Norwich are on track to become the worst Premier League side EVER… even Derby’s record-breaking flops had more points at this stage and only one team have conceded more goals in nine games than Daniel Farke’s men
- Norwich suffered their joint-heaviest Premier League defeat at Chelsea
- Their 7-0 drubbing left them with just two points after nine top-flight games
- Many believe the writing is already on the wall for Daniel Farke’s men this season
- Here, Sportsmail looks at how they compare to the league’s other failures
Norwich boss Daniel Farke insisted his side’s 7-0 drubbing at Chelsea was not ‘season defining’, and while that may prove to be true, for many the writing is already on the wall.
The Canaries suffered their joint-heaviest Premier League reverse at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, equalling their hammering by Manchester City by the same scoreline back in November 2013.
Three shots – just one of which was on target – to go with 38 per cent possession and an expected goals ratio of 0.25 were just some of the unsightly stats from their afternoon’s work in west London.
Norwich are on course to become the Premier League’s worst ever side after their torrid start
Daniel Farke (right) saw his men suffer a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday
Mason Mount scored a hat-trick for the Blues as they inflicted further misery on the Canaries
But it is the fact they have managed just two points and two goals from nine Premier League games so far this season – leaving them rooted to the foot of the table – which has left many steadfast in their assertions they are headed straight back to the Championship.
‘To say that we’ve accepted relegation already, it’s a disgrace,’ Stuart Webber, Norwich’s sporting director, told The Telegraph earlier this week.
‘Either we sit here and be that nice little Norwich – or we fight back.
‘There’s frustration, because we think some of the criticism – that we’ve not had a go, that the manager isn’t good enough, that the players are too naive – is false.
‘Everyone has given up, everyone thinks we’re down, everyone thinks we’re the worst team ever.’
So, does he have a point? Farke’s men are just the fourth team in top-flight history to score two or fewer goals at this stage of a season – following Sheffield Wednesday in 1989-90, Everton in 2005-06 and Crystal Palace four seasons ago – but pundits were more concerned about other factors after their latest setback.
Jermaine Jenas told Match of the Day ‘there was no fight or will to work’ from Norwich, who gave a ‘terrible account of themselves’, while Joe Cole called for a ‘fresh voice in the dressing room’ after questioning their professionalism.
But whatever the causes of their woes are, a sixth relegation from the top flight – following their record fifth in 2019-20 – would do little to help them shake their tag as the ultimate ‘yo-yo club’ going up and down between the top and second divisions in English football.
It was their joint-heaviest loss in top-flight history, having suffered a defeat by the same scoreline against Manchester City in 2013, when Matija Nastasic (left) was among the scorers
The Canaries are staring a sixth relegation in the face just two years on from their record fifth
So is there any hope for the Canaries following their torrid start?
Unfortunately for their fans, as statistics from Opta show, their current return is inferior to some of the league’s most renowned flops in worrying areas.
Derby County’s side in the 2007-08 season are unquestionably the worst to have ever competed in the Premier League since its creation in 1992, managing a record-low 11 points and just one league victory – against Newcastle – in their 38 games.
However, worryingly for the Canaries, the Rams had earned five points after nine top-flight games 14 seasons ago, three more than Farke’s men have currently accumulated.
In fact, only Sheffield United have managed fewer points at this stage of a season, with the Blades earning just a single point courtesy of a stalemate with Fulham in October last year.
Sheffield United finished bottom of the pile last season, and while they comfortably avoided breaking Derby’s unwanted record in the end, these are still inauspicious signs for Farke’s men.
Moreover, Mason Mount’s hat-trick goal on Saturday also means Fulham in 2018-19 remain the only team to have conceded more goals (25) than Norwich at this point in the season.
But the Canaries’ tally of 23 goals conceded is still more than the likes of Derby (22), Huddersfield in 2018-19 (18) and Crystal Palace in 2017-18 and Sunderland in 2015-16 (19).
Moreover, only Frank de Boer’s Palace and Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United last season had suffered more defeats at this stage, while only Sunderland in 2015-16, Huddersfield three seasons ago and the aforementioned Blades side were still winless.
In fact, the 23 goals conceded – 22 of which have come inside the box – is just two more than the 21 Norwich conceded at this stage two seasons ago, the latter being caused largely by 4-1 and 5-1 defeats by Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively.
But those Canaries had won two games and accumulated seven points at this point in the season in 2019-20, an achievement that looks but a distant hope for the current side, despite a less daunting set of upcoming fixtures.
That was because a Teemu Pukki-led attack had managed to net 10 goals after nine games, eight more than they have registered this term. In fact, their current goals scored total is the joint-lowest with Palace four seasons ago and Everton in 2005-06.
That could have been caused by a lack of shots on target from Norwich this season, with their 21 the joint-lowest along with Palace and Huddersfield.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, while the number of shots they have faced is not among the worst of the league’s sides in history, only Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham and Norwich themselves in 2019-20 had faced more shots on target.
Derby managed just 11 points in 2007-08 but had claimed five points at this stage
Only Fulham, meanwhile, in 2018-19 have conceded more goals at this stage than Norwich
Only Sheffield United last term had fewer points than Norwich’s two at this point in the season
It is therefore ironic that Norwich have kept two clean sheets this season, more than any of the other flop sides in the Premier League’s history at this stage, which came in successive goalless stalemates at Burnley and against Brighton.
Discipline does not seem to be an issue either, with most of the clubs mentioned averaging between 13 and 16 yellow cards at this point in the season, although they are one of the five clubs to have had a player sent off following Ben Gibson’s dismissal on Saturday.
Those statistics will come as little comfort for Farke, with some still fearing their 7-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge – which came after 3-0 and 5-0 reverses against Liverpool and Manchester City – may not constitute their heaviest defeat this season.
It currently stands as the worst margin of defeat suffered by any of the sides mentioned, with Villa’s 6-0 defeat by Liverpool in 2015-16 and Derby’s reverse against the West Midlands side and the Reds next in line.
Teemu Pukki’s goals meant Norwich had at least scored 10 goals at this stage in 2019-20
But a trip to Liverpool – who knocked five past Manchester United at the weekend – is still to come in February, along with City and Chelsea’s visits to Carrow Road.
Those fixtures are the most likely to deliver further damage to their goal difference, which currently stands at minus 21, the joint-worst in a top-flight season after nine games along with West Brom in 1985-86 and the aforementioned Sheffield Wednesday side.
It is still some way short of Derby’s minus 69 goal difference or even Hudderfield’s minus 54 from a few seasons ago, but the league is undoubtedly more competitive than when the Rams made unwanted history.
Moreover, the Baggies and the Owls went down, and with each passing week the already high probability of Norwich continuing that trend grows, signalling another botched attempt in trying to do battle against the country’s elite clubs.
Norwich have also lost 5-0 at Man City this season and more drubbings may be on the way
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