Your club’s biggest letdown season?

Fortitude

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Liverpool were a few games away from the jackpot, but came up short and instead of the top prize, or even 5 plus the bonus ball, all they ended up with is a lucky dip and a couple of hundred quid. Great, if you are going in expecting nothing, but horrible if you were already dreaming of a glorious life on easy street.

From genuine going for 'the quad' to collecting only consolation prizes takes some beating, but what has been your clubs' worst letdown from expectation to realisation?

Perhaps ours might be this season, or the Portsmouth game away from another treble? But the latter isn't anything like as crushing as the opening paragraph, as the major trophies were won and the bonus one missed out on. We have quite a few, I guess... but I'd like individual takes as I'm sure they'll vary from fan to fan.
 

giorno

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14/15. Best team in the world by several country miles at full strenght, 22 wins in a row, looked like an historical season in the making and possibly "best team ever" accolades incoming, then injuries broke our back
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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In many ways 1997/1998 under Hodgson. We had a tremendous 1st half of the season, and were still in 2nd place (though Arsenal probably had some games in hand) after about 23 or 24 games, before our form nosedived and we finished 6th. Unfortunately that poor form carried over to the start of the next season as we went on to get relegated, with some truly disastrous transfer business in-between.

Another contender would be 2003/2004. Despite selling Duff and Dunn, we'd just finished 10th and 6th (with a higher points total than Utd's this season I might add), and I don't think many of us thought at the start of the season that we'd end up battling against relegation. On the opening day of the season, Emerton made the best debut that I've ever seen from one of our players.
 
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Lay

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In many ways 1997/1998 under Hodgson. We had a tremendous 1st half of the season, and were still in 2nd place (though Arsenal probably had some games in hand) after about 23 or 24 games, before our form nosedived and we finished 2nd. Unfortunately that poor form carried over to the start of the next season as we went on to get relegated, with some truly disastrous transfer business in-between.

Another contender would be 2003/2004. Despite selling Duff and Dunn, we'd just finished 10th and 6th (with a higher points total than Utd's this season I might add), and I don't think many of us thought at the start of the season that we'd end up battling against relegation. On the opening day of the season, Emerton made the best debut that I've ever seen from one of our players.
Hiring Kean didn’t help
 

WeePat

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Maybe 2008. We had a great team. Took the title race to the final day, finished 2 points short and lost the CL final on pens to the same team that pipped us to the title. Frustration levels were through the roof.
 

Mastadon

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Losing in the CL to Chelsea in 03/04 when it seemed like that was our season to win it.
 

Klopper76

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13/14 will probably always be the answer for us unless something crazy happens in the future.

We didn’t have the league in our hands this year and were playing catch up for a while, and losing a CL final to Madrid can happen. 13/14 was entirely in our hands and we blew it.
 

Solius

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Losing two leagues by a combined one point was pretty shite.
 

Tap

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The 11/12 season where it all went to pieces in the final games where we lost to Wigan and threw away a 2 goal lead twice(!) against Everton at OT.
 

Offside

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11/12 is the answer for United. Reigning champions and looked absolutely unreal at the start of the following season. 3-0 v Spurs, 8-2 v Arsenal, 5-0 v Bolton. So much fresh talent like Cleverley, Welbeck, Jones and Young looking unreal. I honestly thought we had another class of 92 situation and would win the lot.

Won nothing that season, exiting the CL in the group stages and completely bottling the league.
 

CarbonStoolBites

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1997/1998

We were flying high and tearing teams to shreds in the first part of the season.
Managed to beat Juventus at home who were the best team in Europe at the time with a phenomenal performance, really thought we could finally win the CL and the league felt in the bag.

Actually coped well with the injury to Keane earlier in the season at Leeds, but then injuries to Giggs and Shmeichel missing the home game against Monaco really hurt our results.
Then the loss to Arsenal at home pretty much gave them the lead in the race and that was it.

Think we were ahead of Arsenal by 12 points or so at some point, couldn’t believe we ended the season trophyless after playing some of the best football I’ve seen in the first part of the season.
Who would have thought what was going to happen the following season….

The less said about 2011/2012 the better, yikes.
 

Dipper

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Slip season or the Karius incident are probably the biggest let downs I've experienced.
 

Madridista2000

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Worst season as RM fan for me was 2003/04 season.

Threw the league away after losing 7 out last 10 games. I think we lost last 5/5.

Threw away CL by losing quaterfinal to Monaco. We won first game 4-2. We were leading 4-1 at one point. Overconfidence and no balance in the team cost us the return that we lost 3-1.

To top it all we lost the Copa Del Rey final to Zaragoza.

That was the season we signed Beckham and let go of Makalele. So poor.
 

slored1

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11/12 is the answer for United. Reigning champions and looked absolutely unreal at the start of the following season. 3-0 v Spurs, 8-2 v Arsenal, 5-0 v Bolton. So much fresh talent like Cleverley, Welbeck, Jones and Young looking unreal. I honestly thought we had another class of 92 situation and would win the lot.

Won nothing that season, exiting the CL in the group stages and completely bottling the league.
Was the first one on my mind as well. That group stage CL performance still enrages me, bottled it from start to finish. Of course the domestic season didn't help as well.
 

giorno

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Worst season as RM fan for me was 2003/04 season.

Threw the league away after losing 7 out last 10 games. I think we lost last 5/5.

Threw away CL by losing quaterfinal to Monaco. We won first game 4-2. We were leading 4-1 at one point. Overconfidence and no balance in the team cost us the return that we lost 3-1.

To top it all we lost the Copa Del Rey final to Zaragoza.

That was the season we signed Beckham and let go of Makalele. So poor.
02/03 as well, we were the best team in the world and really just let that semifinal get away from us with a non-performance in Turin(aside from Zidane). Figo missing a penalty as well

The galacticos really should have won more
 

KirkDuyt

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This season. Not winning stuff is fine as long as you never get really really close.
:(
 

njred

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Can only go by what we had in our hands
So 2013/14 1st
Lfc0-Arsenal 2 - 1989 2nd
This one against RM
 

Red the Bear

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I say 2003, the final was going to be held at Old Trafford and we were steam rolling europe beating one of the tournaments favorites juventus 5_1 on aggregate but then it all gobe ro shit.
2009 was another as failing to hold the European Cup hurt bad.
2000 for the same reason and also 2012 for obvious reasons.


Didn't get too let down by post Fergie years as I just expected us to make ucl that's all .
 

Red the Bear

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Worst season as RM fan for me was 2003/04 season.

Threw the league away after losing 7 out last 10 games. I think we lost last 5/5.

Threw away CL by losing quaterfinal to Monaco. We won first game 4-2. We were leading 4-1 at one point. Overconfidence and no balance in the team cost us the return that we lost 3-1.

To top it all we lost the Copa Del Rey final to Zaragoza.

That was the season we signed Beckham and let go of Makalele. So poor.
02/03 as well, we were the best team in the world and really just let that semifinal get away from us with a non-performance in Turin(aside from Zidane). Figo missing a penalty as well

The galacticos really should have won more
Must have stung for you lot but I think it's fair to say that Galacticos were at no point during their existence the best team in the world.
It was simply to unbalanced and I feel their results on the pitch corroborates my reasoning.
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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Hiring Kean didn’t help
That was quite a few years later !

But sacking Allardyce and replacing him with Kean in 2010/2011 was one of the stupidest managerial decisions that any Premier League club has made.

Under Big Sam we were a safe mid-table team, but under Kean we slid down the table, mathematically secured survival on the final day of the season in 2010/2011, and then went down the next season.

Kean was also a nasty piece of work behind the scenes, but the media narrative was that the Blackburn fans were being unnecessarily horrible to him, which was frustrating. The fact that he was one of 7 Glaswegian managers in the Premier League at the time, with Fergie and Moyes in-particular leaping to his defence, also contributed to that.
 

Gentleman Jim

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2012/13 was horrible for us.
After the last day PL win the previous season expectations were high. Tevez had worn out his welcome but we were hoping to replace him with one of RVP, Hazard or Alexis Sanchez.
Problem was we were in deep sh*t with FFP and none of those deals happened but we ended up with some underwhelming players like Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell.
Mancini was furious and rifts between him and many players soon set in. Performances dropped and United pulled away from us without being the United of old.
RVP was a terrific signing for that season Rooney and Januzaj also contributed well.

Come the end if the season the decision was made to sack Mancini as the players were in virtual revolt against him but at least we had the FA Cup final against soon to be relegated Wigan to fall back on but we even blew that!

After Mancini's dismissal and Pellegrini's appointment things improved the following season with a PL and LC win.
 

Lay

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That was quite a few years later !

But sacking Allardyce and replacing him with Kean in 2010/2011 was one of the stupidest managerial decisions that any Premier League club has made.

Under Big Sam we were a safe mid-table team, but under Kean we slid down the table, mathematically secured survival on the final day of the season in 2010/2011, and then went down the next season.

Kean was also a nasty piece of work behind the scenes, but the media narrative was that the Blackburn fans were being unnecessarily horrible to him, which was frustrating. The fact that he was one of 7 Glaswegian managers in the Premier League at the time, with Fergie and Moyes in-particular leaping to his defence, also contributed to that.
I remember trying to follow as much as I could by visiting the Blackburn rovers forum. I don’t remember much but there was a lot of underhanded stuff happening with it all. At the time the media were incensed that Blackburn fans weren’t happy with Kean.
 

Gentleman Jim

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That was quite a few years later !

But sacking Allardyce and replacing him with Kean in 2010/2011 was one of the stupidest managerial decisions that any Premier League club has made.

Under Big Sam we were a safe mid-table team, but under Kean we slid down the table, mathematically secured survival on the final day of the season in 2010/2011, and then went down the next season.

Kean was also a nasty piece of work behind the scenes, but the media narrative was that the Blackburn fans were being unnecessarily horrible to him, which was frustrating. The fact that he was one of 7 Glaswegian managers in the Premier League at the time, with Fergie and Moyes in-particular leaping to his defence, also contributed to that.
Los Pollos Hermanos really wrecked Rovers as a PL club.
Are they still involved in any way at Ewood Park?
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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I remember trying to follow as much as I could by visiting the Blackburn rovers forum. I don’t remember much but there was a lot of underhanded stuff happening with it all. At the time the media were incensed that Blackburn fans weren’t happy with Kean.
Yes he was clearly working to sabotage Allardyce in-advance of his sacking, and was slandering him behind his back (there was legal action and he had to pay damages to big Sam). Plus there were also episodes such as him getting prosecuted for drink driving and claiming that angry Blackburn fans spiked his drink, slagging off his coaching staff at club functions / forums and blaming them for our troubles etc.

So when someone is both useless / completely out of their depth, and a nasty piece of work to boot, it's no surprise that we despised him. But many football writers blamed the fans and acted as if Kean was an innocent victim going through a witch-hunt.

Around those few seasons, Megson for Bolton, Kean for us and McLeish for Villa have to be 3 of the most unpopular managerial appointments in the Premier League era.

Los Pollos Hermanos really wrecked Rovers as a PL club.
Are they still involved in any way at Ewood Park?
Yes they are. 11 and a half years and counting with them at the helm, and they haven't been to a game for more than 8 years.

It didn't bode well when they initially weren't aware that teams could get relegated to the Premier League, through that a transfer budget of £5 million would be enough to challenge for a top 4 place etc.

We went from being a very well and responsibly run club, to that embarrassing car crash

One thing I will say in their favour, is after our relegation to League One, they ensured we could pay Championship wages to players (the financial gulf between the Championship and League One increased considerably in the years leading up to Covid), to help us win instant promotion again. That promotion season stopped the previous internal warfare and got everyone at the club back on the same wavelength.
 

Gentleman Jim

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Yes they are. 11 and a half years and counting with them at the helm, and they haven't been to a game for more than 8 years.

It didn't bode well when they initially weren't aware that teams could get relegated to the Premier League, through that a transfer budget of £5 million would be enough to challenge for a top 4 place etc.

We went from being a very well and responsibly run club, to that embarrassing car crash

One thing I will say in their favour, is after our relegation to League One, they ensured we could pay Championship wages to players (the financial gulf between the Championship and League One increased considerably in the years leading up to Covid), to help us win instant promotion again. That promotion season stopped the previous internal warfare and got everyone at the club back on the same wavelength.
Thanks for the detail.
Good luck next season.
 

NicolaSacco

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Ipswich getting relegated after finishing 5th (and in fact going into the final game of the season able to finish 3rd) was a bit of a shitter. Though the 20 years following that have hardly been great.
 

RG77

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14/15. Best team in the world by several country miles at full strenght, 22 wins in a row, looked like an historical season in the making and possibly "best team ever" accolades incoming, then injuries broke our back
Plus Bale bitching to Perez about getting back into the team, Carlo somehow made that 442 with Isco/James work. Some fantastic football.
 

Iker Quesadillas

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Maybe entitled but last season was rough for a RM fan because it's really the only season I can remember in which the team truly tried its best, got pretty far, and got exactly no reward for it, culminating in the beloved manager quitting.

The 14/15 season was a huge disappointment but I think everyone knew the score by February. It was just a slow march towards death.
 

CarbonStoolBites

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Must have stung for you lot but I think it's fair to say that Galacticos were at no point during their existence the best team in the world.
It was simply to unbalanced and I feel their results on the pitch corroborates my reasoning.
I never thought of the Galacticos as anything special, they’ve had special players who were capable of special moments that gave them an edge at times, but I never thought they were a great team. The lack of balance in that side got worse each year.
I remember reading that Valdano told Makelele he should be playing for Real Madrid for free.
It was an experiment in commercialization and had little to do with football.

I can easily name over 10 teams since 2002/2003 that were far better than the Galacticos, including 2 or 3 Real Madrid teams.
 

choccy77

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The 11/12 season where it all went to pieces in the final games where we lost to Wigan and threw away a 2 goal lead twice(!) against Everton at OT.
losing to Birmingham 1-0 on boxing day also cost us the league..... a draw that day would have given us the title... was so frustrating
 

Red the Bear

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I never thought of the Galacticos as anything special, they’ve had special players who were capable of special moments that gave them an edge at times, but I never thought they were a great team. The lack of balance in that side got worse each year.
I remember reading that Valdano told Makelele he should be playing for Real Madrid for free.
It was an experiment in commercialization and had little to do with football.

I can easily name over 10 teams since 2002/2003 that were far better than the Galacticos, including 2 or 3 Real Madrid teams.
I agree.
Perez seems to have learnt from his mistake seeing how successful his second stint was.
 

Smithy89

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The 11/12 season where it all went to pieces in the final games where we lost to Wigan and threw away a 2 goal lead twice(!) against Everton at OT.
Absolutely this, the 2010 season is also up there and the bayern CL game that season still winds me up.
 

CraftySoAndSo

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That was quite a few years later !

But sacking Allardyce and replacing him with Kean in 2010/2011 was one of the stupidest managerial decisions that any Premier League club has made.

Under Big Sam we were a safe mid-table team, but under Kean we slid down the table, mathematically secured survival on the final day of the season in 2010/2011, and then went down the next season.

Kean was also a nasty piece of work behind the scenes, but the media narrative was that the Blackburn fans were being unnecessarily horrible to him, which was frustrating. The fact that he was one of 7 Glaswegian managers in the Premier League at the time, with Fergie and Moyes in-particular leaping to his defence, also contributed to that.
Steve Kean now that's a name i'd completely forgotten about, just went on wiki to see what he's been up to since Blackburn. 4 years managing out in Brunei, a year as technical director in Greece and 2 years coaching in Australia, to top it off he blamed Manchester United for his drink driving charge.

On 15 August 2011, Kean was convicted of drink driving at Macclesfield Magistrates' Court. The Court rejected his defence that his drinks had been spiked following a match against Manchester United. He was banned from driving for 18 months and fined £1,800.
 

GuybrushThreepwood

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Regarding Real's Galactico era, and in terms of perception and hazy memories (the actual results and stats might say otherwise), I thought that they looked pretty strong in 2000/2001. They'd signed Figo, Makelele, Solari and Munitis the previous summer plus Flavio Conceicao from Depor for a lot of money though he struggled there. It seemed that signing players with a strong 'less glamourous roles' or to boost their squad depth was given much more importance then compared to the later years of that particular project / cycle.

They won the La Liga title pretty comfortably, and their Champions League semi-final against Bayern was a heavyweight clash between the 2 best teams in Europe at the time. IIRC they'd looked very strong in the CL en-route to that semi-final.
 
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