Football clubs are generally in one of three stages at any one time: crisis, reboot or stable.

It’s amazing how quickly they can flit from one stage to the next; the sport is cyclical, and some can complete the transition inside a few years—then fall back to the first stage again almost without warning.

Clubs of all shapes and sizes go through these cycles. The elite are not immune.

Here, B/R Football has used the pause in action to profile five sides whose fortunes and prospects have greatly improved over the last 12 months. Whether they were in crisis or reboot, they’re now rapidly heading for that coveted “stable” tag.

Some clubs who are progressing well have missed out on this list because there’s only room for five, but typically speaking, if they’re not here, it’s because they’re doing the opposite of what we’re looking for (sliding, like Barcelona) or barely presenting a pulse (Tottenham Hotspur).

For the purpose of all of sanity, this article assumes the 2019-20 season will resume and outstanding Champions League games will be played—otherwise we’ll be lost in the ifs and buts. Continue reading

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