We decided to review the Premiership which finished in a blaze of goals last week by giving marks out of ten to how each team did in the league over the course of the season. We’ll start off with the newly crowned champions Chelsea and review the top 5 to begin with.
1st. Chelsea. 9 out of 10. Absolutely mesmerising at times and incredibly solid playing the 3-5-2 formation with the two wing backs. After a dreadful campaign in the previous season where they came 10th, new manager Antonio Conte, the former Italy manager decided after a tepid opening half dozen games of the season to revert from a 4-4-2 formation to 3-5-2 and Chelsea were outstanding. Players like Victor Moses came in from the cold and was rejuvenated as a right wing back. Marcus Alonso came in and was as solid as a rock while Pedro was a given a chance and took it with both hands. Eden Hazard in midfield was a revelation after a poor 2015/2016 season and defender David Luiz was phenomenal sweeping up anything that came his way. Gary Cahill was the rock at the back with Courtois brilliant in goal and up front Diego Costa was the goal scoring pantomime villain as ever. Some players had to make way for this system such as Oscar who was surplus to requirements for the Blues and was sold in the winter to join the Chinese league for silly money, about £50 million depending on where you read the story. John Terry was dropped but played a few games here and there and the fall guy sadly was Willian who had to make way and spent most of the season on the subs bench. Virtually unstoppable they only lost 2 matches after reverting to the new system at Manchester United and at home to Crystal Palace in what was probably just a bad day at the office. They don’t get a mark of ten as they had a poor start to the campaign but their consistency shone through.
2nd. Spurs. 9 out of 10. A fantastic year in the Premiership Spurs ended it in the runners up spot demolishing previous Champions Leicester City 6-1 away at Leicester and then bettered that feat with a 7-1 thumping of Hull City again away at the King Power Stadium. The team looked cohesive, the team played exciting football with Golden Boot Winner Harry Kane smashing 29 goals in 30 games. Delle Ali was superb in the middle of the park ably assisted by Christian Eriksen while Son Heung-min was on fire in the second half of the season. The defence looked in good nick and there is little to take away from this Spurs team definitely on the up. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has moulded a Spurs team into winners and with the nucleus of Ali, Eriksen, Loris, Heung-min and Kane they should go far if a) they can handle Wembley next season while White Hart Lane is rebuilt, b) they sign one marquee signing and c) they can hang on to diamonds like Kane and Ali.
3rd. Manchester City. 7 out of 10. A very disappointing year for Pep Guardiola as for the first season as a manager he failed to win anything for the first time. In the league they will constantly inconsistent and missed Vincent Kompany more than ever through injury. In the summer Pep will make changes but his team let him down this season. At times Pep looked exceedingly unhappy throughout the campaign and gave more than one curt interview to the press. It is an ageing team but at no point did City look to be fighting for the title and they were eventually 15 points short of champions Chelsea. In fact they only qualified for the Champions League with the last game of the season demolishing Watford 5-0 in the process. There will be changes made with up to half a dozen players to be released but thy should try and keep hold of Sergio Aguero who is still one of the best strikers in the Premiership and was surprisingly underplayed this season but expect some new faces around next season.
4th. Liverpool. 7 out of 10. Jurgen Klopp will be pleased to have achieved the final Champions League spot with the last game of the season however there wasn’t much else for him to shout about as Liverpool had a dreadful January and February to scupper any chance of a top two position. They need reinforcements in the form of a goalkeeper, a left back and a striker. James Milner did a sterling job as left back but it’s not his natural position. Like Manchester City, the Reds were really inconsistent this term and they need to shore up the defence. Having Sadio Mane back from injury will help up front but Liverpool lost too many games to the smaller clubs. Very much a frustrating season for the fans, Klopp will look at this season as a stepping stone to better things and attempt to find that strength and desire missing this year from players who just disappeared from games.
5th. Arsenal. 6 out of 10. If it was a school report it would say ‘can do better’. Arsene Wenger’s troops missed out on the Champions League for the first time in 20 years so what went wrong? Giroud was left on the bench for too long in too many games and should have been a starter. Sanchez had a funny spell where he looked like he was going to cry when substituted and threw his toys out of the pram once too often. Bellerin at the back was diabolical at times and rather than drop him Wenger threw him a lifeline but he still wasn’t much cop. Ozil drifted in and out of games like a north sea trawler and went completely a.w.o.l. at times. Yes he did provide some great assists but the guy forgets to help his team mates and doesn’t give 100%. He is an expensive liability. Arsenal’s season was summed up by Aaron Ramsey in the last minute of Arsenal’s last game of the season. He scored a peach of a goal from outside the box against Everton. Believe it or not, it was his first goal of the season. All too little, all too late. The question is will Arsene Wenger stay or go? We shall find out this coming weekend.