Ranking every Premier League season worst to first, including Manchester City’s last-gasp title win in 2011 and Arsenal’s historic unbeaten 2003-04 season.
Ranking all 25 Premier League seasons worst to first is tricky business. It takes judgements based on a few key factors, including the quality and excitement of a title race, something in short supply during the 2016-17 season, where Chelsea have been runaway winners.
Yet it’s not all about what went on at the top in a given season. There’s still some love for those great escapes, when a team inexplicably beat an apparently inevitable drop.
However, one of the biggest factors in where a particular season ranks on this list is the iconic moments a campaign produced. Fortunately, the history of the Premier League is littered with memorable moments.
You know the ones, the so-called “Battle of Old Trafford” in 2003, “Pizzagate” a year later and Kevin Keegan’s infamous meltdown in front of the television cameras in 1996.
Read on to find out where every one of the 25 Premier League seasons ranks:
Champions: Manchester United
Relegated: Wimbledon, Sheffield Wednesday, Watford
There’s nowhere else more fitting to put the season where the title was won by a record 18 points than at the foot of this list.
It’s no slight on Manchester United’s achievement that season. Indeed, the Red Devils were simply awesome, thanks to one of their greatest-ever sides.
Not only could United called on a quartet of strikers the envy of Europe in Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they were also underpinned by arguably the most talented and complete midfield in English soccer history.
Ryan Giggs was still the archetypal wing wizard on the left, while nobody crossed a ball better than David Beckham did from the right. But it was in the middle where this team was strongest, with skipper Roy Keane the proverbial hardman next to a Paul Scholes close to the peak of his powers.
This wasn’t the Scholes of later years, the steady playmaker from deep, usually bypassed in big games. This was a Scholes of the late-breaking runs and lethal shooting from outside the box.
United wrapped up the title by April, making this the most one-sided title race in Premier League history. In fact, this season is more memorable for United opting out of the FA Cup despite being holders to play in the FIFA Club World Championship.
Honestly though, such a show of disrespect to the grandest cup competition in the world is not a moment worth remembering.
The one pleasing footnote to this season is the quality of its goals. From Paolo Di Canio’s iconic scissor-style volley against Wimbledon, to Scholes’ direct hit from a Beckham corner at Bradford, this was a campaign loaded with memorable strikes.