6 of the most shocking Premier League runs of form EVER

Sunderland 2002/03
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Longest goalless streak: Crystal Palace 1994/95 (7 games)

In the Premier League's early-90s glory days, Palace were the archetypal yo-yo club, ricocheting between the new-look breakaway league and the newly named Division One for a full five seasons on the spin. Relegated in the Premier League's inaugural season by a whisker in 1993 – finishing two goal-difference points below Oldham – Palace were fired back into the top tier at the first time of asking, propelled largely by the free-scoring exploits of Chris Armstrong.

While Armstrongs's goalscoring only dipped marginally upon reaching the top flight – from 20 to 18, to be precise, and that despite a month’s ban for testing positive for cannabis – the output of his side as a whole plunged desperately. Palace finished as the division's lowest scorers, and things came to a head during a bleak festive period when 838 long minutes dragged by without ball meeting net for the south Londoners. Impressively, Palace still managed to wring four points from their seven-game barren spell – the spritely trio of Nigel Martyn, Gareth Southgate and Chris Coleman doing plenty to offset the toothlessness up top – but the team nonetheless sank from 12th to 18th.

And yet despite it all, Palace somehow evaded the bottom three come the season’s end. Unfortunately that didn't stop them getting banished to the second tier: due to the streamlining of the division from 22 clubs to 20, there were four relegation spots going that year, and Palace duly nabbed the spare one.

Longest winless streak: Derby 2007/08 (32 games)

He may not be especially high on the list of Pride Park heroes, but the truth is that Derby fans have a great deal to thank Kenny Miller for. In an otherwise thankless season for the striker (four goals in 30 outings), it was his goal against Newcastle that secured Derby their first and only win of the club’s now-folkloric 2007/08 campaign.

Without the Scot’s opportunism – and the inability of Sam Allardyce’s desperate strikeforce to summon an answer against Andy Todd & Co. – an entire league season would have passed by without a single win. (Or indeed a win of any self-respecting sort: they crashed out of the League Cup straight away, to Blackpool, and their sole FA Cup win, against Sheffield Wednesday, required a replay and penalties.)

The defeat of Newcastle was an island of joy amid a season of irredeemable misery. That it came sandwiched between 6-0 and 5-0 shellackings, at Anfield and the Emirates respectively, was grimly apt. The fact that the club’s lone victory came in their sixth game meant that the remainder of the campaign was one long winless run – 32 games – and indeed, a similarly dire start to their next season took their winless tally to a mighty 36.

SEE ALSO Derby County's shocking 2007/08 revisited: the Premier League's worst ever season, told by those who were there

Longest without a clean sheet: West Brom 2010/11 (34 games)

While the West Brom of today are a resolutely Pulisian outfit known for their army of herculean centre-backs and fetish for clean sheets, it wasn’t ever thus. Seven years ago, as part of a doomed aesthetic experiment, Roberto Di Matteo was put in charge at The Hawthorns and his starry-eyed attempts at enhancing the team’s playing style saw the likes of Carlos Vela and Giles Barnes installed alongside Dean Kiely and Nicky Shorey.

Like many such experiments it was gormless in conception, bungled in execution and called off before it had really begun. Its true legacy, though, was in a wildly unskilled defence which managed to finish the season having conceded the second-most goals in the division despite being honed into shape by the belt-and-braces conservatism of Roy Hodgson from February onwards. Between their second and penultimate game of the campaign, 34 in all, the Baggies failed to keep a single clean sheet - not that it stopped them from finishing the season in a respectable and eminently Hodgsonian 11th place.


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