Worst teams in Premier League history - Sheffield United
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Five of the worst teams in Premier League history

Premier League fans are often quick to call the league the best in the world but, in truth, there have been some rather second-rate sides throughout the division’s history.

Sheffield United are currently making a case as the Premier League’s worst-ever team, following a dismal return to the top flight this season.

The Blades were battered 6-0 at home by Arsenal on Monday night, the latest heavy loss of a season that has seen Sheffield United concede 72 goals in the Premier League, with 11 games still remaining.

It’s been a truly torrid time for Chris Wilder’s team, who are beginning to enter unwanted territory.

Five of the worst teams in Premier League history:

Swindon Town – 1993/94

Swindon Town holds the title as the only club in Premier League history to have conceded a century of goals in a single season.

The Robins endured a short-lived single season in the top flight in 1993/94 and breached the 100-goals conceded mark after a 5-0 home defeat to Leeds United on the final weekend.

It was the first time in 30 years that a team had conceded 100 goals in a top-flight season.

Promoted the previous season, Swindon won just five games to end the season bottom of the table, a huge 13 points from Premier League safety. The club’s calamitous campaign continued into the following season when Swindon suffered a second successive relegation to drop into English football’s third tier.

Sunderland – 2005/06

Sunderland’s 2005/06 vintage narrowly avoids the title for the lowest points recorded in a Premier League season, with only one team having earned less than their paltry 15 points.

The Black Cats fans must have thought things could not get any worse than their previous Premier League venture in 2002/03, when Sunderland went winless from December 15 and lost each of their final 15 games of the season to be relegated.

How they were wrong.

Sunderland started their return with five straight losses, extending their run of consecutive top-flight defeats to 20 games, and failed to improve much from there. Just three wins and 26 goals scored told the story of a sorry season, as Mick McCarthy, Kevin Ball and Niall Quinn all tried and failed to stop the slide back into the second tier.

A whopping 23 points from safety at the end of the campaign, there was a smaller gap between 17th-placed Portsmouth and the European places.

Derby County – 2007/08

The team that springs immediately to mind when discussing the Premier League’s worst-ever teams, Derby County’s 11-point campaign might never be beaten.

The Rams were not equipped to cope with the demands of the top division after promotion and endured a record-breaking campaign of woe. Kenny Miller, the club’s leading scorer, ended the season with just four Premier League goals.

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An early season win over Newcastle was the club’s only victory of the entire campaign, with Derby going 32 consecutive fixtures without a win on route to relegation.

Aston Villa – 2015/16

Aston Villa can be overlooked when discussing the Premier League’s worst sides, but the club’s fall from grace deserves its own place in this Hall of Shame.

Villa had been a top-flight team for 28 consecutive campaigns and an ever-present in the Premier League era but dropped into the Championship after a horror season in the Midlands.

Tim Sherwood, Remi Garde and Eric Black all took charge at stages of the season, as Villa’s overpaid and underperforming side won just 17 points.

Their season included a run of 11 consecutive defeats across the run-in, kickstarted by a 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool. That result was the first time Villa had conceded six at home in a league game since October 1983

Sheffield United – 2023/24

Sheffield United might have already won more points than the aforementioned Derby County, but the Blades are making their own case as the worst team the Premier League has seen.

No team has ever conceded more goals at this stage of a Premier League season, with the 6-0 home humiliation by Arsenal the latest in a series of shocking performances.

Chris Wilder’s team have conceded 21 goals in their last FOUR home games in all competitions, while four different teams have all scored 5+ goals at Bramall Lane in the Premier League this season.

Sheffield United are currently conceding 2.67 goals per 90 minutes – comfortably the highest rate in Premier League history – with their heaviest loss of the season an 8-0 reverse at home to Newcastle.

Even Burnley, locked alongside the Blades on 13 points and heading back towards the Championship after a tough campaign of their own, hit Sheffield United for five in December’s meeting at Turf Moor.

Read – Four Premier League footballers who fell upwards this season

See more – Appreciating Arsenal’s brilliant defensive record

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