My EPL 2015/2016 Review

What a unique Premier League season we have had; who would have thought Leicester City would be crowned champions of England at season’s end. Be that as it may; it still doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a poor Premier League season particularly in the area of goal scoring. If you compare the top five leagues; you would see that the Premier League’s top scorers (Manchester City) have the worst return compared to other top scorers in Spain with Barcelona and Real doing over 100 goals; Paris Saint Germain also edging past the century of goals mark in France with Roma scoring 83 goals; Dortmund topped Germany with 82 goals and even the Eredivisie duo of Ajax and PSV racked up more than 80 goals.

I would be taking a look at each team’s performance compared to what position was predicted as their finishing position in our season preview written by @tolushotade. Just in case you are not a fan of reading; you can click here for the video review.

240652FA00000578-2876623-Bournemouth_manager_Eddie_Howe_has_steered_his_side_to_the_summi-a-2_1418771752884

AFC Bournemouth

A lot of credit goes to Eddie Howe and the way he managed his Bournemouth team’s maiden campaign in the Premier League staying true to their style and making some really good buys in Max Gradel and Benik Afobe, whilst also getting some really good results on the way to confirming survival early against the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. Next Season would be even tougher for the lads from the south coast.

Finishing Position: 16th

Predicted Finishing Position: 18th (Relegation)

Arsenal FC

If there was a season that most felt Arsenal were good enough to win the league title, it was this one, but in typical Arsenal fashion; February came along, Champions League elimination was confirmed and so the league form followed suit; thus ending Arsenal’s charge for the title. You would be forgiven if you thought different by simply looking at the table and seeing the Gunners finished in second place, but the reality is that they were never a factor in the title race.

Finishing Position: 2nd

Predicted Finishing Position: Champions

Aston Villa

Disappointing season for the midlands club; Three Managers during the course of the season didn’t help their campaign as it went from one turbulence to another and the fans turned on the team and the owner. I had felt Villa had recruited well with the signings of Micah Richards, Jordans Ayew, Veretout and Amavi; but to no end, Villa were sitting ducks even before the Christmas festivities came by.

Finishing Position: 20th (Relegated)

Predicted Finishing Position: Expected to survive

John-terry

Chelsea

Talk about the worst campaign by a defending champion in the history of the league; this Chelsea side made Manchester United under David Moyes look good. Jose Mourinho had to be let go after over seeing a very toxic atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. In came Guus Hiddink; Abrahimovic’s Mr Fix it to steady the ship; which he did, blooded some fresh talent and led the return to form of some of Chelsea’s leading lights.

Finishing Position: 10th

Predicted Finishing Position: Top Four

Crystal Palace

Palace under Pardew punched above their weight in the first half of the season and European qualification was been clamoured four and you know what they say about water; palace found their level and were almost sucked into the relegation battle.Qualification for the FA Cup Final should deliver some much needed end of season cheer.

Everton

After the promise of Champions League football by Roberto Martinez on his appointment; Everton have continued to deteriorate in each season after a fifth place finish in the manager’s first season. A defense that struggled to keep it together and have a sustained period of fitness was the main catalyst to the demise of the Spaniard.

Finishing Position: 11th

Predicted Finishing Position: Top Eight

Liverpool

After the sacking of Brendan Rogers; the Reds season has taken a turn for the better as Jurgen Klopp arrived in a blaze of glory, renewing the spirit at Anfield and the enthusiasm of the Players. A Capital one cup final defeat to Manchester City and a huge chance at making it to the Champions League with victory in the Europa League Final against Sevilla; the Anfield faithful couldn’t have asked for a better end of season.

Finishing Position: 8th

Predicted Finishing Position: Top Eight

lc

Leicester City

Champions of England; who would ever have thought that Leicester City, a team that barely escaped relegation the previous season would go all the way this season. Credit must go to Claudio Ranieri and the work he’s done at the King Power Stadium; he took over with much criticism from every one; me included and they went out to prove every one wrong. The likes of Jamie Vardy, Wes Morgan and Andy King; who have had to come through the lower divisions to get to the Premier League is an exceptional story and stuff of dreams.

Finishing Position: Champions

Predicted Finishing Position: 20th

Manchester City

If you saw Manchester City in the first six games or so of the season; you may have been guilty of handing they the title so early in the season; but the Citizens just fell off and struggled with injuries as the games came thick and fast; particularly with the injuries to Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero at various periods of the season. Another, sticky point for City had to be the announcement of Pep Guardiola in February as their manager from next season; this led to a period of poor form; however Pellegrini has set a bench mark of a minimum of a Semi final berth in the Champions League and at least a trophy.

Finishing Position: 4th

Predicted Finishing Position: Top Four

Manchester United

It was a mixed season for Manchester United; coupled with a bomb threat. The performance of the team has divided the fans with a section calling for the sack of Louis Van Gaal and a change in the overall outlook of the team. On the positive side has to be the fact that 14 academy players got first team berths this season; United finished with the joint best defense in the League along with Spurs and  a Cup Final to look forward too.

Finishing Position: 5th

Predicted Finishing Position: Top Four

benitex

Newcastle United

The problems at Newcastle are well documented; I strongly feel they could have made a decision on the position of Steven Mclaren early on and should not have waited till it remained less than 10 games to save their season. The appointment of Rafa Benitez galvanized the team and the city; but it was too little to late, a win at already relegated Aston Villa could have changed it all; but played into the hands of city rivals Sunderland to enable them escape relegation.

Finishing Position: 18th

Predicted Finishing Position: Should stay clear of relegation.

Norwich City

Alex Neal’s side’s major problem was finding a goal scorer; Cameron Jerome is not Premier League quality, the signing of Mbokani and Naismith didn’t change the situation either; despite a late rally, the Canaries could not avoid the drop to the Championship.

Finishing Position: 19th

Predicted Finishing Position: 19th

Southampton

The saints had a slow start to the season as they were knocked out of Europe early coupled with an injury to Ronald Koeman; it also took a while for some of their signings to settle in, but big results against Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City are major highlights of their season.

Finishing Position: 6th

Predicted Finishing Position: Top Eight

Stoke City

Stoke City’s dreams of finishing in the European places disappeared quite early, but you must commend the job Mark Hughes is doing in the Potteries as well as the signings they have made in the last three windows. The Britannia continues to be a very difficult place to visit as an opposing side, but some of the myth was extinguished by less accomplished teams.

Finishing Position: 9th

Predicted Finishing Position: Comfortable mid table finish is expected.

Sunderland

If you ever need a manager to manage a desperate situation; Sam Allardyce is your man. He his a manager that assures stability to a large extent and Boy would he have loved it to confirm the relegation of Newcastle after he was badly treated at the Magpies. Jermaine Defoe was a huge catalyst in Sunderland’s survival with 15 league goals in a struggling side to ensure another year in the English top flight.

Finishing Position: 17th

Predicted Finishing Position: another case of staying up but only just.

Swansea City

Great start to the season with a credible draw at Chelsea that led to the turmoil at Stamford Bridge with a good with at home against Manchester United; Gary Monk could do no wrong. Fast forward a couple of months and a bad run of form; Monk had to leave and Alan Curtis took charge temporarily till the appointment of Francesco Guildolin which eventually secured Premier League safety.

Finishing Position: 12th

Predicted Finishing Position: Comfortable mid table finish is expected.

maur-poch_2912969b

Tottenham Hotspurs

What a season for this young Tottenham side, ending with their best points haul and finish in the Premier League era. Unfortunately, they lost their way once it was confirmed they could not wrestle the league title from Leicester City after the unfortunate draw at Stamford Bridge. Spurs have a lot to look forward to and with the addition of some quality in the summer as well as the long term future of Maurizio Ponchetino sorted out; Spurs would be a force to reckon with for years to come.

Finishing Position: 3rd

Predicted Finishing Position: Top Eight

Watford

With two strikers new to the Premier League leading line, you would have been forgiven if you feared for  the Hornets; but Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo showed that they were at home in the league by scoring 28 goals between them. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off their season, but a positive has to be their semi final place in the FA Cup.

Finishing Position: 13th

Predicted Finishing Position: Expected to avoid relegation

Slaven-Bilic

West Ham

Slaven Bilic has done a fantastic job at West Ham; making them difficult to beat whilst been entertaining. Away victories at the Emirates and Etihad definitely raised his stock. The per of Payet and Lanzini had fantastic debut seasons and a lot would be expected from them in seasons to come.West Ham still harbour hopes of qualifying for Europe as they prepare to move to the Olympic stadium as they wait and hope that Manchester United defeat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final.

Finishing Position: 7th

Predicted Finishing Position: Just Miss out on Europe .

West Bromwich Albion

Well, I suppose its safe to say that once you engage Tony Pulis; survival is secured as his record from Stoke to Crystal Palace has shown. The Baggies never seemed in danger of entering a relegation dog fight and just remained afloat just doing the barest minimum.

Finishing Position: 14th

Predicted Finishing Position: Wont be relegated .

 

 

 

Adeyemi Adesanya
Sports Business Consultant and Football Intermediary; Risk Management & Due Diligence Consultant; Freelance Football writer & Pundit on Radio & TV and Man.Utd Fan
http://www.halftimeng.com

One thought on “My EPL 2015/2016 Review

  1. It definitely was a weird and wild season. When teams like United, City and Arsenal look back they will definitely regret the missed opportunity this season provided. Taking nothing away from Leicster as they took advantage, this season spoke just as highly about how the big clubs fumbled and bumbled away chance after chance. Arsene Wenger especially must rue not taking advantage of what this season provided.

Leave a Reply