By 90Min
July 25, 2018

Now that relegation from the Premier League has fully sunk in for West BromStoke and Swansea, the respective clubs and fans alike will all be looking to the upcoming Championship season brimming with confidence.

It's a strange feeling, isn't it (presuming most reading this will be fans of the three sides)? You go from challenging the likes of Manchester City one season to entertaining Rotherham United the next. A walk in the park, right?

There is, understandably, a huge expectancy on the relegated trio, especially considering how well both Newcastle and Burnley have done in recent years regarding the drop into the second tier and their immediate return (and success upon being back in the Premier League). Fans will look to that and think "yeah, we can replicate it,". 

There's every chance you could; hold onto some key players - much like the Potters have done with Joe Allen - invest your money wisely, and put faith in the coaching staff and management to steer the team in the right direction. But the cases of Newcastle and Burnley were special.

With the Magpies, they kept hold of Rafa Benitez, sold assets at the maximum price and used money wisely - ensuring that a lot of star players remained on Tyneside. From there it was a case of letting Rafa do his thing, and of course it worked; it's Rafa Benitez.

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For Burnley, they trusted Sean Dyche in what he was doing; gave him the freedom to shape his squad, tinker with it - knowing full well that the team that had originally earned promotion into the top flight for the Clarets was there (having only been promoted the season before they were relegated). That faith and experience laid the foundation for their current success.

In Swansea's, West Brom's and Stoke's cases, they have none of that. All three sides have an abundance of dead wood lurking within the playing staff, all three sides have been living the lavish lifestyle of Premier League football for years with no experience of what the drop will actually entail, and all three sides have changed manager since relegation (we're counting Darren Moore because let's be honest, the Baggies were already down when he was appointed).

As a result of this, yes, the three teams may have been playing top tier football last term, and will genuinely expect to be challenging for the title this year, but there is so much work to do that going back up in the first time of asking can definitely be catastrophic in the long run.

Remember the likes of QPR, Norwich, Birmingham and Sunderland - who all fell victim to that bounce effect of fluctuating between the Championship and Premier League (granted, Sunderland took a little longer to strike out than the rest, but look where they are now).

There is no quick fix like there was for Burnley and Newcastle. There is no stability in any of the relegated teams. Going straight back up is more likely than not going to result in another plummet back down.

Wolves are a classic example of what these sides need to do (apart from the whole relegation into League One part). When they went down in 2012, they were a mess of a club. Over at Molineux, they sat down, realised a change was needed - it may have taken them until a year later when they were relegated again - and eventually sought to fix it.

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Now this doesn't mean Swans, Stoke and Brom (shortening these, because it's taking too long to type all three names out every time; in fact, from here on out, they shall be referred to as SSB) all need to be taken over by a wealthy businessmen and gain a super agent like Jorge Mendes amongst their ranks, but they need that time to fix.

Clear dead wood, recruit smart (notice how Swansea are heading for 'the Swansea Way' in terms of both playing and coaching staff - this is very much a step in the right direction), and have patience.

The Premier League is going nowhere - the top six will remain the top six for a long time. The only worry that any of SSB should have is another relegation. 

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The fans want comfort, after years of worry they just want to watch their team win again. They want optimism, that winning feeling, pride in their team. Wolves fans are barmy at the moment, and it's because of years of hard work to get back to where they once were.

Nothing will be changed overnight. Sure, by all means you can hope for promotion, but be wary of what that will actually entail in the long run.

Of course, any of the three can defy this belief and go on to win the Champions League in the next five years; but realistically, it's a very tough ask (to pull off the Burnley/Newcastle great escape, let alone become Champions of Europe).

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