The Premier League season of 2015/16 was a vivid reminder of how special the English game is.
Leicester won the league. Leicester won the league. That’s right. If you had exclaimed that 12 months ago you would have been given a look of sheer confusion. 5000/1 to win the league Leicester City stood at the beginning of the season… what they went on to achieve eclipsed anything they could have possibly envisaged.
It was also a season of the mighty falling. Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United all under-performed greatly. Chelsea’s demise the most extraordinary of all. The special one found that not so special performances cost you your job and your prestigious records in management. Liverpool found a new path under Jurgen Klopp, who guided the reds to two finals in his first season. However, Liverpool fans and players were left with a sour taste as they lost both finals, most crushingly the Europa League final which was the defining factor on Liverpool’s season. A defeat at the hands of Sevilla, who have now won the competition three years running means that Liverpool progress into next season with no Champions League football , or any European football for that matter. Manchester City finishing in 4th place found that money can’t always buy you success as they saw Leicester sky rocket up the table. £50 million spent on Raheem Sterling, the former Liverpool man has found it hard to live up to his hefty price tag and has been under heavy criticism this campaign. City managed to salvage a champions league place, which wasn’t the way Manchester United fans hoped the season would end as City pipped them on goal difference and made Manuel Pellegrini’s final season somewhat “ok” , although it was mainly disappointment being conveyed.. Equally, United’s lacklustered attitude saw them miss out on the infamous “top four” which now sees them enter the Europa League for next season, a competition which saw heavyweight rivals Liverpool knock them out in.
At the bottom of the table there was also plenty of chaos to match the top half’s antics. Aston Villa had a dismal season and their place in the Championship seemed destined after around 10 games. Heavy defeats followed week in and week out which led to the dismissal of Remi Garde. A man who was brought in to repair the damage at the club only furthered the struggles the Midlands side were facing. Relegation was confirmed, they were followed by Norwich, and Newcastle.
Norwich’s fall from the league was not one of a massive surprise following the Canaries’ sporadic routine of Premier League status. Whereas Newcastle’s departure was one that shocked on mass level due to the strength of the squad they possessed. Their survival was given a major boost in the January transfer window when they spent big and brought in Jonjo Shelvey from Swansea and Andros Townsend from Tottenham, each for £12 million.
However, Newcastle couldn’t muster enough team spirit to keep them afloat. A late appointment of Rafael Benetiz seemed to turn things around short term at the end of the season, the Magpies picked up impressive points such as a draw away at Liverpool, a draw at home to Manchester City, and a last day stuffing of Tottenham. The damage appeared to have been done already by Steve Mclaren who lacked leadership and also made questionable signings, such as hot-headed Serbian Aleksnder Mitrovic from Anderlecht who ended the season acquiring two red cards.
This stupendous, sumptuous, and scintillating season provided us with the thrills and spills to only ponder how next season will compare in the slightest to this truly remarkable campaign which saw the foxes leave the rest of the pack chasing.
By Tom Cavilla – 17 years old