Football

Second season syndrome becoming a thing of the past

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Second season syndrome is the cliche used to describe when a newly-promoted club performs well in their first season but then struggles or ends up relegated the year after.

Such is the leap in quality from the Championship to the Premier league in England that for teams to establish themselves upon arriving in the latter, it's usually a near-impossible task.

However, many teams, whether it be the due to the spirit from the promotion campaign, the freedom they play with as the pressure is off or the surprise element of their style, are beginning to adapt quickly to life in English football's top flight.

Though what is then expected is that in the second season, with clubs well aware of their abilities, teams tail off and scrap for relegation.

In the past, Reading, Hull City and Birmingham City have all been victims of second season syndrome, but of late it has been less common to see.

In the last three seasons, of the nine clubs who have been promoted two have gone straight back down immediately, six have established themselves as Premier league teams, while only one has suffered second season syndrome- and that was QPR whose 2012/13 season was a complete sham to say the least.

For teams such as Newcastle United, West Ham and West Brom, who have all settled since their respective promotions, that is no surprise, as they are teams who have strong recent history with the Premier league.

But for teams like Swansea, Norwich and Southampton it is far more of an achievement.

Norwich and Southampton, though having been in the Premier league before, since then have slipped as far down as League One, only to both bounce back with consecutive promotions.

In that situation you would think that is far too much of a step, too quickly in order to compete competitively in the top division, but both are coping admirably.

In Swansea's case, it was their first visit to the Premier Division. And their possession style has made it as likely to lose their place in the top-flight as it is to give the ball away.

It would seem that teams coming up are being run in a far more sensible manner and arriving a lot more prepared. Swansea have stayed true to a system right the way through the divisions which has paid off and Southampton made a shrewd decision to bring in Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino in place of Nigel Adkins, which has taken the club forward.

West Bromwich Albion have been able to recruit excellent managers to stabilise themselves as did West Ham with Allardyce. While Newcastle have found joy with their French scouting system.

It will be interesting to see if Crystal Palace, Cardiff City or Hull City can avoid the drop and attempt to prevent second season syndrome. 

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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