Biggest Losers: Europe’s 5 worst starts to the season
Crystal Palace have been grabbing the headlines for all the wrong reasons after the worst ever start to a Premier League season.
The Eagles have lost all fives games so far this term, and are yet to even notch a goal after some dismal displays. But they are not alone, as several other teams in Europe’s top leagues have made equally horrible starts to the new season.
FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the worst starters across the continent.
Premier League: Crystal Palace (Played 5, Lost 5)
Former Dutch international Frank de Boer promised “evolution, not revolution” when he was made Palace boss in the summer. But poor communication skills and even worse man management meant that De Boer soon faced the latter from within his own dressing room. Four losses without troubling the ‘goals for’ column saw the 47-year old heading for the exit door, with chairman Simon Parish admitting the appointment had been a big mistake.
Former England boss Roy Hodgson is now at the helm and although he failed to inspire an immediate upturn in fortunes at the weekend, most people believe he is the right man for Palace will be able to turn things around.
Bundesliga: FC Koln (Played 4, Lost 4)
With 12 goals conceded and just one scored, Koln are enjoying (not really the right word) their worst start to a Bundesliga campaign ever. It’s come as a surprise given that the club had the sixth best defensive record in the league last season (42 conceded) as they finished a creditable fifth. The loss of top scorer Anthony Modeste hasn’t helped, but the fall from grace of Peter Stoger’s side is still hard to explain. In a sign of the club’s desperation, sporting director Jorge Schmadtke even demanded their weekend tie against Borussia Dortmund be replayed following a VAR controversy surrounding Dortmund’s second goal (they lost 5-0).
Their desperation would also explain this tweet.
.[email protected] What have we done?
— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) September 17, 2017
Although we’re pretty sure that Stoger doesn’t need any divine intervention and will manage to turn things around.
Li Liga: Alaves, Malaga (Played 4, Lost 4)
Another team who have had trouble scoring are rock-bottom La Liga club Alaves, who lost a fourth game in a row at the weekend – all without finding the net. The result led to the sacking of coach Luis Zubeldia who had only been at the club since June. Former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is reportedly being lined up as a replacement.
Alaves are not alone though as Malaga have got off to a similarly poor start, although they have at least scored one goal.
Ligue 1: Metz (Played 6, Lost 5, Won 1)
In France, Metz got off to a horrendous start, losing their first five games while conceding 12 goals, including a 5-1 drubbing by Neymar and PSG – although that’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Still, there’s hope for Philippe Hinschberger’s side as they began to turn things around at the weekend with a first win of the season away at Angers. Nolan Roux’s 55th-minute goal giving The Maroons a first win in 135 days.
Onwards and upwards!
Eredivisie: Roda JC (Played 5, Lost 5)
In the Eredivisie, Roda are propping up the table after defeats in their opening five games. A poor display in their recent 3-1 defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Willem II suggests they will find it hard to survive this season. Manager Robert Molenaar’s squad already appears to lack the strength needed to compete over the course of the season and it looks like they will need to bolster the playing ranks if they are to avoid a second relegation in three seasons.
Premier League: Everton (Played 5, Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 3)
OK, so at least the Toffees have won a game, but after investing more than £130 million on a boatload of major talent in the summer you would think that they should be doing better.
Granted they have had some tough games including visits to Chelsea and both Manchester teams, but ambitious clubs should be trying to win such games, while Ronald Koeman’s side have been set up negatively for damage limitation.
While a top-four place, as suggested by Jose Mourinho, may not be a realistic target for Everton, Koeman should at least be more positive and have more faith in his expensively assembled squad.