Darkest Moments for Every Premier League Club in Recent Memory
There is no doubt that every Premier League fan is just delighted to see their club in the top-flight. But expectations continue to change. Some clubs are currently in a good place, but let's not forget their worst periods and how they have dealt with those dark times.
Of course, some of those dark times were recent while others were a longer time ago, but every Premier League side has had their bad times.
Arsenal fans may feel that the club is not currently successful and that merely qualifying for the Champions League is not enough. But Arsene Wenger has been good for the club, and he has provided a lot of success for the North London outfit.
It was, arguably, the period before Wenger was appointed in the 1990s that left the club in a far worse state than it is currently in. George Graham was one of the more successful Arsenal managers, but after he was dismissed, things took a change towards instability. The appointment of Bruce Rioch didn't work out, and he lasted only one season until the club hit gold with Wenger.
I think there is a very strong argument to be made that Aston Villa's current period is one of the darkest periods in its history. I can remember it wasn't so long ago that Aston Villa were challenging for places in the top five or six of the Premier League.
After last season, Villa can consider themselves to be fortunate that they managed to stay in the league. However, fans will now be hopeful that Paul Lambert can start to revive the club after the disastrous spell that Alex McLeish had in charge.
I think it is fair to say that Chelsea were not really put back on the map until Roman Abramovich purchased the club. The reign under the guidance of Ken Bates was mixed and is not a period most Chelsea fans will look back on fondly. Although, it should be noted things started to improve towards the end of that period.
Everton have an incredible record of sustaining Premier League football. However, they have done so with differing levels of success. I think most people would agree that the current period under David Moyes is the most successful of their recent history.
But things were not so good in the earlier days of the Premier League. Mike Walker was statistically the club's least successful manager, and Walter Smith regularly finished in the bottom half, eventually leading to his dismissal.
Fulham may now be a solid Premier League side, but that was not always the case. In 1991/1992, Fulham were playing in the old division three. However, they clearly have made big strides since those early dark days.
Last season was one of Liverpool's darkest times. The 8th place finish was the worst in 18 years, something that cost Kenny Dalglish his job. Liverpool fans will be hoping for a change in fortunes under Brendan Rodgers.
Clearly Manchester City are in a very good place right now after such a fantastic season last year. But things were certainly not always good. Arguably, the darkest days in the recent history of the club were in 1998 when they were relegated to the old division two. It has been quite a remarkable rise from that to Premier League champions.
Sir Alex Ferguson is a legend of modern day football, but that status may never have happened if Ferguson was sacked during the first few years at Manchester United. An 11th place finish in the Premier League once nearly cost Ferguson his job. It seems incredible to think of United finishing as low as 11th in modern football.
I think it is fair to say that relegation from the Premier League was the darkest period in Newcastle's recent history. This occurred at the end of the 2008/2009 season under the management of Alan Shearer. Fortunately, things have picked up now that the club are back in the Premier League.
One of the darkest periods in Norwich City's history is still very much in the minds of the fans. This was when the club was relegated to League 1 in 2009. Fortunately, the years since have been much better with the club back in the Premier League.
QPR are now back in the Premier League, and some fans may think that last season was disappointing for the club. But the important thing is they survived in the Premier League. Fans will be able to cast their mind back to 2001, when things were seriously bleak.
This is when the London side were relegated to the old division three.
I think it's a pretty good time to be a Reading supporter with the club back in the Premier League and with money behind them. This is a long way from some of their struggles in the old division two a little over 10 years ago.
The dark days for Southampton are more recent than some other clubs. Things have improved dramatically for the club over the last few years, and they now find themselves back in the Premier League.
Those days occurred in 2009 with the club relegated from the Championship.
Stoke City are now considered to be one of the established Premier League sides. But it was not so long ago that the club were struggling in the third tier of English football. However, the club has now firmly put those dark days that occurred little over a decade ago behind them.
A really low point for Sunderland fans in their recent history occurred in 2006, when the club were relegated from the Premier League with a points tally of just 15 points. However, the club has had a much better period since then and are now considered one of the Premier League's more established clubs.
Swansea may now be a Premier League club, but in the mid '90s, the Welsh team were struggling in the old third division. Nevertheless, the club's fortunes have improved dramatically since then, and they will be looking to survive in the English top-flight for another season.
Spurs are now considered one of those clubs that can contend at the top end of the Premier League, but there was a time not so long ago that they were considered a mid-table team. This time occurred from 2001 to 2005. Things have improved rapidly since then, and they will be looking to qualify for the champions league season in the 2012-13 season.
West Brom are currently one of the more established Premier League sides, but this has certainly not always been the case. In the early 90s, the club were stranded in the old second division. Clearly the club has done well since those days and not looked back.
West Ham will be relived to be back in the Premier League. Their time in the Championship has, arguably, been their darkest time in recent years. Clearly getting relegated from the top-flight in May 2011 was very bleak. The London club will now be looking to establish themselves back in the Premier League.
Wigan have a remarkable knack of staying in the Premier League, despite being tipped for relegation nearly every season. It was not so long ago that Wigan found themselves in the old third division. Those days were in 1995, around the time that current owner Dave Whelen originally purchased the club.