'Second season syndrome' is a well known condition in football whereby a team, player or manager has a good first season then a not so good one the next. Even though I do not necessarily think all of these will suffer this fate, there are a few people who will find themselves in this debilitating state. Here are my contenders for the 'award'.
The young star, who made his proper breakthrough last season, is the most high profile candidate because he is young and has the eyes of the country on him having scored over 20 goals last season. There will be others who could possibly do what Kane did but did not get the opportunity, but anyway, there will be opponents who have studied his games last season, so know what he is capable of which means it will be even harder for Kane.
Although if he is the professional that everyone claims him to be, he will be working on his own game, learning from last season and studying his upcoming opponents in order to spot any weaknesses. Prediction: might not get as many goals, but will still be a hit at the Lane in the form of a trophy, Champions League place or contributing more all round. Or all of these.
Costa had a great first half of the season until injuries got the better of him, but he still managed to be the third top scorer with 20 league goals to his name behind Sergio Aguero and Kane. Early on in his career it took him a while to find his feet in top-flight football. He got 10 in 16 matches for Rayo Vallecano in the 2011-12 season then 20 in 44 the following campaign for Atletico Madrid, but it was the 2013-14 season when he really took off, scoring 36 in 52 in all competitions.
At nearly 27, he may be a late flourisher like Ian Wright, but if those injury problems persist, he will simply be a cult hero at Stamford Bridge with a what-might-have-been feel to his time in England even if he has done well so far. Prediction: There's a feeling he will still be loved by the Chelsea faithful for his combative nature, but will not be as personally successful as last season.
Ronald Koeman and Southampton
Koeman has as a reputation for having a cool head, but we saw during the touchline spat with Nigel Clough after Clough’s Sheffield United side scored that this 'cool head' can ‘lose it’. We don’t know the full story, but it stank of sour grapes.
It is an attitude that could be more of a hindrance than a positive sign of his passion. He did great last season, being in the top three for at least half the campaign, helped no doubt by the foundations laid by Nigel Adkins and Mauricio Pochettino, although considering five important first teamers left in the summer, Koeman did remarkably well bringing in players that slotted in pretty much perfectly.
Prediction: I think they will struggle far more than last season, with more fixtures taking their toll on the squad who, aside from that 6-1 thumping of Aston Villa, had a dodgy end to the campaign by losing eight of their last sixteen games, winning only five of them. To be honest and not to lie, apart from a tilt at the title, anything could happen.
Garry Monk and Swansea City
Monk was manager for Swansea City in the 2013-14 season, but this will be his second FULL season in charge at the club. Or will it? He seems like an astute manager, particularly in the handling of his players as he did not stand for any of Chico Flores’s nonsense last year, so moved him on, but it will be difficult to top last season’s placing.
Surely, he would not be sacked should Swansea not do as well this coming campaign, as chairman Huw Jenkins seems like one of the better board members around. Someone has to do worse than the previous campaign, but then they may better the previous season in a season or a few seasons’ time, but some people just don’t get this. Prediction: He will not do as well as last season, but will not go completely out of control. I predict a bottom half finish, flirting with relegation for a time then end in 11th, 12th or 13th place.
Nigel Pearson and Leicester City
Before that brilliant end to the campaign it appeared that Pearson was on a knife edge, with personal incidents galore and the team in bad form all painting a negative light on the club. I don’t know Pearson’s relationship with the club’s owners, but if similar things occur next season then he could be on his way out sooner than we think.
Prediction: I think this one is bound to suffer from the second season syndrome, especially if there is not sufficient investment or an emergence of outstanding youth players. Another relegation battle lies ahead unless significant changes are made.
Who are YOUR tips for 'second season syndrome' this coming campaign? Let us know your thoughts below.
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