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End of Premier League Season Review: Part 2

 End of Premier League Season Review: Part 2

Fulham

An excellent season for the men from Craven Cottage, and a huge credit must go to Roy Hodgson who in two years has transformed his team from relegation fighters to Europa League finalists and fully deserves his Manager of the Year.  Has also revived the careers of Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff who have both had stellar seasons.

Grade: B+

Teacher’s Pet: There are quite few – including Zoltan Gera, Clint Dempsey and Mark Schwarzer.  But the honour goes to Bobby Zamora with his 17-goal season (including 6 in their Europa League campaign) that gave him an inkling of an England call-up.

Detention: Andrew Johnson – has rarely played this season due to injury.

Hull City

Relegation wasn’t so much of a surprise with Hull, the loss their midfield maestro Jimmy Bullard for the majority of the season meant the task was always going to be a difficult one.  Yet the craziest decision would have been to place Phil Brown on gardening leave and appoint Iain Dowie.  With so few games remaining in the season, if they didn’t want Brown why not do it in December or January, when a manager will have more time to potentially make a difference? Third highest conceders in the Premier League with 75.

Grade: F-

Teacher’s Pet: Jimmy Bullard – Didn’t play that many games but still their best player, is good enough to still play in the top-flight of English football.

Detention: Jozy Altidore – Has struggled to life in the Premier League and subsequently only scored one goal.

Liverpool

Cross this season off the list for The Reds, it’s been an absolute disaster for them both on and off the pitch. Finishing 7th in the league, being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages and constant injuries to Fernando Torres and the loss of form of Steven Gerrard.  Then there’s the “will he go or won’t he?” saga of Rafael Benitez, plus with the spiralling debts of the club, they are left in a position where they have to play catch-up quickly with the likes of Aston, Manchester City and Tottenham, and possibly the best route is to sell one of their prize assets.

Grade: E

Teacher’s Pet – Jose Reina has had another excellent season between the sticks and also Dirk Kuyt’s work ethic and performances earn him a special mention too.

Detention: Some may say Glen Johnson for an indifferent season, others will point the finger at new-boy Alberto Aquilani, but the winner is Ryan Babel, who Benitez prefers to use more as a sub and hasn’t settled in the three seasons he has been at Anfield, closely followed by Maxi Rodriguez.

Manchester City:

The purest of football fans would have been pleased that City finished outside of the Champions League places with the money they spent. This will only mean the cheque book will be at the ready again this summer.  Overall it should be still seen as a positive season for City finishing 5th in Premier League, reaching a League Cup Semi-Final despite the making the wrongful dismissal of Mark Hughes.  Roberto Mancini has done a steady job without setting the world alight, other than find a puncheon for a 70’s style sky-blue and white scarf.

Grade: B-

Teacher’s pet: Carlos Tevez – 28 goals in his first season at Eastlands, showing that he is the man to lead the line ahead of Adebayor and Santa-Cruz.

Detention – Joleon Lescott – Everton must have been rubbing their hands at how much they sold him for: £20m+.  Has struggled with form and fitness since his move to City.

Manchester United

In United’s eyes to only win the Carling Cup will be seen as a disappointing season. And they are right, but many positives should also be taken from the season.  First the emergence of Wayne Rooney being in the true spotlight as the ‘main man’ at Old Trafford, since the departure of Ronaldo.  Positive first season from Antonio Valencia  - and a key this season were the limited matches that both Vidic and Ferdinand started together (10 league games) and an extra striker is still needed as without Rooney up-front United don’t have a true ‘fox in the box’, and matches without him last season proved that.

Grade: A-

Teacher’s Pet: Wayne Rooney, double PFA Players and Football Writers’ Player of the Year, 26 league goals in his most productive goal scoring season ever.

Detention: Dimitar Berbatov – The man who suffered the most from United’s 4-5-1 formation.  His lazy effortless style often frustrates United fans but Ferguson is reluctant to sell him, but for him to be successful at Old Trafford he needs to form a partnership with WR.

Next time, the remainder of the Premier League including Sunderland, Tottenham, West Ham and Wolves.

10 Responses to End of Premier League Season Review: Part 2

  1. KEvin_Amold says:

    I only read the first two and I had to comment. Jozy altidore for detention at hull? Really? And Jimmy Bullard for teacher’s pet? He was injured almost all season, the same reason for which you put Andy Johnson in detention? Jozy at least played, contributed, and generally had a decent impact until the red mist hit him against Sunderland. How about some recognition for Stephen Hunt and infamy for bullard, or Geovanni?

    • ovalball says:

      I think Marshall’s “Pet” designation for Jimmy B. was based more on his impact when he did play. A Hull match with/without JB was like night and day. Given a healthy Bullard I think Hull stays up, but then everyone had injuries to deal with, so……..

      • KEvin_Amold says:

        Without doubt, when Bullard came back around the middle of the season, Hull played a lot better. But when he came back the second time toward the end of the season, he was pretty ineffectual, other than converting penalties Jozy. When you sign for his wages, you are responsible and open for criticism when your team doesn’t perform. Yet, for some insane reason, on loan striker Jozy Altidore, who showed some spirit and was often a handful, is deemed the most worthy of singling out. I just don’t get it.

    • Lee says:

      I’ll second that, Bullard relative to his wages was worthless. Altidore scored 2 goals over the campaign but set up half a dozen more with penalties. I don’t disagree with the grade though.

  2. Evan says:

    Have you even watched Lecott this season with Man City?? Right before his injury he was excellent. Especially paired up with Kompany. He is definitely worth the money paid for him. He is still young but very good at CB, and he has loads of potential. I dont know where you got your information.

    • Huh says:

      Evan Lescott was our best defender (run close by Kompany) but the media say that he was not good enough or worth the money, so others follow suit . Also if Mancicni had been manager from the beginning they would have finished higher, check the goals for and against as well as points compared to Hughes’s.

  3. Matt says:

    Maxi Rodriguez for ‘detention’ – are you actually having a laugh or do you just either not watch Liverpool or know nothing about them?

    And who on earth are ‘Aston’?

  4. Marshall Norbal says:

    Ovalball hit the nail, Jimmy Bullard go the nod due to his impact, they were just starting to get momentum before he go injuried again at Villa. Jozy Altidore showed bags of effort, but struggled to find adapt to the EPL, it didn’t help that Hull weren’t the biggest scores, that why he is there!

    Evan – re Lescott, loads of potential doesn’t hide the fact he has had a difficult season. I watch Man City games, I would have to disagree saying that he was excellent, that goes to the guy that they sold to Villa – Richard Dunne and I still think that paid too much for him.

    Matt, Maxi Rodriguez he will get better, thank you for spotting the error, it of course should be Aston Villa, and again appreciate readers comments, be it good or bad.

    • KEvin_Amold says:

      Were Venegoor of Hesselink and Amr Zaki dumping in the goals? I don’t even know what you mean when you say Jozy “struggled to adapt to the PRemier League.” Listen, it’s just my opinion, and I’m no Jozy apologist, he has his flaws, but he was downright influential over their stretch run where they tried to save themselves. I watched a lot of Hull City this season, as you may have. Their defense was just dire. Without Stephen Hunt, they were lost.

      I really don’t even like hull, but I feel like it’s necessary to protect my American brothers from unjust criticism. He’s not a perfect player, but he was a bright spot over the last 10 games or so. He was a handful.

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