Still waiting – the clubs that have had little to sing about

EVERTON fans won’t need reminding that they are going through a tough time this season and their recent FA Cup defeat at Manchester United meant the rest of the campaign will be all about preserving their Premier League status.

Everton’s followers have waited 28 years for a glimpse of silverware. It was 1995 when they last won a major prize, beating Manchester United at the old Wembley stadium. Although they have been part of the Premier League since it started, in recent years life has been quite precarious.

For most clubs, winning a trophy is an unlikely event, but success is also measured by promotion to a higher level. Only 43 clubs have won major honours, 49 of the 92 have never won silverware but every single club has, at some stage, won promotion. Of those that have won pieces of objet d’art in the past, Bradford City and Barnsley have been waiting for 112 and 111 years respectively to add to their haul. Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City will all be celebrating the centenary of their last major triumph.

Everton’s 28-year stretch is the longest in their history without a prize for the cabinet. The previous longest barren spell was 24 years between 1939 and 1963, although the club was promoted in 1954 back to the first division. Everton’s run is notable because, for a long time, they were one of English football’s blue riband clubs.

Ipswich Town are another club who are enduring a long, painful period without some form of success. Now playing in League One, they have not won a trophy since 1981 and last enjoyed promotion in 2000. If they don’t go up this season – they are currently third in the table – it will be 23 years without a glimpse of bunting.

Tottenham’s lack of silverware is well documented and fans from rivals like Arsenal and Chelsea taunt Spurs for their lack of the killer touch.

Their last prize was the EFL Cup in 2008 and if they don’t break their duck this season, it will be 15 years since their last hurrah. Tottenham’s trophies down the years have usually come in clusters: 1961 – 1967, five; 1971 – 1973, three; 1981 – 1984, three. They’ve won just three cups in 30 years, a record that wouldn’t be tolerated at some clubs.

  Last success – years agoSource/CompetitionYear
1Everton28FA Cup1995
2Ipswich Town23Promotion2000
3Carlisle United17Promotion2006
 Colchester United17Promotion2006
5Derby County16Promotion2007
 Walsall16Promotion2007
7Tottenham Hotspur15EFL Cup2008
 Stoke City15Promotion2008
9Birmingham City12EFL Cup2011
 Stevenage12Promotion2011
11West Ham United11Promotion2012
 Southampton11Promotion2012
 Reading11Promotion2012
 Sheffield Wednesday11Promotion2012
 Crawley Town11Promotion2012
16Crystal Palace10Promotion2013
 Swansea City10EFL Cup2013
 Gillingham10Promotion2013
 Bradford City10Promotion2013
 Mansfield Town10Promotion2013
 Newport10Promotion2013
     

For Everton, Tottenham, Newcastle United (last trophy 1969) and West Ham (1980 FA Cup), desolate periods without success become all the more galling in this age of winner takes all. In fact, of the 60 domestic competitions over the past 20 years, 88% have been won by just six clubs (Manchester City 14, Chelsea 13, Manchester United 12, Arsenal 7, Liverpool 6, Tottenham 1). On top of that, Chelsea (4), Liverpool (2) and Manchester United (2), have won eight European trophies since 2003.

Of the 92 clubs in the EFL and Premier, 53 have experienced some form of success within five years, while another 24 have waited for between six and 10 years. Only two, Everton and Ipswich, have gone beyond 20 years. How long will they have to wait?

Traditionally, Everton have had to wait an average of around eight or nine years between trophies, but the current gap of 28 years has taken that average to around 10 years. Of the current big six clubs, Liverpool and Manchester United have an average of less than four years, Arsenal five years and Chelsea six. Manchester City’s average between trophies is currently nine years, but each season that passes changes that situation.

UEFA Champions League Preview: Vital games for Tottenham, Inter, Liverpool

THE THIRD matchday of the group stage sees some crucial games as the halfway stage is reached. Some clubs cannot afford another slip-up if they are to maintain an interest in the competition.

Ajax – Napoli

There couldn’t be a more challenging time for Ajax to play host to Napoli. The Italian side are top of Serie A and have started their Champions League campaign impressively. Napoli continued their good league form with a 3-1 home win against Torino. Kvicha Kvaratskhelia continues to win plaudits and scored one of the goals, the other two came from Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa. Napoli have maximum points from their first two Champions League games, a 4-1 trouncing of Liverpool and 3-0 victory in Glasgow against Rangers. Ajax have not been at their absolute best on the domestic front and have lost and drawn their last two Eredivisie games and are in second place, behind Alkmaar.

Liverpool – Rangers

Liverpool are still not clicking properly – they drew 3-3 at home to Brighton leading up to this game and are way off the pace in the title race. Although the Reds were close to winning, manager Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool didn’t deserve to secure all three points. Liverpool have only lost one game, but four draws in seven games may prove costly as they chase the likes of Manchester City. Liverpool bounced back from their mauling in Naples to win their second Champions League game against Ajax and will be looking to add another three points to their challenge. Rangers are looking out of their depth in the competition and have conceded seven goals in two games against Ajax and Napoli. In the Scottish Premiership, they won 4-0 at the weekend against Hearts with Antonio Colak scoring twice. They trail Celtic at the top of the table by two points.

Bruges – Atlético Madrid

Despite winning 3-0 against Mechelen in their last league game, Club Brugge are five points behind leaders Antwerp. They have been going well in Europe, though, and won 4-0 in Porto in what was something of a shock result. They have a 100% record in the Champions League. Atléti won 2-0 at Sevilla in their most recent La Liga game, with goals from Alvaro Morata and Marcos Llorente. At the moment, coach Diego Simeone is only using Antoine Griezmann sparingly because of contractual issues around his loan spell from Barcelona. Will he risk not using the Frenchman for the whole game rather than rolling him out for his usual half hour?

Porto – Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen’s season of woe continues with a 4-0 defeat at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. The club is enduring its worst ever start to a league campaign. Gerardo Seoane’s team are now in the relegation zone and pressure may be starting to build on the coach.  One of Leverkusen’s rising stars, Piero Hincapié, is now on the shopping list of a few Premier League clubs. Porto, meanwhile are behind Benfica and Braga in the Portuguese Primeira but beat Braga 4-1 to suggest they are finding their form once more.

Inter Milan – Barcelona

It’s hit or miss for Inter this season, with four wins and four defeats in their eight Serie A games. Barca, by contrast, have surprised most people with their consistency. Inter lost their most recent game 2-1 at home to Roma, meaning they are now eight points behind leaders Napoli. Inter’s fans are losing faith with their on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku, who looks like he might be heading back to his employer, Chelsea. Other Inter players, such as Alessandro Bastoni, Nicolò Barella and Lautaro Martínez are being eyed by a number of clubs, notably Liverpool.  Barca won 1-0 in Mallorca thanks to another goal from Robert Lewandowski. They’ve still only conceded one goal in La Liga this season.

Marseille – Sporting

Marseille remain unbeaten in Ligue 1 and are chasing PSG all the way. The two sides meet on October 16. Marseille seem to be in some turmoil, with rumours about a takeover and the supposed resignation of owner Frank McCourt from the club’s supervisory board. On the pitch, they have lost both of their Champions League games. Sporting, on the other hand, have won both of theirs against Tottenham and Frankfurt and they have demonstrated their fitness by scoring all their goals in the second half. One player who has caught the eye this season is winger Marcus Edwards, who started his senior career with Tottenham. In the league, Sporting have lost three of their eight games. There have been some rumblings about Cristiano Ronaldo ending his playing days with his old club, but that may seem some way off at the moment.

Bayern Munich – Viktoria Plzn

Bayern have been in the midst of their worst run in years, but they bounced back with a 4-0 win against Leverkusen in Munich. People started to talk about crisis, but Bayern have too much strength to linger too long in the doldrums and they are still coming to terms with losing their talismanic striker, Lewandowski. However, they have Sane, Mane and the rapidly emerging Jamal Musiala, who scored one and made two. They are still the leading scorers in the Bundesliga and nobody has conceded fewer goals. Crisis? Not really. Viktoria Plzn are four points clear at the top of the Czech First League after a 1-1 draw with Bohemians in Prague. They are the only unbeaten side in the league.

Eintracht Frankfurt – Tottenham Hotspur

Frankfurt beat Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin 2-0 to move into the top six. Their goals came from World Cup matchwinner Mario Götze and the much-coveted Jesper Lindstrom, a 22 year-old Danish international. They will be up against a Tottenham side who were comfortably beaten in the North London Derby 3-1. As usual, there is talk of coach Antonio Conte leaving, notably to Juventus, but Conte dismisses the rumours and calls them disrespectful. Spurs have started the season well and the loss at the Emirates was their first of the Premier campaign, but Conte will surely be concerned at his team’s performance.