EPL Team Review

EPL Season Review

It was a season where Manchester City took a firm grip of the EPL with their twenty-one winning streak leaving everyone in their wake.

It was a season where there was no relegation battle of note while Manchester City won the Carabao Cup and Leicester City were victorious in the FA Cup. Hawkeye Sidekicks reflects on the fortunes of the EPL teams for the year just gone.

Final EPL Standings
TeamSeason HighSeason LowKey PlayerNext Season
Manchester CityUnbeaten league record either side of the New Year; dominant in the league as others struggled for form and consistency.   Potential treble winning season beckons if they can defeat Chelsea in the Champions League final. A superb seasonThe league was a procession. The FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea was a low point.Ruben Dias was incredible. When pundits looked at Nathan Ake as a replacement for Vincent Kompany last year, Dias stepped in and was flawless.Will the club replace iconic Sergio Aguero or will they look to within and the false nine approach which worked so well this season?
Manchester UnitedUnbeaten away record in the league.   The emergence of Rashford and Greenwood in attack.   Europa League final (but need to win it).   Ed Woodward is out of the football club.Fan discontent. The clear disconnect between club hierarchy and fanbase with the Super League.   Home league form was patchy, form against bottom half sides dreadful.  Bruno Fernandes – player continues to provide the creativity and goals for the club.   Edinson Cavani also has had a stellar end to the season.Coherent transfer policy, clear issues in the central midfield and defensive areas.   Will they be resolved next season? Scouting needs to be better.
LiverpoolThe end to the EPL season; eight wins and two draws from the last ten fixtures was impressive.Key squad injuries throughout the season. Virgil van Djik was a huge loss.   John Henry and FSG considering the Super League idea.Mohamed Salah goals again to the fore this season particularly back end of the season.Getting key players back to the first team squad from injury.   Thiago should revel at the club next term.
ChelseaAdvance to the FA Cup and Champions League finals.   Secured top four berth.Frank Lampard sacking. It was coming but the ending was clinical Chelsea.   Team form inconsistency even when Tuchel was in charge, a worry for next term!     Cup final loss to Leicester City after beating Manchester City was gut wrenching. Mason Mount – a player given his chance by Frank Lampard has improved with each passing game.Squad depth improvements: striker position changes expected.   Tuchel’s tactical evolution as sides start to figure out his tactics next seasonwill be interesting.
Leicester CityFA Cup final win will live long in the memory.Losing out on a Champions League berth for the second successive season, that hurts!Jonny Evans was a rock throughout the season; his absence key to the club’s dip in form at the end of the season.Will Maddison and Tielemans still be at the club?   Rodgers will be linked with managerial jobs, securing personnel is key for Leicester City in the offseason.
West Ham UnitedEuropa League football is a surprise considering their relegation plagued campaign last term.End of season dip meant no Champions League football but the season was a success.Several standouts but Jesse Lingard’s form on loan was sensational.   Soucek was consistently a high performer for the club.Securing Lingard to a long-term deal.   Central defensive additions required to improve that area of the pitch. 
Tottenham HotspurJose sacked. The uneasy relations between club and manager came to a head. Football style issues.    Carabao Cup final appearance but no match for City in the final.Dinamo Zagreb loss in Europa League play was embarrassing.   Dele Ali’s absence from the side along with Gareth Bale; both players came on strong at the end of the season.Harry Kane – the fulcrum of the side.   If he departs the club, a huge void is created.Keeping Harry Kane and securing a manager who will play attractive football.
ArsenalEnd of season push to top eight.   Stamford Bridge league win.League was a struggle.   Europa League exit was feeble at best.   Super League / Kroenke vs. fans is one to watch.The young players of the club stepped up this season.   Saka and Smith-Rowe were standouts.   More experienced players failed to deliver.Strategic cull of the squad required.   Secure central defensive and midfield player options who are leaders on and off the pitch.
Leeds UnitedSuper debut season back in the top-flight.   Bielsa football to the fore, possession based and competed well against the top teams!   Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison impressive.Squad depth: when first team players went down injured, their replacements were exposed.Stuart Dallas was a standout this season. His work rate and goals were key.   Bamford and Harrison as mentioned took out by Kalvin Davis.Secure Bielsa to a long-term deal. The manager will attract more quality players to the club.   Rodrigo should have a better season next term! Poised for top eight.
EvertonGood start to the season.   Calvert-Lewin came of age, super season, led the line so well.End of season collapse; squad depth exposed; performances fell flat.Calvert-Lewin. Top goal scorer and when out of the side, the side struggled.Secure Carlo Ancelotti’s future. Real Madrid could come calling?
Aston VillaMemorable 7-2 win over Liverpool at Aston Villa.   Early season run saw the side in the top eight.   Good end to the season with wins over Spurs and Chelsea.   Youth team win the FA Cup; youth scheme looks promising.Squad depth issues. Grealish injured and results started to slide.    Jack Grealish. A class apart, the player will be of interest to several top clubs.   Ollie Watkins was a notable inclusion here; pace and goals this season.Secure Jack Grealish’s long term future.   Strengthen the defensive and midfield central issues.
Newcastle UnitedEPL survival yet again in tricky club environment.   Carabao Cup run was impressive.   Shrewd loan sign of Joe Willock from Arsenal; key goals down the stretch.Carabao Cup loss to Brentford which signalled the spiral down the league.   Owner speculation did not help matters on or off the pitch.  Team as a unit regrouped well when relegation battle ensued.   Joe Willock was a top performer for the club.Ownership at the club needs to be addressed.   Funds required to strengthen the squad from top to bottom.  
Wolverhampton WanderersStart to the season was strong, setup well for a top eight run until Jimenez injury.Nuno departs the club; the successor has a tough act to follow.   Jimenez head injury against Arsenal was a turning point for the season; attacking threat reduced.Conor Coady or Rui Patricio – both standout performers as the side struggled for goals post Jimenez injury.New manager needs to be the right pick, otherwise relegation battle beckons.   Secure Traore future as offers will come in for the player.
Crystal PalaceEPL survival with the minimum of fuss.   The emergence of Eze to the midfield area.Hodgson retirement, end of an era. Managerial successor selection is key.   The home league loss to Liverpool was horrific. Eze for his consistency throughout the season.   Zaha once fit was a handful as well was Townsend.   Goals are still an issue for the club.Thirteen senior players out of contract; expected that most will depart the club given their age profile.   The rebuild starts now, would fear for Palace next term. Youth academy will be key.
SouthamptonFA Cup run was a nice.   EPL mid-season looked strong but then fell off a cliff.Manchester United away loss was horrific.   EPL season slump saw Southampton nearly caught in a relegation battle.   Hassenhutl knows a repeat next season and his side will be in trouble.Danny Ings was superb last season. Che Adams learned massively from the player.Hassenhutl may look for other opportunities if insufficient funds are provided.   Squad depth needs strengthening in all areas; youth academy will be key.
Brighton & Hove AlbionResults picked up at the backend of the season. The 3-2 win to City was marquee.Despite good possession and football, results were a struggle for Brighton for long periods of the EPL season.   Relegation haunted the club.Sanchez in goals for Brighton was outstanding.How the side convert dominance into goals?   This is a top ten EPL club.   Potter’s football ethos may have other top clubs on high alert.
BurnleyEPL survival. Mission accomplished on one of the lower budgets in the league.   Unbeaten run at the start of the year was impressive; more results followed when required at the back end of the season.Cup runs were not entertained (for good reason).   Inconsistent league form will need to be addressed.Nick Pope and defensive unit deserve massive credit for their performances throughout the season.   Josh Brownhill emerged as a new talent in the side.New owners need to invest into the squad whose age profile in the middle of the park is a cause for concern.   Keeping Nick Pope, Jack Tarkowski and Ben Mee are essential for the club this offseason.
FulhamForm at the start of this year. A memorable win at Liverpool and draws against United and Arsenal.Naïve start to their EPL season, too open defensively and attacking threat was predictable.   End of the season was meek; performances faded badly; relegation confirmed well before the end of the season.   Lookman penalty miss was a blooper reel moment.In a defensive unit under pressure, Areola excelled in goal.   Quality keeper who should see further action in the EPL or top tier leagues in Europe next term.Retain as many as the squad for the Championship tilt next term much like Norwich City did this year.   No knee jerk reactions. Scott Parker should be retained and look to go back up.
West Bromwich AlbionResults against Liverpool and Chelsea standout.Like Fulham, naivety in their play was punished.   Bilic got sacked. Big Sam came in but goals conceded were still soft.   Relegation confirmed without a proper fight.Sam Johnstone – most saves in the league says it all.New manager and perhaps a squad overhaul next term.   Transitional period at the club, need to regroup fast and look for promotion next term.
Sheffield UnitedWin at Old Trafford was standout.Miserable second season. Key injuries but the side were sussed out. Chris Wilder lost his job.    Relegation confirmed before Easter.I can’t think of one to be honest; they all struggled massively this season.Identify a manager who will rebuild the side.   Stockdale, Egan, Berge will depart.

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