Premier League 2021-22: Fans' verdicts on rollercoaster season

A young girl holds an Everton scarf aloft
Everton won three of their final six games to secure Premier League survival

That's it. The 2021-22 Premier League season has been consigned to history, with only the memories - some good, some heart-breaking and many dramatic - to see us through the summer.

BBC Sport's fan community have been providing analysis the whole way through and we asked for their reviews of another rollercoaster campaign.

Arsenal

Oli Price-Bates, The Fresh Arsenal podcastexternal-link

  • Rating: 7/10
  • Best performance: The 3-1 win over Spurs earlier in the season was impressive, but for performance, Arsenal's 2-1 loss to Manchester City was the first time we've seen the Gunners be the better footballing team against one of the top two.
  • Player of the season: Bukayo Saka
  • Player whose time is up: Alexandre Lacazette
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Declan Rice
  • Happy with your manager? Progress has been made. It's a big disappointment given where we found ourselves, but the points tally would have finished joint third last season and in the top four the previous year. A slim squad weakened in January was the difference.
  • One learning to take into next season: Picking one is difficult. Ultimately, Arsenal's lesson has to be that when their first XI was fit, they were very good - but the back-up players were not of the required quality.

For more fan views, plus all the best Arsenal content, scroll through our Gunners page

Aston Villa

Jat Sogi, Punjabi Villansexternal-link

  • Rating: 6/10. I had hoped to better last season's points tally.
  • Best performance: Leeds away and, although we lost, Liverpool at home.
  • Player of the season: Jacob Ramsey - a star in the making.
  • Player whose time is up: It's a main first-team player - Douglas Luiz. He doesn't look interested and it seems like his head has been turned.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Sadio Mane. What a player. His work-rate is second to none.
  • Happy with your manager? I have to say yes. He has the ability to attract big name players.
  • One learning to take into next season: On the pitch, concentration levels. Cutting out silly errors, especially at the back, and we need to be more clinical up front. Off the pitch (though still on the training pitch), our fitness levels need improving because we tire a lot quicker than other teams.

For all the best Villa content, scroll through our club page

Brentford

Ali Mullaley, Her Game Too ambassadorexternal-link

  • Rating: I'll give it 9/10. Not only have we stayed in the Premier League, we have done it in style.
  • Best performance: It really has to be the 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea. It had everything - brilliant football, Christian Eriksen's first goal for the Bees and Thomas Tuchel trying to blame the weather.
  • Player of the season: This is really hard - there have just been so many standout performers. For me, the majestic Christian Norgaard just edges it over Rico Henry.
  • Player whose time is up: Sad to say, but probably Marcus Forss. I don't think we'll see him in a Brentford shirt again.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Assuming I don't have to be realistic about the prospect of making the signing... Son Heung-min - the most criminally underrated player in the Premier League.
  • Happy with your manager? What's not to love?
  • One learning to take into next season: Close opponents down on the edge of the box. We seem to have been caught out so many times not doing this.

Go straight to all the best Brentford content

Brighton & Hove Albion

Scott McCarthy, We Are Brightonexternal-link

  • Rating: 8/10. A record Premier League points haul and the club's highest finish in English football. Why not 10? Five home wins all season, a run of 96 days without a goal at the Amex and a three-month stretch without a victory between September and Boxing Day.
  • Best performance: The obvious one is hammering Manchester United - but I actually think the win away at Wolves a week earlier was more impressive.
  • Player of the season: Marc Cucurella. At only 23, he could become one of the best full-backs in the world.
  • Player whose time is up: Aaron Connolly. Six months in the Championship with Middlesbrough was meant to be a kick up the backside, but it hasn't worked.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Boring pick, but Harry Kane. Still need a clinical striker to capitalise on the possession and numerous chances.
  • Happy with your manager? Football is about results and Graham Potter has delivered.
  • One learning to take into next season: The poor selection of wine at the Amex - and improving the home form.

For all the best Brighton content, scroll through our Albion page

Burnley

Natalie Bromley, No Nay Neverexternal-link

  • Rating: 1/10. Woeful tactics, ineffective performances and inadequate transfer windows. The one goes to 'Super Mike Jackson', who gave us hope and pride in the final eight games.
  • Best performance: Nick Pope against everyone. That man should wear that England number one shirt.
  • Player of the season: Probably Pope, but I would give a special mention to James Tarkowski, who led in place of Ben Mee.
  • Player whose time is up: Wout Weghorst. Turns out he wasn't a superior Chris Wood after all.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: We need upgrades in most positions, but I would love Kieran Trippier and Danny Ings back. They just get us as a club and a town.
  • Happy with your manager? Sure, if we had one... I have no problem with Sean Dyche going, even though the gamble didn't play off. I am hugely grateful for the past decade - but time was up and we had to move on. 
  • One learning to take into next season: Be proud of your history, but also look to the future. We need an image overhaul to move away from the defend-for-your-lives football we have become famous for. And, perhaps, have a shot on target.

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Chelsea

Ross Mooring, Chelsea Fancastexternal-link

  • Rating: 8/10. Becoming just the fifth European team in history to have won every domestic and international club competition possible, unluckily losing two domestic finals, plus par in the league, has to be a successful season.
  • Best performance: Outplaying Real Madrid at the Bernabeu is up there, but thrashing Juventus 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in November was electrifying.
  • Player of the season: Arguments could be made for Reece James and Antonio Rudiger but, for me, Mason Mount just pips Thiago Silva.
  • Player whose time is up: Skipping those already departing, I'm going for Kepa Arrizabalaga. Nobody in blue had a truly poor season.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Sticking in the Premier League, I've long rated Tottenham's Son Heung-min.
  • Happy with your manager? Yes. Give the man a new central midfielder and another world-class centre-back.
  • One learning to take into next season: On the field, Mount is ready to take over the club captaincy should Cesar Azpilicueta leave. Off the field, make sure the supporters are given a fair voice.

Go straight to all the best Chelsea content

Crystal Palace

Jay Crame, The Eagles Beakexternal-link

  • Rating: 7.5/10. This season was meant to be one of transition, but we reached an FA Cup semi-final.
  • Best performance: Manchester City 0-2 Crystal Palace. To not concede against City this season is quite an accomplishment.
  • Player of the season: Both centre-backs have been exceptional and it's almost harsh selecting one over the other, but Joachim Andersen has been excellent.
  • Player whose time is up: Luka Milivojevic. The Serbia and Palace captain has been a wonderful servant to the club but needs regular game time.
  • Happy with your manager? Yes, very. Patrick Vieira is not the finished article and still has a lot to learn, but he has had an impressive first season at the club.
  • Lesson to take into next season: There have been questions about in-game management by Vieira, but he is a reactive manager and has shown that he can improve things. Off the field, recruitment continues to be key.

Scroll through our Crystal Palace page for all the best Eagles content

Conor Gallagher celebrates scoring at the Etihad
Conor Gallagher scored six goals on loan at Crystal Palace, including this one in their memorable win at Manchester City

Everton

Mike Richards, Unholy Trinityexternal-link

  • Rating: 2/10. One mark for Frank Lampard's appointment and one for the fans.
  • Best performance: 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. It needs no explanation.
  • Player of the season: Anthony Gordon. Fatigue in recent weeks has certainly impacted him, but he's stepped up this season and shown other players up. He's got a bright future at the club. 
  • Player whose time is up: How long have you got? There are a fair few out of contract, but I feel Andre Gomes, Yerry Mina and Michael Keane could all be moved on.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: We need a lot of work, but in terms of a reachable player, I'd be going for Conor Gallagher.
  • Happy with your manager? 100%. The best thing that has happened to the club this season.
  • One learning to take into next season: Get a proper off-field structure in place and shift out certain board members. This season has highlighted past mistakes and how operating as an amateur club doesn't work in the Premier League.

Go straight to all the best Everton content

Leeds United

Adonis Storr, The Roaring Peacockexternal-link

  • Rating: 2/10
  • Best performance: West Ham 2-3 Leeds - Jack Harrison's performance sticks out after scoring three in our biggest scalp of the season.
  • Player of the season: Raphinha. He's had his critics but he almost doubled last season's tally and dragged us through at times.
  • Player whose time is up: Tyler Roberts. Never repaid the faith of Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League in the way Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood have done.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Realistically, Emmanuel Dennis or Ismaila Sarr from Watford.
  • Happy with your manager? I am happy for Jesse Marsch that he gets a chance to embed his philosophies away from the peril of a relegation scrap. Following Bielsa was a near-impossible job, but he's earned a chance.
  • Lessons learned for next season: On the pitch, keep it simple. Pass and move and don't try impossible killer passes. Off the pitch, investment is needed.

Scroll through our Leeds page for more fan views, plus all the latest news, analysis and interactive content

Leicester City

Sam Holloway, LeicesterFanTVexternal-link

  • Rating: 4/10 at best. Yes, we have had good bits, like the semi-final of the Europa Conference League, but in every other competition we have been poor with shocking tactics.
  • Best performance: A 4-2 win at home against Manchester United.
  • Player of the season: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. He has come through late at the age of 23, but has taken his chance and run with it, and is still running now!
  • Player whose time is up: Youri Tielemans. Since Christmas, he has been on the beach waiting for his move.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Arsenal's Bukayo Saka. Energetic and offers loads of attacking threat on the wing.
  • Happy with your manager? Not really. Brendan Rodgers is too stubborn to change when it isn't working. We are the worst at defending set-pieces, we can't score or create anything from set-pieces ourselves, and Rodgers plays players out of position.
  • One learning to take into next season: Practise set-pieces in training!

Get all the best Leicester content on our Foxes page

Patson Daka celebrates scoring against Manchester United
Patson Daka's strike sealed a deserved win over Manchester United, ending the visitors' 29-game unbeaten run away from home

Liverpool

Jordan Chamberlain, Empire of the Kopexternal-link

  • Rating: 10/10. Whatever happens. Two cups in the bag, so close to a third already and a Champions League final to come. We've played in every possible game and lost only three of them so far.
  • Best performance: The 3-2 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final. The scoreline was close but the level Liverpool reached at Wembley was insane, blitzing the other best side on the planet and leaving the game over as a contest within 45 minutes.
  • Player of the season: Before Christmas, Mohamed Salah by a country mile. Since the turn of the year, Sadio Mane. The correct answer is probably Salah, but we'd have won nothing without Alisson. And a big shoutout to the best centre-back in Premier League history, Virgil van Dijk, too.
  • Player whose time is up: Sadly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Not good enough for central midfield - great guy, though, and I wish him well.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Kevin de Bruyne is the best central midfielder playing in England I've seen since Steven Gerrard. 
  • Happy with your manager? No, get rid of him...! I actually laughed when I read this question.
  • One learning to take into next season: There's nothing wrong with a big signing in January if the player fits the bill. Luis Diaz has sparked even more life into an already brilliant Liverpool attack.

For more fan views, plus all the best Liverpool content, scroll through our Reds page

Manchester City

Nigel Rothband, The Man City Show podcastexternal-link

  • Rating: 9 out of 10. Back-to-back Premier League champions!
  • Best performance: Chelsea away.
  • Player of the season: Kevin de Bruyne wins it, although a number get mentioned in despatches, including Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva and Rodri.
  • Player whose time is up: With the arrival of both Erling Haaland and Julien Alvarez, one of Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus or Raheem Sterling.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Son Heung-min of Spurs or Chelsea's Reece James.
  • Happy with your manager? Next question! Let's get his next contract extension signed please.
  • One learning to take into next season: Finishing. It's ironic that the top-scoring team needs to be more clinical.

Go to our City page for all the best analysis and discussion

Manchester United

Alex Turk, Stretford Paddockexternal-link

  • Rating: 3/10. One mark for Cristiano Ronaldo's return. One mark for another academy product brought through in Anthony Elanga. One mark for the progress being made off the pitch in the club's hierarchy. Other than that, without doubt the worst season of my lifetime. A nightmare.
  • Best performance: Tottenham 0-3 United. United's response to the 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool at Tottenham in a reshuffled system was sensational and one of only a handful of 'good' performances this season. The opening day 5-1 mauling of Leeds and the character shown in Michael Carrick's 2-0 win at Villarreal in the first match after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking are strong contenders.
  • Player of the season: Ronaldo. David de Gea has saved United from further humiliation and Fred is one of a few who deserve praise, but you can't look beyond Ronaldo and his 24 goals - where would we be without them?
  • Player whose time is up: Aaron Wan-Bissaka. He only joined in 2019, but isn't part of Erik ten Hag's plans and Jurrien Timber's expected arrival will spell the end.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Declan Rice. United have plenty of areas to fix, including in defensive midfield. Rice is at the top of the list, is only 23 and would fit Ten Hag's preferred 4-2-3-1 seamlessly.
  • Happy with your manager? Ralf Rangnick had an incredibly tough job to pick up the scraps after Solskjaer, but I expected plenty more. He talks a brilliant game but his coaching stint in England has been a disaster. Ten Hag is absolutely the right man to replace him and his efforts to start work as early as possible backs that up.
  • One learning to take into next season: What Ten Hag says goes. He arrives in England with the same aura Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp carried into Manchester City and Liverpool. Off the pitch, new chief executive Richard Arnold has given football heads the freedom to make football decisions, and Ten Hag should be central to those.

Get all the best United content on our club page

Newcastle United

Matty Renton, The Magpie Channel TVexternal-link

  • Rating: 7/10 - considering the sorry state of affairs we were in until Eddie Howe took over. To have comfortably stayed up after no wins in the opening 14 games is remarkable.
  • Best performance: Beating Everton 3-1 at home. That was the turning point and the atmosphere at St James' Park was electric.
  • Player of the season: Joelinton. From failed striker to midfield enforcer. He's been an absolute powerhouse.
  • Player whose time is up: Ciaran Clark. Jeff Hendrick. Dwight Gayle... the list goes on.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Kalvin Phillips from Leeds.
  • Happy with your manager? Over the moon. Howe should win manager of the season for the incredible turnaround he's achieved.
  • One learning to take into next year: Don't panic-buy strikers.

Scroll through our Newcastle page for more fan views, plus all the latest news, analysis and interactive content

Kieran Trippier celebrates scoring for Newcastle
Kieran Trippier's free-kick sealed a crucial win for Newcastle against Everton that lit up their memorable charge up the table

Norwich City

Gary Gowers, My Football Writerexternal-link

  • Rating: 1/10. In fact, if Susie Dent could find us a 17th-century word that mashes together woeful, gutless, pathetic, joyless, abject and lamentable, then that'd be our season.
  • Best performance: Watford 0-3 Norwich City. Considering we only managed a miserable five wins, I'm not exactly spoilt for choice. To think we finished that game so full of hope…
  • Player of the season: Easy one - Teemu Pukki by a mile. He was the only City player who looked remotely at home in the division.
  • Player whose time is up: Far too many to mention. Although I should say we'll not miss any of the high-profile loan players.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Emi Buendia. Obviously we'd all love Kevin de Bruyne, but it was Buendia - who left us for Villa last summer - who would have made such a difference to us this season.
  • Happy with your manager? No. But equally, it's impossible to blame either Dean Smith or Daniel Farke when they were both handed such a technically poor and lily-livered squad to work with.
  • One learning to take into next season: Self-funding doesn't work in the Premier League. A noble and worthy ideal it may be, but football isn't going to hang around waiting for Norwich City and their model to become global.

For all the best Norwich content, scroll through our Canaries page

Southampton

Ray Hunt, In That Numberexternal-link

  • Rating: 4/10. We saw some improvements through the emergence of Tino Livramento, the early goal tally of Armando Broja and more pieces of magic from James Ward-Prowse. But it turned sour quickly. If it wasn't for the FA Cup run, then that rating would be generous.
  • Best performance: The win over West Ham at London Stadium on Boxing Day was crucial to turning our season around, but the best has to be the victory at Tottenham - going behind twice, then finding two goals in the last 10 minutes to snatch the points. 
  • Player of the season: It has to be Ward-Prowse, but Kyle Walker-Peters has also been so consistent.
  • Player whose time is up: The biggest disappointment is Moussa Djenepo. He arrived for £14m but has continuously failed to impress.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: We are crying out for a playmaker of real quality, so I would love to sign Kalvin Phillips from Leeds.
  • Happy with your manager?The #RalphOut is in full force due to his lack of a plan B. I'm not convinced he knows his best eleven. I want to see him succeed but I'm questioning whether he's the right fit for what we need right now.
  • One learning to take into next season: Consistency. We cannot slip into losing streaks or allow another 9-0 or 6-0 thumping.

Go straight to all the best Saints content

Tottenham Hotspur

Anna, Spurs XYexternal-link

  • Rating: 9/10. It's almost a perfect 10 considering where we when Antonio Conte took over.
  • Best performance: I'll have to say the north London derby at home. That was the night I believed that this team, with these fans, belonged back in the Champions League.
  • Player of the season: Son Heung-min, without a doubt. To top off his amazing goals, he seems a lovely, genuine person who is passionate about Spurs.
  • Player whose time is up: It's time for Harry Winks to move on to a club where he will get more game time.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Kevin de Bruyne - midfield goal and assist machine, with style too.
  • Happy with your manager? 100%. I just hope he agrees a new longer contract.
  • One learning to take into next season: Patience. Good things take time. Conte did not have pre-season but all the players benefited and improved under his coaching.

For more fan views, plus all the best Tottenham content, scroll through our Spurs page

Son Heung-min celebrates for Spurs
Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Kane registered 45 goals and 27 assists between them this season

Watford

Matt Rowson, BHaPPY blogexternal-link

  • Rating: 1/10. Unremittingly, maliciously miserable and chaotic. Big wins over Manchester United and Everton were incongruous bright spots.
  • Best performance: Probably our first ever win over Everton at Goodison Park. It showcased an ability to open teams up on the break that we were able to mobilise too rarely.
  • Player of the season: Hassane Kamara. Signed in January, a gutsy source of positivity in a team devoid of similar.
  • Player whose time is up: There are a number but Ozan Tufan, unfit and unbothered, was supposed to be our midfield creativity. He was returned to sender in January. Honourable mention for Danny Rose too.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Ashley Barnes. A one-man pub brawl who would inject some much-needed aggression.
  • Happy with your manager? Which one would that be? Roy Hodgson succeeded in stiffening our limp away performances, but left us punchless and shapeless at home. As for new man Rob Edwards… he looks and feels the part. Let's see.
  • One learning to take into next season: Helps to win at home every now and then. Radical, I know.

For all the best Watford content, scroll through our Hornets page

West Ham United

Mia Claydon, Green Street Hammersexternal-link

  • Rating: 8/10 - thanks to an unbelievable journey through European football and David Moyes showing that last season's final league position was not a fluke.
  • Best performance: West Ham v Sevilla. One of the best team performances from a West Ham side I've ever seen.
  • Player of the season: Declan Rice or Jarrod Bowen. Five players could conceivably win this, but without Rice or Bowen, the team is unstable. Honourable mention to Craig Dawson - what a season!
  • Player whose time is up: Arthur Masuaku. He is not a contributor to this team any more, and lacks the quality and confidence we need to progress further.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: I do not hide my love for Manchester City's Nathan Ake. Him partnering Kurt Zouma or Dawson would be an incredible sight.
  • Happy with your manager? Absolutely. I know this is just the beginning - Moyes wants silverware.
  • One learning to take into next season: Discipline needs to improve. It's clear how passionate they are, which is great, but multiple red cards and fines, as well as Moyes sent to the stands, could all have been avoided.

For more fan views, plus all the best West Ham content, scroll through our Hammers page

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Matt Cooper and Dave Azzopardi, Talking Wolvesexternal-link

  • Rating: Matt - 6/10; Dave - 7/10
  • Best performance: Matt - Manchester United away. Wolves came with a gameplan against a faltering United and both Bruno Lage and the team executed it perfectly.
  • Player of the season: Dave - Jose Sa. Defensively, Wolves have looked shaky, but they still have one of the best records in the league, thanks to the keeper.
  • Player whose time is up: Matt - Raul Jimenez. The man has given everything to Wolves, but he just doesn't look the same player post-injury.
  • Opposition player you'd love at your team: Dave - Renato Sanches. Wolves are desperate for a bit of energy in midfield and Lille's Portugal international would be a phenomenal addition.
  • Happy with your manager? Matt - You can't judge a manager until he is backed and the club have failed to do that this season. However, we've shown relegation form in the past two months and that's alarming.
  • One learning to take into next season: Dave - Spend properly on players ready for the first team. Wolves have been looking at "investments" over the past few years, and while a few have come good, some haven't really worked out.

For more fan views, plus all the best Wolves content, scroll through our club page

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