unpredictable – it is not a new phenomenon that has never been seen in the Premier League. We’ve compiled a list of the biggest flight turnarounds, so get your popcorn ready because we’re among the teams that have weathered the calamitous seasons with grace and those that have faced the odds. has enjoyed impressive seasons for
Sean Dyche led Burnley to their highest Premier League finish in 2018 / OLI SCARFF/Getty Images
After being promoted to the Premier League in 2016, Burnley did well to retain their top-flight status with a solid 16th-place finish. However, no one could have predicted what was going to happen next season.
The Clarets put in a host of impressive displays with their average defensive unit and creative flair to finish Europa League football in seventh place, despite many tipping them to be embroiled in another relegation battle. Despite being told about
West Ham United’s Paulo Di Canio applauds the crowd/Sean Bottrell/Getty Images.
Having just missed out on the Premier League in their inaugural season, West Ham had become a fixture in the top flight by the time they finished seventh in 2002.
However, the Hammers would suffer a considerable slump in the following campaign. Glenn Rudder’s side managed just three victories from their opening 24 games, with a late flurry of results under caretaker boss Sir Trevor Brooking failing to save them as they finished 18th.
Leeds shocked the top flight with their 1993/94 performance / Chris Cole/Getty Images
Defending English champions Leeds came perilously close to falling out of the top tier in their first season in the Premier League, finishing just two points above the drop zone in 17th place.
However, manager Howard Wilkinson managed to rejuvenate his squad for the following campaign, which saw them finish in a surprising fifth position – just one point off the European places.
Demba Ba was unable to continue his impressive form in the 2012/13 season / Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
To say Newcastle punched above their weight in 2011/12 would be an understatement, with goals from Demba Ba and Papiss Cess helping them take the fight for Champions League football to the final day.
Alan Pardew’s men eventually slipped to fifth in the table, although their subsequent Europa League commitments the following year certainly affected their league form. The Magpies would go on to finish 16th in 2012/13, with Cisse’s decline in form playing a huge part in their downfall.
David Moyes did not enjoy a successful time at Manchester United / OLI Scharf / Getty Images
Oh David Moyes. And then it all started so bright.
After bidding farewell to Sir Alex Ferguson after securing the club’s 13th Premier League crown in 2012/13, few imagined Moyes’ reign would be marked by the Community Shield in his first competitive game. The latter would go so disastrously wrong (although it was against him. In vegan justice – no offence, Latics fans).
Manchester United will finish seventh in their first campaign since Ferguson’s departure, having never finished lower than third under the Scotsman’s tutelage since the start of the Premier League.
The Red Devils would give him ‘gigs’ until the end of the season, although it wasn’t enough to prevent a relatively horrendous league finish.
Roy Hodgson inspires Fulham turnaround / Ian Walton/Getty Images
Few expected Fulham to be playing Premier League football in 2008/09, with the Cottagers looking nailed on for the second tier.
However, Roy Hodgson saw him somehow safe on goal difference in 2007/08, and his performances in the following campaign were even more unpredictable.
Despite four defeats in their opening six league games, Fulham somehow managed to finish seventh in Europa League football, with the club looking increasingly unlikely to reach the final of the competition next year.
Blackburn was released in 1999 under Brian Kidd / Jamie Macdonald / Getty Images.
The 90s was a decade Blackburn Rovers fans will certainly not forget in a hurry. Aided by Jack Walker’s millions, Rovers became the first team to dethrone Manchester United as Premier League champions in 1994/95, although a period of turmoil followed as they struggled to maintain their place in England’s elite. Failed.
The arrival of Roy Hodgson ahead of the 1997/98 campaign steadied the ship as Rovers recorded a solid sixth-place finish, however, inexplicably the club won just seven games the following season to finish second. Was successful.
Nobody could have predicted Everton’s 2004/05 league finish / Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Everton have had more than their fair share of nervous campaigns, despite being an ever-present in the Premier League since its inception.
After several flirtations with relegation in the 90s, the turn of the century brought no change in fortunes as the club again survived by the skin of their teeth in 2003/04, finishing just one place above the drop.
But better times were ahead. The Toffees did the unthinkable in 2004/05 when they finished in the top four at the expense of city rivals Liverpool.
That being said, the Reds nevertheless qualified for the Champions League as winners of last year’s competition and Everton were knocked out in the qualifying round. Being a Toffees fan really isn’t easy.
Newcastle’s Champions League commitments hurt their league form / Graham Chadwick/Getty Images
Like the aforementioned Blackburn side, Newcastle were great value for money in the 90s. Keegan’s ‘Entertainers’ (if your idea of entertainment isn’t winning anything, it is) came very close by now, with Kenny Dalglish taking over midway through the 1996/97 season as The Magpies then finished second.
The 1997/98 campaign represented a new beginning. Time to pick myself up and go again. Or do nothing at all and stay 13th. They chose the latter.
Leicester struggled with the added workload of Champions League football after their Premier League triumph / PowerSports Images / Getty Images
Let’s be honest, we all expected it. But that doesn’t stop a pretty dramatic fall from grace.
After shocking the world by becoming Premier League champions in 2015/16, the Foxes were unable to repeat the feat – or come close for that matter – with Champions League football clearly affecting their league form. Added because he dropped to 12th from earlier. .
Mind you, a quarter-final exit at the hands of Atlético Madrid is pretty good in your first season in Europe’s premier competition.
Conte managed to turn Chelsea’s season around after a rocky start and finished 10th earlier in the season /Michael Regan/Getty Images
When Antonio Conte arrived at Chelsea, they were a club in disarray.
After bidding farewell to Jose Mourinho and failing to convince interim boss Guus Hiddink to take on the job full-time, the Italian was brought in to revive a team that finished tenth last season.
Conte had a rocky start, with a 3-0 defeat by rivals Arsenal signaling the need for a change as he reverted back to a back three – and it all changed from there.
The Blues would go on to win their next 13 league games as they climbed the table and claimed their fifth Premier League crown.
Brian Little enjoyed a brilliant 1995/96 season with Villa/Phil Cole/Getty Images
The 1994/95 season was a lackluster one as far as Aston Villa were concerned, finishing just one place above the relegation zone.
Brian Little was brought in midway through the campaign and the shots of improvement were there for all to see as he steered the team to safety after a shocking start, and his first full season in charge was something special.
Villa went from relegation candidates to UEFA Cup qualifiers, with a certain Dwight Yorke leading his charge to fourth place (they were knocked out in the first round of the UEFA Cup but that doesn’t need to be mentioned).
George Burley experiences second season syndrome with Ipswich/Stew Forster/Getty Images.
In 2000/01 Ipswich Town was everyone’s second team (except Norwich fans, obviously).
After gaining promotion via the play-offs last season, George Burleigh’s men managed a narrow fifth place in their first season in the Premier League, with Marcus Stewart’s goals playing a huge part in their success.
Aaaaaand then the second season syndrome hit.
Unable to repeat their incredible feat with the rigors of UEFA Cup football stretching their squad to the limit, Burley’s side finished a disappointing 18th as they were sentenced to life back in the second tier.
Mourinho was unable to inspire Chelsea to retain their Premier League crown / Jordan Mansfield / Getty Images
Oh it’s Chelsea again.
The second-season syndrome is very different in Jose Mourinho’s world. That doesn’t mean everyone suddenly drops you and you can’t win – it means being brilliant and winning the league, and that’s exactly what he did in his second season at the Blues in 2014/15. what was
However, the wheels fell off in 2015/16. Chelsea genuinely looked like being dragged into a relegation battle at one point, with veteran Dutch manager Hiddink set to salvage a ‘respectable’ tenth position.
A bit of a rocky time in Chelsea’s history, but then it never happened at Stamford Bridge, did it?
Lester is the ultimate underdog story/Michael Regan/Getty Images
Ah it’s Lester again. And again this is from the same era as their previous entry.
It really couldn’t be any other club to be fair, could it? With just two wins from 24 games in 2014/15 the Foxes were on the brink, with Championship football looking an inevitability. However, somehow Nigel Pearson managed to impress his team as they won seven of their remaining nine games and maintained their Premier League status.
A change came in the summer, with Claudio Ranieri appointed as manager. So, new man, fresh start, nice restful season, please boys, let’s make sure we’re a Premier League team again next year.
Or go and win the league in the biggest upset in Premier League history – your choice.