12 Games (around a third of the premier league) are over, and the league table is starting to take shape. Perhaps the most surprising part of the table is Chelsea hovering just above relegation with 7 defeats in 12 games. However, Leicester City, under Ranerri have taken the Premier League by shock, currently with 25 points after 12 games and sitting a clear 3rd in the Premier League. Considering their form during the first half last season, it’s a surprise.
So a look back into the last 5 completed Premier League seasons, where a team that really took the league by surprise, to achieve a position that was not expected out of them.
2009-10 would have been one of the greatest Seasons for Fullham, which reached the Europa League final. The 2010/11 would see Fullham survive an intense mid-table competition in the Premier League to finish 8th in the league, as the difference in points from Fullham in 8th, to Wolverhampton in 17th was just 9 points.
The team, for the fight time under Mark Hughes who replaced Liverpool bound manager, Roy Hogdson. Many were not convinced that Fullham could be in the upper middle table, especially with Aston Villa, Sunderland (who were pretty good back then), Newcastle United among others.
Yet, Fullham were able to grind out the results when it mattered, including draws against Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. Their results against other clubs of the mid table ensured they would finish 8th in the Premier League, with a record 11 wins, 16 draws and 11 defeats saw them finish with 49 points.
Fullham would once again qualify for Europe thanks to the English positioning in the fair play tables, but would be relegated at the end of 2013/14 and have not been near the top six spots in the Championship since.
In what has been Newcastle United’s finest season in a while, especially given the horrible form over the last couple of seasons, 2011/12 was perhaps their greatest and the best season Alan Pardrew had during his time in the North-east club.
Unbeaten in their first 11 matches of the season, they overcame a shaky period in November and December, before a strong finish to the season with the aid of Senegalese Striker, Papiss Cisse who was signed mid-season. It was a season that saw Coloccini, Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba all hit their best forms as well.
The season saw them gain wins against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United. Their win at Stamford Bridge also saw Papiss Cisse score a phenomenal goal. Newcastle United would finish the season in 5th, with a record of 19 wins, 8 draws and 11 defeats that would see them earn a Europa League group stage berth. Newcastle have never come close to replicating the form of 2011/12 season, getting more involved in the relegation fights than a fight for Europe.
Swansea survived the first year of Premier League football comfortably thanks to manager, Brendan Rodgers. He would be signed by Liverpool. Michael Laudrup was appointed as the replacement. He would lead the club to the upper half of the premier league for the first time.
The team, more or less with the same core would finish 9th under the new style of Laudrup, where the team were pressing higher and comparatively less passing. The best result for them was the win against Arsenal, along with their triumph in the League cup.
The team was spearheaded by Michu who scored 22 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions that season. Swansea would finish 2012/13 with a 9th place finish, which saw them get 11 wins, 13 draws, 14 defeats to finish with 46 points.
Swansea under Garry Monk were able to build on this success, including a 56 point tally in 2014/15, but the 2012/13 performance of the Swans surprised everyone.
The 2013/14 season, was a good one for both clubs from the city of Liverpool. While Liverpool nearly won the title, Everton were also taking the premier league by storm.
It was a new era for the club, with the departure of long-time manager, David Moyes to Manchester United, and his replacement was Roberto Martinez, former Wigan Athletic manager who had won the FA Cup against Manchester City.
Playing a more aggressive and passing based football, Everton were able to string an amazing run of results during the premier league, including a 10 match unbeaten run in the first half of the season and a 7 match winning run in the latter half of the season. This included a win against Chelsea, a double against Manchester United and a thrilling 3-3 Mersey side Derby result.
Everton would finish the season in 5th, with 72 points, the best tally it has ever achieved in the Premier League. The final results for Everton were 21 wins, 8 draws and 9 defeats in the Premier League.
Everton did overcome a tough 2014/15 season, but seem to be getting close to good form in 2015/16.
Southampton have gone from strength to strength since they got promoted to the premier league. However, many doubted their ability to challenge for an upper-mid table spot in 2014/15, with their Manager and many of their key players leaving the club.
However, the new arrivals and new manager Ronald Koeman showed that they would not be missed as much. Consistent performances throughout the season, especially with Koeman’s great utilisation of Pelle, Southampton surprised everyone by finishing 7th in the Premier League, with 60 points. This was just 4 behind 5th place Tottenham, and 2 points behind 6th Place Liverpool, which showed how close they missed an automatic Europa league birth, but showed its not always over for a team if their old, successful core leaves a the club.
Memorable results for the club that season, 2 draws against Chelsea, a win against Arsenal and a 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland as the Saints recorded one of their biggest wins in Premier League history. Southampton finished 2014/15 season with 60 points, 18 wins, 6 draws, 14 defeats.
Southampton are set to build on their success of 2014/15 in the current season, having retained a similar core.