The Biggest English Clubs in the History of the Premier League

Football is the world’s most popular sport with approximately 250 million players playing it in over 200 countries. Within the top 5 European men’s league the Premier League definitely stands out as it is the most-watched sports league in the world. The Premier League has a very rich history, starting out as the Football League in 1888 to making around $42 billion in 2019-20. With the commemoration of the new 2021-22 season, I wanted to rewind time a little and speak about who I think are the biggest English clubs in domestic history. I have tried to look at this as objectively as possible and have also mentioned the greatest and most memorable moments from their history.

5. Tottenham Hotspurs FC

During their colourful lifespan, Tottenham Hotspur were mostly known as cup specialists. Tottenham Hotspur FC was founded in 1882, by a group of grammar-school boys from All Hallows Church. At first, the club was simply named Hotspur; in order to avoid confusion with an older club named Hotspur FC, the name was soon changed to Tottenham Hotspur.

I would like to talk about the successful years under Bill Nicholson which I feel were their best period in their history. Appointed in 1958, Nicholson’s 16 years with the Tottenham brought the club a League title (1961), three FA Cups (1961, 1962, 1967), two League Cups (1971, 1973), one Cup Winners’ Cup (1963) and the inaugural UEFA Cup (1972). In fact, Nicholson’s departure in 1974 left an immediate impact on the club, which was relegated not long afterwards.

Like Arsenal, I do feel the quality of the Spurs side has gone down from the glory they had and are now an average team. With key players like Harry Kane wanting to leave the club, I personally do not see them as title contenders in the near future. This does not change the fact that they have had a glorious past when they actually used to win trophies 🙂

4. Liverpool FC

Since they were founded in 1892, the Liverpool Football Club name was synonymous with fame and glory. Following the moving of Everton to Goodison Park in 1892, the club’s then-president John Houlding suddenly found himself with the rights to Anfield stadium and no team to play on it. Always a practical man, Houlding quickly decided to circumvent this problem by forming his own club – Liverpool.

The Billy Shankly era is a greatly overlooked time during Liverpool’s history. When Bill Shankly was hired as manager, the first thing he did was release the whole first-team roster. He then transformed the club’s storage room into the renowned “Boot Room,” which would become the coaches’ secret gathering spot for the next three decades. Shankly’s unconventional methods paid off quickly. Liverpool won the League two years after regaining their place in the First Division in 1962. They won a further two League titles (1966, 1973), two FA Cups (1965, 1974), and their first European trophy – the 1973 UEFA Cup – during Shankly’s term as manager.

People do not talk much about Liverpool’s history but they are in fact the most successful British club of all time in international tournaments. With 19 Premier League trophies, 7 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, 5 Champions League, and 3 UEFA Cups Liverpool are extremely underrated. I believe Klopp’s tenure with Liverpool will also be quite historical as he brought the club out of a stagnancy of sorts by winning the Champions League and the Premier League in a span of 5 years.

3. Chelsea FC

While Chelsea was a reasonably consistent club for most of their history, people nowadays usually associate them with the football juggernaut they’ve become at the turn of the century; not much of a surprise, considering the club won the majority of their silverware in that period. Chelsea was founded in 1905 by Gus Mears, an English businessman who had earlier bought the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the plan of transforming it into a football ground. His original idea was to rent it to an existing club, but after a deal with Fulham FC was halted, he got the idea to start a new club.

Chelsea was always an average club up until 2003 when Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club. This forever changed Chelsea’s landscape. The new owner instantly put Chelsea on a path to financial stability, paying off the majority of the club’s debts and spending an amount of money on star additions that was unprecedented at the time. Even yet, it wasn’t until José Mourinho’s arrival that all the pieces fell into place; Chelsea won back-to-back Premier League trophies in 2005 and 2006, as well as two League Cups in 2005 and 2007, and an FA Cup in 2007. This truly was the golden era of the club and even after Mourinho left the club Chelsea continued to be a dominant force in English football.

In recent years Chelsea are still extremely threatening and have a bright future up ahead.

2. Arsenal FC

As one of the most successful and beloved clubs in England, Arsenal Football Club has always been a magnet for the public. Arsenal FC started life as a works team named Dial Square in 1886 – the workers were blacksmith’s that built cannons, which is the reason for the club being known as the Gunners. Shortly thereafter, the club turned professional and changed its name to Woolwich Arsenal, becoming a full-fledged member of the Football League in 1893 (the first club from the south parts of the country).

I feel Arsenal had 2 major turning points in their history, the first being their rise to prominence in the Chapman era. The club hired Herbert Chapman as manager in 1925. He modernized the club completely by improving training regimen and making changes to the club’s formation. After signing a couple of star players he gave Arsenal their first major trophy in 1930. This proved to be the beginning of a fruitful period for the club; during the 30s, they claimed five league titles and another FA Cup trophy. Following WWII, the team continued to prosper, winning two more League titles (1948, 1953) as well as an FA Cup (1950).

The second turning point was of course the Wenger era. The club was transformed into a goal-scoring giant almost instantly by the then-unknown French manager, thanks in part to the successful import of French players like as Robert Pirés, Patrick Vieira, and Thierry Henry. As the team’s attack lace, Henry was highly effective. Arsenal won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups between 1996 and 2004, with the 2003–2004 season standing out since the club did not lose a single game in the league. That team, led by Henry’s 30 goals in 37 games, was dubbed “The Invincibles” later on.

Arsenal has been a perennial bridesmaid in recent years. While the team was always a favourite to win the league, a spate of catastrophic injuries and/or dismal losses would inevitably cause them to fall behind in the standings. Things only seem to be going down from Wenger’s departure in 2018 but their 3 Premier League titles, and 14 FA Cups serve a reminder to everyone of how great they once were.

1. Manchester United FC

Manchester United is one of the most prestigious football clubs and has always maintained a distinguished tradition, a record of consistent success, and a great history. The club that later would be named Manchester United FC was initially founded in the year 1878, named as Newton Heath L&YR Football Club. L&YR as in Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, which were the company the team’s players worked

The greatest period of this club was definitely the Alex Ferguson era. The club appointed Alex Ferguson as manager in the year 1986. Although Ferguson’s first 4 years were extremely difficult, their FA Cup win in 1990 changed everything. The team won at least 25 major trophies during the next two decades, including about eleven League titles. In the year 1994, Manchester United became the first team to win both the Premier League and the FA Cup. The team then went on to win the FA Cup, Premier League, and UEFA Champions League all at the same time in 1998-1999, making it the first English club to do it. The team maintained its incredible run by defeating Palmeiras to win the club world championship.

Unfortunately, the post-Ferguson from 1986-2013 was a period of decline. None of David Moyes, Ryan Giggs, and the reputable Louis van Gaal, in the manager role, could repeat the successful Ferguson formula

No matter how hard it is to say for me, Manchester United definitely deserve the number one spot on this list for their consistent domestic success with a few ups and downs. Winning 13 Premier League titles, 7 Football League trophies, 12 FA Cups, and 5 League Cups indeed makes them the most successful English club. The current squad has big shoes to fill in if they want to remain on top

Final List

  1. Manchester United FC
  2. Arsenal FC
  3. Chelsea FC
  4. Liverpool FC
  5. Tottenham Hotspur FC
  6. Manchester City FC
  7. Everton FC
  8. Newcastle United
  9. Aston Villa FC
  10. West Ham United FC

Here are my top 5 biggest clubs in England. All of these clubs had extremely memorable golden periods and it was very fun researching on them and learning more about the history of clubs especially in the mid-1900s. That being said, all of these clubs have big big shoes to fill in to match the quality of football their fans expect them to play, especially when clubs like Manchester City are rising extremely quickly. I hope you enjoyed reading and let me know in the comments if you feel a club has not been given the recognition you think it does.

FAN BATTLE 1: MANCHESTER DERBY!

Manchester derby on Sky Sports: Who will land the knockout blow ...

Manchester City versus Manchester United. One of the fiercest rivalry in the history of the Premier League with a history of over 130 years and more than 180 matches against each other. As of now Manchester United has had the lead in victories with 76 wins and City only with 54, but with the acquisition of City by Sheikh Mansour in 2008 there has been quite a turnaround in the squads development and City have been seen to make a turnaround with a total of 11 wins out of the 23 games played after the acquisition. As of now you can say these teams are perceived differently by different people, and that is what today’s post is about. I have bought together 1 fan from each team to share their perspectives of the derby and their club fighting it out with the other fans. This is the first of the series known as Fan Battle where we bring out fans to prove which team has the advantage in what terms.

MEET THE FANS

  • Samarth Bhirani

Samarth is a 15 year old student from Bangalore who has been a supporter of Manchester United for about 5 years now. His interest in United sparked when he got a United jersey for his 8th birthday, got curious and watched a game. From that point he never looked back. His hobbies include playing football and is also on the school team

  • Saarthak Shukla

Saarthak is a 10th grader from Bangalore who as been a supporter of Manchester City due to his admiration of the team’s determination to win. An example being City Vs QPR where, “they didn’t give up, and they had the fighting spirit to win” said by Saarthak. He also loves playing video games and watching sports.

COMPARING THE PLAYERS

Both these teams have a long history and with multiple winning squads, choosing one which you love really tells a lot about the team.

Starting of with United, Samarth says, “Well obviously our treble ’99 team comes to mind. With a solid defense of Schmeichel, the Neville brothers and Irwin, midfield class with Beckham and Scholes, and clinical finishing provided by Yorke and Nistelrooy, it was arguably one of the best teams in history. Honorable mention to ’08 Ronaldo side and the Busby babes of the 50’s”. On the other hand, Saarthak feels the 2012 team of City was their best with Kompany and David Silva in their prime with Aguero in his brilliant opening season of 23 goals in the Prem and who can forget that banger against QPR. If we were to do a player to player comparison, I am assuming United’s starting lineup would be Schmeichel at goal, Neville, Irwin, Johnsen, and Stam playing behind, Beckham, Scholes, Keane, and Giggs at mid. Finally Cole and Dwight Yorke in the front, keeping a 4-4-2 formation as they were seen playing most of the times

Manchester United 1999 vs Manchester City 2019: Which starting XI ...
Most common formation used by the team

Regarding City, their most used lineup was Joe Hart at goal, Clichy, Lescott, Kompany, and Richards in the back. In the center field, Yaya and de Jong are seen as the DMs. As the LM is Samir Nasri and the RM is David Silva. I have put Aguero as the CAM/CF and Dzeko as the CF.

2011-12 Season XIs: Manchester City - Ros54s

GOALKEEPER

Now to show what team is ‘better’, I am only going to compare player’s stats of that season and then rule out the weaker player at that position. Following that I will compare the teams overall stats. Starting with the keepers, Hart vs Schmeichel. Now these 2 had a very good season. Joe Hart kept the most clean sheets in the season with 17 and a save percentage of 76.98%! He only conceded 29 goals in the season in his 3420 minutes of playing averaging 1 goal every 118 minutes only. That’s almost per 1.3 games. In the Prem, Schmeichel had 11 clean sheets out of 34 games with a save percentage of 74%. He conceded 34 goals in his 34 matches played which is a goal per match. Now take in mind this only accounts for his saves in the Premier League. Statistic wise his Champions League was a little disappointing with 16 goals being conceded in 11 games but had 2 clean sheets. All in all you can decide who you think had the upper hand but remember that Schmeichel also captained that treble team so that gives him extra points

DEFENCE

Now it is quite obvious that City’s defence was extremely weak compared to United’s. Although I believe that there is one defender who maybe showed his worth as one of the better defenders than United. That is Vincent Kompany. In the 2011/12 season he was named Player of the Season with a 78% tackle success and especially in one on one duels where he successfully won 118 duels out of 176. Compared to Jaap Stam, these stats competely overrule his. The fact still remains that the other defenders had a better overall role. Special props to Clichy though as he had a 65% tackle percentage and made a 100 clearances in the season. Lescott also played extremely well with a tackle % of 91%. I think you can put Lescott up with Johnsen, but Irwin clearly overrules Clichy.

MIDFIELD

This is going to be quite interesting now as both these teams had an extremely effective midfield that were integral to their plays. First up, Ryan Giggs against Samir Nasri. So both of them were LMs and I will be comparing their goals, crosses and cross accuracy too. Throughout the season, Nsri played a total of 46 matches in all competitions and only scored 6 goals with 9 assists. This could be considered quite disappointing. He did only create 10 big chances and missed 3 out of them. On the other hand, Giggs played a total of 41 matches and scored 10 goals with 4 assists. We can see that Giggs played a more attacking role than Nasri who played the orthodox midfielder. These 2 were very close to each other in terms of stats and I think we can call this a tie. Now, David Silva versus David Beckham. Beckham played 55 matches overall with 17 assists and 9 goals. Now this is a true midfielder! Astonishingly, David Silva racked up 21 assists and 8 goals in his 49 games with 14 big chances created and a 70% tackle success. You may call me unfair, but I think Silva rules Beckham out on this one. Yaya Toure vs Roy Keane. Out of 42 matches played, Yaya scored 9 goals and made 11 assists which is average but he really made up for it in his defensive side with a 73% defence success and that is why you can mainly see him as a DM. Roy Keane though only scored 5 goals in his 55 matches without any assists which is really disappointing. It is quite obvious that Scholes would beat Nigel de Jong who did not make a valuable contribution to the team, while on the other hand Paul Scholes racked up 11 goals and 11 assists in his 55 games and clearly proved himself as the most successful midfielders of the United lot.

ATTACK

So there are 2 main attackers on each side. I will use the same rules to compare them. I will start of with Dzeko and Yorke. Edin Dzeko scored 19 goals in 43 matches with 9 assists as well. Yorke clearly beats him with 29 goals in 52 matches and with 20 assists as well. Thats more than a 50% shot accuracy! Aguero and Cole. Aguero scored 30 goals in his 48 matches that too on his debut season. you have go to give him props for that. Along side that, he made 12 assists. He clearly beats Andy Cole who scored 24 goals in his 50 matches with 7 assists.

THE DREAM TEAM

Here is my version of the dream team. Although I am quite confused between Giggs/Nasri. Let me know down in the comments who should I have put and why :). You can build your own and send them to me too using the website at the bottom of the picture or using this link: https://www.buildlineup.com/

TEAM STAT COMPARISON

Overall, each team played really well. But I am going to just compare their win % throughout the season. Man City had a 69% win by winning 39 games out of 56 in all competitions. Man Utd on the other hand had a 63% win %, winning 39 games out of 62. But you have to give extra credit to United for winning the treble which is really tough while also playing more games against top teams in the UCL when City could not qualify for the Round of 16.

I hope you guys enjoyed this and I aim to make more of these. So, wait for some El Clasico and some Der Klassiker battles from the fans. If you have any other opinion feel free to comment or have any tips on how to improve my content. Big shoutout to https://www.transfermarkt.co.in/ as most of my stats were taken from here and check them out if you want to see more. This has been Ishaan and stay home and stay safe.