Quick season review 2010-2011

Arsenal

Ahh the usual season for Arsenal. Started promisingly. Beautiful, fluid football but yet the usual fragilities. They continue to lack solidity at the back, have yet to find a keeper, lack a real authority in the centre of the park and continue to rely on players who are simply not good enough. I’m thinking about most of their central defenders, Eboue and Bendtner. The arrival of Wilshire means Fabregas could leave for (£30m or so) but that money would have to re-invested and signings like Gervinho simply arent good enough. B-

Aston Villa

A real nothing season for Villa that will lead to numerous of their better players leaving. Morale must be very low there especially as Houiller has left, followed by Young and Freidel. The loss of Downing won’t be so great. His value is a puzzle to me. Signing Bent is a very good move and they have the basis of a solid middle table team with decent youngsters coming through but they will need some galvanising and a decent start. B –

Birmingham City

Forget winning the League Cup, getting relegated especially when in a solid table at the turn of the year is a disaster. McLeish was a good manager for them but continuing ability to get Birmingham relegated leaves huge question marks. The lack of creative nous (Gardner was their leading goalscorer) hardly bodes well for the Championship next season. With the arrest of Yeung in Hong Kong (a sign that the Premier League will still sell to anyone), a quick promotion back to the EPL would be miraculous. C+

Blackburn Rovers

A poor team under an unnecessary manager and curious owners. By February I was fairly sure Rovers would get relegated. They survived but with little conviction. Without a change of management and some new players, Blackburn are drifting to inevitable relegation. C

Blackpool

Relegated but with their heads held high. Having watched Blackpool scrap by Cardiff in the Championship playoff final, I really thought Blackpool would struggle badly. They continued to be entertaining but too open. Playing Manchester United on the last day of the season is unlucky but hopefully they can come back up soon. In a better league, they would have really struggled. B-

Bolton Wanderers

Despite the disastrous FA Cup semi-final loss to Stoke, Bolton has a pretty good season. They drifted badly towards the end finishing 13th after being solid top ten for most of the season. Coyle is a good manager and added some flair to the team but they will need some investment especially if they lose Cahill over the summer. B-

Chelsea

Difficult to assess this season. Chelsea are ageing but Ancelotti was badly undermined by the board. That team was still good enough to win the league and almost did. However a lack of pace and failing belief in system in place especially after the unnecessary signing of Torres condemned the season and Ancelotti. I feel sorry for the guy. A decent man which is apparently not good enough any more. B

Everton

Moyes does it again. Bringing in unheralded players and moulding them into a winning, or at least, very difficult to beat team. Everton only lost 10 times all season but ended the season with only a 6+ goal difference. There is no point calling for more investment. It just can’t happen under the board. How long Moyes can continue this brilliant job or wants to, I don’t know but if Moyes does leave, Everton are in trouble. B

Fulham

Another solid, professional, over-achieving season from Fulham, this time under Mark Hughes. I can’t say too much because there isn’t much to say. Hard-working, organised and with some talent upfront. And very good at set-pieces. Its all likely to continue under Martin Jol, a manager I rate. B+

Liverpool

A poor start condemned Hodgson but its difficult to see how badly he did. Without a functioning Torres, an injured Carragher and a barely fit Gerrard, the team Rafa left was exposed. Lucas did come of age but there are still huge gaps in quality there. However Dalglish has bought well (even if he has overpaid) and the youth team re-organised by Rafa is finally coming through. B

Manchester City

Winning the FA Cup and finishing 3rd hardly seems enough for such an expensively created team. Despite still looking like a Championship Manager team, for me they should have done better and Mancini wont have too many excuses next summer. He has quality from back to front but he needs to get Johnson off the bench and Tevez to stay. Without him, they are light upfront. B

Manchester United

Fergie wins the league again. I say Fergie because only he could have pulled that off. The league was mixed this year but he has key men in key positions (Van de Saar, Vidic, Rooney and Giggs). The rest of the team is replaceable at the highest level except maybe Hernandez and Evra and the demolition from Barcelona proves it. A-

Newcastle United

The usual messy season but it had its promising moments. Hughton would have gone at some point and Ashley may have acted wisely. A lot of Hughton’s signing have come through though especially Williamson and Tiote. For £35m Carroll had to go. A season without Nolan seems an odd decision but the replacement so far look ok even if they have a West Ham look about them. B

Stoke City

A very good season from Stoke. The same as ever but with the FA Cup Final to boot. Difficult to beat and well managed. B+

Sunderland

Almost a brilliant season from my point of view as Sunderland plunged towards relegation. The loss of Bent hit them hard along with injuries but they should have had the nous to get through. Bruce is a decent manager and 10th place would have kept everyone satisfied. B-

Tottenham Hotspurs

A good season from Harry, saving it by beating Liverpool at Anfield to secure a Europa spot. That was impressive. Harry’s team have improved and now challenge the big boys. Too many draws, also known as needing a goalscorer hampered their progress. B+

West Brom

A good season from West Brom who made a brave and I thought cruel decision to remove Di Matteo and replace him with Hodgson. From that moment on, their season solidified and improved. Finishing 11th is more than they could have wished for. B+

West Ham United

Relegated and without surprise. I feel for Grant a bit but they lacked class upfront and the defence is overrated and/or ageing. Noble and Parker could be leaving but the rest isn’t worth picking up. However with Alladyce they could get back up. D+

Wigan Athletic

I can’t believe they survived. I like Martinez but his team is poor and played poorly. I know its Wigan but I expected more. Next season will be much the same. C+

Wolves

Somehow stayed up with their terrible run-in. Again a fairly poor team but I like McCarthy. He’s honest and organised. Staying up is good for the league but without investment, they will inevitably struggle B-

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