The entertainers – Town named as one of the most entertaining sides in Premier League history
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town have been named as one of the most entertaining teams in the Premier League this century. Mark Heath explains why - and where they rank.
The Premier League has given us some unforgettable footballing moments and teams since the turn of the century.
That Arsenal ‘invincibles’ team, the ‘Aguerooooo!’ title winning goal for Manchester City, all those dominant Manchester United sides under Sir Alex Ferguson and even this season’s sublime wining machine at Liverpool.
But, according to a recent study, Ipswich Town are right up there as one of the most entertaining sides the top league has seen.
The study, conducted by spread betting firm Spreadex, has Town in the seventh spot, just behind Spurs and ahead of the likes of Everton, Leicester City, Newcastle United and Aston Villa.
In contrast, bitter rivals Norwich City are all the way down in 31st spot.
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How it works
The ranking is based on the Team Performance betting make-up of every match played by every team in the Premier League over the past 20 seasons.
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Teams are awarded points in each match played based on: 25 points for winning the match, 10 points for drawing, 0 for losing, 15 points per goal scored, 10 points for a clean sheet, 3 per corner taken, -5 for each yellow card received and -15 for any red card.
Town, who have only played in the Premier League for two seasons in that time, finished with an average points score of 45.26.
Manchester United, as one might expect, top the table with 60.22.
The top ten
United sit top, followed by Liverpool on 58.91 and Arsenal on 58.70.
Chelsea (58.66) and Manchester City (55.39) complete the top five.
Then it’s Tottenham (49.20), Town and Everton (43.52).
Leeds United (42.21) and recent title winners Leicester City (41.24) round out the top 10.
Spreadex spokesman Andy MacKenzie said: “Manchester United may not have won the league since 2011, but the dominance of the Alex Ferguson sides before then ensures they are still the most entertaining team of the Premier League in the past 20 years.
“Man City on the other hand are counting the cost of some poor seasons at the start of the millennium before the arrival of their new owners in 2008 and sit just fifth in the overall table.
“Ipswich Town are perhaps the main surprise being the seventh most entertaining team in the top flight since 2000 despite having only spent two seasons in the Premier League in this time.”
Best single seasons
MacKenzie added: “When looking at most entertaining teams over a single season, the Man City title-winning teams of 2017-18 and 2018-19 top the charts with whopping average scores of 82.55 and 81.68 respectively.
“Chelsea’s champions of 2009-10 are third with an average score of 77.97 while Liverpool’s current table-topping side are fourth with an average score of 76.66 although of course they potentially have another nine games to go to improve upon this.
“Arsenal’s Invincibles posted just an average of 60.95 – not even putting them in the top 10 of best-ever sides over a single season and the only title-winning sides to record lower average scores were Leicester in 2015-16 (57.13 points) and Chelsea in 2014-15 (59.42).”
Town, of course, are in this lofty position largely due to their record-setting season having won promotion back in 2000/01.
Tipped to go straight back down, they went on to finish an incredible fifth in the Premier League in the next campaign, led by the 21 goals of Marcus Stewart and an incredible team ethos with players like skipper Matt Holland, Jim Magilton, Fabian Wilnis, James Scowcroft and Hermann Hreidarsson.
They flirted with the top three for much of the season, but still qualified for the UEFA Cup by virtue of their eventual fifth spot.
George Burley was named manager of the year, unsurprisingly.
Still entertaining - even in relegation
Town couldn’t keep the dream going the next season which, despite signing the likes of Finidi George and Matteo Sereni, saw them relegated.
But even in going down, they were still good to watch - the Spreadex study has them as the second-most entertaining side to get relegated.
Blackpool’s 2010/11 squad top that list, with Reading in 2007/08 third behind the Blues.
And Town still managed to qualify for Europe again - getting back in the UEFA Cup via the fair play ranking!
Full ranking - most entertaining Premier League sides of the century
1: Manchester United - 60.22
2: Liverpool- 58.91
3: Arsenal - 58.70
4: Chelsea - 58.66
5: Manchester City - 55.39
6: Tottenham Hotspur - 49.20
7: Ipswich Town - 45.26
8: Everton - 43.52
9: Leeds United - 42.21
10: Leicester City - 41.24
11: Reading - 40.40
12: Southampton - 40.06
13: Blackpool - 39.71
14: Newcastle United - 38.65
15: Charlton Athletic - 38.30
16: Aston Villa - 38.26
17: Blackburn Rovers - 37.69
18: Swansea City - 36.84
19: West Ham United - 36.82
20: Bolton Wanderers - 36.71
21: Crystal Palace - 35.92
22: Fulham - 35.85
23: Portsmouth - 35.79
24: Wolves - 35.00
25: Sheffield United - 34.32
26: Middlesbrough - 33.76
27: Birmingham City - 32.89
28: Wigan Athletic - 32.59
29: West Brom - 32.30
30: Stoke City - 32.23
31: Norwich City - 31.65
32: Burnley - 31.06
33: Watford - 30.89
34: Sunderland - 29.46
35: Cardiff City - 28.97
36: Coventry City - 28.37
37: Queens Park Rangers - 28.09
38: Hull City - 27.01
39: Bradford City - 25.84
40: Derby County - 22.82
41: Huddersfield Town - 21.86