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The worst Premier League starts after four games

The worst Premier League starts after four games

Monday 11 September 2017

The worst Premier League starts after four games


Crystal Palace are not the first team to struggle after the opening four games of a Premier League season.

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer has been sacked after four straight Premier League defeats.

The Eagles became the first team to lose their first four top-flight matches without scoring a goal since Preston in the 1924-25 season.

Here Press Association Sport looks at the worst Premier League records after four games and what became of the teams – and the managers – who set these unwanted marks.

Southampton (2012-13)

Nigel Adkins while in charge at Southampton
Saints struggled on their return to Premier League under Nigel Adkins (Mike Egerton/Empics)

Saints are Palace’s next opponents, and suffered their own horror start five years ago after winning promotion from the Championship under Nigel Adkins. They bounced back in their fifth game with a 4-1 home win over Aston Villa but Adkins survived only until January 2013. New boss Mauricio Pochettino secured Southampton’s top-flight status with a 14th-placed finish.

West Ham (2010-11)

Avram Grant while in charge of West Ham
Avram Grant held onto his job at West Ham despite suffering relegation at the end of that season (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The Hammers are desperate to avoid entering this chart for a second time as they prepare for their fourth Premier League match of the current season at home to Huddersfield on Monday night, having started with three straight defeats – albeit all away from home. Their poor start seven years ago contributed to them finishing bottom of the table, seven points adrift of safety. Manager Avram Grant somehow lasted the whole season before being replaced on a permanent basis by Sam Allardyce in the summer of 2011.

Portsmouth (2009-10)

Portsmouth's Marc Wilson (left) and Everton's Jo (right) in action
Portsmouth started their campaign with seven straight losses, finishing with a 1-0 defeat to Everton (Daniel Hambury/Empics)

A truly woeful campaign for Pompey began with seven straight defeats under Paul Hart and ended with the club finishing bottom with 19 points. Hart was sacked in November 2009.

Sunderland (2005-06)

Charlton Athletic's Darren Bent scores the opening goal of the game past Sunderland's Kelvin Davis
Darren Bent scored for Charlton in the opening game of the 2005-2006 season against Sunderland (Mike Egerton/Empics)

The Black Cats lost five in a row from the start of the season under Mick McCarthy in a campaign where they finished bottom of the league with just 15 points, the second-lowest Premier League total ever. McCarthy was sacked in March 2006 with the club 16 points adrift at the foot of the table.

Middlesbrough (2001-02)

Steve McClaren managed to keep Middlesbrough up despite their poor start (Neal Simpson/Empics)
Steve McClaren managed to keep Middlesbrough up despite their poor start (Neal Simpson/Empics)

Boro secured survival despite taking no points from the first 12 available under Steve McClaren. The future England manager led the Teessiders to a 12th-placed finish.

Southampton (1998-99)

Newcastle's Alan Shearer scores his second goal, from the spot, as Newcastle go 2-0 ahead against Southampton
Alan Shearer scored twice against his former club to record Southampton’s fifth successive defeat (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A second appearance in the list for the south coast club, who this time lost five in a row, rounded off by a 4-0 loss at Newcastle. The club kept faith in Dave Jones and incredibly they stayed up, finishing 17th as the campaign ended with three straight wins.

Aston Villa (1997-98)

Aston Villa's Stan Collymore (right) is held at bay by Tottenham Hotspur's Colin Calderwood
Tottenham inflicted Aston Villa’s fourth consecutive defeat at the start of the 1997-1998 season (Ben Curtis/PA)

Brian Little’s men had that sinking feeling 20 years ago but climbed all the way to seventh by May and won eight of their last 10 Premier League games.

Swindon (1993-94)

Keith Scott in action for Swindon
Keith Scott scored the winner in Swindon’s first top-flight victory of the 1993-1994 campaign on 24 November (Phil O’Brien/Empics)

John Gorman’s men opened with four defeats and it took them until November 24 to register a first win at the 16th attempt. The Wiltshire club finished 13 points adrift of safety after the 42-game season. Gorman stayed in the job until November 1994.

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