FIVE teams are yet to record a top-flight win for the first time at this stage of the season since 1964… So, what’s going wrong at Norwich, Burnley, Leeds, Newcastle and Southampton – and how can they finally get a victory?
- Six games into the Premier League season and five clubs have yet to win a game
- The last time this happened was back in the 1964-65 First Division season
- Norwich spent £50m after winning promotion but have lost all six fixtures so far
- They travel to second-bottom Burnley next and neither team can afford to lose
- Leeds failed to win any of their first six league games for first time since 1935
- Southampton and Newcastle are also yet to get anything in the win column
For the first time since 1964, there are five top-flight sides still winless six matches into the season.
It will come as little surprise that the quintet – Southampton, Newcastle, Leeds, Burnley and Norwich – occupy the bottom five places in the Premier League table.
Without a single victory between them, the pressure is mounting on managers and players even before the first autumn leaves have fallen.
We take a closer look at the Premier League’s winless five, what’s going wrong and how they might be able to break their ducks.
Bottom club Norwich City are among five Premier League teams yet to win a game this season
For the first time since 1964, there are five winless teams six matches into a top-flight season
16. SOUTHAMPTON (Four points)
It would be wrong to suggest Southampton are in a full-blown crisis – after all they have drawn with Manchester United and Manchester City in the opening weeks of the season.
But their 1-0 home loss to Wolves on Sunday will have set a few alarm bells ringing at St Mary’s.
Ralph Hasenhuttl wanted to build on their fighting display to get a goalless draw at the Etihad eight days earlier in a very winnable game but they let themselves down and lost to Raul Jimenez’s goal.
Southampton defender Tino Livramento rues a missed opportunity during their loss to Wolves
The manager described his team’s defending as ‘naive’ and there were plenty of moments where pulses were sent racing with some panicked play at the back.
It was surprising because they’d restricted City to only one shot on target and successfully kept their many attacking threats at arm’s length the previous weekend.
There also has to be concern about where the goals are going to come from too following the sale of last season’s top scorer Danny Ings to Aston Villa.
Nathan Redmond reacts after his goal was disallowed in Sunday’s defeat at St Mary’s
Just four goals in their opening six league games – two of which came against fellow strugglers Newcastle – perhaps explains why their four draws haven’t been converted into wins.
It will fall on Nathan Redmond – who saw a goal ruled out for offside against Wolves – summer arrival Adam Armstrong and the promising 18-year-old right-back signed from Chelsea, Tino Livramento, to provide much-needed spark.
Not that it’s about to get any easier: Saints travel to Chelsea this Saturday.
17. NEWCASTLE UNITED (Three points)
Hands up anybody who is surprised by Newcastle’s winless start to the season?
Thought not. This is the sixth time in the Premier League era alone that the Toon have failed to win any of their first six games and it really is more of the same misery.
A visit to Old Trafford aside, Steve Bruce’s team have had a pretty gentle fixture list to open the season but a far-from-inspiring forward line keep fluffing their chances.
Allan Saint-Maximin has done well for Newcastle but the team squanders too many chances
It was the case again in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Watford where Newcastle played well in the main and carved out enough opportunities to be home and dry prior to Ismaila Sarr’s equaliser.
‘We’ve done enough to win three games,’ Bruce said afterwards but is it any surprise when the forwards currently fit and available have score just nine goals combined since the start of last season?
Callum Wilson scored 12 times last season and had two this time around before suffering a thigh injury, which has neutered their threat.
Newcastle created enough chances to win several games at Watford but took just a point
Allan Saint-Maximin continues to impress but Joelinton and Dwight Gayle – involved in a training ground bust-up with assistant manager Graeme Jones earlier this month – can’t be relied on.
Bruce was able to make midfielder Joe Willock’s loan from Arsenal permanent in the summer following his impressive goalscoring return while on loan, but Newcastle continue to look profligate and this makes them vulnerable.
Many fans want Bruce to leave anyway and as long as they’re teetering on the edge of the relegation zone and not winning games, the picture is unlikely to get any rosier.
18. LEEDS UNITED (Three points)
Marcelo Bielsa enjoys a demi-God status at Leeds and rightly so but questions must be asked now the team have gone six winless at the start of a season for the first time since 1935.
The barren run has included heavy defeats at the hands of Manchester United and Liverpool plus narrower but no less frustrating reverses such as Saturday’s last-minute loss to West Ham.
Bielsa’s relentless style of football not only entertained but gained results on their Premier League comeback last season but just looks more chaotic and foolhardy this time.
Stuart Dallas cuts a dejected figure as Leeds concede late on to West Ham on Saturday
Ilian Meslier has been the Premier League’s busiest goalkeeper in the early weeks of the season – making 27 saves – and only Norwich’s Tim Krul has conceded more.
Going forward, Leeds carry plenty of threat – they were brilliant in the first-half against West Ham – but too many chances are going begging.
They were unable to sustain the intensity for the full 90 minutes, with too much space afforded to the opposition to exploit. You feel Leeds need a three-goal lead to be secure in any game.
Marcelo Bielsa won’t panic and will remain true to his principles despite a poor start for Leeds
Bielsa should be commended for remaining true to his football values but there should come a point where greater pragmatism and less risk is needed.
The good news for Leeds is that their next three games – against Watford, Southampton and Wolves – are very good opportunities to claim that elusive first win. Bielsa certainly won’t panic despite their league position.
19. BURNLEY (Two points)
A definite sense of deja-vu for Burnley, who have become accustomed to being in and around the bottom three.
Indeed, they made an even worse start last season when they lost five of their opening six games. But Sean Dyche’s side survived in the end and there won’t be undue concern this time.
The Clarets came agonisingly close to picking up that first win in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Leicester – leading until Jamie Vardy’s 85th-minute goal and then seeing a late Chris Wood goal ruled out for offside.
Burnley captain Ben Mee reacts during their 1-0 home loss to Arsenal earlier this month
Early-season defeats to Brighton and Arsenal at Turf Moor were by slender margins and it’s no wonder Dyche was speaking about ‘tidying up the details’ in their performances and hoping for ‘a twist of fate on our side’.
There was at least a bit of help for Dyche in the transfer market this time, with defender Nathan Collins signed from Stoke and winger Maxwel Cornet coming in for £13m from Lyon.
Cornet impressed and scored a memorable first goal for the club at Leicester before being forced off with a hamstring injury. Had he remained on the field, they might have put the game beyond doubt.
Burnley came close to a first win of the season at Leicester after Maxwel Cornet’s goal
There is a lot of burden on Wood to deliver their goals, however. He scored 12 last season in the league with the next highest scorers on three. There isn’t much to suggest that has changed.
It may only be October but there’s a plenty riding on this Saturday’s home game with Norwich, the one side worse off than them. Fail to win that and there could be problems.
20. NORWICH CITY (Zero points)
The last time Norwich were in the Premier League – two years ago – early season wins over Newcastle and Manchester City gave the impression they could compete.
In the end, they collapsed miserably post-restart and lost their last 10 games.
Having worked so hard to get back into the top division, it looks like the nightmare has returned for Daniel Farke and his players.
Six games, six defeats and 16 goals conceded – it really doesn’t look promising for the Canaries.
Norwich have lost their first six matches this season in a nightmare return to the top flight
It was genuinely bad luck to have Liverpool and Man City first up (3-0 and 5-0 losses) but things haven’t picked up since. The 3-1 home defeat to fellow promoted club Watford was the worst of the lot.
Last time around, Farke wasn’t backed with new signings. This time there has been an attempt to add squad depth in most positions with Milot Rashica, Pierre Lees-Melou, Brandon Williams and Ozan Kabak among those being integrated.
Unfortunately it isn’t working well yet at both ends of the pitch with Teemu Pukki scoring their only two goals so far and worrying leaks at the back.
Daniel Farke’s team still look out of their depth in the Premier League despite summer buys
In total £50million was spent but Norwich still don’t look remotely prepared for the step up in class between the Championship and Premier League.
The sale of Emiliano Buendia to Villa, which helped fund the summer buys, has robbed them of their main creative spark.
Continue like this and Farke’s job will come under pressure – he has lost 16 consecutive Premier League games now – with games against Burnley and Brighton either side of the international break looking very important.
What happened to the winless five back in 1964?
The quintet of teams that failed to win their first six games in the 1964-65 First Division were Wolves, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Burnley and Sunderland.
Wolves and Birmingham would suffer relegation at the end of that season. Villa managed to climb to 16th (out of 22 teams), Sunderland finished 15th and Burnley came 12th.
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