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Was This The Oddest Looking Premier League Table Of All Time?

Was This The Oddest Looking Premier League Table Of All Time?
By Conor Neville

The Premier League table has taken on an odd complexion this season with last year's champions hovering not far above the relegation zone, with Leicester, West Ham and Crystal Palace all suffering from vertigo.

However, the most surprising League table at an advanced stage of the season in Premier League history (to both contemporaries and to us now) was certainly the table during Christmas 1992.

The table in late December 1992 bore a highly exotic look, even at the time. For a start, we weren't that far removed from the era of Liverpool dominance. Observing them falling as low as 11th (and even, unbelievably, plummeting to 15th position in March before a late season rally) must have been fairly shocking for football fans at the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiVq5-u7MH0

This season bears close relation to the 1992-93 season in one very obvious sense, in that the previous year's champions were having a torrid time trying to replicate their form of the previous season.

1991/92 Champions Leeds United, having offloaded their "flashy foreigner" Eric Cantona, languished in 14th place. By the end of the season they were looking back nostalgically on those lofty heights, as they eventually finished 17th, only a few points clear of the relegation zone. Easily the worst performance of any League champions since the start of the 1990s.

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However, most surprising of all was Norwich. The country bumpkins from East Anglia played exuberant football from the off, but no one expected them to stay at the top of the table for very long. However, as 1992 turned into 1993, there they were, sitting on top of the table.

Fairly shockingly for supporters of the game now, there was great excitement at Villa Park with Aston Villa at the business end of the table (as opposed to now where they potter around lower mid-table, occasionally, but never convincingly, flirting with relegation). Under Ron Atkinson, and with a host of Irish players including the PFA Player of the Year that season Paul McGrath, Villa played flashy, entertaining football as they vied with Norwich City for top spot.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrNVCPuXIGo

Also, Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, usually accustomed to being in or around what we would now call the Europa League spots, were rooted to the bottom, not helped by their manager's increasingly eccentric gambits (which included hiding under a table in his office so the England manager Graham Taylor, who was sat outside, wouldn't know he was in there) and his alcohol-induced absenteeism.

Read more: BBC Presenter's Mad Story From The Chelsea Dressing Room About Mourinho Hatred

 

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