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Teams with the worst title defence in Premier League history

With Roy Keane calling Liverpool ‘bad champions’, we take a look at teams with the worst title defence in Premier League history.

It’s easy to see why Keane would make such a claim considering at the time Jurgen Klopp’s side lost four consecutive home games and were 16 points behind leaders Manchester City, having already drawn and lost more times this season than they did in the whole of 2019/20. Ouch.

Liverpool’s struggles throughout this campaign includes notable injuries as well as their surprise loss of form from two of their front three, nonetheless, the fact remains: the Reds have made a right mess of their first-ever title defence for 30 years.

The Reds ended the 2019/20 season with a total of 99 points and after 28 games this campaign they have 43 points.

When Roy Keane called Liverpool ‘bad champions’, they had 40 games from 25 games played, and that meant it was less than 1.6 points-per-game (ppg) compared to 2.6 on the previous season.

So which are the top 10 teams with the worst title defence in Premier League history by the percentage drop in points from their winning season and their title-defending season? Find out for yourself below…

10. Arsenal

For the 2002/03, the Gunners ended up finishing in 2nd place in the Premier League table, picking up a total of 78 points from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (2001/02) saw them have a points total of 87 – giving them a percentage points difference of -10.34%.

Those at Squawka said: The Gunners put an end to Manchester United’s title procession in 2002 and looked set to repeat those exploits as champions in 2002/03. That is, until they collapsed dramatically at the end of the season. From two points clear after 19 games to five adrift of first spot after 38, Arsenal would ultimately surrender the title back to Man Utd.

9. Manchester United

For the 2000/01 season, they Red Devils ended up finishing in 1st place, with a points total of 80 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (1999/00) saw them have a points total of 91 – giving them a percentage points difference of -12.09%.

Those at Squawka said: This is a strange one because Manchester United did actually retain their title despite a huge drop-off in quality from their previous campaign. The sensational performances of 1999/00 slowed down a bit to a more expected 80 points. Still enough for the Premier League’s first-ever three-peat, but the Gunners were closing in.

8. Manchester City

For the 2012/13 season, the Sky Blues ended up finishing in 2nd place, with a points total of 78 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (2011/12) saw them have a points total of 89 – giving them a percentage points difference of -12.36%.

Those at Squawka said: Roberto Mancini’s Man City blew hot and cold and as impressive as their first title for over 50 years was, their title defence was blown out of the water by Robin van Persie “listening to the little boy inside” and choosing the red half of Manchester. Without that added firepower, City struggled to maintain their level as Mancini played out his final season in Manchester.

7. Manchester City

For the 2019/20 season, City ended up finishing in 2nd place, with a points total of 81 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (2018/19) saw them have a points total of 98 – giving them a percentage points difference of -17.35%.

Those at Squawka said: Now we’re really starting to get into the massive drop-offs. Although in the case of Guardiola’s Man City, they had a hell of a long way to fall after two seasons with 100 and 98 points, respectively. In hindsight 81 points wasn’t that bad but still a massive drop in standards that made plain what everyone could see on the pitch. With City wallowing in self-inflicted misery, Liverpool swept their way to the title.

6. Chelsea

For the 2010/11 season, the Blues ended up finishing in 2nd place, with a points total of 71 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (2009/10) saw them have a points total of 86 – giving them a percentage points difference of -17.44%.

Those at Squawka said: In 2009/10 Carlo Ancelotti shook up Stamford Bridge with a sensational double, including an absurdly high-scoring title win. The Italian has never been one to solve problems, however, and when Chelsea hit some speed-bumps halfway through their title defence things came off the rails badly. In the end United secured the title (with the lowest points total this century) with a good Spring run, as Chelsea could only sit back and watch.

5. Chelsea

For the 2017/18 season, the Blues ended up finishing in 5th place, with a points total of 70 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (2016/17) saw them have a points total of 93 – giving them a percentage points difference of -24.73%.

Those at Squawka said: The Blues are back! After storming to the title under Antonio Conte, ripping everyone apart with a 3-4-2-1 shape that everyone wanted to copy, things went badly wrong the following season. Was it Conte’s demanding nature? Yes. Was it an inability to cope with the Premier League and European football? Yes again. Was it because the players appeared to be utterly unmotivated to play for Conte? Also yes.

4. Manchester United

For the 2013/14, the Red Devils ended up finishing in 7th place, with a points total of 64 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (2012/13) saw them have a points total of 89 – giving them a percentage points difference of -28.09%.

Those at Squawka said: Manchester United are by far the best team in the Premier League when it comes to retaining the title, but even they’ve had a disaster worthy of the top 10. And of course, it was the season that David Moyes took over. The gruff Scot thought that just because he was replacing another guff Scot he’d do well. However, the Red Devils ultimately collapsed in a humiliating fashion that brought a smile to any and every neutral fan in England and, in truth, they are only now, seven years on, finally getting over the problems caused by Moyes.

3. Blackburn

For the 1995/96 season, Rovers ended up finishing in 7th place, with a points total of 61 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (1994/95) saw them have a points total of 89 – giving them a percentage points difference of -31.46%.

Those at Squawka said: When Blackburn won the title there was a lot of surprise, but then, also not that much given how much they’d spent assembling a dream team. However even as everything came together for them wonderfully, it did fall apart just as massively the following season. The sheer size of their points drop (28) was exacerbated by the Premier League switching from a 42-game to a 38-game season, but it cannot be denied that they had no idea how to go about retaining the title and cope with the burden of champions.

2. Chelsea

For the 2015/16, the Blues ended up finishing in 10th place, with a points total of 50 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (2014/15) saw them have a points total of 87 – giving them a percentage points difference of -42.53%.

Those at Squawka said: Sometimes, things just go bad. Chelsea won the title impressively in 2014/15 but it was clear that the squad had become disillusioned with Mourinho’s management. What wasn’t clear, though, was just how disillusioned they had become. Chelsea were awful in 2015/16. They dropped nearly 40 points from their title win as they meandered to a shocking mid-table finish the following season. Eden Hazard, in particular, seemed to take the campaign off, going through the motions all season, only showing up at the very end to deny Spurs any chance at the title.

1. Leicester

For the 2016/17 season, the Foxes ended up finishing in 12th place, with a points total of 44 from 38 games played.

Their champions winning season (2015/16) saw them have a points total of 81 – giving them a percentage points difference of -45-68%.

Those at Squawka said: The biggest upset in Premier League history somewhat predictably led to the biggest fall-off in Premier League history. Looking back you can hardly blame Leicester. What they did in 2015/16 was nothing short of a miracle. They not only won the title but won it impressively and deservedly, before them practically halving their points the following season in a more realistic position which everyone expected for the champions winning season.

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