Crystal drop

Destined for the fall? History against Norwich in relegation fight

Norwich’s terrible start to the Premier League season means they will have to innovate if they are to avoid relegation.

Sunday’s loss to Leeds was their eighth in 10 games and left Daniel Farke’s side at the bottom of the league with two points.

In the 29 completed seasons of the Premier League era, no team has ever survived with less than three points in their first 10 games – meaning the signs already look ominous at Carrow Road.

Write on the wall?

Norwich have fallen below the lowest point total at this point for a surviving team (PA graph)

Norwich’s last brief visit to the top flight two seasons ago saw a more competitive start with wins over Newcastle and, surprisingly, Manchester City – defending champions then and now – as the forward Teemu Pukki made a smooth transition to high-level football.

They briefly fell to last place after losing their 12th game against previous holders Watford, but it wasn’t until Boxing Day that they fell to the bottom and stayed there – eventually finishing with 21 points, 14 adrift and 13 behind the 19th. Hornets.

This time around there have been no early promises – just three goals scored in 10 games means clean sheets have been essential, with two in a row against Burnley and Brighton bringing their only points so far and this streak s ‘ended abruptly with a 7-0 hammering at Chelsea.

Chris Wilder, then Sheffield United manager, reacts after game last season

Norwich’s woes echo those of Sheffield United last season (Dave Thompson / PA)

The only previous two-point teams at this stage – Manchester City in 1995-96 and Sunderland in 2016-17 – have both been relegated, as have Sheffield United last season after taking a single point in their first 10 games.

The Canaries have Brentford, Southampton, Wolves and Newcastle coming in their next four games, but will need to take advantage with a significant improvement in form – across 14 games the lowest total for a surviving side is eight points.

Three teams survived with three points after 10 games – Everton in 1994-95, a 42-game season, Crystal Palace in 2013-14 and Newcastle in 2018-19, in one of a pair of more encouraging omens for the another start to this season. wrestlers.

Hope for Newcastle

A rainbow over St James' park

History brings hope to Newcastle (Owen Humphreys / PA)

The extent of Newcastle’s dismal start on the pitch was lightly obscured by Norwich’s woes as well as their own turmoil off the pitch and the promise of a spending spree in January, but the Magpies themselves didn’t that four points.

Even Derby, in their record 11-point relegation season of 2007-08, had five points after 10 games and only 18 Premier League teams before this season had had four or less – but eight of them survived, most recently that side Magpies of three years ago under Rafael Benitez.

Southampton in 1993-94, Blackburn in 1996-97, Southampton in 2012-13, Sunderland the following year and Palace in 2017-18 all survived having taken just four points in 10 games, the latter losing all of his first seven and sacking manager Frank De Boer en route.

With Newcastle also having made a change in the dugout as well as the boardroom, Steve Bruce’s successor will have the chance to reshape his struggling squad in January. Before that, he will enter the club knowing that history shows that all is not lost.


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