Norwich City have made a less than convincing start to life back in the top flight, picking up just a solitary point from their opening seven matches in the 2021/22 Premier League.
However, they still have some time to go yet to match some of the worst ever starts to a football season.
Here are some more teams whose campaigns also got off to a slippery start…
WORST EVER STARTS TO A SEASON
Sheffield Utd – 2020/21 season
The Blades broke records all over the place in the 2020/21 Premier League…. but for all the wrong reasons.
Utd officially made the worst ever start to a Premier League season after their 3-2 home defeat to Man Utd in December 2020, a run that saw them lose 12 of their first 13 games (drawing the other).
A win against Newcastle in mid-January a full 18 games into the season would finally see them notch a first win, ironically the one and only team Derby County would also beat en-route to their record low points tally of 11 set in 2007/8.
A late rally that saw Utd eventually win seven games wouldn’t be anywhere near enough for survival as they dropped back into the EFL Championship after a two-year-absence.
Crystal Palace – 2017/18 season
Palace unveiled Dutch legend Frank de Boer as their new manager in June 2017, with the new man at the helm promising to revolutionise their style of play.
Unfortunately for him, the Palace board’s confidence in ushering in a bold new era of ‘Total Football’ wavered as the Eagles slumped to four Premier League defeats in a row without scoring a single goal, as de Boer made a quick exit from South London.
Replacement Roy Hodgson took a while to stop the rot, but his more pragmatic approach paid dividends as Palace comfortably avoided relegation.
FC Köln – 2017/18 season
Köln endured a terrible turnaround in fortunes for a side that had finished in fifth in the Bundesliga the season prior to this one.
The Billy Goats registered no wins, three draws and 13 defeats at the start of the 2017/18 season and things didn’t get much better from that point onwards.
A mid-season rally wouldn’t prove enough to save Köln from an inevitable relegation to Bundesliga 2.
Spurs – 2008/09 season
It won’t go down as the worst ever start to a Premier League season, but it probably goes down as the one of the most surprising. For a brief period in 2008, Spurs fans could be forgiven for looking up directions for Rotherham Utd as they briefly flirted with a shock relegation to the EFL Championship.
The future had been looking bright for Spurs in the summer of 2008.
Juande Ramos had steered the club to League Cup glory the previous season, but confidence evaporated at White Hart Lane as his highly-fancied Spurs side slipped to the bottom of the table after eight games having clocked up just two points.
Ramos was replaced by Harry Redknapp, who would go on to make a much greater fist of things in North London.
Man Utd – 1930/31 season
A delve into the history books reveals a surprising record holder for most consecutive defeats to start the season – Man Utd.
It would take until November for the Red Devils to get off the mark. That run of 12 successive defeats at the start of a season remains an English record as they meekly surrendered their top flight status.
Chelsea – 2014/15 season
José Mourinho probably still has nightmares about the alarming slump in form that saw him make a mid-season exit from Chelsea for a second time in his career – only a few months on from his third title success with the Blues.
By the time Roman Abramovich finally lost patience for a second time with his serial EPL-trophy winner, the defending champions had lost nine of their 16 Premier League matches and sat 16th in the Premier League table.
RBC Roosendaal – 2005/06 season
Forget that Premier League season where Derby County finished rock bottom with a measly 11 points – RBC went two better in 2006, finishing up on just nine points and recording one win all season.
Those precious three points came in the 26th game of the season – with fans forced to wait until February for the sweet taste of victory.
Brechin City – 2017/18 season
If RBC saved face with one win on the board, there was no such luck for long-suffering Brechin City fans in 2017/18.
The club didn’t just have a difficult start – they never got going at all.
City became the first club in 126 years to fail to win a league match, picking up just four points from four draws, but finally ended their 38-match, 470-day barren run with victory over East Fife in August 2018.
See, it’s not all bad Norwich fans.
Stats correct at time of writing.
All image sources from PA Images.
Can you think of any other shocking starts?
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