So it’s over, twenty teams have played all of their thirty-eight games and now there is calm. The celebrations have ended, the commiseration endured and the managers done away with. So now it’s time to reflect on a Premier League seasons that some will say has been the best in a decade. In the next parts I will go alphabetically through every team so that no bias is given.
The stage is set for Arsenal to take the title, with players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the squad they looked to be very strong contenders to not just get their usual fourth spot but maybe to win the trophy which they haven’t lifted since the invincibles in 2003-2004. The only weak point seemed to be the striker. Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck were the main strikers in a team which had a world-class midfield and a leading defence. However Arsene Wenger decided that no striker was available and put belief in his two under-performing attackers. The Gunners had top spot by the end of 2015 and many backed them to go all the way with Leicester City and Tottenham predicted to drop off and teams like Manchester City and United looking well below par. Young players like Alex Iwobi brought hope for the future as well as the zippy Hector Bellerin. However the curse struck again, with injuries and neither of their centre forwards smashing in the goals the gunners looked to be finishing below Tottenham creating huge pressure for Arsene Wenger. However a capitulation by Spurs somehow brought a second place finish for the Gunners which, a few weeks before-hand, seemed impossible.
Final position – 2nd
So the season begins with Tim Sherwood’s coming off a trip to Wembley in the FA cup final. Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke have both left but with some fresh faces such as Rudy Gestede and Scott Sinclair have come into fill the void. The future doesn’t look dire but they were never going to shock people. But they did. With two managerial departures and players looking as if they would prefer to be anywhere but Villa Park. They were close to the worst premier league season of all time with only six more points than Derby City’s now infamous season in 2007-2008.
Final position – 20th
Newly promoted Bournemouth looked set for a scrap to stay up and the season met those expectations. With a major injury to main striker Callum Wilson coming early in the season some may have thought they were doomed, but with Eddie Howe’s determination they managed to survive slightly comfortably, five points above the drop in their first trip to the top flight in their history.
Final position – 16th
Jose Mourinho took helm of Chelsea attempting to retain the Premier league title once again. However the season did not pan out the way anyone would have seen coming. With a physio’s actions being questioned and Jose losing the dressing room, the manager was sacked after leaving the champions near the relegation zone and blaming his players for poor form. Players such as Eden Hazard and Diego Costa seemed more like imitations of themselves rather than the destroyer of defences we had seen the season before. Guus Hidink took over to stop the rot and bring some stability. Hidink’s efforts were not in vain as he took them to mid table after being left just above the relegation zone in December.
Final position – 10th
Alan Pardew took charge for his second season at his former playing club with what seemed a bright future. Players such as Bolasie and Yohan Cabaye looked like leading players for any team and a solid position seemed attainable with big wins against teams like Chelsea and Liverpool. However having had great form through the new years they stopped dead in their tracks. After being unbeaten in six before 2016, as soon as the new year started they lost five games in a row including losses against Aston Villa. Alan Pardew seemed to be on thin ice but managed to squeeze through and helped the club to survive comfortably five points above the drop.
Final position – 15th
Roberto Martinez took charge with a team which looked to be aiming for possible top four. Romelu Lukaku and John Stones being young talents that could lead the club to glory. Romelu Lukaku looked to be up to the task as he finished off-chance after chance to finish on twenty-five goals for the season. However John Stones and the Everton defence managed to concede more goals than their striker could score, leading to Martinez’s departure before the end of the season. A very under-whelming season for The Toffees that will probably result in their favourite Belgian leaving in the summer.
Final postion – 11th
What to say about Leicester? I’m not sure there’s much more to be said. Favourites to go down at the start, champions at the end. An ultimate fairy tale which will probably never be repeated. A team of rejects and has-beens and a manager who managed to lose to the Faroe Islands. Every player played their part beautifully from Schmeichel to Vardy. Ranieri went from the tinker man to the man who said ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. And it paid off. The Leicester City fans will never forget this season or these players and everybody at Leicester deserves what they have achieved.
Final position – 1st
Jurgen Klopp took over the Kop in October after Brendan Rogers’ failed attempts the previous season to replicate and beat their famous slip-up season. Klopp brought enthusiasm and a new playing style to Liverpool and looks like their manager for the next few years with a Europa League runners-up medal to show for their season. For a transitional season they showed some good quality and finished in a modest position. I’m sure the fans will be looking forward to next season.
Final position – 8th
Manchester City looked like one of the favourites for the premier league title this season but ended up lucky to qualify for the champions league. With a squad with players such David Silva, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany they looked strong but ended up being very weak. The news of Pep Guardiola coming to the Etihad Stadium seemed to rest on the player’s minds as they seemed to slow down towards the end of the season, some players such as Toure seemed to stop caring as he walked around in games looking disinterested. I’m sure the future is bright for City with Guardiola coming to the club he will surely help them to better than fourth.
Final position – 4th
Louis Van Gaal took charge for his second season with Champions League football achieved in the season previous. This season saw big transfers of players such as Memphis Depay looking to light up the Premier league some fans would have imagined a title challenge was on the cards. Those fans would become very disappointed. From elimination in the group stage of the Champions League and then elimination by Liverpool in the Europa League LVG looked under pressure. With some extremely poor football and a major lack of goals the season was a dud except for the FA cup which they managed to win. Young talent of Rashford and Martial show a bright future for the red devils and many fans will hope that Mourinho can bring success back to Old Trafford.
Final position – 5th