5. Sheffield Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday are traditionally considered the biggest team in Sheffield – but they have been overshadowed by the red half of the city of late. Wednesday are four-time champions of England and three-time FA Cup winners – although admittedly these honours all came before the Second World War. Wednesday have not played Premier League football since being relegated in 2000. Apart from two playoff appearances in 2016 and 2017, they have never really looked to return to English football’s top tier. They are one of the biggest underachieving clubs in English football.
4. Leeds United
Under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds have been playing good football. They have also reached the Premier League and as a result, they have come down the list a bit. To put things into perspective, Leeds are among the top 10 football clubs in the country, and thus it is expected of them to win trophies and stay in the top division. They won the league in 1992, they were Champions League semi-finalists in 2001. Bielsa could be the man to bring the past glory back to the club, but it’s still a long way to go.
3. Aston Villa
Aston Villa are the royal family of English football; they’re steeped in a rich history. They are a huge club, having won the Division One title seven times, and triumphing in Europe in the 80s. In stature, they are a club that should be challenging for a place in Europe, not celebrating survival. Last season, they showed signs of revival, it will be interesting to see where they go on from this.
2. Nottingham Forest
Forest won back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980 under the stewardship of the great Brian Clough. From Peter Shilton to Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane to Robert Earnshaw, some of the biggest names have plied their trade for the club. Forest are one of the biggest, most famous sides in English football – and they haven’t played in the Premier League for over two decades.
1. Newcastle United
Kevin Keegan, Bobby Robson, Alan Shearer – this is a club with a rich history, and who qualified for the Champions League as recently as 2003. The Magpies had spells in the 90s and 2000s where they were one of the best teams in the country. Mike Ashley’s turbulent tenure has seen the former Premier League title challengers relegated twice and reduced to mid-table mediocrity. The club has huge potential if it goes into the right hands.