I was going to write a big Premier League review yesterday on the weekend's results but also a general feeling of some of the performances of Premier League teams. But I thought that was 1) unfair to the clubs I would miss out on and b) be way too scattered and take too long. So I scrapped yesterday's post and decided to do this. Over the next 4 days, I will individually look at all 20 clubs and review the season they have had starting with Arsenal through to Cardiff. Yes I know that Arsenal aren't technically the first team alphabetically (AFC Bournemouth), but I know them as Bournemouth and I'm sure everyone else does too
Player of the season: Lacazette
I don't think Arsenal have had that good of a season...at all. If Arsenal had got top 4, they'd have got a B. If they didn't have that run at the end of the season and missed out on top 4, they'd have got a C. But that run at the end of the season was pitiful, and dropped it to a D. Bear in mind, this is just a PREMIER LEAGUE review. Personally, I have seen 0 improvement in this team, and in fact, have gone backwards defensively. I appreciate Emery needs a bit of money and needs his own players, but last summer he bought: Torreira, Sokratis, Guendouzi, Leno and Lichtsteiner. Out of those 5, I'm sure Arsenal fans would accept 4 have been good. So why have Arsenal gone backwards? Why is there no obvious game plan? Why do they set up so negatively away from home? WHY DID THEY GET 1 POINT FROM PALACE (H), WOLVES (A), LEICESTER (A), BRIGHTON (H). That is unacceptable. In a position where top 4 was being handed to them, to go on a string of results like that is a joke. I'm all for giving managers time, but Emery has literally changed NOTHING. Winning the Europa League may be his saving grace, but that would paper over the cracks hugely. If you have any semi decent team, winning the Europa League really isn't too difficult. Also congratulations to Aubameyang on sharing the Golden Boot. But where was he during that run and when Arsenal really needed him? I may be being too harsh. Or maybe I'm not. Maybe Arsenal's fans expectations are at an all time low.
Player of the season: Fraser
Bournemouth are a curious, curious team. Eddie Howe keeps getting a lot of praise for bringing Bournemouth to this level and I appreciate that. But Bournemouth have some really good players on paper. Wilson, Ake, King, Fraser etc. Of course they're not top class, but they're very good players. Should fans be asking for a bit more? It feels like they can't win 2 games in a row. They have to score 3 to win games. They concede goals for fun. There's no
plan B. When they play a big team, they get absolutely hammered. Only the top 6 have scored more than Bournemouth this season. Yet they've conceded 70, only Fulham and Huddersfield have conceded more. Here lies the problem. We will have to wait and see if they can improve that next season. And can they hold onto players like Fraser and Wilson?
Player of the season: Dunk
This has been a bad season for Brighton. They just about scraped staying up, and had an absolutely torrid run in the second half of the season. They were ten points above the relegation zone in the new year. Dunk and Duffy have been their only shining lights really. The sacking of Chris Hughton - to me - isn't something as shocking as some are making out. The results Brighton had are unacceptable, and stayed up by the skin of their teeth. This is the second season they've just avoided relegation. I get that Hughton has been good for Brighton, but maybe the owners just want to push up the table, and after recent results, don't think he is the man for the job. I really don't blame them.
Player of the season: McNeil
Burnley have been ok this season. From what was a perilous position looking like relegation was on the cards, they stayed up pretty comfortably. The turning point was Sean Dyche reverting back to the good ol' Burnley we all know and love. Well maybe not love Classic 4-4-2. Long ball football up to Wood and Barnes. Heaton back in goal. But for me, the biggest factor to them staying up was Dwight McNeil. Young man of 19 came in and made a huge impact. 3 goals and 5 assists seems okay, but his all round work ethic and direct play has been a breathe of fresh air. He looks a great young prospect. That's why I gave him POTS and not Barnes or Westwood. His impact has been huge for their survival chances.
Player of the season: Etheridge
I don't know if giving Cardiff a B despite being relegated is wrong. But I feel like they have done well this season. Everyone assumed this Cardiff team would be relegated by Christmas. We all thought they'd be one of the worst performing Premier League teams ever. Let's get this right, this team are terrible. There is such a lack of quality. They're a Championship team who would struggle to finish in the top 6. The fact that Warnock took them to the penultimate day of the season to be relegated is a pretty impressive feat. And if the shambles of officiating in that HUGE game against Chelsea didn't occur, they might have even stayed up. As well as that, they even beat United at Old Trafford on the last day of the season. In a season where there was little expectation, Cardiff massively punched above their weight.
So that's that for Arsenal to Cardiff team reviews. Tomorrow will be the next 5. Will also have a quick word on the result of West Brom vs Villa. See you then.