At Christmas we did our midterm report on the 20 Premiership teams. I wanted to wait until the end of the European finals to note the national campaigns of each club for 2020-2021.
Feel free to use whatever criteria you want.
I will judge the entire 9 months, not since Christmas just because it makes an ugly picture prettier. I also don’t believe in useless statistics like if goals set don’t count or if all matches end after 75 minutes, etc….
Sheffield United – W
If it was just a case of season two syndrome, I would be more forgiving in my class, especially since they were in League One a few years ago.
Since Chris Wilder left, their chairman has indicated that things have been going on behind the scenes that, instead of defying adversity, only adds to it.
At one point, they were rivaling Derby for the lowest point total on record.
West Brom – E
As usual, West Brom’s strategy was that if relegation were to happen, everything would be fine financially. This means that Bilic decided to stick to the ethics that brought him to dance…. attack.
Her employers did what most owners do when they are promoted, panic. So they brought in Big Sam who had never been relegated before. Renowned for his ability to quickly organize a defense, as seen in his first press conferences, Big Sam had taken a look at his squad on the training ground and decided he couldn’t improve it. .
They played better attacking football, but only when they were sidelined, so they had no choice but to be on the offensive.
Fulham – E
There was a quick turnaround between the play-off final and the new season. Given the lack of investment, Parker’s reputation has been bolstered to even make his team competitive.
However, as soon as they got able to get out of the last three, they were choking each time.
Burnley – B
Is there an elite club that owes its success to one manager more than Sean Dyche?
The Clarets didn’t get their first win until November, but never panicked when other clubs reportedly did.
I think Palace would be a perfect step forward for him because Steve Parrish would also give him the time and space to mark his philosophy at the club. By the time Dyche leaves Turf Moor, they will descend.
Story of a season in two halves. Southampton was a challenge for Europe over Christmas with Ralph Hasenhuttl praised for his courageous high pressure style. This tactic meant his players were tired as they couldn’t keep up with their pace. Their late season form will be used against him if he doesn’t start the next campaign well.
Brighton – D
The score is not reflected on the position in the table but on how Brighton approaches the elite.
The Seagulls are at least trying to play some entertaining football, which is why they brought in Graham Potter. He’s also at a club that gives him time to improve as a coach.
The number of times I’ve written that if only Brighton could take a chance (or keep Welbeck in shape). Surely a natural finisher in the next part of the puzzle?
So if you are a Brighton fan you see Prem football and have fun most weeks. Can’t ask for much more?
Palace – D
No club is more in transition this summer than the Eagles. They are looking for a new manager for approx. about ten players are at the end of their contract.
Roy Hodgson had a unique system where everyone knew their role. He leaned on an experienced 4-full-back and midfielder to defend, then picked up pace on the counterattack.
A new boss means a new identity.
Wolves – D
They just haven’t got off the ground compared to previous years.
Many believe that so many games in the last campaign caught up with a small team with zero preseason, resulting in some long-term injuries.
I just felt it had gotten stale at Wolves, which made it a good time for Nuno Santo to leave. They weren’t great to watch anymore and players weren’t adapting well to passing a back 3, the draft just needs a refresh.
The Toon Army won’t like me writing this, but their grievance is with Mike Ashley and not Steve Bruce. The manager is paid to meet the criteria set by his employer and that is what Bruce did.
His specifications had to be better than three other clubs. He finished 12th, 17 points ahead of 17e. Blame the man who sets the criteria, not the man who follows them.
Aston Villa – C
A great summer saw them buy Martinez who became one of the goalies of the year.
A strong start to the season saw them reach a tough December for Europe, with Jack Grealish one of the division’s most entertaining talents.
Villa exploded in the middle, it’s no coincidence that Grealish got injured. On his return, they beat Spurs and Chelsea?
Everton – D
For most of the season they would have been a higher score, but in the end 10th place isn’t enough for a team that at one point aspired to challenge the top 4.
It is strange to think that a team that won at Emirates, Anfield, The Lane, drew at Old Trafford, beat Chelsea etc, but also lost at Goodison to Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield United, Fulham , Burnley, etc.
So the problem is not the quality but the mentality of your players.
Leeds – C
As expected, Bielsa did not change his philosophy for the top flight which meant Leeds were part of high scoring / entertaining matches. Some fans credited him for sticking to his principles, others felt he had a duty to adapt and improve Leeds on the defensive end.
Many of his players had not proven themselves at this level and exceeded expectations, such as Luke Ayling and Bamford.
Arsenal – F
For the second year in a row, our worst position in the League in decades. Even our own manager admits that Arsenal not being in Europe for the first time in 25 years is “unthinkable”.
The lowest point was that our players were not motivated for a European semi-final where they had a chance to save their season. In truth, too many games where our players just didn’t show up.
As usual, the Gunners started to play well when the pressure died down.
Spurs – E
Jose’s first full season went as many predicted. Started the season well with Kane falling deeper and providing plenty of assists for Son.
The Spuds have been rightly praised for leading the Prem in December. As usual, once a moment of adversity struck, Jose made matters worse, hence his sacking the week before a Cup final, indicating he must have done something wrong behind the scenes. .
Pretty much qualified for Europe, but how does Daniel Levy convince Kane that he can achieve his ambitions in North London as they have reached the point of having to win the last day just to qualify for the UEFA Conference?
West Ham – B
I still find it a coincidence that in a season without their ruthless fans, West Ham finished in the top 6. If the fans had been present they would have complained about not playing “West Ham” way “.
It gave David Moyes the freedom to build a squad and organize them in his own image, as he did at Everton. Declan Rice, Soucek and Creswell have all had fantastic seasons.
In truth, Londoners bottled it for the last 15 minutes in West Brom.
They’ve had “what if” moments in terms of qualifying for the Champions League, but Europa is still a feat.
If Moyes was smart, he would leave now.
Leicester – B
For the second year in a row, Leicester have qualified for the Champions League after being in the top 4 for most of the season. Rogers’ inability to adjust this slide is the reason I don’t want him at Arsenal.
The FA Cup final was one of the rare occasions in the race where it was not choked. That day at Wembley will live on forever. It makes these players immortal, a moment they can tell their grandchildren about.
By saying it shouldn’t have been one or the other, the Foxes could or should have had both.
You finish a 1-0 home win over Southampton at 10, then you’re in the top 4.
Chelsea – One
I still maintain that Lampard was unlucky because he didn’t lose the dressing room and it’s not like the top 4 is impossible.
Would Chelsea have become European champion with Frank? Preferably not.
This will once again justify Roman Abramovich’s nature in being happy to fire managers.
Compare that to what our landlord does when things go wrong – cut the payroll.
If the Blues can recruit a world-class striker, they are not far from being contenders for the title.
It’s crazy that they won the Champions League without a player in double digits in terms of goals scored.
Think Liverpool fans are getting a bit carried away celebrating the top 4 finish (didn’t we have a manager who got hammered for that?)
In other words, if City finished third, would you see Pep smiling and calling it a great ‘achievement’.
While I understand injuries to their center-backs meant that a title defense was unlikely, that shouldn’t be an excuse for losing at home to Burnley, Fulham, Brighton etc.
Man United – C
The 2nd shows improvement, but doubts remain as to whether Ole is the man to take United to that next level. Serious damage has been done to his reputation in terms of losing the Europa League.
He gets paid a lot of money to react to situations, but in extra time, when it was clear his players were tired, he didn’t do any submarines until the 105th minute, then the rest just for the pens.
I also felt at Christmas, when the team was playing well, that the chance was there to take the next step.
The 0-0 draw at home and away at Chelsea, Arsenal and Anfield could have turned into 3 points with a little ambition.
Man City – One
Of all his titles he’s won, I don’t think any have been won more based on Pep’s managerial abilities than this one.
The Spaniard realized that his side without David Silva couldn’t play the style they used to build this championship on their defense.
Many believed he lacked the ability to adapt a team defensively, especially since the way he had fared since Kompany left. A 21-game winning streak between December and February won the Prem for City.
A scorer against their season will obviously be their very first Champions League final where not for the first time in Europe, Pep has been accused of over complicating his tactics.
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