Newcastle United took the Premier League by storm in the 1993/94 season.
Kevin Keegan having saved the club from the third tier when he arrived in February 1992 as manager, then winning the Championship title in his first full season as boss.
That was only the beginning, as his Newcastle team ended up third in the top tier, amassing an impressive 77 points.
However, I was surprised to learn that Keegan’s team don’t reign supreme as best promoted side in their first season up.
Instead, they actually share that title.
The Mail have done the stats and these are the top 10 most successful promoted clubs, in terms of their average points per game return in the first season up in the Premier League:
1.87 Newcastle United 1993/94
1.87 Nottingham Forest 1994/95
1.74 Ipswich 2000/01
1.69 Blackburn 1992/93
1.53 Sunderland 1999/2000
1.45 Reading 2006/07
1.45 West Ham 2005/06
1.37 Charlton 2000/01
1.34 Man City 2002/03
1.34 Wigan 2005/06
1.34 Middlesbrough 1998/99
Yes, turns out Forest did exactly the same as Newcastle, ending up with 77 points over the 42 matches in 1994/95, averaging 1.87 points per match, exactly the same as Keegan’s team a year earlier.
Forest’s season was the last one when you had 22 clubs in the Premier League and 42 matches per season, from 1995/96 onwards it was 20 clubs and 38 games per season. So all of teh other clubs above had their points average over the course of 38 matches.
We can still claim Newcastle edge it though, as whilst Forest scored 72 goals and conceded 43 for a goal difference of +29 in 1994/95, Newcastle under Keegan scored 82 and conceded 41, a GD of +41.
The Mail write up on Newcastle that season:
1=. Newcastle – 1993/94
Points total: 77
Points per game: 1.83
Star player: Andrew Cole
Amid the lauding of Wolves, the most common counter-argument is that they have not yet matched the skill, success and entertainment factor of Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle. Nicknamed ‘The Entertainers’, the Magpies became a major force in the Premier League’s early years on the back of this season, while Cole’s 34 goals in 40 league matches s\w him named Young Player of the Year.
This debate has been sparked by claims from some that Wolves are set to take over from Keegan’s Newcastle side as the best to be promoted, so far they have 15 points from eight PL games, an average of 1.87 points per game, currently sitting seventh in the Premier League.
Early days yet and interesting to see exactly where they are when we get to May.