The Premier League relegation battle will go down to the final day of the season with Everton, Leicester and Leeds all desperate to escape the drop. Last year’s relegation battle serves as a reminder that it is more than possible to bounce back at the first attempt – or to just simply suffer midtable mediocrity. Burnley, Watford and Norwich were the three clubs who suffered the fate last year and here is how they have fared since:
Burnley finished the 2021/22 season in 18th place – three points adrift of Leeds – as the end of their six year spell in the Premier League was confirmed with defeat at home to Newcastle on the final day of the season when their fate was in their own hands. The Clarets had parted company with Sean Dyche in April 2022 with just a handful of games remaining and Mike Jackson was installed as caretaker manager. Jackson had secured 10 points in his first four games in charge but ultimately it wasn’t enough, with Leeds beating Brentford on the last day to send them into the Championship. The Lancashire club wasted little time in appointing Vincent Kompany the following month – and what a decision it turned out to be. The Manchester City legend guided Burnley to an immediate return to the Premier League this season as the winners of the Championship, collecting 101 points whilst playing some of the best football ever seen in the division along the way.
Watford were promoted back to the Premier League in the 2021/22 season but their stay in the top flight only lasted one campaign. The Hornets ended the season with just six wins from their 38 league fixtures to finish 19th with a paltry 23 points – a whopping 15 points from safety. Watford started the season with Xisco Munoz before turning to Claudio Ranieri in October 2021 and eventually ending up with Roy Hodgson in January 2022. The club also had three managers this season, with Rob Edwards, Slaven Bilic and Chris Wilder occupying the Vicarage Road hot seat. The continued upheaval saw the club miss out on a play-off spot, finishing six points adrift in 11th. Wilder left the club at the end of the season to be replaced by Valerien Ismael.
Norwich were the Premier League basement boys in 2021/22, propping up the table in last place with 22 points and only five wins. Daniel Farke was dismissed in November 2021 with the Canaries bottom of the table, having taken just five points from their first 11 games. Dean Smith, who had only recently been sacked by Aston Villa, oversaw a slight improvement in performances but he could not prevent them suffering a record sixth Premier League relegation. Smith stayed with the club in the Championship but his time in Norfolk ended just after Christmas with the club fifth in the table, 12 points behind the automatic promotion places. Norwich reappointed former manager David Wagner only to finish 13th, seven points behind Sunderland in the final play-off spot.