The teams have been underperforming by their own standards.
With the teams in Europe having played their last league games of the season, we have a chance to sit back and take in the footballing year gone by and all the overwhelming and indeed underwhelming moments that it has brought with it. There have been several stand out performers, with the likes of Valencia, Napoli, Manchester City and Hoffenheim having stellar seasons. However, there are two sides to every season, for every team who perform better than they are expected to, there is one that does not meet the standards imposed on them.
Khel Now takes a look at the top 5 underperforming teams in Europe, for the 2017-2018 season,
2017-2018 has hardly been a season to remember for Los Blancos. They came into the season as defending Champions, both domestically and in Europe. It was business as usual for Real Madrid at the start of the season when they put away Europa League winning Manchester United to win the UEFA Super Cup. However, the new league season spelt trouble for Zidane’s side.Early draws to Valencia and Levante meant that Real were already on the backfoot to high-flying league rivals Barcelona.
Madrid have played 37 games so far this season, drawing nine and losing six, a record that has seen them drop to third in La Liga. A late resurgence after the turn of the year has seen them regain a little of the lost form in the league while also mounting a successful Champions League campaign which is the reason they are not higher up on this list. However, it has been a largely disappointing campaign for the Galacticos, who never posed any kind of threat to the Catalan league winners.
Any club undergoing a change in management is going to face several challenges over the course of a season just like Borussia Dortmund. The arrival of Peter Bosz did not bring in the success which the board had expected, resulting in the Dutchman getting the sack as early as December, leaving Dortmund in a state of flux.
Dortmund’s woes carried over into Europe where they didn’t make it past the group stages of the Champions League and even getting knocked out in the round of 16 of the Europa League by a fellow German team, RB Leipzig. Early exits and losses in the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Cup have only compounded what has been a year to forget for the German club. A record of 10 draws and 9 losses in 34 league games has left Dortmund languishing in 4th place.
In another case of defending champions having poor seasons, Chelsea have endured a tumultuous campaign in 2017-2018. There was a lot of expectation on the shoulders of the London club, with the high-profile signings of Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko. The new signings failed to come close to living up to their reputations or indeed to their price tags.
Struggles in front of goal for the forwards, an unusually shaky defence and a lack of quality in midfield to partner the mercurial N’Golo Kante has condemned Chelsea to fifth spot in the league and a place in the Europa League for next season. The Blues will look to set right their record of 7 draws and 10 losses in the league for the next season with new entries to the team and perhaps even a managerial change.
Arsenal lost to Atletico in the Europa League Semi-Final and ended the last chance of a silverware for Arsene Wenger
The final 10 years of the Arsene Wenger reign at Arsenal have been shaken by controversy, split opinions and poor performances. This season was no different, it went the way we have come to expect Arsenal’s seasons to go with new signings failing to perform, crucial members of the team leaving without the club having a suitable replacement and losses in important games. The frustration of the Arsenal fans reached a peak this season as they showed their discontent in no uncertain terms.
This led to the Frenchman announcing his departure from the London club after 22 years. Arsenal’s failure in the cups, their knock-out in the semi-final of the Europa League by eventual winners Atletico Madrid and 13 losses and 6 draws in the league, condemning them to fight for sixth place with Burnley Football Club, ensure that Arsenal sit in second place on our list.
AC Milan shocked the world by signing no less than 10 players in a £160m squad upheaval. They invested in young talent from all over the world and it looked like the club had taken a huge step in returning to their former glory. However, they soon shrank back into their shell with losses and draws piling up in the first half of the season. This spelt the end of Vincenzo Montella’s reign at the San Siro.
Milan then looked to their former player, Gennaro Gattuso to guide them through what was proving to be yet another difficult season. While Gattuso’s arrival has brought some success, it proved to be too little, too late as the former giants sit at sixth place in the table after 10 draws and 10 losses in the league, a record that is simply not acceptable from a club of the stature of AC Milan.
The club have to focus on getting the best out of the likes of Andre Silva and Hakan Çalhanoğlu if they are to reclaim a place in the Champions League. Because of their continued failure to utilize the vast talent at their disposal and the monetary support offered to them, AC Milan takes the top spot on our list.
While the teams on this list may not have been the worst in their respective leagues, they have drastically fallen short of their targets at the start of the season. They will be sure to attempt rectifying this for next season. It remains to be seen if they can do so. We can be sure of one thing, football will never cease to shock and to amaze us, nothing is ever as simple as it seems.