To be a bottom team means, in reference to a team or athlete, to occupy the last place in the standings of a competition. In the world of football, the bottom team is the one that is at the bottom of its respective league.
The First Division of football in Spain, better known as La Liga Santander, is made up of twenty teams, which play against each other twice each season. The final standings are established on the basis of the total points scored by each team at the end of the season. The bottom three teams, i.e. the three teams at the bottom of the table, will be relegated directly to the Second Division, while the four teams at the bottom of the table will be relegated directly to Second Division B.
This system of competition is used in the professional leagues, but also in the non-professional leagues, where the number of bottom teams relegated may vary. For example, in the Second Division B, a total of eighteen teams are relegated to the Third Division, sixteen of which are the direct relegation of the four bottom teams in each group, and the other two are the result of a play-off between the fifth bottom teams in each group.
Possible reasons why a football team ends up at the bottom of the table
- There are a number of reasons why a team may be bottom of the table. The following are some of the most common ones:
- The configuration of the squad: when the team does not have the right players, or they simply do not get along with each other, this can lead to the team not working well together and this can have a negative impact on their play on the football pitch.
- Instability: if the club has internal problems, this can influence the team, which will be reflected on the pitch. Even sometimes, if the coach has to be absent for some reason, this absence can cause instability in the group.
- The referees: sometimes the performance of the referees can determine the course of a match. Just like any human being, they can make mistakes, but in their case they can signal fouls and even penalties without them having been committed, either because they had a bad perspective of the play or because of the wrong warning from one of their assistants. Such errors can wreak havoc if the wronged team is one of the bottom teams in the standings and salvation is at stake in that match.
- Injuries: these can take their toll on the squad. Sometimes even players in the same position are injured almost simultaneously, which means that the team cannot play at full capacity and ends up at the bottom of the table.
- Goals conceded: sometimes the team fails to keep a clean sheet, conceding several goals per game.
- Drought: if, in addition to conceding goals, the team is unable to score them, their problems get worse.
- Failure to win away: there are periods in which a team fails to win away games, which means that it stops picking up points and drops to the bottom of the table.
- Players in poor form: whether due to physical problems or psychological problems, some of the team’s players, those from whom great things were expected during the season, fail to play at their best.
- Disciplinary problems: the lack of attitude of certain members of the team, which can occur at various stages of a season, can affect the performance of the whole team.
- The coach: When a team is at the bottom of the table, the coach is often not blameless. Sometimes, both the club and the fans show their dissatisfaction with the coach, which can even lead to his dismissal.