Norwich’s recent resurgence has seen them claw their way from bottom THREE for the league for the first time this season. Their victory here against fellow relegation threatened side Watford was their second successive victory after sending Rafa Benitez on his way with a 2-1 victory last week. For a side to avoid the drop it is important to make managerial changes early in the season. Both these sides did so with Dean Smith coming in for Daniel Farke and title winning manager Mr ding dong Claudio Ranieri coming in for Xisco. Despite finding going up from the EFL Championship easy, they both failed to stay up in recent seasons. Today I examine the reasons why clubs struggle to stay in the premier league. The first reason that may come to mind is that they probably don’t have the finances to compete with the big boys. That is a fallacy. Let’s just say money can buy you a lot of things but it can’t buy you heart and character. Fulham in their relegation season last year spent just over 37 million pounds on transfers, which is a sizeable amount for a club of that stature but they failed to make it. The teams that have survived in recent times like Sheffield United held on to the players they had in the promotion season. The Championship is a tough league so those players adopted pretty well to the rigors of the premier league. Norwich has followed suit and this is starting to pay dividend now. All that is needed is a coach who knows his way around the Premier league to guide the players in question.
Clubs that bounce around the two divisions are those that refuse or are unable to change their playing system from the Championship. Long balls, headers and route one are the order of the day in the lower leagues. What coaches in the top flight have done is get the front two or three to press high up the pitch nullifying that threat. A side which migrates to a passing game has a higher chance of survival. Watford have a good chance of survival with their quick incisive passing but in the match against Norwich the finishes wasn’t up to scratch. Burnley are in serious trouble with the way they play, with their route one soccer. Another common denominator with clubs that bounce up and down is that they are owned by individuals rather than conglomerates. Norwich is such an example. They are owned by Delian Jones and Mike Wynn-Jones a business power couple who have to be commended for sticking with the Canaries in trying times. Individuals own clubs, especially local ones, to buy prestige and status within their community which in turn buys them more customers for their other lines of business. Some may not necessarily care about soccer and thus may neglect player , stadium and fan welfare. Such complaints were heard from St James’s Park under Mike Ashley so some guys are not surprised they find themselves in relegation peril. Lastly, good win for Norwich and what a finish from Josh Sargent with his heel. He called it instinct after the game but I think he is being too modest.
|4||West Ham United||22||11||4||7||41||30||11||37|
|9||Brighton and Hove Albion||21||6||11||4||22||22||0||29|