Premier League relegation to Premier League winner XI

There’s going to be some heartbreak this weekend after the relegation places are finalised but perhaps the players from the bottom clubs can take heart from this XI, made up from those who suffered relegation from the Premier League but went on to win the title later in their career. Featuring a couple of Liverpool heroes from this season…


Goalkeeper: Thomas Kuszczak
A man with more Premier League titles than De Gea, Seaman, Lehmann, Courtois, Ederson and Alisson, Thomas Kuszczak’s trophy-laden spell with Manchester United must have helped him get over the relegation he suffered with West Brom. The Polish ‘keeper spent the majority of his stay at Old Trafford on the bench, as deputy to Edwin Van der Sar, having previously been the number one goalkeeper at the Hawthorns in the Baggies’ ill-fated 2005/06 campaign under former United hero Bryan Robson.


Right-back: Glen Johnson
Relegated at 18 with West Ham United in 2003, Glen Johnson became a Premier League title winner with Chelsea at 20. The England international made the move to Stamford Bridge shortly after the Hammers dropped down a tier and he continued to play in the top flight throughout his career with Portsmouth, Liverpool and Stoke City. His final season in the Premier League ended in the same fashion as his first; with relegation.


Centre-back: Robert Huth
It seems like an eternity ago now but England boss Gareth Southgate once presided over a Middlesbrough side that finished 19th in the Premier League. German defender Robert Huth was a member of that team, although it was more about the lack of goals rather than goals conceded for ‘Boro in the 2008/09 campaign. Huth continued his top-flight career with some Pulis-ball at Stoke City before moving on to Leicester City…where 2015/16 really happened.


Centre-back: James Milner
There’s always room for James Milner and he’ll have to make do with a centre-back spot in this side. The Yorkshireman has now been a useful member of three Premier League title-winning teams, with his latest victory coming 16 years after he suffered relegation with Leeds United in the 2003/04 season. Just imagine the wild and wacky scenes in the Milner household over the past few weeks following Liverpool’s title win and Leeds’ promotion.


Left-back: Andrew Robertson
Relegated in his first Premier League season, Andrew Robertson bounced straight back into top flight after winning promotion with Hull City in 2016. Unfortunately for the Scotsman, the drop beckoned again after an arduous campaign, although this time Robertson wouldn’t follow the Tigers into the Championship. A move to Liverpool materialised and just three years after his second relegation, Robertson has become a Premier League title winner.


Right wing: Shaun Wright-Phillips
Back in the 2000/01 season, Manchester City finished in 18th place in the Premier League, their fans had never heard of CAS, the Champions League anthem would’ve been welcome and the concept of FFP was far from the lips of the Maine Road faithful. Twenty years is a long time in football. A young Shaun Wright-Phillips was part of the relegated side that campaign and although he helped the Citizens back into the top flight, his finest hour came when he lifted the Premier League title with Chelsea in the 2005/06 season.


Central midfield: Roy Keane
Nottingham Forest fans witnessed a heartbreaking relegation in 1993, with the club slipping into the second tier as iconic boss Brian Clough departed the City Ground. Although he was part of the side that finished bottom in the inaugural Premier League season, Irish great Roy Keane earned himself a spot in the PFA Team of the Year and went on to sign for newly crowned champions Manchester United in the summer. A glittering career saw him win the league seven times with the Red Devils.


Central midfield: Michael Carrick
Carrick’s journey from relegation to title-winner took a little longer than Keane’s but ended in the same way – lifting the Premier League trophy in Manchester United colours. The Geordie-born midfielder went down with West Ham as a fresh-faced 21-year-old in 2003 but won the first of five league titles just four years later. One of Carrick’s former team-mates at Old Trafford also qualifies for this side, with Alan Smith winning the Premier League title with the Red Devils three years after suffering relegation with boyhood club Leeds United.


Left wing: Damien Duff
Just four years after winning the Premier League title, Blackburn Rovers dropped out of the top flight after a terrible 1998/99 campaign. Roy Hodgson lost his job at Ewood Park in November with Brian Kidd taking over but not even the talents of a young Damien Duff could help the new boss keep the side up. After a two-year spell in the second tier at the turn of the century, Rovers returned to the Premier League and Duff impressed enough to earn a move to Chelsea. He won the league twice during his stay at Stamford Bridge.


Attacking midfield: Joe Cole
Paolo Di Canio, Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick, Lee Bowyer, Glen Johnson, David James, Trevor Sinclair, Nigel Winterburn, Les Ferdinand and Joe Cole. Despite the talent on display at Upton Park in the 2002/03 season, West Ham finished in 18th place, although their 42 point haul that campaign would have seen them finish above the current Hammers side. After the relegation, London-born Cole stayed in the capital with Chelsea and won three Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge.


Striker: Michael Owen
Still a sore subject amongst the two former friends, Michael Owen and Alan Shearer seem to have different views on Newcastle United’s Premier League demise in 2009. It had previously seemed unthinkable that the young England debutant and former Ballon d’Or winner would ever be part of a relegated side and Owen wasn’t ever going to part of a rebuilding job in Championship for the Magpies. A surprise move to Manchester United followed and Owen got his hands on the Premier League trophy in the 2010/11 campaign.


James Wiles – whose Instagram has a whole load more XIs