Premier League Playback: Hope for the new boys
NEW BOYS IMPRESS
This has flown under the radar so far this season but you know what, the new boys, they’re good.
After a perfect weekend for the newly-promoted teams Newcastle United sit in seventh place, Huddersfield in 11th and Brighton in 12th in the table.
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Combined they have 37 points so far this season, which is the highest points tally between three newly-promoted teams after nine game for 12 years and only twice have the three new boys fared better at this point of a season. The best-ever points tally after nine games came in the PL’s debut campaign in 1992-93 when Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Ipswich tallied 44 points.
Yet despite big wins for Brighton at West Ham, Newcastle edging Crystal Palace and Huddersfield’s incredible triumph against Manchester United, there is a word of warning: in PL history there have only been two occasions when all three promoted teams have survived in their first season.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
That was in 2001-02 when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton survived the drop and in 2011-12 when QPR, Norwich and Swansea stayed up.
Although Newcastle, Huddersfield and Brighton know tough times are still ahead, their fine starts have given them a platform to build from and when you look at the stats from this summer it may suggest that the new boys are figuring out how to stay in the PL. In short, spend big.
Looking at the money spent on summer transfers, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton spent more than seven PL teams. Huddersfield spent $52 million on new signings, Newcastle $48 million and Brighton $45 million.
It is worth the investment and they have learned the harsh lessons from other clubs who came up and spent little in the last few seasons and were relegated at the first attempt. See: Middlesbrough and Hull last season.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
A lot more goes into creating a team capable of survival other than spending, but these three clubs have shown that spending more and upgrading your squad is key to staying in the Premier League.
So far, so good.
THREE GONE: WHO IS NEXT?
Ronald Koeman’s Everton exit made it three Premier League managers who have lost their job before the end of October and there are at least three others under pressure.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Koeman’s 16-month spell at the Toffees promised plenty after a seventh-placed finish last season and a huge summer spending spree of over $190 million, but the Dutchman’s main downfall was failing to bring in a new striker to replace Romelu Lukaku and the 25 goals he delivered last season.
With Craig Shakespeare out at Leicester and Frank de Boer gone at Crystal Palace, there is now a plethora of managers feeling the heat.
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Slaven Bilic seems one bad defeat away from being fired at West Ham. Mark Hughes is under a little pressure at Stoke after a poor start. And even Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte are feeling more pressure after sloppy starts to the new seasons for Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.
It seems like PL chairmen are being more ruthless than ever this season and many managers will be sitting uncomfortably in their dugout seat in the months to come.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES AT SOUTHAMPTON
We had the pleasure of being behind-the-scenes at Southampton on Saturday as Sofiane Boufal’s incredible goal handed Saints a late win against West Brom 1-0 at St Mary’s.
[ MORE: Matchday experience at Southampton ]
From the pub to the stadium, to being on the pitch for walkouts and in the tunnel at the end of the game, we have you covered for the full matchday experience.
The video above gives you a taster of what to expect, while below is a clip of us speaking with Boufal after his amazing solo goal.
Premier League Playback comes out every week as PST’s Lead Writer and Editor takes an alternative look at the action from the weekend. Read the full archive, here.