With the final whistle being blown on The Emirates FA Cup final, so ends the Premier League clubs involvement with competitive football for another year. So lets take a look through all 20 teams and review their season.
Chelsea: When you compare the London outfit to their performance last season, you can see a vast improvement. Going from 10th to champions in under 12 months is a great achievement for Antonio Conte’s men. The 3-4-3 formation switch in October saw the side go a 13 game winning run and straight to the top where they haven’t looked back. Good transfers in the start of the seeing with N’Golo Kante, who has intercepted pretty much every ball and award, Marcos Alonso, David Luiz and Michy Batshuayi have stabilised what looked a rocky ship last term. Despite losing The FA Cup they still had a very good season, but what kind of hole with John Terry leave now he has bowed out? The blues were helped by not having European football so will need to strengthen to cope with those extra games.
Tottenham Hotspur: As a Chelsea fan, the next few words are hard: but Tottenham had a good season. Spurs pushed the blues pretty much all the way and continued on from last season. Going the whole of this term unbeaten at home is no easy feat. With a young squad there is time for them to challenge in the future, but their wage cap may mean some players will be tempted away. Dele Alli has had a very good year in midfield and Harry Kane has retained the golden boot and looks to be going strength to strength. They waved goodbye to the current White Heart Lane as it looks to be redeveloped and will play at Wembley next term where they haven’t performed since its reopening. Maybe they’ll put that to bed after a few matches.
Manchester City: Many people put Pep’s side as champions at the start of the season, the Spaniard had won something in every year he has managed in football, until this one. Third in his first season is still a good accolade, but it cannot be denied that he was recruited to win and challenge in the Champions League. It will be interesting if this were to repeat next year what would happen. However, the emergence of Gabriel Jesus has shown a future for City and have already signed Bernardo Silva form AS Monaco.
Liverpool: Liverpool’s season was one of real mixed fortunes. They started very well and were top and looked to be Chelsea’s main challengers for the league. However, injuries and the Africa Cup of Nations hampered that charge and possible European football. A recovery in the back end meant they ended fourth and Champions League. Klopp will have to strengthen in areas to provide cover and hope to keep a hold of their star players.
Arsenal: The Gunners had their usual season; start well, wobble a bit, recover, wobble and then recover. With much of the season being masked by the Wenger In/Out debate the players looked frustrated (Alexis vs Bournemouth). Despite winning The FA Cup for a record 13th time, some fans are still split on this season as they’ve failed to get Europe’s top competition. With Wenger’s future yet to be announced, it’s hard to see where they’ll be next year.
Manchester United: It’s not often you see a side go 25 games unbeaten, but it was the dullest and moved them from 6th in the league… to sixth. Mourniho’s men still picked up 3 trophies this year, the Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League so in all it was a good season for them. They didn’t play exciting football but got the job done. They are also only the fifth team to have won all of UEFA’s main club competitions: Champions League, Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Cup/Europa League. Their victory also means that England will have five teams in the Champions League so surely someone will get past the quarter-finals?
Everton: The last of the European slots, Everton had a good season on the whole, but poor performances against the top teams and slip ups stopped them really being a threat. The main debate with Everton is will Lukaku and Barkley still be there? They relied heavily on the Belgian forward so will they cope if he was to leave or he stay’s but gets injured? Their defence has also been shaky so recruitment is required, especially with the extra fixtures.
Southampton: 15 points behind Everton lie the south coast side. Despite reaching the EFL Cup final, some fans are calling for Claud Puel to leave their side. In my eye’s he’s done an alright job, seeing that most years their best players and managers seem to leave for bigger things. Getting Gabbiadini was a stroke of class in the January transfer window, the Italian provided more threat up top. Same again next season I recon.
Bournemouth: In their second season in the top flight, Eddie Howe’s side finished level on points with their south coast rivals but behind on goal difference. With the possible transfer of Defoe looking likely, they’ve already looked for next season. Joshua King is also a young star in the making, yes he is 25 but he has a lot of football left in him. A mixed season which saw them flirt with danger and mid-table safety. Think next season they’ll be okay but again, a risky one.
West Bromwich Albion: 10th place for the Baggies, Pulis’ side were that annoying side that caused problems at set pieces and those nippy tackles. They’ll look for more of the same next year as they look to confirm their Premier League status yet again. Despite bing tenth, they were only 5 points off of 17th, just showing how close things can be.
West Ham United: Life in their new home didn’t start well for the hammers and Bilic’s future looked to be in doubt. However, good performances in the cup vs Cheslea and a few good runs in the league kept their safety in the league. Plus the victory over Tottenham to boost the mood in the camp all but assured their safety. Will this inconsistency continue next year?
Leicester City: Last years champions, what a story they had. Despite looking rocky in the league and flirting with relegation, they got the furthest in the Champions League with a quarter-final defeat to Atletico de Madrid. The sacking of Ranieri left a sour taste in many a peoples mouth and their sudden turn around. But that is football, if Shakespeare is given the role full time he has deserved it. The question is will the players who want Champions League football stay? Marhez has been linked with a move away yet again.
Stoke City: A very average season for Stoke this campaign. I don’t have much to say about them because there isn’t much to say. The return of Butland to full fitness and the England side is great and helped them to confirm their Premier League status but it wasn’t really in doubt.
Crystal Palace: What a season for Palace, Pardew sacked in December, former England manager Allardyce taking the helm and confirming their survival in the penultimate match vs Hull City. Big Sam had never been relegated but that looked to change after a poor start with the London club. But a run of good results for them and in their favour with the teams around them, players coming to form at the right time, meant they stayed up. However, they are now looking for another manager with Sam pretty much retiring. They’ll be close to the drop again next year but with the right man they should be alright.
Swansea City: Normally, having three managers throughout the year spell a bad result for a side, however, Paul Clement steadied them. First, Francesco Guidolin treid to continue where he left off from the previous year but that was not the case. Next in was the first American to manager in England’s top flight. Former US head coach Bob Bradley tried to pick the side up. A what can be described as a mental match vs Palace for his first win looked to boost the club. But he only lasted 2 months before former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich assistant coach took charge. Clever transfers kept the Welsh side up but will be a challenge again to keep them up next year.
Burnley: At home, Burnley were good. They were hard to break down and broke to full affect to get the goal. However, away from home was a totally different story. They looked a shadow of that side and it nearly cost them. Thankfully there were three worse teams than them. Next year though that will have to change. Good sides coming up in my eyes see Burnley going down.
Watford: Walter Mazzarri was an Italian manager with pedigree, coming to the Premier League I expected better. He kept the side up but his future was decided before the final game, he was to leave with Watford looking for yet another manager. Watford have had a mixed season. They have played well and not got the results or played poorly and somehow earn something. They need consistency both on and off the pitch otherwise they will face to drop next year. They have already announced Marco Silva will be their new man but there are two questions: Will he keep them up and will he last longer than a season?
Hull City: The first of the relegated sides, a manager merry-go-round too with Steve Bruce leaving before the start, Mike Phelan being manager of the month then being sacked and Marco Silva, who tried to rescue the team but is now at Watford. Their relegation was confirmed in the penultimate round of fixtures but the damage was done at the start of the campaign. Will they come back up, not in my opinion. They’ll need to hold onto their main players and find a manager who knows the Championship to help them navigate it.
Middlesborough: When a single player scores more than an entire side, you can expect a poor season. That is what happened, Harry Kane scored more than ‘Boro this term. The side couldn’t seem to make up their mind on what they were going to do at times, ie defend or ship a load of goals. Also without a permanent manager after sacking Karanka in March they’ll need to find someone experienced in getting them out of the lower league.
Sunderland: Well, what can be said about Sunderland that hasn’t already been said? David Moyes even admitted in the second week of the season that they’ll be facing a relegation battle. After 10 years in the top devision they went down for the fourth time, an unwanted record. They certainly won’t be doing what their rivals Newcastle have done and that is bounce straight back up. Defoe showed a little glimmer of keeping the side up but he looks to be on his way to Bournemouth and several other players look to be out the door too. The Sunderland role is a poison chalice, who will go for it? I certainly wouldn’t risk my career on it.