For those of you who read the first pat of my Premier League review here is the run down of all the rest of the teams for this campaign and how they did.
Queens Park Rangers
After surviving on the last day of the season last year this was always going to be a tough campaign for QPR. For me the sacking of Mark Hughes came too late for the club and by the time Harry Redknapp took over the club were all but doomed. Despite ploughing millions of pounds into the club the inevitable happened and QPR will be playing Championship football next season. This could see the departure of some of their biggest names and were this to happen then, even with all their money, the Hoops could struggle next campaign if they cannot assemble a squad that works well together.
Last season’s Championship winners failed to secure a spot in the Premier League for next season and will return to the Championship after just one season, having finished 19th in the table. There was a period in which Reading looked as if they could pull off an escape but it was not to be. However with Nigel Adkins now at the helm I have a feeling it won’t be too long before we see Reading back in the top flight.
The Saints have had a decent season in their first back in the Premier League. At one point, shortly after the sacking of Nigel Adkins, it seemed as though Southampton could be on the ropes and face immediate relegation. However Mauricio Pochettino steadied the ship and Southampton eventually finished 14th, an extremely impressive accomplishment. If they can make the right moves in the summer then next season could be a pivotal campaign for them, in terms of seeing where they can reach in terms of top flight success.
As I write this the news has just come in the Tony Pulis has left Stoke after seven years in charge. Stoke were another side that found themselves struggling at the bottom of the table in the second half of this campaign and there was huge speculation over Pulis’ job, which is yet another one that will see names such as Poyet, Coyle and Martinez linked to it. Where Pulis will go now is anybody’s guess but it is certain that he will not be short of offers after the success his has had with Stoke.
It seems that most of the teams that struggled this season were in the second half of the Premier League alphabet table, Sunderland are another addition to the list of clubs that were facing the threat of relegation until a couple of games from the end of the season. Paolo Di Canio has achieved the first task he was set and kept Sunderland in the Premier League and the Black Cats will hope that after survival they will be able to push on next season and finish higher in the table.
This has been a season of massive success for the Swans, in their second season in the top flight. Michael Laudrup’s men finished in an incredibly impressive ninth spot this season and in addition have the League Cup to add to their success this season. Signing of the season Michu had a massive role to play but praise must go to the rest of the squad and the manager for what has been a brilliant season. Next season will see the Swans playing in Europe and hopefully push on as a force in the Premier League.
Despite the awesome season that Gareth Bale has had it was not enough to see Spurs finish in the top four and will once again have to settle for a Europa League campaign for their European football. This will most likely be seen as a disappointment by Spurs fans as at one point in the season they were seven points ahead of Arsenal and looked certain to finish fourth. If they are to get a top four spot next season Andre Villas Boas will have to invest in a new striker.
West Bromwich Albion
This has been an incredibly successful season for West Brom and it must be put down to Steve Clarke who has excelled in his role as manager after taking over from Roy Hodgson. The Baggies finished the season in eighth which is amazing considering they were tipped for relegation at the beginning of the season. West Brom will be looking to sign Romelu Lukaku on a permanent basis as he has been a huge boost to the team’s goal tally for the season. Next season the Baggies could be looking at the prospect of European football if they can keep on the same trajectory they were on this season.
West Ham United
It has been a great season for the Hammers after being promoted last season. The addition of Andy Carroll to the squad was hugely influential in helping West Ham finish tenth, when it was expected that they would struggle having just been promoted. Sam Allardyce may not be the most popular manager in football because of his style of play but there can be no denying that he gets the job done and has done an excellent job at West Ham.
To say that Wigan’s season has been mixed may be a slight understatement. The Latics were relegated from the Premier League after finishing 18th and failing to pull off yet another great escape as has been in their nature in the last few seasons. There is a glimmer of light though as the club put on a spectacular performance at Wembley to beat Manchester City and win the FA Cup. This adds silverware to their cabinet and will see them playing in the Europa League, as well as the Championship, next season. However if they can keep hold of Roberto Martinez I feel confident they will be back in the Premier League before too long.