BBC BLOGS - Phil McNulty
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Thrills, chills and moments to savour

Post categories:

Phil McNulty | 13:54 UK time, Thursday, 9 June 2011

The journey took in 72 matches and almost 22,000 miles, concluding with England's 2-2 draw with Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley.

From Blackpool to Basle, it was an unpredictable mixture, throwing up the brilliance of Barcelona's Champions League final victory against Manchester United and the thrills of that final "Survival Sunday" as five clubs fought to stay in the top tier of English football.

As we look back on this season, through what will be a highly eventful close season and ahead to the next campaign, what condition has your club been left in? Here's my review:

Arsenal - 4th

Same old Arsenal. Wonderful, flowing style and memorable nights at the Emirates when Barcelona were beaten and Chelsea swept aside but once again no silverware and not even the meagre consolation of automatic qualification for next season's Champions League.

Arsene Wenger was bursting with optimism in late February as the Gunners chased four trophies but they never recovered from losing the Carling Cup final to Birmingham City in the dying seconds.

Arsenal finished the season with a whimper, prompting serious questions of Wenger's ethos and policies after six years without a trophy. He paid the price for failing to address obvious flaws in central defence, not helped by injury to Thomas Vermaelen, while a lack of physical presence and tenacity in central midfield was also telling.

Criticism of Wenger is often met with an angry reaction from some Arsenal supporters but the realists will surely now accept that it is justified.

Wenger will be under more pressure than ever to deliver success next season so he must address any flaws or Arsenal will once again be in Manchester United's shadow.

The continuing march of Manchester City also threatens to put more distance between the Gunners and silverware, while Liverpool are ready to spend big and set their sights on the top four again under Kenny Dalglish.

High points for Arsenal were the continuing development of Jack Wilshere into the centrepiece of their team for years to come and indications that Wojciech Szczesny has the natural talent to become the reliable goalkeeper Wenger has been seeking.

This may be a defining summer for Wenger. If he gets his signings wrong, then the Arsenal mantra of "Arsene Knows" may come under even closer scrutiny.

Aston Villa - 9th

A wasted year for Aston Villa that was doomed from the moment manager Martin O'Neill left the club days before the start of the season. Plans were thrown into disarray, while the arrival of Gerard Houllier as O'Neill's successor was delayed because of his commitments to the French Football Association.

The season ended in the same swirl of speculation as it started with Houllier leaving Villa on health grounds. It looks like the rebuilding process will have to start again, too, with England winger Ashley Young seemingly on his way to Manchester United and Stewart Downing also considering his future.

Houllier's reign was a stop-start affair and a respectable ninth-place finish cannot disguise the disappointments. The Frenchman struggled to win over Villa's dressing room and supporters, with disciplinary problems involving defenders Richard Dunne and James Collins finding their way into the public arena.

Houllier angered Villa fans by making no secret of his affection for Liverpool on a freezing night when they lost 3-0 at Anfield and lost many forever by choosing to field a weakened side for the FA Cup fifth-round loss at Manchester City.

And yet there were also signs that Houllier's methods were having an impact in terms of improved discipline and results late on. Owner Randy Lerner also showed his faith in the manager by breaking the club's transfer record to land £24m Darren Bent from Sunderland. It will be to Houllier's eternal frustration that he was not able to push his long-term plans through.

Lerner and Villa now face a crucial couple of months that will offer a clear indication of their ambition and intent to challenge near the top of the Premier League.

Birmingham City - 18th

From the highest high to the lowest low. A late goal from Obafemi Martins was the catalyst for scenes of unbridled ecstasy as Birmingham claimed their first major trophy in 47 years by beating Arsenal in the Carling Cup final at Wembley in February.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

Fast forward to White Hart Lane in May and a catastrophe that few Blues fans saw coming as they drank the surrounding areas of Wembley dry. Defeat to Spurs meant relegation back to the Championship.

For all the fine work of manager Alex McLeish, Birmingham ran into an irresistible force of poor form, fatigue and long-term injury that saw them sucked away from heady success and into a failed battle to survive in the Premier League.

McLeish has been backed by Birmingham's board but effectively ordered to win promotion next season. Key players such as Roger Johnson and Scott Dann are already being linked with moves away.

Will owner Carson Yeung provide the finance to embark on the recovery? It was a desperate end to the season and now an uncertain summer faces the Blues. How Birmingham and their fans have experienced both ends of the emotional scale.

Blackburn Rovers - 15th

Blackburn retained their Premier League status on the final day of the season but only after the club's new Indian owners gambled by sacking Sam Allardyce in December with Rovers comfortably placed in the table.

Allardyce's approach and personality makes him a divisive figure but there appeared no logic in dismissing the man who had stabilised Blackburn and replacing him with managerial rookie Steve Kean.

Some stubborn performances at the end of the campaign meant Blackburn's hierarchy did not pay the ultimate price for Allardyce's ruthless dismissal but the jury is still out on whether Kean can fashion real progress.

Outstanding youngster Phil Jones is already on the move to Manchester United, generating around £16m, so there should be money to spend. Ewood Park's regulars still wait to discover the extent of the substance behind those in charge. We will know a lot more by the time the first ball is kicked next season.

Blackpool - 19th

Ian Holloway brought verbal and footballing colour to the Premier League with a dashing approach that was only denied survival by defeat at champions Manchester United on the last day of the season.

Still, Blackpool go back to the Championship with memories of a double over Liverpool and plenty of other thrillers. The 4-0 win at Wigan Athletic on the opening day will live forever in the memory of every fan who witnessed it as Blackpool marked their return to the top flight in style.

Charlie Adam and David Vaughan looked at home in illustrious company but will now move on, leaving Blackpool and Holloway to work out how they can rekindle the dream of a return to the Premier League.

Blackpool were a credit to themselves. I tipped them for the drop at the start of the season and would have loved to have been proved wrong. I very nearly was.

Bolton Wanderers - 14th

An up and down season for Bolton and boss Owen Coyle. The Scot enhanced his reputation as one of the game's brightest managerial talents - yet his team finished in an unflattering 14th place.

Bolton also suffered the nightmare of losing 5-0 to Stoke City in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. It was a memory that scarred their season and will take some time to fade.

Coyle has succeeded in modernising Bolton's style after the Gary Megson era and pulled off a real coup by bringing Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge to the club on loan.

Ambitious and progressive, Coyle may lose England defender Gary Cahill this summer but will hope that Bolton match his drive and show further progress next season. Coyle is destined for bigger things, so Bolton will need to keep up with him.

Chelsea - 2nd

Chelsea were my tip for the title in August and started the season in a swaggering manner that suggested they would be able to overcome even that severe handicap.

Sadly for Carlo Ancelotti, they lost their way and suffered injuries to Frank Lampard and John Terry as their season veered off course. The £50m arrival of Fernando Torres from Liverpool in January, seen by many as a vanity project for owner Roman Abramovich, created a tactical muddle that was never solved.

Chelsea were beaten by Manchester United in the Champions League, a defeat that effectively sealed Ancelotti's fate, and also lost out to United in the title race despite a late recovery that saw them travel to Old Trafford with real hopes of retaining their crown.

It came as no surprise when Ancelotti was sacked but it was still a harsh judgement on a manager who created history by winning the league and FA Cup double a year earlier.

Chelsea's new coach - with Guus Hiddink awaiting confirmation that he is to return to Stamford Bridge - must rebuild and also fulfil Abramovich's fantasy of winning the Champions League, while answering the many questions that hang over the club.

Is it now finally time to plot a future without Terry, Lampard and Didier Drogba? Will the team have to be rebuilt around Torres? Will Abramovich demonstrate hidden depths of patience and allow Ancelotti's successor to build steadily towards new glory? Success must come swiftly, as Ancelotti can testify. One season without success and he was out.

Everton - 7th

Everton once again ended the season strongly under David Moyes and demonstrated their threat by beating Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester City and Chelsea at Goodison Park.

Sadly, they were undermined by a lack of goal threat. Moyes knew that was a problem last summer and yet never had the financial support to successfully cure it. Jermaine Beckford scored 10 goals and showed promise but Moyes needs more than free-transfer gambles to take Everton forward.

As owner Bill Kenwright is unable to provide major finance himself and has not uncovered an investor, it is hard to see how that will change. Moyes is once again facing the familiar dilemma of having to sell to buy and may have to field bids for outstanding defender Leighton Baines and England Under-21 star Jack Rodwell. He also has to persuade giant Belgium midfield man Marouane Fellaini that Everton are primed for progress and a club worth committing his future to.

The brutal reality, as more or less admitted by Moyes, is that seventh may be as good as it gets for Everton in their current circumstances. How long before Moyes himself becomes frustrated by the financial straitjacket he is constantly forced to wear?

Fulham - 8th

The glow of a very satisfactory Premier League placing was quickly replaced by the shock created by the abrupt departure of Mark Hughes as manager, a repeat of last summer when Roy Hodgson left for Liverpool after taking Fulham to the Europa League final.

Martin Jol's swift appointment will help banish some of the disappointment. The Dutchman, still a hugely popular figure with Spurs fans after his time at White Hart Lane, is a fine choice and demonstrates once again that Fulham have a sure touch when it comes to selecting managers.

Jol will bring knowledge of the Premier and Europe to Fulham and is presumably happy at the club's scale of ambition, a factor put forward as one of the reasons Hughes left. The Dutchman also inherits a club and team in a healthy condition. Hughes recovered from a poor start to steer the club into the Europa League via the Fair Play standings.

Losing another manager could have been a destabilising blow for Fulham but this fine old club has shown it has the infrastructure and the squad in place to move on with Jol.

Liverpool - 6th

Liverpool's season fluctuated wildly from the misery of Roy Hodgson's brief reign to the optimism engendered by the return of Kenny Dalglish and the ambitious plans of owner John W Henry and the Fenway Sports Group.

Hodgson was a seemingly "safe hands" appointment following Rafael Benitez's departure but the veteran with the big reputation was never a comfortable fit.

He was not well received by Liverpool's fans, especially when they knew Dalglish had been rejected for the post in his favour, and his fate was sealed by poor results, such as the home defeats against Northampton Town in the Carling Cup and Blackpool in the Premier League. Bad signings in the shape of Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky damaged Hodgson's standing even further.

Anfield history will judge Hodgson harshly but he brought Raul Meireles to Anfield. This was a case of a manager being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Dalglish's emotional return changed the face of Liverpool on and off the pitch, with even the departure of £50m Fernando Torres to Chelsea turned into a positive with the arrival of the brilliant Uruguayan Luis Suarez in the Spaniard's place.

Liverpool have already sealed a deal worth around £20m for Sunderland's Jordan Henderson and were pipped by Manchester United in the £16m chase for Phil Jones - bold and expensive moves that signal the start of a powerful statement of intent by Dalglish and the Anfield hierarchy.

Liverpool's fans started to get carried away towards the end of the season by talking up a title charge next season. But defeats against Spurs and Aston Villa meant there will be no European football at Anfield next season. Reality must rule.

Dalglish will have his sights set on the top four next season, while the mood around Anfield is of genuine hope that Liverpool can emerge into the light once more after spending so much of a turbulent season in the dark.

Manchester City - 3rd

Roberto Mancini overcame the obstacles of handling an unwieldy, expensive squad and some fairly high maintenance egos to end the season with Manchester City's first major trophy since 1976 and automatic entry into next season's Champions League.

This constitutes a job well done by the Italian, who saw big-money summer signings like David Silva and Yaya Toure, who was a match-winner in the FA Cup semi-final and final against Manchester United and against Stoke respectively, deliver when it mattered.

Temperamental Mario Balotelli and striking colleague Edin Dzeko were not as convincing at a combined cost of more than £50m but City showed signs of real quality and unity in the closing weeks of the season.

Mancini is intent on more high-profile acquisitions this summer, backed by City's Abu Dhabi millions, and there will be great expectation for a Premier League title challenge after finally ending the club's barren run.

It could be that a player who is already at Eastlands holds the key. Carlos Tevez is captain, leader, talisman and City's outstanding player. If he can be persuaded to stay, it might just provide the perfect platform for further success in the transfer market.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

If Mancini can use the attraction of huge wages and the lure of Champions League football to get his choices right, City can be a serious title threat next season.

Manchester United - CHAMPIONS

Sir Alex Ferguson faced constant questions about the strength of his squad as well as unfavourable comparisons with Manchester United teams of the past. The club's historic 19th title, won by nine points, was his answer.

United struggled away from home but Old Trafford was almost impregnable, with only two points dropped in the Premier League. This vintage may not have the "fantasy" provided by a Cristiano Ronaldo but they were still good enough to account for their closest domestic rivals Chelsea in the league and in Europe.

Barcelona's brilliant dismissal of United in the Champions League final illustrated the task facing Ferguson to win that trophy again - and even the championship does not gloss over the fact that the squad needs attention, a fact accepted by the manager.

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has retired, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes have also gone, while the Old Trafford career of Owen Hargreaves is over, wrecked by injury. How long can Ryan Giggs resist the tap on the shoulder from Father Time?

Ferguson has gems for the future in place already, namely defender Chris Smalling and the brilliant Mexican striker Javier Hernandez, while the Scot has already beaten his rivals to land Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers and lined up Atletico Madrid's David de Gea to replace Van der Sar. Ashley Young is also an expected arrival from Aston Villa.

In other words, the next phase of the Old Trafford renewal is under way.

It was in midfield, in particular, where United looked threadbare against Barcelona, so expect Ferguson to address any gaps. Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder looks a perfect fit but there are growing whispers that the Scot sees Spurs craftsman Luka Modric as the potential heartbeat of a reshaped midfield. He would be a wonderful signing.

The season may have ended in disappointment at Wembley but Ferguson was still able to write a new chapter in United's history with that league title. He will not spend this summer standing still and the beating from Barcelona will only have sharpened the old streetfighter's desire for a scrap.

Newcastle United - 12th

Newcastle United can be accused of many things but never call them dull. From the unceremonious sacking of manager Chris Hughton to the sudden £35m sale of England striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool on deadline day in January, they made their share of headlines on their return the Premier League.

Owner Mike Ashley was heavily criticised for sacking Hughton in December and replacing him with Alan Pardew but he will be satisfied with a place just outside the top 10 and plenty of good memories to revel in throughout the summer.

Newcastle's high points were the 5-1 thrashing of north-east rivals Sunderland and their two meetings with Arsenal. Carroll's towering header gave them victory at the Emirates but their comeback from a 4-0 half-time deficit against Arsene Wenger's side at St James' Park was a candidate for game of the season.

Pardew assured fans angry at Carroll's departure that the £35m received would be spent on new players this summer. Now the Toon Army await the proof and already speculation is rife about the futures of Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique.

In plenty of respects, it was a satisfactory season for Newcastle but expect a lively summer - one way or the other - in readiness for August.

Stoke City - 13th

Tony Pulis deserves great credit for his management at Stoke City. Not only did they prove once again that they are an established Premier League club, they embellished this by reaching the FA Cup final.

It was disappointing Stoke played so poorly in losing to Manchester City but this should not scratch too much gloss off another fine season, which provided a real highlight for their fanatical support when Bolton were beaten 5-0 in the semi-final.

Stoke also gave the lie to the old judgement about simply being a long-ball team, providing plenty of entertainment by fielding two wingers, Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington, who constantly supplied Kenwyne Jones and Jon Walters.

Stoke still have their critics - but you will not find me among them.

Sunderland - 10th

Sunderland will examine a final Premier League position of 10th and regard the season as mission accomplished. This does not tell the complete tale of a campaign divided into two distinct halves.

Steve Bruce's side started the season so impressively that there was even talk of Europe. The second portion contained so many dismal displays that there were genuine relegation fears after a run of eight defeats in nine league games late on.

Bruce can claim mitigating circumstances. The whole of Wearside was stunned when top scorer and England striker Darren Bent demanded to leave and subsequently signed for Aston Villa in a £24m deal.

Bent's departure disrupted Sunderland's equilibrium, with Bruce also having to contend with horrendous injury problems. Still, some of the displays in the latter part of the season were disturbingly poor.

Bruce must now freshen up Sunderland's squad again in the summer with Jordan Henderson off to Liverpool in a big-money move and cash still available from Bent's sale.

Consistency is the key for Bruce - but not the sort of consistency they showed from January onwards. He must also spend the money he has at his disposal wisely.

Tottenham Hotspur - 5th

Harry Redknapp's talented squad illuminated the Champions League before they were eliminated by Real Madrid in the last eight. By then, they had served up two old-fashioned "Glory Glory" nights by tearing apart then holders Inter Milan at White Hart Lane and beating AC Milan in the San Siro thanks to Peter Crouch's goal.

It will be a disappointment, then, that Spurs will not sample those riches again next season after an indifferent finish saw them drop out of the Champions League places.

Spurs were undermined by injuries suffered by Gareth Bale in the latter part of the season as well as the failure of their strikers to hit the target with the regularity required.

A recovery saw them pip Liverpool for a Europa League place but White Hart Lane will miss the big nights after revelling in the rarified atmosphere of the Champions League.

Redknapp will spend the summer building again towards a top-four place. One obvious flaw has been addressed with the signing of goalkeeper Brad Friedel as competition - and more likely a replacement - for accident prone Heurelho Gomes.

The Spurs boss is likely to bolster his midfield with the signing of West Ham's Scott Parker, while signing a goalscorer of proven pedigree is also a priority.

Spurs and Redknapp loved the taste of the Champions League. He will want to ensure it is not a one-off experience.

West Bromwich Albion - 11th

I tipped the Baggies for the drop but was delighted to be proved wrong as a big club with a big following stayed up thanks to the efforts of two managers and a chairman who took decisive, if not universally popular, action.

Roberto Di Matteo got Albion off to a good start with a win at Arsenal and a draw at Manchester United that meant they were the the only side to take points at Old Trafford in the course of the season.

The Italian could not continue the good work and was dismissed in February after a run of 13 defeats in 18 games. It was a move that seemed cruel on the man who took them to the Premier League but Albion's hierarchy, led by chairman Jeremy Peace, can point to the subsequent improvement under Roy Hodgson as full vindication for their actions.

I expressed concern that a lack of firepower might be Albion's downfall but the feats of 15-goal Peter Odemwingie addressed that following his move from Locomotiv Moscow.

Hodgson was rejuvenated after his arrival at The Hawthorns and has solid foundations on which to build and use his experience for next season. If he can keep Odemwingie and added further reinforcements, perhaps Fulham's Andrew Johnson, then Albion can look forward with optimism.

West Ham United - 20th

An abject season from the moment Avram Grant was mistakenly appointed as manager, West Ham United can have no complaints about relegation. New owners David Gold and David Sullivan opted for Grant without real evidence that he could build a Premier League side and suffered dire consequences.

Grant always looked like he was struggling at Upton Park (it is never a good sign when you market a "Save Our Season" game in November) and it appeared the board's confidence in him had evaporated in January when sights were set on Martin O'Neill as his replacement.

No-one takes pleasure in suggesting a manager should lose his job but West Bromwich Albion's route to survival can be traced back to Roberto Di Matteo's sacking. West Ham, on the other hand, went down under a manager who appeared to be a lame duck as the season moved towards a climax.

Grant, now replaced by Sam Allardyce, should not take the blame alone as West Ham's hierarchy must also share the burden of responsibility. Few of their players can look back on the campaign with pride either.

Scott Parker was a shining light and will now leave with the blessing of West Ham's fans after propping the team up almost single-handedly at stages.

It is back to the Championship but at least they have a manager in Allardyce who is capable of sparking a revival. Sadly, this was an appointment made five months too late.

Wigan Athletic - 16th

Roberto Martinez stayed true to his principles and was rewarded with a late escape and another season in the Premier League - but it took quite a recovery to do it.

I was at the DW Stadium when Wigan looked to be heading for relegation after West Ham took a two-goal lead in the season's penultimate game.

In one of the season's most memorable matches, the home side staged a comeback to win - and another three points at Stoke City on the last day kept them up.

Wigan appear destined to flirt perpetually with the drop but they are a mercurial side capable of beating the best and losing to the worst. It is hard to see how it will be any different next season.

The task will be even harder should they lose star man Charles N'Zogbia but few will begrudge them their place in the Premier League if they produce more of the entertainment that they provided against West Ham.

Wolverhampton Wanderers - 17th

It took Stephen Hunt's late goal in the 3-2 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers - coupled with Birmingham's defeat at Spurs - to keep Wolves up.

Mick McCarthy's side were another mixed bag, capable of beating Chelsea and Manchester United at Molineux but also plumbing the depths on other days.

Wolves suffered for the loss of striker Kevin Doyle late in the season but Steven Fletcher filled the void with an important flurry of goals that contributed to their survival.

McCarthy will want to keep players of the calibre of Doyle and Matt Jarvis away from the clubs coveting their services and recruit shrewdly to avoid a repeat of that nerve-jangling last day.

Wolves and McCarthy rightly celebrated staying up but they will hope that a club of their calibre can perhaps have more than survival as their sole aim when next season kicks off. It should be about more than that for them.

Now a few awards based purely on the games I have attended this season.

TEAM OF THE SEASON

Manchester United. Say what you like - and we did on occasions - but champions for a record 19th time and a third Champions League final in four years marks them out as the best.

PLAYER OF THE SEASON

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic. A tower of strength as he led his team to the title and a world-class defender.

GAME OF THE SEASON

Wigan Athletic 3-2 West Ham United. The game that had everything. West Ham in the lead and looking at survival before Wigan, on the brink of the drop, fought back to win and send the Hammers down.

The last 10 minutes were truly magnificent and madcap as both sides knew only a winning goal would do, all played out amid scenes of near hysteria at the DW Stadium. And who could forget the infamous light aircraft trailing the banner bearing the words: "Avram Grant - Millwall Legend."

The match just edged out the 3-3 draw between Spurs and Arsenal at White Hart Lane - a classic of its kind.

INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON

Gareth Bale. Spurs v Inter Milan. The close proximity of White Hart Lane's press box to the touchline provides a unique vantage point and allowed a privileged view of Bale terrorising Inter's celebrated full-back Maicon with raw pace and power.

Time and again, Bale flew past us - and Maicon - in a blur. Truly wonderful.

GOAL OF THE SEASON

Easy decision. Wayne Rooney's overhead kick winner in the Manchester derby. Magical piece of instinctive skill that only a special talent can provide - and more importantly won three vital points.

DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE SEASON

Liverpool's Joe Cole. Arrived at Anfield as their big summer signing but started badly when sent off against Arsenal on the opening day and deteriorated from then on. Steven Gerrard compared Cole favourably to Lionel Messi when he signed. Not really.

You can follow me at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    epic blog phil!

    nice one...

  • Comment number 2.

    Nice one!

  • Comment number 3.

    Given a look at the individual award winners, you can tell it was a lo-q season. Bale was as underseving of Player of the Year as I can remember, while Parker reputation was only enhanced by the fact that West Ham were the worst team in the league. Lowest Championship winning points haul since pre-Abramovic suggests that the top sides had really poor seasons. Chelsea, finished 2nd remember, and were abysmal for three months.

    England have been a huge disappointment in the last year, while in Europe the English clubs' stock is falling.

    I think next season will be fantastically ultra-competitive, due to the convergence of the top 6.

  • Comment number 4.

    Vidic? HAHA

  • Comment number 5.

    4.
    At 15:24 9th Jun 2011, jimbohammers - WHTID wrote:

    Vidic? HAHA

    ___________________________________________________________________

    He probably would've done a better job at CB than any of yours. Probably at full back too.

    Maybe even up front.

    Actually, he'd probably get a starting place on the wing at West Ham.

    Come to think of it, why didn't Gold and Sullivan try and appoint Nemanja as manager halfway through the season. Probably would've done a better job than Grant.

  • Comment number 6.

    Great Blog Phil, I Agree With All Your Awards Bar One, Game Of The Season Surely Had To Be Newcastle Vs Arsenal, 4 Nil Down At Half Time, 4-4 Full Time, Best Game I Seen In A Long Time!

  • Comment number 7.

    Typical british media, criticise Wenger because he is French , laud Dalglish and Rednapp as British managers. Spurs have spent every year way more than Arsenal and still finish behind us , but all the praise goes to Rednapp.

  • Comment number 8.

    Watch the replay of Rooney's goal against city it clearly comes off his shin. He was obviously aiming to hit it with his foot therefore this goal is nothing more than a very fortunate mis kick a complete fluke. To describe it as great technique best goal ever etc is just wishful thinking. It is only because of him being English the White pele and all that nonsense plus playing for united who are for some reason loved by the media that this goal got the ridiculous amount of airtime that it did. Not in the top 50 goals in my book. I'll wait for all the outraged responses to this but seriously watch the replay ( for the millionth time) and you will see HE SHINNED it

  • Comment number 9.

    haha 5. konchelskis_legend

    number 4 made him sound foolish criticising vidic for player of the year but youve just made yourself sound like a little child.......

  • Comment number 10.

    @7.

    It was an appraisal of 10/11 season.

  • Comment number 11.

    i have often wondered how crap life would be without football, then again we wouldn't know how life would be with football. the next 2 month's or so will be dire. these blogs take up half my day at work coz all i can get is this website at work.

    boooo lois....... yay beer!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi RangersLawd...decided to choose games of the season etc. on those I had actually attended and I wasn't at Newcastle v Arsenal. If I was I suspect it would have been the one I nominated.

    So the platform is right there.

    Supporters of every club who played in the Premier League last season can have their say and I'd love to hear from you. Don't mind getting grief from those who disagree either so fire away. The floor is yours on last season, this summer, and next season. All views welcome.

  • Comment number 13.

    8. At 15:47 9th Jun 2011, Daglish rush fowler legends owen torrres judas wrote:
    Watch the replay of Rooney's goal against city it clearly comes off his shin. He was obviously aiming to hit it with his foot therefore this goal is nothing more than a very fortunate mis kick a complete fluke.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You really need to get that bitter taste out of your mouth. More importantly if you could even be bothered to learn how to spell the legend DALGLISH's name that you so proudly put in your username, you may be taken seriously. But maybe you are right about the goal. I much preferred the technique shown on Berbatov's Hat Trick goal at Old Trafford against Liverpool... Champ19ns... It's a nice view on this perch...

  • Comment number 14.

    @8

    Typical Liverpool fan comment on Man Utd's topic. No, I will not put any outraged response to your comment because you are Liverpool fan and you cant help it but always provides one-side view instead of balance overview.

    How do you feel about being the second more successful team in English football? :)

  • Comment number 15.

    great blog phil, really enjoyed it and it neatly summarised everything. As a point of interest for all your readers I found these two articles which celebrate the best goals and assists of the year individually. Check them out if you get a chance:

    http://www.sickchirpse.com/2011/06/08/top-ten-assists-2010-11/

    http://www.sickchirpse.com/2011/06/01/101-greatest-goals-of-2010-11/

  • Comment number 16.

    "Dalglish's emotional return changed the face of Liverpool on and off the pitch, with even the departure of £50m Fernando Torres to Chelsea turned into a positive with the arrival of the brilliant Uruguayan Luis Suarez in the Spaniard's place."

    ------------------------------------

    A bit misleading as Saurez was on his way before any agreement was made around selling Torres. Carroll was technically Torre's replacement and considering he cost a rather larger chunk of that 50 mil, is hardly much to crow about.

  • Comment number 17.

    I Only Disagreed With One But Its Your Blog Phil And Of Course You Awarded That Match For Being There, I Mean I Dont Go To Any Matches In The Epl, But The Match Of The Day Experiance On A Saturday Night Does It For Me :P

  • Comment number 18.

    Bring back 606...!

  • Comment number 19.

    @8

    1. Who is 'Daglish'?

    2. You are, of course, entitled to your own bizarre little opinion. But I'd urge YOU to watch the replay, and actually listen to the sound it makes when he connects. If you think that's the sound of his shin connecting with the ball, I'd suggest you start following a different sport.

  • Comment number 20.

    The perfect platform for a few thousand postings :)

  • Comment number 21.

    good blog phil.....nice to see you back wit such an interesting blog at the end of a season that more than 50% of your prediction at your august 2010 blog were wrong...it shows how competive the league....interesting seeing da changes in da top four in the past two season and how arsenal lost to birm in da carlin cup final....

  • Comment number 22.

    Typical comments from the southern based media about Bolton. Coyle is not the messiah that a lot of the press think he is. He is tactically nieve in away games which is proved by BWFC having the worst away record in all 4 divisions. He also picks players who are hopelessly out of form and the biggest example of that is his persistance in choosing Muamba for practically every single game.

    If you also look at the stats on our style of football, we have one of the worst % in passing completion, one of the highest of using long passes and one of the lowest in short passing.

    You've not mentioned that the loss of Stuart Holden is probably the biggest reason for our woeful end of season form. Our season ended when he was carried off the Old Trafford pitch. What started off as a good season turned into something that wasn't much better than during the Megson era.

    If you are going to do an end of season review, at least research properly and don't come out with the same old rubbish.

  • Comment number 23.

    Interesting blog.

    I'd say your input on Birmingham City which I support is a little too harsh on them. The Championship isn't a financial black hole. Once we gain automatic promotion next season and gain a much needed £90 million pounds reinvestment into the team which we will because quite frankly, everyone below 5th in the Championship are pure trashy teams, we will do a Newcastle the following season and finish about 12th in the Premier League, possibly even better than that depending on circumstances.

  • Comment number 24.

    @8

    Even if Rooney did shin it, it's a bit of a stretch to call it a fluke and reeks of bitterness. He showed great anticipation, timing, athleticism, and body position (awareness of the goal). It maybe wasn't 100% precise hit, but when you have all those other things in place you don't always need to be perfectly precise. Also it was a hugely important goal against a bitter rival (I'm not a Man United fan BTW).

  • Comment number 25.

    Oh and on top of that, I'd argue that winning the league cup is better than avoiding relegation as Wolves, Wigan and Aston Villa will be in the same horrible positions as they were this year.

  • Comment number 26.

    Mostly agree with this article Phil, especially the ones relating to Arsenal. Another disappointing season that needlessly and inexplicably collasped with a game that should've been a routine win. As a gooner Wenger still has my support,but it's safe to say that his inability to address the correct problems is one of our major problems.

    We need another good centre half, one with experience, another reliable right back, a decent striker, and another winger. Arsenal almost need a player in every position, either as a back up for the current one, since our players are so injury prone. Or because the current player does not look reliable and won't be able to hold up next season, Arshavin, Rosicky, Diaby, Djourou.

  • Comment number 27.

    Joe Cole was poor but doesn't come close to Torres. Franco Di Santo looked more of a goal threat than him.....

  • Comment number 28.

    Oh and... Winning the League Cup was better than avoiding relegation. Wolves, Wigan and Aston Villa will still be in the same crappy positions as they were this year and always battling for survival with no hope of progression. Newcastle have shown that the Championship can be used as a time for rebuilding and a renewed plough for Premier League places.

  • Comment number 29.

    Good blog, but no point giving credit to game of the season if your are only going by the ones you had seen. For future, it may have been an idea to watch the N'castle v Arsenal game before putting 'game of the season' in an article.

  • Comment number 30.

    Joe Cole's award could be applied to the whole of his career. He has never been more than a bit part player with fleeting cameos and a reputation built on training ground hype.
    He must have some great training ground tricks up his sleeve given the hype he has had since he was a teenager, its just a shame we've never really seen them often enough in full matches.

  • Comment number 31.

    surely at £50 million with one goal Torres is the disappointment of the season?

  • Comment number 32.

    So this is what you've been up to since the season finished! Way too long to be read.

    We were all there, we knew what happened. A simple review of the season, rather than the amount of each team would have done.

    Anyway, I stumbled on this yesterday which I think sums it up...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/collections/p006rg11#p007803w

  • Comment number 33.

    DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE SEASON - Liverpool's Joe Cole.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Disagree, yes a disappointment but he was FREE. There were much worse....Bebe, Chamakh, Torres, Boeteng, Dzceko

  • Comment number 34.

    what you failed to say was how poor was the standard overall
    you strayed nearer to rthe truuth when you nominated a relegation dogfight as the game of the season & a yard dog centre half as player of the year
    i saw live everton arsenal manchester city and chelsea
    i couldnt believe how bad chelsea were and manchester city play like individuals not a team
    arsenal ar ok going forward but terrible in defence
    like spurs they need a goalie & two centre halves
    manchester united were the best of a bad bunch who were humiliated by barca
    you were right about joe cole
    to compare him to messi is like comparing a bulldozer to a ferrari
    manchester united ness a goalie a play maker a winger and a goal scorer
    they are buying their 5th centre half?
    manchester city can kiss tevez goodbye after his comments about not visiting cold and wet manchester again
    they need a local lad who is proud to lead out his local team out & has pride in the shirt
    if he exists i aint seen him
    they can forget the champions league even the premiership is way beyond them
    the key question is how long can we continue to pay over rated foreigners silly money at the detriment of our home grown lads?
    ask yourself this
    how many of the u-21's are with the top clubs with an automatic place in the team & an assured path to the national team?
    they silly money will continue as long as sky will foot the bill
    if they turn their attention to the emerging economies like china & india the premier league will face a lean future as both countries are less obcessed with football especially india
    as to the national team once the italian gentleman has left..........
    who is this mythical englishman who will lead us to world cuo glory in 2014?
    harry redknapp?
    roy hodgson?
    the guy at newcastle?
    what was the name of the last englishman to manage england?
    steve maclaren?
    where is he now?
    notmanaging a top premiership club for sure
    it is no suprise that few english managers get a look in at the top of the premier league
    abroad we fare less well
    it was in 1950 that jesse carver took juve to the scuddetto in italy
    the last english to grace la liga in spain was big ron at athletico madrid
    anyone remember him?
    to sum up......
    more lazy overpaid foreigners means fewer opportunities for home grown talent to move into the premiership let alone an england jersey
    liverpoolis a microcosm of the premiership
    full of useless overpaid foreigners who cost a fortune plus some under performing englishman like joe cole%2

  • Comment number 35.

    United's strength this season was most definitely in their squad.

    United's first XI looks weaker than it has in previous seasons but their second XI is probably the best second XI in world football. It is that squad depth that meant they had the consistency to win the league - but not the quality to beat Barcelona.

    It really doesn't matter how much better Berbatov is than Krkic or how much better Smalling is than Fontàs if none of them are required on the pitch in the final.

  • Comment number 36.

    Agree on player of the season, the captain and bedrock of the champions - nuff said.

    The rooney goal was a piece of magic and it's easy to see why it wins your goal of the season - superb technique and incredible instinctive piece of match-winning.

    Best game I saw was probably the CL q/f 2nd leg. Chelsea showed that night why they have been United's only real challengers in England over the last 6 or 7 years and United showed why they are the best team in the country. It was a magnificent match.

  • Comment number 37.

    Disappointment of the year?

    Blackpool.

    Attack, attack, attack!
    Concede, concede, concede!
    Attack, attack, attack!
    Concede, concede, concede!

    Then towards the end of the season...

    Attack
    Concede, Concede, Concede
    Attack
    Concede, Concede, Concede

    Blackpool have forgotten the golden rule of football. 11 good players is not enough to stay in the Premier League. I'd say if you could use 11 good players consistently in the Premier League, half of the Championship would be able to survive in the Premier League. The key to staying in the Premier League is fitness and fitness is only possible when you have a decent set of reserve players.

  • Comment number 38.

    "you were right about joe cole
    to compare him to messi is like comparing a bulldozer to a ferrari"

    ------------------------------------

    Poor analogy, more like comparing a Yugo GV to a Ferrari.

  • Comment number 39.

    38.
    At 16:24 9th Jun 2011, the swashbuckler wrote:

    "you were right about joe cole
    to compare him to messi is like comparing a bulldozer to a ferrari"

    ------------------------------------

    Poor analogy, more like comparing a Yugo GV to a Ferrari.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Yeh. Comparing Mamady Sidibe or John Parkin to Messi is like comparing a bulldozer to a Ferrari.

  • Comment number 40.

    Wow! First blog of P McN's that hasn't contained a large dose of complete piffle. He finally makes it with very last one of the season. (Does this mean we get subjected to them next year as well?)

  • Comment number 41.

    At 16:16 9th Jun 2011, Reinasbaldhead wrote:
    DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE SEASON - Liverpool's Joe Cole.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Disagree, yes a disappointment but he was FREE. There were much worse....Bebe, Chamakh, Torres, Boeteng, Dzceko

    At around 5 million pounds a year in wages he was hardly free was he??

  • Comment number 42.

    #37 andy1005

    I think all the 'breath of fresh air' stuff that was directed or lavished on Blackpool was a lot of nonsense really.

    They got a few good results early in the season, the usual element of surprise I guess from a newly promoted team then just went down and down in the new year. Did Holloway learn nothing? Seems very inflexible if you ask me.

    Also, as time wore on, Holloway himself seemed to act as if some attempted clever quips in press conferences would be enough to save them!

  • Comment number 43.

    Berbatov's 2nd in this match was the best individual skill for me although it didn't make Rooney's any less enjoyable or teh 3rd goal in this match either

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/9000606.stm

  • Comment number 44.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 45.

    @ 33 Disagree, yes a disappointment but he was FREE. There were much worse....Bebe, Chamakh, Torres, Boeteng, Dzceko
    ______________________________________________________________________

    How on earth was Chamakh more of a disappointment than Cole?

    Chamakh also came on a free, and for the first 6 months, looked a great signing, fitting in well and scoring quite a few goals. For whatever reason, he didn't get as many games in the second half, but more of a disappointment than Cole? JOKING.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    41.At 16:27 9th Jun 2011, JTthefirst wrote
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    All players get paid don't they? I would bet the last 3 on my list are on more money, which brings me to elude how do know how correct this £5m figure is?

  • Comment number 48.

    "DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE SEASON - Liverpool's Joe Cole.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Disagree, yes a disappointment but he was FREE. There were much worse....Bebe, Chamakh, Torres, Boeteng, Dzceko"


    ______________________________________

    Err yeah, what about the £4,000,000 Joe Cole 'earned' in wages during that time?

    Then again - have to agree it was Bebe. lol :o))

  • Comment number 49.

    #44 Mr Chelsea

    I think that it is the case that Joe Cole is not a 'complete' professional footballer. Perhaps his talents would be better suited to a circus!

  • Comment number 50.

    "How long before Moyes himself becomes frustrated by the financial straitjacket he is constantly forced to wear?"]

    A more appropriate question would be is how long are journalists going to persist with this tedious line?

    Moyes has shown & said several times that he is happy at Everton & money isnt everything shown by him turning down the Villa job

  • Comment number 51.

    So what will you do now Phil in the summer months? As for the season I thought the quality was poor. Footballers care more about how much they earn and their celebrity status than how they play. My match of the season was the Champions League final as it showed that even if Manchester United is the best team out of a bad bunch, they are way short of a great team.

  • Comment number 52.

    @MrBB

    You seem intent on reinventing yourself as the Grumpy Old Man of BBG Blogs!

    http://www.wearysloth.com/Gallery/ActorsB/1963.gif

  • Comment number 53.

    45.At 16:30 9th Jun 2011, danmort wrote: Chamakh also came on a free, and for the first 6 months
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Try the first 2 months

  • Comment number 54.

    PLAYER OF THE SEASON: Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic.
    TEAM OF THE SEASON: Manchester United
    GOAL OF THE SEASON:Easy decision. Wayne Rooney
    __________________________________________________________________

    No real surprise from you there, Phil I do admire your consistency though. You did however miss an opportunity to add Alex Ferguson’s name to your list as “Manager of the Season”. So I’m guessing he still won’t give an interview to the BBC.

  • Comment number 55.

    #52 kanchelskis_legend

    Bah!!!!

    Anyway, go back and check out the link I posted at #32 and tell me that it doesn't sum up much if not most of what we hear throughout the season, with last season being a case in point given how even the top teams were very fallible for one reason or another.

    There's too much in this blog for most comments to be 'on subject'. Was last season as good as previous seasons? In my opinion no. I love football but overall, don't you just get a bit bored of all the guff sometimes?

  • Comment number 56.

    Good blog Phil!

    I actually believe Liverpool missing out on Europe all together will be a huge blessing for them. They are gaining momentum again and with these recent signings (January and this summer), they are shaping up as a very good and reasonably young team. Under Dalglish they will challenge for trophies soon and I'm saying that as a Man United fan. They may not quite have enough for the Premier League yet as the team continues to change, but I think Champions League is a decent shout, especially if Arsenal continue in the same manner.

  • Comment number 57.

    @53,

    well that's two better months than Joe Cole, so where's your justification that Chamakh was more of a disappointment?

  • Comment number 58.

    Phil, you start your piece by saying: "The journey took in 72 matches." What are you on about? There were consideraby more matches than that played this season!

  • Comment number 59.

    Gotta Love A Debatable Blog From Mr McNulty Eh Guys ;)

  • Comment number 60.

    57.At 16:44 9th Jun 2011, danmort wrote:
    @53,

    well that's two better months than Joe Cole, so where's your justification that Chamakh was more of a disappointment?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Big wages, the player giving it the big I am before the season started, sat on the bench without coming on for 3/4 of the season.

  • Comment number 61.

    Also, Reinasbaldhead, Chamakh scored 10 goals between August and November..

    Only 2 good months? Should really think before you type fella.

  • Comment number 62.

    18 + 5 = 23
    19 + 3 = 22

  • Comment number 63.

    Your opening line should actually have been:

    "Same old new Arsenal"

  • Comment number 64.

    44.
    At 16:30 9th jun 2011, Mr Chelsea wrote:

    I'm gna stick up for Joe Cole here. He is actually technically gifted. Wouldnt go as far as to say he's as good as Messi but in this league there's no time and space for a player like him to be able to show his talents off. All those crowing about the need for technically gifted footballers, Well Joe Cole was one of them but he's been kinda wasted. Spain would suit him.
    ________________________________________--

    Joe Cole is technically gifted? Did you say gifted? Well, everything is relative, and, for an Englishman, maybe. Gifted players are Modric, Nasri, Silva, Giggs etc. Joe Cole is just a waste of a place on a football team. He is the man who took the 'element of surprise' out of the step over. Gifted players don't do step overs!

  • Comment number 65.

    Because Joe Cole isn't on high wages?

    Chamakh giving it the big I am? You sure? He's one of the most timid footballers I've witnessed!

    Yes, he had a poor second half, I said that, but Cole didn't even have any good form!

  • Comment number 66.

    @56

    I really don't see how Liverpool are in any better position next season than they were last season, even just to challenge for a CL spot. The top 3 (Man United, Chelsea, City) will all strengthen over the summer and are not likely to be dislodged. Arsenal had a mare of a loast couple of months, but even if they don't sign anyone of significance, with Fabregas, Wilshere, Nasri, etc. they have a much more talented team than anyone outside the top 4 and can only be better due to the relative age of the squad. Then you have Spurs to contend with if 'arry gets a bit of money and hangs onto his key players. Everton are usually thereabouts as well. Gerrard and Carragher are much like Lampard and Terry in that they are aging, injury-prone and no longer the heartbeat of their respective sides. The difference is Liverpool don't really have the depth to replace them and gain any ground on the leaders.

  • Comment number 67.

    You could provide stats that show that Chamakh was better than Cole.

    Ignoring that though, has Wenger got what he paid for in Chamakh and has it been a gamble that failed? Namely, it has proved to be false economy when if Arsenal had more reliable centre-forwards, that might have been able to capitalise in the league where others have failed.

    Arsenal's points total in 2009/10 (75) is actually better than 2010/11 (68). What went wrong?

  • Comment number 68.

    @34
    Totally agree on your blog.

    The shocking team of the season goes to........................Arsenal.
    Why? Because they can't protect their goal lead in a match as proven by these games:
    Newcastle vs Arsenal: HT result 4-0 to arsenal. Full Time result 4-4.
    Arsenal vs Spurs: HT result 2-0 to Arsenal. Full Time result 3-2 to Spurs.
    Their defence, yes thier best defender is injured for a long time but he's back, but while he wasn't their, shocking is the only word I can describe their defence. They have one of the best lone strikers in the world(van Persie) and he proved it the 2nd half of the season, scoring 18 goals but the defence was a howler.
    Everyone though arsenal were, finally, going to get there silverware, there 1st silverware since 2005 and look what happened.The defence was the dissapointment.

    The individual disspointment of the season goes to..............Torres.
    Yes I am a Chelsea fan but he's being disspapointing for chelsea, but we will see him back on form and tormenting vidic and ferdinand again next season!
    p.s I totally agree with @34 about most of the u-21s playin for top clubs and i have a slight concern whether england football team are choosing players in top clubs!

  • Comment number 69.

    Which Cole?

    Joe or Carlton...

  • Comment number 70.

    61.At 16:53 9th Jun 2011, danmort wrote
    ------------------------------------------------
    Ok 2-3 months. The thing is I actually think he's not a bad player so the only conclussion is that he was poor because of Wenger got bored and didn't want Chamakh's heading ability to ruin his pretty little passing game!!

  • Comment number 71.

    Yes Vidic...topman

  • Comment number 72.

    I fear for my team I really do.

    As a realist/borderline optimist the future looks bleak for the Blues with a financially inept hierarchy who seem to have a complete unwillingess to offer new contracts to key players. How we haven't given Roger Johnson a new contract I will never know.
    Foster, Dann, Johnson, Gardner, Ridgewell and Jerome all set to go, on top off some important released players (Sebba Larsson, Bowyer etc)...

    Can you see any light at the end of the tunnel Phil?

  • Comment number 73.

    As a Spurs fan, I can understand the nature of the blogs, but why on earth do you in the media keep on with trying to get Luka Modric to leave and go to Man U??? The player has said numerous times he's happy at Spurs, Redknapp's said numerous times he won't be sold, Levy's said he won't be sold, but still you lot keep coming out with ridiculous statements about how he's going to be sold for £20million - the same price that liverpool have just bought the almost unknown henderson for - what is it with this constant nonsense? Or has ferguson signed you all up to try and unsettle him???

  • Comment number 74.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 75.

    70.At 16:59 9th Jun 2011, Reinasbaldhead wrote:
    __________________________________________________
    It's actually 4 months :)

    And, when Chamakh first joined, he said he was suprised at the pace of the PL.
    So he could have been jaded for the 2nd half of the season,

    RVP being in top form didn't help his chances, Wenger seemed to prefer bringing on Super Nick for whatever reason.

    So, is it safe to agree Chamakh who got 11 goals in his debut PL season is less of a disappointment than Joe Cole who Gerrard hailed close to Messi!

  • Comment number 76.

    Your ALL wrong, Arsenal is the bestest, they had one of the best defencive records in the WHOLE LEAGUE!

    Arsenals problem is that the press hate them, all the faults of Arsenal can be laid at the door of the media, bias ref's and cheating players (on other teams of course)

    Arsenal as a football club are perfect and Wenger can do no wrong.

  • Comment number 77.

    #72 Brummie-Benetiz

    I can see why you fear for your team. On the other hand, if there were contracts that were just not sustainable financially, you might end up fearing for your club!

    Hopefully Birmingham can rationalise their finances and become a club like Stoke who live within their means.

    Good luck in the Championship.

  • Comment number 78.

    @73 - I completely agree, feel for Spurs and not for the first time! think if they kept their important players they'd be an even bigger force!

    ManCity to win the PL next season :-p

  • Comment number 79.

    CORRECTION: SHINNED goal of the season... many nicer goals were scored with an actual football boot.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    Phil, as an Arsenal fan, I can say...good blog (for once!)

    Team of Season: Manchester United.
    Player of The Season: Vidic bar none. He finally owned Torres in a game.
    Game of The Season: Newcastle v. Arsenal (4-0 to end 4-4. Classic)
    Choke of The Season: My beloved Arsenal (Ending up 4th in what was a 2-horse race has to be choke of the century actually).
    Manager of The Season: SAF (I have to admit. Even with the injuries, he put together a winning team).
    Star Of The Season (tie): Jack Wilshere/Toure Yaya (pick). Jack, for consistent performance for club and country; Yaya for just some individual brilliance from beginning to end.

    Anyway, here is looking forward to next season. And for heaven's sake, bring back 606!!!!


  • Comment number 82.

    Gerrard is the biggest disappointment of the season - for comparing Joe Cole to Messi.

  • Comment number 83.

    @14 - it's not a Man U topic...most are to be fair but not this one ;) wind one's next in

  • Comment number 84.

    Good blog. It's a shame you can't do a full article for each team, it would be interesting to go through the season chronologically and look at the high points and low points for each club. Obviously this would be pretty time consuming but if you ever have a bit of time on your hands just a thought!

    For game of the season i'd go for the 4-4 draw between Newcastle and Arsenal (although I understand why you haven't picked it, Phil) and the goal of the season would be Tiote's in that game.

    But then again I am a Newcastle fan so maybe I'm biased... ;)

  • Comment number 85.

    LOL @ 76

  • Comment number 86.

    80.At 17:08 9th Jun 2011, Reinasbaldhead wrote:
    _________________________________________________________________
    Yet you said he was a disappointment?!

    You're now avoiding the point that you thought Joe Cole had a better season than Chamakh ahahha.

    You laugh at saying he's jaded, but ignore the other factors.

  • Comment number 87.

    Torres biggest flop

  • Comment number 88.

    I have to agree with the people saying Torres was the biggest flop this season.

    Sure Joe Cole was pap, but he was free, Torres was 50million + Wages

  • Comment number 89.

    @86
    He was a dissapointment, that doesn't mean he is a poor player, just thought a player with a good goal scoring record and fantastic heading ability didn't show up for 6-7 months

    Cole was blighted with several injuries and his season never got going.

  • Comment number 90.

    Torres Might Be The Biggest Flop But I Bet He Does Very Well Next Season, If Hiddink Does Come And Manage Chelsea, I Wouldnt Put It Past Him To Get The Best Out Of Torres, The Current Squad And Any Signings He Makes, Just Look What He Did With Russia A Few Years Back :)

  • Comment number 91.

    Good Blog, like others though I am really getting annoyed at this Redknapp lauding, 'wheeler dealer'. I mean to call a manager who spend's £200m as a wheeler dealer it's just a joke. As for Arsenal I think Wenger is going to have to do some serious thinking. If I were him I'd sell Fabregas for £40 to £50m and spend that on 3/4 new players. Chelsea appear to have hit a bit of a wall, Torres will come good eventually, but I think his arrival spells the end for Drogba. Terry could possibly be tempted elsewhere in the shape of Man City, I have no doubt that if the money was right he'd be off. Liverpool will improve year on year, just like Man City but in a slower fashion, the signing of Henderson is a bit of a gamble, he's good but he's not worth £20m. And finally as for Man City, they could well be a force to be reckoned with in 2011/12, they proved with the Kaka attempt that they will go after the best players with no regard for the cost. 1 or 2 players of Kaka's ability will make them contender's, and will probably convince Tevez to stick around.

    I agree with the player of the year vote, Vidic was an absolute beast this season, forget Bale and Wilshere, Vidic was in a different league.

    Team of the year I'd have to disagree with. Man Utd were league winners yes, but in the lamest title race for a long while, they're away form was poor and they got lucky on too many occasion's. My team of the year would be West Brom, I mean who actually thought they'd finish 11th. They play good football, score goals, and I think they should have won it.

  • Comment number 92.

    There shall be a decent team in the league next year!
    Rooney goal of season - what a surprise!

  • Comment number 93.

    @90

    "orres Might Be The Biggest Flop But I Bet He Does Very Well Next Season"


    But this blog is not about next season, I agree with your point, but this season he has been one heck of a flop.

  • Comment number 94.

    #92 Essex Canary

    Good point!

    Disappointment of the season? Rooney's utter contempt for his colleagues and the brazen way he continues to be cared for by the media.

    He is an oaf of a man and yet seems to be celebrated like he is some sort of role model!

  • Comment number 95.

    #91 - he just wheeler deals with more money that's all.

    After all a market stall trader remains one whether he's selling fruit & veg or electronic consumable

    Same job and method just higher value products

  • Comment number 96.

    Epic blog

    Agree with everything you say about Villa

    we need a good manger, this week hopefully, then i'd like to see Robert Green of West ham signed to replace Brad Friedel, a couple of midfield playmakers and 1 or 2 defenders

    with this in place we can definatly improve on last season, but it all depends on who we get to manage us

  • Comment number 97.

    i will surely boycott your blogs at least for two months (should u write one) for your oversight of Van Persie's goals and his scoring abilities; for heaven's sake this bald rooney finished the entire season playing defender's role (though his name in the line up always appears in the forward's position). his goal against city is purely accident!

  • Comment number 98.

    @Daglish rush fowler legends owen torrres judas

    Proper pathetic comment, that is literally all you can say? Typical liverpool fan, bitterly jealous even after 20 years, im surprised your not used to it. Tell you what its a great view from up here, on this premier league pedestal!

  • Comment number 99.

    How many people seriously expected Bebe to play a meaningful part in the 10/11 season? It was clear from the outset and from the comments of players, coaches and the manager that he was a risk and needed work. I think there is no evidence to say that he was a disappointment - in fact I think he lived up to expectations.

    Judge him in 3 years time - ok, I agree that by then he may be seen as an expensive gamble that failed but to judge him today just smacks of hubris.

  • Comment number 100.

    Mr Chelsea
    ---------------
    Anelka is technically gifted too!

 

Page 1 of 4

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.