In what's been quite a turbulent and unpredictable Premier League campaign, there are three teams that have shocked the footballing world for all the wrong reasons.
All the praise and focus has been on Leicester City so far this campaign, and rightfully so, but in terms of under-achievers, there are three strong contenders.
From Premier League champions to mid-table and from challenging for Europe to battling relegation, here are three teams that have underperformed this season.
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Despite currently being owners of the longest unbeaten run (of 15 games) in the Premier League under Guus Hiddink, the Blues have failed to undo the damage caused by their dreadful start to the season under Jose Mourinho.
Indeed, Chelsea’s terrible start was, in hindsight, the first clue that this would be a Premier League season like no other. Chelsea fans have seen their team put up one of the worst title defences in footballing history and are now sitting not-so-pretty in 10th place. Even in this late stage of the season, finishing in the top half of the table does not look guaranteed.
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Former PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard has had little-to-no impact on their season, whereas their most consistent player by far has been Willian. It will be a huge task for Antonio Conte at the end of the season to keep many of the top players at Stamford Bridge without the promise of Champions League football. Especially as those coveted four places are becoming ever more competitive with each passing season.
Alan Pardew is a great manager who has done a lot for the teams he has managed over the years, but that hasn't helped him in the past few months.
Newcastle United are probably lamenting the day they parted ways with him and it is hardly surprising that despite a dismal run of form, there has been no speculation about Pardew’s position at Palace. They know he is the man for the job, and the best manager they’ve had in some time. Nevertheless, at the business end of the season, the statistics are difficult to ignore for Palace.
They have failed to win a game since the 19th December. Despite key players returning from injury and the appointment of Emmanuel Adebayor in the January transfer window, the goal drought is more or less continuing.
This combination of factors has left a team that started their campaign so positively, now facing a relegation battle with just seven points between them and 18th place Sunderland. Palace need to win at least one of their remaining games and with the talent both on the pitch and in the dugout, they have no excuses.
Perhaps the biggest underperformers of the season are Everton, who currently 12th in the Premier League with just 38 points.
Whilst they are certainly in no danger of being relegated or having what you might call a truly disastrous season, neither are they in any danger of achieving anything. They are through to the semi-final of the FA Cup, but Roberto Martinez will know that it will take at the very least a cup final, preferably lifting the trophy, to rescue a lacklustre season.
Some may think it's a slightly harsh assessment on a team that have historically always been around the mid-table mark, but this is not the Everton of old, this is a rejuvenated team with a top class manager at the helm and a world-class goal scorer in Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season. With England internationals John Stones and Ross Barkley also first team regulars, this is as strong an Everton side as we have seen in years, and they really should be performing better.
Would you agree on these three being the under-performers? Have YOUR say in the comment section!
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