The Premiership table bore on an odder complexion for much of last season than it had in the precious two decades (this was almost entirely down to the collapse of the empire in the north west. However, the most surprising League table at an advanced stage of the season in Premier League history (to both contemporaries and to us now) was certainly the table during Christmas 1992. 1992   The table in late December 1992 bore a highly exotic look, even at the time. For a start, we weren’t that far removed from the era of Liverpool dominance. Observing them falling as low as 11th (and even, unbelievably, plummeting to 15th position in March before a late season rally) must have been fairly shocking for football fans at the time. Secondly, one is accustomed to seeing the champions at the summit again the following year, battling it out at the top of the table. 1991/92 Champions Leeds United, having offloaded their “flashy foreigner” Eric Cantona, languished in 14th place. By the end of the season they were looking back nostalgically on those lofty heights, as they eventually finished 17th, only a few points clear of the relegation zone. Easily the worst performance of any League champions since the start of the 1990s. wilkinson However, most surprising of all was Norwich. The country bumpkins from East Anglia played exuberant football from the off, but no one expected them to stay at the top of the table for very long. However, as 1992 turned into 1993, there they were, sitting on top of the table. norwichFairly shockingly for supporters of the game now, there was great excitement at Villa Park with Aston Villa at the business end of the table (as opposed to now where they potter around lower mid-table, and occasionally, but never convincingly, flirting with relegation). Under Ron Atkinson, Villa played flashy, entertaining football as they vied with Norwich City for top spot. Also, Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, usually accustomed to being in or around what we would now call the Europa League spots, were rooted to the bottom, not helped by their manager’s increasingly eccentric gambits (which included hiding under a table in his office so the England manager Graham Taylor, who was sat outside, wouldn’t know he was in there) and his alcohol-induced absenteeism. Lastly, Spurs were treading water in mid-table. Barring the odd foray up the table in the last few years, little has changed there in two decades. clough

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