Managers in the Premier League are currently battling their responsibilities to win and win in style, with fans of several of England's top clubs expecting to be delighted as well as pleased with results. Throughout the years, however, we’ve seen many managers struggle to find the balance between performances and points, with this list of teams providing rather more style than substance.
This feature is a salute to the most iconic ‘neutral’s favourites’, here are five wonderfully entertaining Premier League teams that never really amounted to anything materialistic:
1) Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle, 1993-1997
Keegan's team was dubbed the "Great Entertainers" for a reason, finishing third in their first season after a triumphant return to the Premier League, only for Andy Cole's prolific abilities to be transferred to Manchester United. Newcastle, on the other hand, rebuilt and a team with Les Ferdinand's goals and David Ginola's star power played out a dramatic 1995/96 season, racing to a 12-point lead at the top before collapsing, with Keegan's infamous "I would love it" tirade engraved into Premier League legend.
The Magpies were brilliantly gelling in an all-out-attacking 4-4-2 style, their offensive brilliance and defensive ignorance costing them the crown but presenting Premier League neutrals with a wealth of experiences, especially that thrilling 4-3 defeat at Liverpool.
2) O’Leary’s Leeds, 1998 – 2002
Leeds was a fantastically exciting and competitive team, with David O'Leary's arrival at Elland Road resulting in the promotion of numerous young talents who would go on to play in a successful – though trophy-less – era.
At the turn of the century, Harry Kewell, Alan Smith, and Jonathan Woodgate shone for the Whites, before the signings of Mark Viduka and a youthful Rio Ferdinand saw Leeds fight with the best at home and abroad.
3) Arsenal post the golden PL, 2007-12
The Gunners' failure to reproduce their former glory, their transitions exciting but often unstable, opened a new era after the famed Invincibles side broke down.
The technical prowess of players like Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, and Samir Nasri drew neutrals in, but the team's skill couldn't overcome for a lack of mettle, and trophy runs remained elusive. The Gunners would go on a lengthy and bitter trophy drought between 2005 and 2014 when they were unbeatable on their best days and indecipherable on their worst.
4) Harry Redknapp’s Spurs, 2009-2012
Tottenham's prospects improved tremendously after the appointment of Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane, with the club qualifying for the Champions League for the first time and owning a side brimming with attacking prowess. Spurs' reckless approach was mostly defined by a peak Gareth Bale, the Welsh winger at his marauding best, establishing himself as one of the best players in the world. Luka Modric also knitted the midfield together. A thrilling 4-4 draw at Arsenal and a 9-1 hammering of Wigan were two of Spurs' most memorable scenes.
Also Read | Longest unbeaten runs in Premier League history
5) Liverpool, 2013/14
Pre-Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers inched near than just about any other Liverpool manager to end the club's lengthy wait for a Premier League title, with a productive attacking partnership between Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
The two strikers complemented each other superbly to conclude as the Premier League's top scorers, with Liverpool scoring over a century goal.
The rising talents of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho complemented Liverpool's 'SAS' attack combo, while Steven Gerrard was reborn as a deep-lying playmaker to finish as the division's leading assist provider.
But they were pretty shallow defensively, and that's where they lost their games, including the league.
Must Read | Top 10 Ballon D’Or Contenders 2021