The contenders for 'Second Season' syndrome evaluated

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Football News

We are just over the halfway mark of the 2015-16 Premier League season and it has been one of the most surprising in recent years. In late June last year, I wrote an article predicting who would fall curse to the well-known and well-worn 'second season syndrome'. Here's how they have fared so far:

Harry Kane

Like many others, I wondered whether Kane could take his rich vein of form from last season into this one. After a slowish start to this campaign, he has certainly picked up with 13 goals in 24 matches, at a rate of a goal every 1.8 games. So he is looking good to emulate his heroics of 2014-15.

Prediction last June:

Would still be a hit in the form of his and the team's triumphs, but maybe not grab as many goals.


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Last campaign, Kane plundered in 31 goals in 51 matches in all competitions at a rate of a goal per 1.6 games. Just because he's 0.2 behind last season's goal scoring ratio doesn't mean he's succumbed to 'second season syndrome'.

Even if he doesn't score from now until May, it will not matter much, because if Kane's all round play and link-ups with the likes of Dele Alli secures a trophy, a Champions League place or both, it will be a successful campaign for all involved - and Kane will look ever more likely to become a Tottenham great in the years to come.

Diego Costa

Costa finished the last campaign with 20 league goals to his name - despite injuries interrupting parts of it - and was a valuable asset as Chelsea won the title. But he has got nowhere near those levels this season.

Prediction last June:

Would still be a favourite with Blues' fans, but would not be as successful when it came to matters on the pitch.


The Spanish international had only three decent goal scoring seasons under his belt before joining Chelsea and once again, his inconsistencies and/or attitude have derailed him.

What I didn't expect, however, was the supporters turning on him, but these were exceptional circumstances concerning the sacking of Blues' legend Jose Mourinho.

He started last season well then tailed off for the second half of the campaign, but this time out it could be the opposite, which would mean he has had the equivalent of one decent year at the club.

Ronald Koeman and Southampton

Had a very good year last time out, but I did mention Koeman's 'cool man' reputation not being all that it is cracked up to be and we have seen evidence of that recently in the way of public dressing downs for his players.

Prediction last June:

Would struggle more than last season, but also thought that apart from a tilt at the title, anything could happen.


Koeman has 'lost' his head on occasions this season, publicly criticising his players - which suggests all is not well in the Saints' camp - most notably with Sadio Mane last weekend for being late.

It is looking decreasingly likely that they will better last season's 60 points and 7th placed finish as their form in the second half of 2015-16 (eight defeats in their last sixteen matches) has carried over to this one, including six losses from their last eight games.

Garry Monk and Swansea City

As I stated just over six months ago, this season was (supposed) to be Monk's second full campaign in charge. I did question whether he would last the course, but thought Swans' chairman, Huw Jenkins would likely stick with him.

Prediction last June:

Wouldn't do as well, would have a flirt with relegation, but would finish around 11th, 12th or 13th place.


They are currently flirting with relegation but it is looking likely they will end up in one of those positions mentioned above. And that would be the case if Monk was still at the helm.

Nigel Pearson and Leicester City

Last, but not least, Leicester - the success story of the 2015-16 campaign so far, whom no one would have seriously predicted for the top four at this stage of the season. Pearson's departure looked pretty inevitable at some point, though.

Prediction last June:

I didn't strictly predict relegation, but that they would struggle if they didn't bring in new players via transfers or the youth set-up. Pearson's exit could happen sooner than we think.


No Pearson. But with the signings of Christian Fuchs, Robert Huth, Shinji Okazaki, N'Golo Kante and Gokhan Inler - all of whom have been instrumental in Leicester's rise up the table - should the Foxes finish in the lower end of the top half, they will have defied general expectations. I won't lie, though - I would have had them down for the bottom half at best.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Garry Monk
Swansea City
Leicester City
Diego Costa

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