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Newly Promoted Teams Analysis

This article considers the chances of success in the Premier League next season for Hull, Burnley and Middlesbrough, who secured promotion from the Championship in 2015/16. A key way of doing this is to look back at the records of those teams promoted from the Championship to the Premier League since 2010. This reveals how most struggled to make a successful transition from second tier to top flight, with clean sheets and goals far tougher to come by. I will also look at some notable and rare successful players and teams who bucked the trend to become a great source of Fantasy points.

A Difficult Transition

To put that rough ride into perspective here’s a recap of some analysis I carried out last year looking at the averages for goals scored, goals conceded and clean sheets for the 18 teams promoted in 2010-2015.  While they scored 78 goals on average as Championship teams, that figure dropped to just 44 in the Premier League.

For goals conceded their defences also struggled in the top flight. While in the Championship they let in 46 goals on average, that tally rose to 62 among England’s elite. This made clean sheets harder to come by with their average dropping from 17 to only eight post-promotion.

This means that for those expecting goals galore and plenty of clean sheets from the trio of 2016 promoted sides, Burnley, Middlesbrough and Hull, could be in for a shock.

Promotion Success Stories

Players

But it’s not all bad news. There have been some notable high performers from the promoted sides, particularly among the budget picks, so it does pay to invest in a good sprinkling of players from those coming up to the Premier League.

Here’s some notable players who did well in the season after securing promotion and secured a points per game (ppg) of at least 4.0 in Fantasy Premier League.

2010-11: Charlie Adam (Blackpool) 192 at 5.5 ppg; Andy Carroll (Newcastle -> Liverpool) 135 at 5.2 ppg; Kevin Nolan (Newcastle) 140 at 4.7 ppg; Joey Barton (Newcastle) 131 at 4.1 ppg; DJ Campbell (Blackpool) 138 at 4.1 ppg.

2011-12: Michel Vorm (Swansea) 158 at 4.3 ppg; Bobby Zamora (QPR) 119 at 4.1 ppg; Scott Sinclair (Swansea) 151 at 4.0 ppg.

2012-13: Ricky Lambert (Southampton) 187 at 4.9 ppg; Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 149 at 4.3 ppg.

2014-15: Charlie Austin (QPR) 176 at 5.0 ppg; Danny Ings (Burnley) 139 at 4.0 ppg.

2015-16: Odion Ighalo (Watford) 175 at 4.7 ppg; Troy Deeney (Watford) 166 at 4.4 ppg; Heurlho Gomes (Watford) 157 at 4.1 ppg.

Securing more than 5.0 ppg is rare though, with only Austin in 2014/15 and Adam and Carroll in 2010/11 achieving this. Of these, Austin actually improved his goalscoring tally from 17 to 18. Adam scored 16 in the Championship promotion season and an impressive 12 in the Premier League, while Carroll notched 11 in 19 matches, before injury and an ill-fated transfer to Liverpool scuppered his season. This measures up well compared to his 17 goals for Newcastle in the Championship the season before.

Teams

Last year I took a detailed look at the most successful promotion teams for Fantasy managers since 2010. Here I’ll highlight some key success stories. For more detail please revisit last year’s article here.

The 2010/11 season proved an excellent time for promoted sides in terms of goals. Newcastle and West Brom both scored an impressive 56 goals in their first season back in the top flight. Blackpool too did well, scoring in all but one of their home matches.

Swansea proved the stars of the new Premier League class of 2011/12. They were promoted with an impressive defensive record at home, keeping 14 home clean sheets and only conceding 11 home goals. They also maintained their defensive form in the Premier League, keeping 14 clean sheets (nine of which were at home) and only conceding 18 home goals. Michel Vorm proved a shrewd purchase that year.

Southampton‘s strong attack on the road in the Championship was also maintained in the Premier League, where they scored in all but five of their away matches in 2012/13.

A change of manager proved pivotal to Crystal Palace who were back in the Premier League in 2013/14. After switching from Ian Holloway to Tony Pulis they ended the season conceding fewer goals in the Premier League (47) than in the Championship (62). They remain the only promoted side to achieve this feat since 2010. They also managed to keep one more clean sheet in the Premier League than the 11 they managed in the Championship.

Promotion Failures

Players

While Carroll and Austin succeeded in both the Championship and Premier League, the road to promotion is littered with poorly performing casualties. Here’s my pick of the biggest flops.

Adel Taarabt (QPR 2011): 19 goals  in Championship, just 2 in Premier League.

Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace 2013): 30 goals in Championship, only 1 in Premier League.

David Nugent (Leicester 2014): 20 goals in Championship,  a mere 5 in Premier League.

Cameron Jerome (Norwich 2015): 18 goals in Championship, an embarrassing 3 in Premier League.

Teams

The list of failures is far longer as last year’s article shows. Here are some of the poorest performers since 2010:

The slide in defensive statistics was particularly potent for QPR in 2010/11, as their goals conceded tally more than doubled after promotion and the number of clean sheets fell from 22 in the Championship to just seven. In the same season Norwich failed to keep a single clean sheet on the road, as did Reading in 2012/13.

Scoring on the road also proved tricky for West Ham, who saw their away goal tally drop from 40 to just 11 after securing promotion in 2011/12. Whether home or away Cardiff still struggled to score in the 2013/14 season, where they failed to find the net on a staggering 19 occasions. Burnley in 2014/15 also proved poor in attack, scoring a mere 28 times and just 14 times in front of their home fans.

The promoted trio of 2015/16 also struggled at times. Despite strong, intermittent bursts of good form, overall it was a poor in terms of attack. Watford failed to score on 14 occasions, Bournemouth couldn’t find the net 11 times and Norwich were the worst of the bunch with 16 failures to score as they tumbled back into the Championship.

The Class of 2016/17

Here I’ll take a look at the three promoted teams of 2015/16. As we have seen, Championship statistics can often be a poor indicator of Premier League success. Nevertheless let’s have a look at how they fared on their road to promotion.

Burnley won the 2015-16 Championship with an excellent defensive record, conceding only 35 goals (14 at home and 21 away) and keeping 20 clean sheets (12 at home and 8 away). Their attack however was below average, scoring only 38 goals at home and failing to score on 7 occasions in away matches. Star striker: Andre Gray – 25 goals

Middlesbrough were runners-up with an outstanding defensive record, conceding only 31 goals (8 at home and 23 away) and keeping 22 clean sheets (15 at home and 7 away). Their attack though was very weak, scoring only 63 goals (34 at home and 29 away) and failing to score on 14 occasions (6 at home and 8 away). Star striker: Jordan Rhodes – 16 goals.

Hull were also promoted, with a similar defensive record to Burnley’s – 35 goals conceded (12 at home and 23 away) and 20 clean sheets (13 at home and 7 away). Their attack was above average at home (48 home goals scored) but very poor away (only 20 goals). Star striker: Abel Hernandez – 20 goals.

Conclusion

A comparison of the average promoted team’s performances in the Championship and Premier League should act as a wake-up call for those expecting players to be as successful in the Premier League as they were in the Championship.

This means that investment in successful Championship strikers should be treated with caution. For every success like Austin there are also failures such as Nugent and Jerome. Another worth noting is Sylvan Ebanks Blake.  The Wolverhampton Wanderers striker scored 25 goals in the Midlands side’s 2008/9 promotion-winning season to score just two goals the next season in the Premier League. The deterioration in their individual performance may be far greater than that of their team, or it may be a cause of their team’s deterioration.

Clean sheets are also harder to come by, however good goalkeepers for promoted sides can expect to see a significant increase in save points. Burnley’s Tom Heaton is one to watch out for in this regard. Along with team-mates Michael Keane. Joey Barton (now of Rangers) and Gray, Heaton secured a place in the 2015/16 Championship Team of the Season. Michael Dawson was Hull’s only player in this end-of-season team, with Middlesbrough represented by Adam Clayton, George Friend and Daniel Ayala. History suggests very few of these names will succeed in the Premier League in 2016/17.

RedLightning The 2023/24 winners of my mini-leagues were: Opening Day League: Ben Tinker; Top 10k Any Season and Multiple Top 10k Finishes: Euan Thompson; January to May League: Mateusz Kabat; and The Last Ten: Sandeep Ramadev.

23 Comments Post a Comment
  1. J0E
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
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    • 14 Years
    8 years, 22 days ago

    Thanks for this. For even more detail I do urge you to visit RedLightning's previous article from last year (linked in the above article).

    1. alastair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 14 Years
      8 years, 22 days ago

      Do you know when the Hall of Fame will be updated ?

      1. J0E
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
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        • 14 Years
        8 years, 22 days ago

        Very soon I'm told. Hopefully within the next few days.

        1. alastair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 14 Years
          8 years, 22 days ago

          Thanks

    2. RedLightning
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      • 13 Years
      8 years, 22 days ago

      In addition to the players listed above as promotion success stories, the following also scored 100 points or more and averaged at least 3.5ppg:
      2010-11: Chris Brunt (West Brom) 130 at 3.8ppg.
      2011-12: Nathan Dyer (Swansea) 122 at 3.6ppg.
      2012-13: Jussi Jaaskelainen (West Ham) 144 at 3.8ppg; Joey O’Brien (West Ham) 123 at 3.7ppg.
      2013-14: Julian Speroni (Palace) 144 at 3.9ppg; Jason Puncheon (Palace) 131 at 3.9ppg.
      2014-15: Tom Heaton (Burnley) 150 at 3.9ppg; Leroy Fer (QPR) 113 at 3.9ppg; Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 120 at 3.5ppg.
      2015-16: Wes Hoolahan (Norwich) 113 at 3.8ppg; Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) 130 at 3.5ppg.

      These lists include 5 goalkeepers, 10 midfielders and 9 forwards but only 2 defenders. (I have probably overlooked a few other defenders from the earlier seasons).
      Few defenders from newly promoted teams are likely to score enough points to justify playing them every week, but they can still be very useful as enablers or in cheap rotations.

    3. RedLightning
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      • 13 Years
      8 years, 22 days ago

      Thanks for editing and publishing this article, Jonty. You have had to leave out much of the material that was repeated from last year's article, but here are a couple of additional comments:

      The figures in A Difficult Transition had been updated from the 15 teams promoted in 2010-14 to the 18 teams promoted in 2010-15.

      Although there have been some notable promotion failures, 9 of the 17 players who had been among the ten highest scorers in the Championship in 2010-15 did manage to score 10 or more goals in the Premier League the following season. These 17 averaged 20 goals in gaining promotion from the Championship, and 9 in the next season's Premier League. Glenn Murray and Rickie Lambert were the only two of these to exceed Andre Gray's 2015-16 Championship total of 25.

      1. RedLightning
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        • 13 Years
        8 years, 21 days ago

        The failures by Adel Taarabt, David Nugent and Cameron Jerome were not entirely unexpected actually, since their previous records in the Premier League were not great.

        In earlier Premier League seasons, Cameron Jerome had scored 7 goals in 33 matches (2007/8), 11 in 32 (2009/10) and 3 in 34 (2010/11) for Birmingham, but only 4 in 23 (2011/12) and 3 in 26 (2012/13) for Stoke and 2 in 28 (2013/14) for Palace.

        David Nugent was a prolific goal-scorer in the Championship, but in the Premier League he had scored no goals in 15 matches (2007/8) and 3 in 16 (2008/9) for Portsmouth and 6 in 30 for Burnley in 2009/10.

        Adel Taarabt played 6 matches but failed to score for Spurs in 2007/8 and only played one match for them in 2008/9 before being loaned out to Championship side QPR in March 2009.

        The reason for Glenn Murray's lack of goals in 2013/14 was quite different though. He had been out injured since the end of the 2012/13 season and was not fit to play till February 2014, after which he scored 1 goal in 14 matches. He was sent on loan to Reading for the first half of the 2014/15 season, but then returned to Palace and scored 7 goals in 17 matches in the remainder of the season.

      2. RedLightning
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        • 13 Years
        8 years, 21 days ago

        I have taken a more detailed look at the 17 players who had been among the ten highest scorers in the Championship in their promotion season in 2010-15, and a clear pattern emerges:

        10 of the 17 were new to the Premier League, of whom only Jamie Vardy and 2 players who were injured for much of the season failed amongst them to reach double figures. Excluding the 2 injured players, the other 8 averaged 13 goals each in their first Premier League season.

        The other 7 had all played in the Premier League before but scored very few goals there. The only 2 of these to reach double figures back in the Premier League were Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan. These 7 only averaged 6 goals each in their first Premier League season after promotion.

        Of the 2016 intake, Andre Gray and Jordan Rhodes are newcomers and should do well. Abel Hernandez and Sam Vokes have played there unsuccessfully before so probably won’t.

    4. RedLightning
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      • 13 Years
      8 years, 21 days ago

      If you have difficulty in locating the link to last year's article, it's in the 1st paragraph of Teams under the Promotion Success Stories.

  2. DGW blindness is for Kinnea…
    • 11 Years
    8 years, 22 days ago

    Great work RL and congratulations on your own personal promotion.

    One wee criticism of the article is on the following words
    "But it’s not all bad news. There have been some notable high performers from the promoted sides, particularly among the budget picks"

    Aren't all promoted players budget picks?

    1. J0E
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      • 14 Years
      8 years, 22 days ago

      I added that line in. Depends on what you mean by budget. There have been some promoted mids and fwds who have come in at 6m or higher. Whereas some like say Carroll have come in at 5.5m or even lower.

      Heaton at 4.5m was a real high performer. Carroll at 5m as well.

  3. Kings of Lyon ★
    • 13 Years
    8 years, 22 days ago

    Its going to be hard to stay away from Snodgrass and Robertson but I dont think ill load up on Boro or Burnley assets

  4. MFC86
    • 8 Years
    8 years, 22 days ago

    As a die hard Boro fan, I will be avoiding the vast majority of our players. Our attackers were barely good enough in the championship which rules them out of fantasy premier league. I will monitor Jordan Rhodes because he definitely knows where the goal is however is yet to kick a ball in the prem.

    The two players I will consider are Daniel Ayala and George Friend, both very attack minded defenders. Ayala a big threat from set pieces and Friend basically plays as a winger so is good for an assist.

  5. JK - Cønt ⭐
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    8 years, 21 days ago

    I still think Heaton could be a worthy investment, if priced nicely, but I suspect he will be 5.0.

    Perhaps we are dealing with slightly different circumstances this season as 2 of the 3 newly promoted sides only spent 1 year outside the PL so there's still plenty of PL experience in Burnley and H(u)ell. Boro are the unknown quantity

    1. RedLightning
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      • 13 Years
      8 years, 21 days ago

      Their attacks will have to improve considerably if they are to survive this time.

      Burnley only scored 28 goals all season in 2014/15, and Hull weren't much better with 33.

      There was nothing much wrong with their defences though, with Burnley conceding only 43 goals and keeping 10 clean sheets, while Hull conceded just 51 goals and also kept 10 clean sheets.

      Their performances in the Championship suggest that not much has changed since their relegations - but perhaps they will now have a better idea of which areas of the team they need to improve with new signings.

      Middlesbrough had the best defensive record in the Championship of any team promoted in the past 7 seasons, but time will tell whether they can maintain this form in the Premier League.

      1. Camp No No
        • 10 Years
        8 years, 21 days ago

        Also Hull's squad doesn't differ that much from the one that was absolutely out of its depth in the time before the recent mofoing-super-crazy-money injection that made even the poorest PL clubs mega-rich. Now they're coming into a league where everybody else is boasting internationals and their star is Jake Livermore.

  6. Golden Goal
    • 8 Years
    8 years, 21 days ago

    Is anyone planning to steer clear of Hull because of the major uncertainty surrounding them? They're trying to sell the club, Bruce may well leave, Players like Huddlestone haven't been offered new deals and they are apparently not considering any transfer incomings. Sounds like a circus!

    1. Camp No No
      • 10 Years
      8 years, 21 days ago

      I think most are going to avoid them because they are sheet.

  7. MattKL
    • 8 Years
    8 years, 21 days ago

    A few points. It's Michael Keane, not his brother Will, who was in the Championship Team of the Season for Burnley. You also point to Burnley being below average in attack however they were the (joint) top scorers in the league, surely that puts them well above average? Unless you are referring to previous seasons.

    In regards to Burnley players to watch I agree about Heaton, despite our fantastic defensive record he dealt with an above average number of shots on goal. Michael Keane would also be worth considering for his goal threat at set plays.

  8. RedLightning
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    • 13 Years
    8 years, 21 days ago

    Thank you for pointing that out. Yes, it was indeed Michael Keane, not Will Keane, in the Championship Team of the Season.

    Burnley scored 72 goals and failed to score on 10 occasions.
    The average promoted team during the previous 6 seasons scored 78 goals and failed to score in 8 matches.
    So Burnley were below the average for promoted teams, and Middlesbrough and Hull were even further below this average.
    Perhaps it was just a generally low-scoring season.

  9. Max Gradel to the grave
    • 9 Years
    8 years, 9 days ago

    Perhaps when comparing statistics like goals for/against from the Premier League and Championship, it is worth talking about goals per game. 38 games vs 46 games can fairly distort the meaning behind those figures.