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Player to leave
Areas for improvement
Or whatever you want.
Team - Man Utd
Predicted finish - 1/2
Actual finish - 1
Star Man - David Bowie
Best XI - DDG/Rafael/Rio/Vidic/Evra/Welbeck/Carrick/Rooney/Kagawa/RVP/Hernandez
Player to leave - Young
Areas for improvement - Midfield
Star Man: Lucas
Review: Poor run up until christmas Made top 4/Europa an impossibility. If he's as astute in summer as he was in January I have high hopes. Coutinho should be a serious force next season and if he can stay fit I can see Sturridge knocking in 15-20 goals which will be a big boost.
To leave: Spearing, Caroll, Suso (loan), Sterling (loan)
To improve: CB - Papadopoulos/Dawson (unlikely under AVB)
LB - Yuto Nagatomo
WF - Someone in the mould of Shaqiri would be amazing.
Predicted finish - I think I said about 12th
Actual finish - 16th
Star Man - Christian Benteke
Best XI - Guzan/Lowton/Vlaar/Baker (still not very good)/Clark/N'Zogbia/Westwood/Delph (still not very good)/Weimann/Agbonlahor/Benteke
Player to leave - Bent unfortunately. Hopefully Bennett
Areas for improvement - All over
Team - AFC Bournemouth
Predicted finish - Playoffs
Actual finish - 2nd
Star Man - Brett Pitman/Tommy Elphick
Best XI - Allsopp, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, Arter, O'Kane, Pugh, Pitman, Grabban
Player to leave - Tubbs, Zubar, Partington, Wes Thomas, some others
Areas for improvement - defensive cover, some strength in the midfield, another striker
Prediction: Said 3rd in a tight battle for CL qualification was the best we could hope for last July/August but I came to expect worse as the season progressed.
Actual: 3rd, in a tight battle for CL qualification. Guess I think more clearly in July/August.
Star man: Juan Mata
Best XI: For the first time in ages, pretty hard to say.
Player to leave: Loads out of contract ... Malouda, Benayoun, Turnbull, Ferreira ...
Areas for improvement: Squad depth is a big issue if the intention is to challenge for the league and not just scrap for CL qualification. We probably have the worst striking options of any top 3 team in Europe's major leagues, which isn't helpful.
Review: Just glad the season is over, tbh. Not the most edifying of years.
Star Man: Nastasic/Zabaleta
Best Xi: Pantillimon Zaba Kompany Nastasic Clichy Barry Yaya Milner Tevez Silva Aguero
Player to leave: Kolarov/Lescott/Kolo/Dzeko/Sinclair/Garcia
Areas for improvement: Bit of pace and width and a decent back up Spanish Dave's creativity and we'll be reet. Will also need a good back up CB to cover now that two will go.
Star Man: James Vaughan
Best XI: Smithies, Hunt, Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon, Scannell, Clayton, Southern, Gobern, Vaughan, Beckford
Player to leave: A few out of contract already have. Of those still here, Anton Robinson needs to go (but wont)
Areas for improvement: Up front. All of our senior strikers from last season have either left or gone back to parent clubs. Need Vaughan back as an absolute neccessity.
Predicted finish: 1st
Star Man: Toss up between Zabaleta and Nastasic. Probably the former without any context
Best XI: Hart, Clichy/Nastasic/Kompany/Zabaleta, Rodwell/Y Toure/Silva/Milner, Aguero/Tevez
Review: How disappointing this season has been is a mark of how far we've come in the past 4 years, but it's still disappointing intit. The defeat against Wigan encapsulated everything that was poor about us- an inability to take chances despite dominating for large spells, lack of width, tactical rigidity and a lack of individuals stepping up. With the benefit of hindsight it seems to me that the club always intended to get rid of Mancini sooner rather than later due to behind-the-scenes chess playing and that was why our recruitment last summer/this winter was so poor/non-existent. Barring one or two individuals nobody has covered themselves with glory, and the fact we've handed Ferguson the perfect retirement gift, when on the few occasions this season he's come under any serious pressure he looked like he'd lost his tether, is really gutting. This Pellegrini chap better be ruddy good.
Players to leave - Pantilimon, Dzeko, Kolo, Lescott, Nasri and Sinclair just for starters. Would be good if we could loan Guidetti out to a Premier League club.
To improve - We've been screaming out for a proper wide option for years now, and I don't think Isco is going to provide it. With Ballers and Dzeko we've got space for a really decent centre forward, probably Cavani. We'll also need cover at centre back, and laughably a proper defensive mid because for various reasons the 5 or 6 we already have can't do it.
Depressingly whenever he was fit he looked really tidy and like he actually gave a toss.
Predicted finish - 1st
Actual finish - 1st
Star Man - Michael Carrick. Could make arguements for Van Persie and De Gea as well
Best XI - DDG,Rafael,Rio,Vidic,Evra,Welbeck,Carrick,Kagawa,Rooney,RVP,Hernandez. Just couldn't justify having any of our wingers in the best XI.
Players to leave - Nani, Anderson, Rooney (though think he'll actually stay)
Areas for improvement - CM. Think we'll bring in Fellaini and a couple others. Thiago and Fabregas being mentioned in the papers though don't see those happening. Adnan Januzaj to make the step up to the 1st team squad.
Predicted finish: 18th
Actual finish: 18th
Star Man: Michail Antonio, Lewis Buxton, Chris Kirkland
Best XI: Chris Kirkland, Lewis Buxton, Miguel Llera, Anthony Gardner, Reda Johnson, Michail Antonio, Jermaine Johnson, Giles Coke, Leroy Lita
Review: After a pre-season of some fans thinking 'Why can't we do a Southampton/Norwich?' and taking 7 points from our first 9 available, we went on two horrific runs pre-Christmas losing 6 in a row, recovering slightly, then losing 7 in a row, and we were in a relegation battle for the majority of the season. However, post-Christmas our form was superb and players deemed surplus to requirements (Coke, Prutton) stepped up and put in some brilliant performances, with the incredible performances of the teams also down at the bottom meaning we still had a chance of going down on the last day. We ended the season as one of the form teams and who knows what could have happened if we'd not gone on those two runs. An over reliance on loan players getting us out of trouble would be nice in the coming seasons. Although it's going to be difficult with Dave Jones's very iffy record in the transfer market. For every great deal (Kirkland, Gardner, Lita, Helan), he signs some utter guff (Bothroyd, Taylor, Pecnik). I'm still yet to be convinced by Jones, but arguably he's achieved the two goals he's been set - promotion last season and staying up this season.
Player to leave: Martin Taylor, Nejc Pecnik, Joe Mattock, Chris Lines, Jose Semedo, Chris O'Grady)
Areas for improvement: If Taylor leaves we need a young centre half as all our others are well into their 30s. We need a left-back to cover the always injured Reda Johnson, a creative central midfielder, a left winger and a striker. Not much to ask then!
Predicted finish - 5th/6th (trophyless)
Actual finish - 7th (trophyless)
Star Man – Suarez: can’t look anywhere else. To carry us through the season as he did, all the while playing the football of his career, is absolutely incredible. That pressure to be the only forward at the club would crush most people but he doesn’t ever show signs of pressure. Just look at the players he had to work with. From the shit (Downing) to the brand new (Sterling) to the nervous scapegoats (Henderson / Allen) – he’s managed to eke out 30 goals from what we would probably all agree is our worst squad for a long time.
Best XI (on individual balance, since Kelly and Sterling haven’t played with Sturridge yet)
Tepid. No memories whatsoever to cherish, apart from the things not to do with football. Carra’s last game at Anfield was unbelievably emotional, and the slow, impromptu YNWA that began after his departure was the best I’ve ever heard it. There wasn’t a dry eye in the ground! Same with the Hillsborough Enquiry – fantastic to put all that filth to bed for good. But again, this has nothing to do with the manager or the team, which says everything. A pathetic, whimper of a season with only hints of promise. 3/10
Player to leave
Suarez, Reina, Skrtel, Coates, Shelvey, Carroll, maybe Downing
Areas for improvement
Defence, and when / if Suarez goes, a new world-class forward please.
Or whatever you want
Not much to look forward to as a Liverpool fan right now. If Suarez stays and we get a new defence then we might be able to mount a better challenge for 4th. If not, we’ll go backwards again.
Predicted finish - Anywhere from mid-table downwards
Actual finish - 21st
Star Man - Onismor Bhasera or Conor Hourihane probably
Best XI - Cole, Berry Bhasera Branston Nelson, Hourihane Young Gurrieri Banton, Cowan-Hall Reid
Review - To be expected really. Still lucky just to have a team at all. Sacking Fletcher was sad but neccessary as we were sunk with him still in charge. He remains a legend though for how he lead the players through not getting paid/administration etc as captain and then taking over last season. John Sheridan was a great appointment and seemed to kick everyone that needed it up the arse. The loan players we got in january all did well too and hopefully this is the last season we stay up by a point on the last day! Play offs next season i reckon.
Players to leave - Not sure really, a lot of the dead woods gone already
Areas for improvement - Replacing the loan players that did so well with others that'll be up for a potential relegation battle again. A proper 20 a season goal scorer definitely.
Predicted finish: top half
Actual finish: 14th
Star Man: Tom Parkes
Best XI: Mildenhall; Smith, Parkes, McChrystal, Lee Brown; Harrison, Norburn, Gill, Broghammer; Richards, Brunt
Review: Absolutely appalling start to the season under McGhee, scoring no goals, letting in 4 against York, Gillingham, Port Vale, 3 against Morecombe, Southend (at home!), Bradford (at home!), putting together no good runs, losing countless winnable games, carrying overpaid squad players - something you cannot afford to do at this level.
After the defeat to York, we got John Ward in and it's been pretty blissful ever since. He's let the younger kiddies in the squad get full games in a row, leading to Ellis Harrison's emergence as a winger way too classy to stay with us for much longer, consecutive clean sheets, grinding out wins. He's retained the hungry bulk of the squad while releasing the ones who clearly didn't give a fuck, and for the first time since Paul Trollope there looks like there will be some continuity between seasons with the playing staff.
I've seen many a false dawn with this football club, but I'd be surprised if we weren't challenging around the top of the table next season.
Player to leave: Take your pick: Clarkson, Paterson, Bevan, Virgo, Riordan. Some unlucky with injuries, but some clearly lacking enthusiasm for this level/their careers.
Areas for improvement: Stable defence, solid centre-back partner for Parkes, more threat up front and a better centre midfield. I'm happy with the flanks and I hope we can hold onto Mildenhall.
Predicted finish: 24th D3
Actual finish: 24th D3
Star Man: Jed Wallace, shortly to leave to a Championship club for c.£300.000
Review: Always going to go down this year, with a -10 points penalty and a transfer embargo that stopped us making long-term financial obligations, meaning we could only sign players on month-to-month deals. The players met themselves in the car park before the first game of the season, and we used 52 different players in the first team over the course of the year. Cobbled together sides every week - I had a season ticket and honestly didn't know who was trotting out in a blue shirt some weeks.
Low point: 23 sodding games in a row without a win. By the end we were singing "Will we ever win again?" and meant it - it was during a time we nearly went pop as a club.
High point: Beating play-off bound Sheffield United 3-0 in front of a sold out home crowd of 20,000 the day after the fans bought the club. A hopeful sign of things to come.
Predicted finish: 3rd, thought Chelsea would win it with City second and us 3rd but not much between the 3 teams, maybe 5 points in it.
Actual finish: Champ20ns
Star Man: RvP, maybe Fergie's first *vanity project* type signing to have actually worked wonders. I had no idea just how good he was until we got him, obviously his finishing and touch has always been exquisite but his general forward play and ability to bring others into the game is incredible and has been a massive influence this year.
Best XI: DDG, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley (I guess), Welbeck, Kagawa, Rooney, RvP
Review: First half of the season was great fun, swashbuckling nonsensical football which Utd haven't played for maybe a decade, late comebacks, loads of goals, fantastic to watch. Second half of the season saw the more sensible approach return and a lot of pretty turgid 1-0 wins to seal the title in pretty underwhelming fashion. The Madrid match still hurts a lot, would have loved to see an FA Cup win as well given that we actually got relatively far in it this year but the main thing to take from the season is how lucky we were to have Fergie and how terrifying it's going to be without him.
Player to leave: Rooney, fuck off. Hadn't forgiven him for the first time around let alone pulling that shit again especially now he's nowhere near as indispensable as he was then. The kid is a bellend and I really hope Moyes fucks him off.
Areas for improvement: Central midfield, yawn.
pred: said 9th before the season started but i was being cautious
star man: gary jones, james hanson or stephen darby. meredith and davies would be contenders if they'd played more too. and wells. that's more than half the team sorry
best XI: mcloughlin; darby, mcardle, davies, meredith; thompson, doyle, jones, reid; wells, hanson. pretty easy
player to leave: gray, maybe duke and connell. i'd like hines to stay but looks like he won't be offered a contract. hopefully not davies or wells
areas for improvement: left back cover, central midfielder, couple of wingers, striker
review: amazing really. phil parkinson's managed to build such a spirited and likeable team that even if we didn't go up or reach the cup final this season still would've been a breath of fresh air. not claiming any sense of entitlement but we've watched so much shite over the last 13 seasons (6 games of luke oliver up front fuck off taylor), and this year i've seen about 8 matches that would've been the highlight of any one of them. i could recall a vital contribution that literally every squad member apart from andy gray has made too. haha we beat arsenal
signing him relegated us from the championship. abysmal footballer
and the only dud parky signed all season. his arrival coincided with wells' loss of form so he started a few games and just looked completely unfit and useless
Predicted finish: 3rd
Actual finish: 4th
Star Man: Cazorla
Best XI: Sczczcezcny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott, Giroud
Review: Pretty much a bog standard Arsenal season, with the added HEARTBREAK of losing to two really really inferior teams in cup competitions that we probably should have won (given how shit city were at the end of the season). The last 11 games of the season showed that Wenger could probably do that whole Fergie thing of winning shit, boring games where we play shite and have no creativity, if he wanted to. In terms of players, although Podolski and Giroud make the BEST ELEVEN, that's only cos of their goals. Ideally they'll both be backups next season, preferably with cazorla on the left and a really good striker coming in. Wilshere showed that he hasn't lost his ability, but also that he has further to go than i thought he had before he becomes an actual world class player rather than putting in a few performances that are worthy of one. Needs to be more incisive. Think we need to sort him out to get this team closer to the top of the table; either put him next to arteta in a deeper role, as a better version of Gundogan or something, or depend on him improving in terms of his ability to create chances.
Player to leave: Chamakh, Arshavin, Squillachi, Park, Coquelin, maybe Vermaelen if someone puts in a £15m bid, loads of players to go on loan.
Areas for improvement: Striker is by far the position most in need of improvement. A mobile forward who doesnt have an awful first touch would be great. After that, a player at the base of midfield, whether that's to replace ramsey or arteta idk. Or, if Wilshere goes there, an attacking midfielder.
Predicted finish: 15th
Actual finish: 18th
Star Man: Shaun Maloney
Best XI: Robles, Beausejour, Caldwell, Scharner, Alcaraz, Boyce, McArthur, Watson, Maloney, Kone, McManaman
Review: FA CUP WINNERS. Everything else was horseshit.
Player to leave: All of the above
Areas for improvement: Wigan Athletic
Team - Leeds
Predicted finish - 18th (but predicted exactly where we'd finish in the cups)
Actual finish - 13th
Star Man - Byram
Best XI - Kenny / Warnock, Peltier, Lees, Byram / Austin Norris Tonge Diouf Varney / McCormack
Review - In terms of football played, probably the most boring I've ever seen Leeds play. Similar in terms of threatening to go up or down. One to forget but a few promising signs and a not-terrible best XI, mixed signings, and some good cup matches.
Player to leave - Most of the clogger journeymen - Brown at the top of the list but also Varney, Pugh, Morison, etc. Keep Green and Tonge as not-awful squad players.
Areas for improvement - Midfield. Austin is decent enough if he finds more consistency and composure, and should adapt to english football better after one full season. Maybe experiment with White on the wing, and Hall etc, give Dawson the chance to prove himself, maybe after bulking him up in the summer. But generally a total re-build - otherwise we've got 6 or 7 out of a starting 11 to challenge for top 4 or so, and players that would be good enough for the bench.
Predicted Finish - didn't predict a position but thought they would be more involved in a relegation battle.
Actual Finish - 10th (which is nice)
Best XI - Christ knows
Star Man - Winston Reid
Review - First season back in the big time and despite a very good final position it's been a bit of a mixed bag. At home they've been pretty good and have taken points off a lot of the bigger teams. Plenty of goals scored and some entertaining stuff. Away from home Big Sam seems to set the team up to nick a point and it's been really uninspiring stuff. Jarvis settled in well after a ropey start and even though Diame can only seem to play 60 minutes at most he's been one of the stand-out players. The defence have been solid (which is what you expect from a Big Sam team) but the forwards incl Nolan have been very hit and miss.
Players to leave - Carlton Cole has already gone as have the loanee players. Would like Taylor & O'Neill to follow him. Can't see too many clubs poaching the other players.
Areas for improvement - Carroll or similar on a permanent deal, another quicker striker to join. A diminutive gloriously maned Spanish midfield midget to arrive and actually show how to pass and keep possession.
Predicted finish 15th
Actual finish 10th
Star Man Winston Reid – got some very harsh reviews in his first few games for the club when he was played out of position at full-back and, as a 22-year-old defender straight from the Danish league/Kiwi national side, he looked out of his depth. A season in the Championship seems to have been the making of him and he’s got all the attributes to be a top-class defender. Would not be surprised to see him playing Champions League football somewhere in a year or two – barely mentioned by anyone other than West Ham fans but sure he’ll have been spotted by a few scouts this year.
Special mention to Mo Diame as well, signed on a free and did a great job as a poor man’s Yaya Toure. No coincidence that our form took a dramatic turn for the worse when he was injured. Scored some cracking goals too.
Best XI Jääskeläinen – Demel, Collins, Reid, O’Brien – Diame, Noble – Jarvis, Nolan, Vaz Te – Carroll
Review Would have settled for anything that meant survival, expected to manage it too in a league full of mediocrity, but 10th was very good. Football was better than the reviews might suggest, but it’s very much a side playing to its strengths and working hard and the squad needs bolstering for next year.
As is often the way with West Ham, home form was great and the away form was generally dire. We got played off the park by Swansea early on in the season, but I don’t think that did the side much harm and we were competitive in almost every match from then on. Lost some of the more exciting games – Liverpool and Spurs spring to mind – and very unlucky not to knock Man Utd out of the FA Cup too. The 3-1 victory at home against Chelsea, from 1-0 down at half-time, was probably the highlight.
*Something about scoring the most goals at home outside of the Champions League qualifiers*
Player to leave Carlton Cole already has – sad to see him go. Difficult to say the same about Chamakh, Pogatetz or Wellington Paulista, all of whom return to their parent clubs and must never be spoken of again.
Areas for improvement To be greedy, and in spite of a very respectable season, almost everywhere. Two new full-backs would be an excellent start and Rat-fans everywhere will know we’ve already signed one of them. If Carroll doesn’t sign, and Carlton really is gone for good, there’s going to need to be a rethink up top too otherwise we have Maiga left as our only forward. A bit of creativity in midfield wouldn’t go amiss and a younger goalkeeper will need signing when the right player becomes available too.
shame we didn't get to see what Wellington could do. Sure it probably would have been absolutely sod all but still it would have been nice to see him get some kind of run out. Big Sam certainly has his favourites.
If you weren't a hulking ponytailed manbrute he didn't want to know.
Even if Carroll stays - which I hope he does - it would be nice to see a Plan B next year.
What is Jay-Jay Okocha up to these days anyway?
No co-incidence whatsoever that terrible run around new year was when it was pretty much the championship team (+ Jarvis & Jussi) bumbling about for 2 months, with everyone else in the Kieron Dyer Memorial Sanitarium.
Be nice to see double figures in goals scored away from home cracked before April next year as well. March would be fine
but I really really hope Carroll digs his heels in and comes back to Liverpool. I think he's got a massive potential and would be a great signing for you on a permanent.
so he can spend the bunse on a midfield dwarf with 90% pass completion rate
Even at home against West Ham this season, with absolutely no support, he played well
Predicted finish: 1st
Actual finish: 1st
Star man: For me, probably Joe Ledley for consistency
Best XI: Forster, Matthews, Wilson, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Brown, Ledley, Wanyama, Commons, Hooper, Samaras
Review: Strange season, which turned out be a a great one. 125th anniversary year, and as far as I know, the 1st of those to pass without a Celtic vs Rangers match - even without that, we won the league with a good amount of breathing space as predicted, and made better than expected progress in the Champions League. Undoubted highlight of the season was the win over Barcelona, but away to Spartak Moscow was great as well. Completing the double at the weekend there was the icing on the cake.
Player to leave: We need to sell players when their value is at its highest, so if the bids come in (for Hooper and Wanyama in particular) we should take them.
Areas for improvement: We seemed to find juggling European football and domestic football difficult, but when you're that far ahead in the league it's hard to complain too much. Our recruitment over the last couple of years has been largely excellent, so more of that, and also more young players coming through would be good to see.
except I couldn't say for sure whether Matthews or Lustig had been better at right back. Good to see us overstocked at what had been a trouble position since Hinkel went out.
I also had no idea Daryl Murphy was STILL on the books. I'm intrigued to see what happens with the front line next year, if Hooper goes Stokes may suffer as he only really shines in that partnership (the only time I remember him partnering Samaras up front they both looked pretty average and as if they hated each other a bit). Lassad seemed interesting but has done fuck all since and Watt is still too young to be asked to go out every week. I'd also like to see somebody properly step into centre back for when Mulgrew plays elsewhere, as Efe Ambrose went from promising, solid looking defender to a one-man Nick Hancock clipshow video seemingly overnight. Also he's the oldest looking 24 year old I've ever seen.
Predicted finish: One place above relegation on goal difference, decided on the last day of the season.
Actual finish: 14th
Star Man: Rickie 'Joint Top English Goal Scoring Statistic' Lambert
Best XI: Don't watch enough. Whoever was playing when we stuffed City
Player to leave: The diver
Areas for improvement. English Language.
fantastic composure to slot that away - keeper had no chance
Predicted finish 5th
Actual finish 5th
Star Man Gareth Bale. No explanation required.
Best XI Lloris/ Walker/Dawson/Vertonghen/BAE/
Pretty difficult actually, because although he is really frustrating Dempsey scored consistently and in big games so i'm picking him over Gylfi/Holtby who were good in parts but mostly a bit disappointing. Although Sandro was injured for most of the season he was incredible at the start so i've opted for him over Parker/Huddlestone. Adebayor just over Defoe though tbh both were pretty shit.
Review Annoying to miss out on Champions League football to an Arsenal side that for the first time in my life aren't as good as Spurs. I think most fans expected 5th or 6th with the new manager/loss of Modric/VDV, so i guess its a mostly positive season. As long as we hold on the Bale this summer next season could be really good.
Player to leave BAE, Huddlestone possibly(i wouldn't sell seeing as Sandro/Dembele are injury prone, Parker is getting on and he's better than Livermore, but woudln't be surprised if he left.)
Areas for improvement STRIKER, new full backs -Danny Rose had a decent season on loan despite me writing him off and we need competition for Walker. Winger - If Bale is playing centrally it'd be nice to have a winger rather than playing Gylfi/Holtby/Dempsey there
Predicted: become world's most dislikable team
Actual: target achieved, also lead me to some sort of breakdown
Predicted finish: Last.
Actual finish: Bottom.
Star Man: Danny the ref.
Best XI: Siddall; Ormsby; Tenconi, Hecker; Coleman, Cooper, Warren; Kenney; Farley, Golriz; Charnock.
Player to leave: Burling.
Review: Two wins and a draw, couldn't have dreamed of more.
Areas for improvement: All.
Literally the best season in the club's existence. Can't believe you left our top scorer out of the Best XI as well (Played 3, scored 4)
Everyone else is a ringer.
Next season we kick on. With lots of ringers.
Predicted finish: Play-offs
Actual finish: 14th
Star Man: John Welsh- top buy, added some much needed steel and consistency in the middle of the park
Best XI: Rudd; Laird, Wright, Huntington, Keane; Monakana, Welsh, Wroe, Holmes; King; Beavon
Review: Great start, enough to put aside my personal dislike of Graham Westley and give him the benefit of the doubt. Whole new team playing some good football. Then December hit with a few injuries, and he lost the plot. God awful football, excuses galore, terrible signings (Antony Elding and Lee Trundle!), and I felt I'd lost my football club somewhere along the line. Relegation was looking increasingly likely. His sacking and subsequent appointment of Simon Grayson has lifted the whole atmosphere though, and things now look good for next season if a few decent signings can be made.
Player to leave: Chris Beardsley, Andy Procter and John Mousinho. League Two players brought in by a League Two manager.
Areas for improvement: Getting a proper management, coaching and scouting structure back in place has been the most important thing. After that a new striker is a must, as is a new goalkeeper if we can't persuade Norwich to give us Declan Rudd back next year. Another winger and commanding centre-back would also help.
Predicted finish: 4th/5th
Actual finish: 4th
Star Man: Santi
Best XI: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey (assuming Diaby's broken), Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud
Areas to improve: Build on the new found defensive not shitness, sign players to improve the first team rather than bolster the squad, new striker(s) a priority
Players to leave: An absolute boatload of shit, most will probably have to either be loaned or paid to fuck off because nobody will buy them and pay their wages. Hopefully Sagna and Vermaelen will stay.
Review: brilliant run (26 points from 10 games) bumped the season up from terrible to mediocre, bare minimum achieved in the league, disasters in both cups and pants pulled down in Europe. I still think Wenger's the right man, but it's a huge summer; no key players leaving, no tournament to mess with pre-season and everybody knows there's money to spend; if we don't go for it now then I think we'll be looking for a new manager in 12 months time.
just some of the language strikes me as a little, um, entitled.
"An absolute boatload of shit"
"paid to fuck off because nobody will buy them and pay their wages"
"from terrible to mediocre" (top four for the 8908907th year running, fucking amazing achievement)
"pants pulled down in Europe" (almost mounted incredible comeback against the current best club side in the world)
...just some of the language is a little too caustic for my liking, a little dismissive.
For future reference, 'vintage Arsenal moaning' needs to include at least one of the following phrases;
- financial doping
- new money
- buying success
- hollow victory
- doing things the right way
- obviously just motivated by money
This is soooooo not vintage Arsenal fan moaning. You're a lucky, lucky man.
and burst out laughing.
he gave us 4 great years, arguably most consistent performer at the club during that time
had one dodgy season
'sagna you cunt' etc. etc.
that said i'd quite like to see him off this summer. get a few quid for him and replace with someone decent and hopefully versatile to compete with jenks.
sagna certainly doesn't deserve any vitriol whatsoever, served the club brilliantly and always been solid as fuck (apart from this season) when others around him often looked clueless.
Team - Crystal Palace
Predicted finish - Flirting with relegation but just staying up.
Actual finish - 5th (Promoted)
Star Man - Jedinak. (Whilst Bolasie, Zaha and Murray all got in the PFA team and Murray was the league top scorer, Jedi has been immense and won our player of the year award, I'd agree with that)
Best XI Speroni, Parr, Delaney, Ramage, Ward; Jedinak, KG, Bolasie, Williams, Zaha; Murray
Review - Terrible August, looked certs for relegation. Brilliant September to February. Poor to abysmal March and April. Fantastic May and playoff performance without Murray.
Player to leave - I'd imagine a few. But certainly Easter and Wilbraham.
Areas for improvement - Mainly everywhere, but experenced centre backs and a striker to replace the injured Murray.
Pretty much the perfect team review.
predicted finish - 9th
actual finish - 18th
star man - lewis buxton by far. kirkland was also impressive.
best xi - kirkland; buxton, llera, gardner, reda johnson; jermaine johnson, coke, prutton, helan; antonio; lita
review - looked good at the start but soon plunged into a horrific meltdown, courtesy of poor coaching and the dreadful signing of dressing room plague jay bothroyd. started to pick up in late december and went on a great run of form which saw us safe.
players to leave - a lot. semedo, o'grady, lines, taylor, mayor, madine and mattock can all go for me.
areas for improvement - where to start? two quality centre-halves to back gardner up, two high-quality wingers, holding midfielder, playmaker and some strikers that can actually score would be great.
aob? - would be nice to see some actual football being played next year, cheers
star men: solly, kermorgant, jackson, pritchard in that order
best xi: hamer / solly - morrison - dervite - wiggins / haynes - pritchard - jackson - harriott / kermorgant - fuller
review: great season in a tough league, fantastic closing run
players to leave: we've already released haynes, fuller and a few others - yet more will probably go, we're cutting the wage bill
areas for improvement: replacement for all the strikers leaving the club. although really we should start playing more of our hallowed youth team. if we could sign one player it'd be a solid defensive midfielder to replace andy hughes who's brilliant but sadly broken
Couldn't have been any better. Fantastic season.
free money to be sure, to be sure.
I'm Mr. Parsefone! I'm a feckin billy big ballocks admin man and oi can see stuff that you can't! You may be PaddyPower but I got all o' the feckin power!
Comedy accounts are of a personal interest to me because when one pops up I inevitably get an angry e-mail from forza demanding to know who is stealing his thunder.
"Calm down! Calm down!".
I ain't be stealin no t'under moi friend! But if I foind a pot o' gold down at the end of a little rainbow now I can't be makin no promises!
Predicted finish: lower-mid table
Actual finish: 14th
Star Man: Clyne
Best XI: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana, Puncheon, Lambert, J-Rod
Review: Not a bad first season back up but lacking in consistency mainly down to a lack of squad depth. We've played a much more effective and pleasing style since Pooch took over which we can hopefully build on with a few key signings and an injury free season for Lallana and Gaston, both of which were hampered all season long with niggles.
Player(s) to leave: All the League 1/ Championship deadweight we still have on our books: De Ridder, Guly, Hammond etc. Perhaps even Jose Fonte will leave depending on who we sign/status of the young CBs coming through.
Areas for improvement: As said above consistency. Hopefully this can be achieved by bringing in a quality CB, probably Astori from Ascoli. Also all our young players will continue to mature and improve (Shaw, Clyne, Ward-Prowse). I think we need to bring in two more attacking players, one goalscorer, one winger but I'm not sure who they'll be.
Actual: 11th! (but a bit of an anomaly given that's only based on us winning our last two games)
Star Man: Robert Snodgrass
Best xi: Ruddy, Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Pilkington, Howson, Johnson, Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Holt (by default, our strikers have been pretty poor this year) - Shout outs to Whittaker who's been great when played, and Alex Tettey who wins every ball that comes his way then passes to no-one.
Review: Weird season with a happy ending. We started by punching well above our weight, beating Man United and Arsenal as part of a ridiculous unbeaten run only bettered in Europe by Barcelona! But then we got humiliated by Villa in the quater-finals of the league cup (just for them to get humiliated by Bradford, who in turn got humiliated by Swansea, who we have a really good record against) and things started to get drastically bad, though I can't really tell you why. We won one game between mid-december to mid-april, and yet we didn't have any particular injuries (though we lost Pilkington for a bit who never really found his form after) but at least got plenty of draws. We became tactically naive for the most part, and though we should have got more from that Arsenal game, we didn't take winnable games by the neck. Was never really worried about relegation until that horrid couple weeks where we inexplicably lost to Stoke and Villa, but then got lucky in that we played West Brom and Man City who had nothing to play for, and Wigan collapsing.
Oh and Luton Town became the first ever conference side to knock us, a premier league side out of the FA Cup, but we won the youth cup at least!
Player to leave: We've already got rid of 10 (!) fringe players, none of whom are particularly surprising (Simeon Jackson, lol) no one else really comes to mind though I feel maybe selling Holt and keeping Lambert last year may have fared better.
Areas for improvement: Goals. We did not score enough of them. The impending arrival of Ricky Van Wolswinkle should answer this, and I'd like to see Lucciano Becchio given more of a chance given we paid for him (but maybe we're just obsessed with Leeds United, Nestor who's good for us to sign right now?)
Our Midfield is pretty strong, though I wouldn't mind signing a Shaun Maloney or James McCarthy, and though I feel our defence individually are pretty sound they're still subject to some pretty questionable moves. We've signed Garrido full time now which is great, but I feel something in the coaching and tactics of our defence needs improvement rather than specific players.
Since no-one else will...
Predicted finish: Dunno, but anyone who said 5th or thereabouts is a mentalist.
Actual finish: 16th
Star Man: Coloccini? We were shite all year round, no one ever really got going and we limped over the line.
Best XI: Krul, Debuchy, Taylor, Colo, Santon, Perch, Cabaye, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Gouffran
Review: Poor season. We overperformed last year, so expectations were a bit wonky but due to bad tactics we just never got going. Why are we playing long ball to a small striker? We have some decent ball playing players FFS! Small squad and Europe didn't help, but i think they are convinient excuses for shite tactics.
Player to leave: Hopefully not Cabaye or Ben Arfa. Colo will probably go, but i think Mbiwa will step if he does.
Areas for improvement: Better all round play and tactics. Tiote must play better.