End of season grades: how did your team do?
Updated: Sep 1
With teams returning to preseason and a later start to a new season than usual. We thought we'd look back on the 19/20 season and grade each team.
Barnsley: B -
Whilst many expected Barnsley to go down after a dreadful start to the season, they managed to stay up on the very final day of the season. The grade may seem harsh, however in the 18/19 season under Stendel, they were statistically the best side. Both attacking and defensively.
The loss of key players really set them back and they didn’t recover until Gerhard struber was appointed Daniel Stendel’s successor. Under Struber, there’s a heavy expectation from us for him to turn Barnsley into a top half team.
Birmingham City: F
What is there to say here? They out Birmingham City’d themselves again with the points deduction, debacle with Monk, Clotet as caretaker Head Coach for forever and much more. There was some room for optimism for the Blues but it was ultimately a dreadful failure.
There is some optimism though.
With a tidy squad, some room in the budget following Bellingham’s sale and Aitor Karanka’s appointment, we could see this Blues side compete in the top half of the division this coming season.
Blackburn Rovers: B -
A good season for Rovers but it petered out towards the end. Eyebrows were starting to raise when Mowbray’s side went for the likes of Bradley Johnson and Stewart Downing but what signings they turned out to be.
A mix of experience and youth meant this team was flirting with the the play offs for two thirds of the season, and the form of Adam Armstrong is cause for excitement. Fully expect Rovers to challenge for a play off place in the coming season.
One of the best sides on paper this season and well fancied, you can only say it was a failure for Brentford not to win promotion. With the ability to attract some real talent, mixed with heightened expectation, it’s not little old Brentford anymore.
Bristol City: D
Much has been said of this side under Lee Johnson. And it’s nothing short of a failure for him to not lead the squad he had into the top 6. Big budget, big signings and a 12th place finish is frighteningly underwhelming.
Cardiff City: B -
Perhaps a minus for the added expectation for The Bluebirds to bounce straight back up. But a play off place is still some success after a poor start to the season. Neil Harris turned this team around and with some more goals next season, they could be fancied for the automatics again.
Charlton Athletic: B+
You might be wondering why a relegated side has been given a B+? Well just look at what Lee Bowyer has had to deal with. Injuries (literally so many, unreal effort from the players), boardroom unrest, sacked and re-employed (allegedly), players refusing to play post-covid.
With all of that and losing their best players from the end of their League One campaign to the start of lock down, they should have been dead and buried. Hull City players should take note.
Derby County: C -
A season of borderline disgrace off the field this season. But promising on the field. Over performing in the 18/19 season may have led to heightened expectations but Cocu has guided this young team to 10th place. All without his best cards to play. He needs backing, but difficult under current constraints.
Fulham: B -
May seem harsh following their win in the play offs but the quality of the side alone should have shortened the gap between themselves and Leeds. It took Parker 40 games to restructure the team and boy did it work. Will be interesting to see how they cope this time around in the Premier League.
Huddersfield Town: D
Poor season for The Terriers. Looked lost under Siewert, and should have made the change in the summer along with a complete restructure. Took the Cowley's and some astute January signings to keep this team up, will be an interesting one under a rookie manager in Carlos Corberan for the coming season.
Hull City: F
Can you get lower than an F? If we’d have graded this team in January, we’d have given an B at the very least. Lose Bowen and Grosicki and what were they left with? Relegation. Dreadful season but it has been coming under the current ownership.
Leeds United: A+
Banished the demons of THAT play off semi final defeat and it was never really in doubt. There was a wobble, but nothing to put us off at least guaranteeing Leeds United and Bielsa automatic promotion.
Luton Town: A
A team that benefited from the break in play this season. Under Graeme Jones, looked lost. Under Nathan, they looked frightening. Great run of form under the Welshman made this a fairy tale story.
A strange season for Boro. The Woodgate experiment if you could call it that blew up massively. A side that didn’t know how to defend, attack or score, all fundamentally important in football was destined to go down until the Championship messiah turned up and did what he did best.
Millwall has to have an A. Small budget compared to most teams. An unbelievable run of form under Rowett and so much optimism for the future. Had they had a full Den when football returned, we wouldn’t have been surprised to see them finish in the play offs.
Nottingham Forest: C+
What to give Nottingham Forest? They were good for 40 games and thoroughly deserving of a top 6 place. Then it all went wrong. But, with Lyle Taylor, Taylor Blackett and Jack Colback all coming in, can see this Forest side competing for a play off place again.
Preston North End: C+
See every season under Alex Neil as an example. This team just lacks a man up front. But time is ticking for The Lilywhites. They have a good squad but need to finish in the play offs this coming season or they risk it being pulled apart by other clubs.
QPR: B -
Fancied for relegation from most, even ourselves. But credit to Mark Warburton for the football and style of play. Exciting, frustrating and built from pretty much nothing. Potentially with some money to spend with the hawks circling around Eze, expect another steady season under Warburton.
Reading: C -
Never competed for a play off place, never worried about relegation. With a good squad that finally might have continuity under Sporting Director turned Manager Mark Bowen. A well balanced side that has potential, all they need is consistency.
Sheffield Wednesday: D
A bit of disaster from start to finish. Bruce leaving when he did shafted The Owls but had some good early season form that gave some false promise for what lay ahead. Similar position Derby, and a 12 point deduction looming (appeal dependent), this side has lost it’s best players. Relegation battle lies ahead should their appeal be unsuccessful.
Stoke City: D
A disaster of a season. Expectations of a promotion push soon went down the drain. But under Michael O’Neil, there is some optimism. Good tactician and good enough squad to at least compete for a play off place, hard to rule them out just yet.
Swansea City: B+
Another season of transition for the Swans. Felt like they lost their x factor when Graham Potter left for Brighton, but got something else under Steve Cooper. Nice football, a young side, you’d have excused them if they failed to finish in the play offs. But after begging, borrowing and convincing forgotten players to play, he almost delivered a promotion. One to watch next season.
West Bromwich Albion: B+
They should have been home and hosed with sizable gaps on not one, but two occasions this season. Just about got over the line on the final day, but they did it nonetheless and with some swagger at times. Just not quite as all round as Leeds United but a lovely side to watch at their best under Bilic.
Wigan Athletic: A +
A somber entry. They should not be relegated. Corrupted by the EFL and their own ownership, it’s a shame to see them go down as a result of going into administration. Their football was superb in the second half of the season under Paul Cook and had it not been for the EFL, they'd be a Championship side.