Newly Promoted Teams 2010-19
This article examines the records of teams that have been promoted from the Championship to the Premier League since 2010. This reveals how many of them 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 of the 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 summary of some analysis I carried out looking at the averages for goals scored, goals conceded and clean sheets for the 27 teams promoted in 2010-2018. While they scored 76 goals on average as Championship teams, that figure dropped to just 41 in the Premier League.
For goals conceded their defences also struggled in the top flight. While they let in 44 goals on average in the Championship, that tally rose to 61 among England’s elite. This made clean sheets harder to come by with their average dropping from 18 to 8 post-promotion.
This means that anyone expecting the three sides promoted in 2019 (Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa) to get as many goals and clean sheets in the Premier League as they did in the Championship could be in for a shock.
Promotion Successes: 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 may pay to invest in a few of the players coming up to the Premier League.
The following 38 players from the 27 newly promoted teams all scored at least 100 FPL points at 3.5 points per game (ppg) or better in the season after securing promotion:
2010-11: Charlie Adam (Blackpool) 192 at 5.5ppg; Andy Carroll (Newcastle -> Liverpool) 135 at 5.2ppg; Kevin Nolan (Newcastle) 140 at 4.7ppg; Joey Barton (Newcastle) 131 at 4.1ppg; DJ Campbell (Blackpool) 138 at 4.1ppg; Chris Brunt (West Brom) 130 at 3.8ppg
2011-12: Michel Vorm (Swansea) 158 at 4.3ppg; Bobby Zamora (QPR) 119 at 4.1ppg; Scott Sinclair (Swansea) 151 at 4.0ppg; Nathan Dyer (Swansea) 122 at 3.6ppg.
2012-13: Rickie Lambert (Southampton) 187 at 4.9ppg; Kevin Nolan (West Ham) 149 at 4.3ppg; 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: Charlie Austin (QPR) 176 at 5.0ppg; Danny Ings (Burnley) 139 at 4.0ppg; Tom Heaton (Burnley) 150 at 3.9ppg; Leroy Fer (QPR) 113 at 3.9ppg; Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 120 at 3.5ppg.
2015-16: Odeon Ighalo (Watford) 175 at 4.7ppg; Troy Deeney (Watford) 166 at 4.4ppg; Heurelho Gomes (Watford) 157 at 4.1ppg; Wes Hoolahan (Norwich) 113 at 3.8ppg; Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) 130 at 3.5ppg.
2016-17: Tom Heaton (Burnley) 149 at 4.3ppg; Alvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough) 130 at 3.6ppg; Victor Valdes (Middlesbrough) 102 at 3.6ppg.
2017-18: Pascal Gross (Brighton) 164 at 4.3ppg; Matthew Ryan (Brighton) 146 at 3.8ppg; Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield) 135 at 3.6ppg; Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle) 116 at 3.5ppg.
2018-19: Raul Jimenez (Wolves) 181 at 4.8ppg; Diogo Jota (Wolves) 139 at 4.2ppg; Neil Etheridge (Cardiff) 154 at 4.1ppg; Matt Doherty (Wolves) 144 at 3.8ppg; Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) 134 at 3.6ppg.
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 goal-scoring 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.
The list includes 10 goalkeepers, 12 midfielders and 12 forwards but only 4 defenders. (I may have 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 may still be useful as enablers or in rotations.
Promotion Successes: Teams
Previous articles in 2015-2018 took a detailed look at the most successful promotion teams for Fantasy managers since 2010. Here I’ll highlight some key success stories.
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 12 clean sheets in the Premier League compared with 11 in the Championship.
Huddersfield had been promoted in 2017 with a negative goal difference (-2) as a result of their policy of throwing caution to the winds whenever they went behind but being satisfied with narrow victories when ahead. Miraculously, they managed to avoid immediate relegation. Like CrystalPalace, they achieved this by tightening their defence, only conceding the same number of goals in the Premier League as they had done in the Championship (58).
Promotion Failures: Players
While Adam, Carroll and Austin all succeeded in both the Championship and Premier League, the road to promotion is littered with poorly performing casualties. Here are some 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.
Sam Vokes (Burnley 2014): 20 goals in Championship, none in the Premier League.
Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough 2016): 16 goals in Championship, none in Premier League.
The failure by Adel Taarabt was not entirely unexpected, since his previous record in the Premier League was not great. He had 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 then sent on loan to Reading for the first half of the 2014/15 season, after which he returned to Palace and scored 7 goals in 17 matches in the remainder of the season. He returned to the Premier League with Brighton in 2017/18, this time scoring 12 Premier League goals.
Sam Vokes scored no goals in 26 matches in his first 4 Premier League seasons, but then redeemed himself by scoring 10 for Burnley in 2016/17.
Jordan Rhodes had been a prolific goal-scorer in the Championship, but failed to score in 6 Premier League games and was then sent out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday.
11 of the 26 players who had been among the ten highest scorers of the season in the Championship in 2010-18 did however manage to score 10 or more goals in the Premier League the following season.
The 26 averaged 19.3 goals in gaining promotion from the Championship, but only 7.8 in the next season’s Premier League.
14 of the 26 were new to the Premier League, averaging 8.9 goals each in their first Premier League season.
The other 12 (most of whom had not been that successful when previously playing in the Premier League) only averaged 6.5, so the Premier League newcomers performed about 37% better than the others on average.
Promotion Failures: Teams
The list of failures is far longer as my earlier articles showed. 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 7. 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. In 2015/16, Norwich failed to score on 16 occasions and Watford on 14.
All three promoted teams in 2016/17 struggled in their away matches, winning only one away match each. Burnley’s strong home form enabled them to avoid relegation, but Middlesbrough could only score a pathetic 27 goals and only won 5 matches, whilst Hull’s defence, which had only conceded 35 goals and kept 20 clean sheets in the Championship, was completely outclassed in the Premier League, conceding 80 goals.
Fulham in 2018/19 were also outclassed, scoring only 32 goals compared to 79 in the Championship and conceding a whopping 81.
Clubs promoted in 2018
Wolves won the 2017-18 Championship with a team that was strong in both attack and defence, home and away, keeping an impressive 24 clean sheets (12 at home and also 12 away), and they maintained their excellent form in the 2018-19 Premier League. Star player: Ruben Neves.
Cardiff were runners-up, thanks mainly to their strong defence, but it let them down in the 2018-19 Premier League, especially at home where they conceded 38 goals. Star player: Sol Bamba.
Fulham had a season of two halves. In their first 23 matches they won 8, drawn 8, lost 7, but in the second half they won 17, drew 5 and lost only 1. They scored almost as many goals in away matches (39) as they did at home (40). In the 2018-19 Premier League though they conceded more goals (81) than any other team in this study and their attack also let them down (only 22 goals at home and 12 away). Star player: Ryan Sessegnon.
John Ruddy, Willy Boly and Ruben Neves of Wolves, Sol Bamba of Cardiff, and Ryan Sessegnon, Ryan Fredericks and Tom Cairney of Fulham had all been in the PFA Championship Team of the Season for 2017/18.
Diogo Jota (Wolves) with 17 goals and Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) with 16 had both been among the top ten scorers in the Championship and were newcomers to the Premier League.
Jota scored 9 goals in the 2018/19 Premier League and Sessegnon scored 2.
Clubs promoted in 2019
Here I’ll take a look at the three teams promoted in 2019. 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.
Norwich scored 93 goals in winning the 2018-19 Championship, scoring in all but 3 matches and thus equalling the record set by Leicester in 2014. But they also conceded 57 goals, so expect plenty of goals at both ends next season! Star player: Teemu Pukki.
Sheffield United were runners-up, their defence and attack both being about average for a team winning promotion. Star player: Billy Sharp.
Aston Villa had a strong attack that scored in all but 5 matches, only one of which was at home. Their defence however was very weak, conceding 61 goals, 36 of them at home, and only keeping 12 clean sheets. Star player: Jack Grealish.
Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons and Teemu Pukki of Norwich, Oliver Norwood and Billy Sharp of Sheffield United and Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham of Aston Villa were all in the 2018/19 PFA Championship Team of the Season, but history suggests that they won’t all be successes in the Premier League.
Teemu Pukki (Norwich) with 29 goals, Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa) with 24 and Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) with 23 were all among the top ten scorers in the Championship.
Pukki is a newcomer to the Premier League, Abraham has been there twice before, scoring 5 goals in 34 matches in 2017/18, and Sharp once before, scoring no goals in 2 matches in 2012/13 before going out on loan.
A comparison of the average promoted team’s performances in the Championship and Premier League should act as a wake-up call for anyone expecting players to be as successful in the Premier League as they were in the Championship.
Investment in successful Championship strikers should be treated with caution. Fewer than half of the players who have been among the ten leading scorers in the Championship reach double figures in the Premier League the next season, and the deterioration in their individual performance can often be greater than that of their team. In most cases, however, successful Championship strikers who are new to the Premier League tend to do a little better than those have been there before without great success.
Clean sheets are also harder to come by, but good goalkeepers from promoted sides can expect to see a significant increase in save points.
TLDR: Most newly promoted teams and individual players will find life far more difficult in the Premier League than it was in the Championship, so don’t set your expectations too high!