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Premier League 2016/17: Season Review – Places 11-20

 

11th- West Ham

The surprise success of West Brom and  Bournemouth , is not fitting for 11th placed, West Ham; who following their move to the Olympic stadium have had limited success. After Dimitri Payet fired the Hammers up the table to 8th place last season- things were looking on the up; especially added with the transition to their new stadium.

However, Slaven Bilic lost the services of key man, Payet, in the January transfer window, this misery was compounded by poor performances, particularly at home. The move from the Boleyn stadium has not gone to plan; they will be hoping for better next time around.

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12th- Leicester

Champions; Leicester, could not repeat history- and instead finished mid table. Things could have been much worse than this however, with the Foxes’ lingering over the drop zone near Christmas.

Cult hero of last season, Claudio Ranieri, was shown the door, much to the disbelief of the Leicester fans. Craig Shakespeare managed to turn things around, with a strong feeling of player power associated with the resurgence.

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Jamie Vardy managed to find his scoring boots and scored seven goals in his last 13 games to make sure of Premier League safety.

13th- Stoke

Stoke ended up in 13th place, in what was an underwhelming season for the Potters.

They started the season horrifically, with talk of relegation a serious likelihood. They managed to pick themselves up however, and progressed up the table.

Signings at the club had mixed success.  Summer signing, Ramadan Sobhi, failed to make his mark in the team, and likewise, January addition, Saido Berahino didn’t prove himself, following his £13 million move.  Fellow January signing, Lee Grant, proved to be a hit though, filling in for the injured Jack Butland in goal.

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With the talent in their squad with the likes of: Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Arnautovic,  and Joe Allen, you would expect more from them. The same can also be said for the team who finished one place worse off than them, Crystal Palace.

14th- Crystal Palace:

Perched in 14th position, the Eagles survived, but made it extremely complex, pulling off wins away at Liverpool, Chelsea, and a home win against Arsenal to beat the drop.

Mamadou Sakho’s loan move was pivotal in the survival of the club, in his first five games, Palace kept five clean sheets. It will be a major benefit if they are able to sign the Frenchman on a permanent basis next season. But, with talent such as: Wiflried Zaha, Christian Benteke, Yohan Cabaye, and Andros Townsend, you would expect much better.

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15th- Swansea:

Swansea pulled off a miracle to land 15th place. Having already parted with two managers before January following Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley’s departures, when Paul Clement took to the hot seat there was not a lot of hope and belief they could survive, as he took over with them rooted to the bottom of the table.

The Englishman performed heroics, with an impressive win at Liverpool setting the tone early on in his tenure. This was followed by beating their Merseyside rivals- Everton, at home, combined with collecting  a point at Old Trafford and  thus enabling them to pick themselves up.

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This unlikely revival was powered by Spanish striker, Fernando Llorente, who bagged 13 goals for Swans, Gylfi Sigurdsson was also imperative to the team, the Icelandic midfielder providing both goals and assists in an abundance.

16th- Burnley

Burnley can be pleased with 16th place- at one stage it even looked like they may finish even higher. Nonetheless, it was still a campaign to make fans of the Lancashire side, proud.

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Having been sent straight back down to the Championship on their previous two ventures to the pinnacle of English football, this season they guaranteed that history wouldn’t repeat itself. Staying up was the only thing on their agenda. Their home form was the overriding factor for their success, boasting the ninth best home record and collecting only one fewer point than Manchester United at home.

 

17th- Watford

It was a drowsy and dismal season for Watford. On their return to the dizzy heights of the Premier League last season, they handled it in supreme fashion, finishing impressively in 12th place. But, this time they found themselves slumped one place above the drop zone.

The peculiar decision to part company with Quique Sanchez Flores after such unprecedented success appeared to have cost them this year. The Hornets announced Walter Mazzari, who won the Champions League whilst at Inter Milan, as their new manager.

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His inability to speak English is rumoured to have caused uncertainty and a lack of communication between himself and the players. The deadly goal scoring partnership of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo of last season, was torn in half as Ighalo sought pastures new; taking up a big money to China. Watford ended the season with a 5-0 drubbing; at the hands of Manchester City.

18th- Hull City

Hull City, who were making a re-appearance in the league following promotion, occupied the first of the three relegation positions. Having started the season with essentially half a team, with the amount of players who were injured, compounded by a lack of summer signings, the Tigers were tipped from the off to be sent packing, many envisaged them finishing bottom.

The doubters looked to be left choking on their words as they started superbly, that brilliant August month was not repeated however, and the remaining months were anything but superb, quite the opposite.

As manager Mike Phelan exited the club, Olympiakos coach, Marco Silva, was the man to enter the fray and attempt to keep the club afloat. His spell was actually fairly successful, the record which he possessed in Greece, of not losing a home game was extended to 41 games at Hull, but was ended when Sunderland pulled off a surprise victory at the KCOM stadium.

As they reached the home stretch, there was not enough fight left in the team. The final day of the season provided one last sucker punch as Spurs inflicted a ridiculous 7-1 romping.

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19th- Middlesbrough 

Another promoted team were sent back where they came from, as Middlesbrough endured a torrid season, in which they only mustered a measly 27 goals all season, Spurs managed half of this amount in just their last two matches.

Of course, every team needs goals in order to succeed, and this is where all their problems lay this season. Their summer signings were far superior to that of fellow strugglers, Hull City.  The additions of  the experienced Alvaro Negredo, Victor Valdes, and Antonio Barragan,  meant people held high hopes for Boro.

This was short lived however, there was not any particular moments in the season where they looked impressive or like they could win a match.  The sacking of Aitor Karanka didn’t resolve any of the problems, goals still struggled to follow after Steve Agnew took charge.

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20th- Sunderland

Last and most certainly least, Sunderland.

It was nothing short of a disaster.

Having pulled off the unthinkable the last few seasons and surfacing against the odds every year, it was finally time for the Black Cats to be taken under as their luck finally ran out.

They were poor for the most part of the season, with very little for fans to get excited about.

David Moyes was the chosen one to take over from the good work Sam Allardyce had done the previous season to keep them up. But, Moyes couldn’t fulfill this task and has since announced his resignation.

The glimmer of hope all season for Sunderland, was veteran striker, Jermain Defoe, who scored 14 goals and rescued them a number of times. Aside from him, there was little room for praise.

Sunderland looked so out of depth at times, like many; I am unsure if they will even survive the Championship. They have looked so poor this season, back to back relegation’s seems highly probable, and wouldn’t be the first time it has happened either.

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As another Premier League season draws to a close, we can take a minute to absorb all the glory and drama, reflect on the highs and lows, and appreciate the true beauty of the league we are so privileged to watch.

A season which saw last year’s champions finish 12th this time, and the occupants of 10th, win the league this time around.

Next season promises to contain thrills, spills and the unknown, who would dare predict who the victors will be, because with this league; you never know.

 

Tom Cavilla.

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Author:

My name is Tom Cavilla. I am 18 years old and I am an aspiring journalist. I love sport, in particular football and could spend hours on end writing about it. My experience as a journalist includes undertaking work experience at Worcester City FC of the Vanarama National League North. During this time, I did commentating on the games – which has always been a dream of mine and also writing match reports. I have also gained experience through the Liverpool Echo newspaper, which has seen me cover the Liverpool Under 23’s at Anfield and also attend a Jurgen Klopp press conference. Any feedback you have would be highly appreciated. Feel free to contact me on my email : tom.cavilla@hotmail.co.uk Thank you!

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