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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Who “Deserved” To Be Relegated?

Written by on May 22, 2011 | 10 Comments »
Posted in English Premier League

As the battle to avoid relegation from the Barclay’s Premier League reached a crescendo, Twitter was buzzing. One thing that was noticeable was the number of times the word “deserve” cropped up – in the context of deserving to stay up or deserving to go down.

Simply the three teams with the poorest records after 38 games are the most deserving of relegation but it also got me thinking of the head-to-head records of the relegation contenders + West Ham whose fate was sealed last weekend.

So after a quick look at the Premier League table and a few scribbles, here is how the bottom six did against each other in a mini-league format. (Points then W/D/L)

Wigan 19 points (6/1/3)

Blackburn 16 points (4/4/2)

Birmingham 16 points (4/4/2)


West Ham 14 points (3/5/2)

Wolves 8 points (2/2/6)

Blackpool 8 points (2/2/6)

Based on the mini-league and the full 38 games season you could say that West Ham and Blackpool deserved to go down while Wolves switched positions with Birmingham in the real world.

Perhaps the most interesting run of results belongs to Wigan. After five games in the mini-league they had only one once, lost 3 and drawn once. In their next five games they won everyone –

West Ham 3-2

Blackpool 3-1

Birmingham City 2-1

Blackburn Rovers 4-3

Wolves 2-1

In total they won four other games all season – Stoke, Wolves (the first part of a double), Spurs and West Brom.

10 responses to “Who “Deserved” To Be Relegated?”

  1. Erik says:

    West Ham got almost half their points in 10 games in the “competition” meaning almost nothing against the best 14. Conversely Blackpool almost stayed up based on what they did against the best teams in the EPL

    West Ham, Blackpool, Birmingham, Norwich City, QPR, Reading/Cardiff……………Who, if anyone, will be playing in the Premier League for the 2012-13 season?

    History tells us Birmingham might be the best bet. of those coming up I don’t see any way Norwich is – I think they will finish 20th next season. IF Reading makes it up (and I think they will) I can see them staying up. QPR – maybe. Blackpool – hopefully. West Ham – doubt it

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    “Ancelotti axed as Chelsea manager.”

    Slowly but surely Abramovich is becoming the new Mike Ashley, H&G and G&S all rolled into one!

  3. rahul says:

    impressive of Wigan to go on that 5 game run in the bottom…

  4. Roberto Manita says:

    With rash sackings like that, Chelsea are England’s ruthless answer to Real Madrid. Both could start a tele show with Donald Trump starring in “Manager’s Apprentice”.

  5. John Bladen says:


    You might be right, perhaps none of the ‘above’ will retain/return to a premier league place in 2012/13.

    Birmingham City are a good bet, I would agree. QPR at least have significant backing (from the world’s most successful wide-boy, no less…), and Blackpool – unusually for promoted clubs – haven’t put themselves in long term financial peril for one shot to stay in the EPL.

    Despite “the Davids” attempts to blame absolutely everything on Avram Grant, West Ham have been a club in trouble for some time. They need more than a new manager.

    The trouble with predictions is, of course, that we can’t see the future… even those of us who loved Blackpool’s early season run didn’t think they’d necessarily be anything but cannon fodder by the middle of May. As the supporters were chanting (early) today, “ten points”. They did far better than anyone dreamed they ever could.

    Bobby: Interesting to see the “mini league” stats, thanks. Difficult to draw conclusions from a few games, though. By my count, Arsenal lost 5 pts against Spurs alone this year… both were winnable games, and they were in position to do just that.

    Does that mean they “should” have been better? Or that they weren’t as good as they looked?

  6. In terms of the mini-league it was the head-to-head results against the relegation rivals that saved Wigan’s bacon – 45% of their points from 26% of the games; while for Wolves it was case of surviving despite awful results – remarkably they got 80% of their points from the 74% of the games against teams outside of the bottom six.

  7. Boris says:

    Good job Udinese for qualiftying to Champions League qualifiers.

  8. soccerlogical says:

    So who is EPL top goalscorer, both Berba & Tevez or does it go by games or mins played?

  9. Erik says:

    Easy to look back now but at the time I thought, and I sense I had company, that Dafoe’s 89th Minute goal vs Blackpool might be something the Tangerine Army would regret. Hard to tell if things would have gone differently today is B’Pool started the day with 41 and not 39 but definitely something to think about.

    I can’t take credit for it because someone else posted it (ESPN live chat during the games today) but they said B’ham was NOT Relegated TODAY – they were Relegated LAST week with that 2-0 home stinker vs Fulham in which they got 1 more SOG in that game than Bobby did

  10. houyhnhnm says:

    In the end of the day all clubs earned what they achieved. I am saddened for Blackpool made the bottom interesting and kept up the interest to the last day, usually the bottom clubs are set in their path far earlier

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