(S3E5 spoilers below)
As writers on the series, Jason Sudeikis (Ted), Brett Goldstein (Roy) and Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard) have always stressed that Ted Lasso isn't a show about soccer, it's a show about these characters who just so happen to be involved in the running of a professional soccer club.
I totally get it — you're not supposed to let what you know about the actual professional game affect how you enjoy a comedy-drama. So when defeat to Manchester City at the end of S3E5 left Richmond with only six wins from their opening 16 games, it wasn't hard for me to grasp that the result wasn't of much importance, it was Ted's stirring post-match speech that foreshadowed things to come.
"Envy, fear, shame... I don't wanna mess around with that shit anymore." That was beautiful.
And yet ... I just can't help myself!
There's a part of me that won't accept suggestions of playing a "False 9" when you've got Jamie Tartt, Dani Rojas and Zava in the same starting lineup — I don't care how many times you've read Jonathan Wilson's Inverting The Pyramid.
So when the episode began with LIV Golf's Arlo White talking about how Richmond hadn't won a match in seven weeks (and this was before the City loss), I immediately remembered Ted's promise to Rebecca at the end of Season 1 that Richmond would earn promotion and then promptly "win the whole fucking thing."
Is this even possible after beginning a Premier League season with six wins, six draws and four defeats after 16 games? As we can deduce off this table shown before the City game, Richmond remain in ninth-place but now trail the Cityzens by 16 points (and Nate's West Ham could actually be 17 clear by now).
Historically speaking, Richmond basically have to win their final 22 matches. This would shatter the record for the longest Premier League winning streak (Man City and Liverpool have both won 18).
But if they rattle off 22 straight victories, they'll finish with 90 points. Here's where a 90-point haul would land them in each of the last seven Premier League seasons.
- 2021-22: Richmond finish third behind Man City (93 points) and Liverpool (92)
- 2020-21: Richmond win the EPL, Man City finish second (86 points)
- 2019-20: Richmond finish second behind Liverpool (99 points)
- 2018-19: Richmond finish third behind Man City (98 points) and Liverpool (97)
- 2017-18: Richmond finish second behind Man City (100 points)
- 2016-17: Richmond finish second behind Chelsea (93 points)
- 2015-16: Richmond win the EPL, Leicester City finish second (81 points)
So even if they earn maximum points from here on out, it'd only be good enough for the title in two of the last seven seasons.
Obviously Richmond's inspiration in real life is 2015-16 Leicester City, but the Foxes capitalized on a season where Arsenal finished second with only 71 points (Ted Lasso's Man City have already got 40 points from 16 matches).
What makes more sense — especially since Rebecca has effectively made zero moves in the transfer market over two summers — is Richmond suffering relegation back to the Championship and Ted losing his job (although for a newly promoted team they're still doing really, really well). The second-half of the season promises more drama with rematches against City and West Ham.