The Premier League is on the verge of completion and is living up to the hype as the “best league in the world”. While the title may have been decided two games in advance, there is plenty to get excited about as far as the Champions League spots go, after Manchester City drew the game against Arsenal. The situation at the bottom also remains interesting with Sunderland now holding their fate in their own hands.
Guardiola may begin season in Europa League but Pellegrini deserves better treatment
Manchester City drew 2-2 to Arsenal at home, which puts them in a vulnerable position as Manchester United now have a great chance for a potential fourth place finish. City went ahead on two occasions, courtesy goals from Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne. However, on each occasion, Arsenal, through Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, equalised and left City searching for the winner that would ensure a fourth place finish. There is now a good chance that Pep Guardiola will begin his first season in England in the Euorpa League.
Boos rang around the Etihad at the end of the match, but what was alarming was that most fans had cleared out of the ground by the time Pellegrini, for whom this was the last match at home, delivered a speech talking about his three years at the club. The manager won the Premier League and the League Cup in his first season in charge, took the Citizens to their first Champions League semi-final this season and won the League Cup this season. He showed his class as he handled City’s Pep announcement with dignity. United overtaking them into the fourth place, potentially, does make things sour but did he really deserve such apathy from the fans?
It’s not a season without Sunderland scrapping for survival
It doesn’t feel like a Premier League season without seeing Sunderland fight for survival. Every season, towards the end, they hire a new manager to help them stave off relegation. The next season, the same manager gets everything wrong and puts them back in the relegation battle. A new manager is hired to help stave off relegation once again. It’s a cycle that won’t end. This season it was Allardyce, last time it was Dick Advocaat, before that it was Gus Poyet – somehow the managers find a way to keep the team afloat.
There is little doubt that without the services of former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, the Black Cats could have been down already and Sam Allardyce recently admitted the same. Defoe proved he is a top striker, a fox in the box, as he scored a proper forward’s goal in the box which proved to be the winner against Chelsea. Newcastle’s draw against already relegated Villa means Sunderland now have the advantage of deciding their own fate. Oh, and winter signing Khazri scored a screamer too!
John Terry possibly missing his own farewell courtesy a red card epitomises Chelsea’s season
Chelsea captain is reported to be leaving the club at the end of the season and there are suggestions a private party has been booked at Stamford Bridge by the footballer as he departs the club he has so faithfully served. At Sunderland, he was shown a red card, his second dismissal this season in the Premier League, which means he will be banned for the midweek trip to Liverpool and Sunday’s visit of Leicester.
Chelsea fought back with so much grit against Spurs, to ensure the title doesn’t go to their London rivals. They failed to show the same willingness and determination to do the same against Sunderland who simply had more desire on the day. While credit shouldn’t be taken away from Allardyce’s men, it really is poor mentality if you’re more determined to ruin someone’s day than work for your own ambitions. Antonio Conte has plenty to work for in the coming season, both on and off the pitch.
José Mourinho might not be getting the Manchester United job
With Manchester United having the chance to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Louis van Gaal might get another year at the club. Jose Mourinho has been widely speculated to be taking over next season but there have been equal suggestions that he will get another year as he aims for a trophy and some sustained success next season. The manager could very well end the season with his first trophy too as Manchester United take on Crystal Palace. The season might not be as big a disaster as it seemed at one point. While the Red Devils have certainly been lacklustre and unfashionable in their style of play, if van Gaal does finish with a Champions League spot and an FA Cup victory, perhaps giving him another season at helm doesn’t seem like an unwise decision.
Have Spurs finally run out of gas?
After seeing their wonderful challenge for the title — despite never actually being on top of the table — come to an end as they blew a 2 goal lead against Chelsea, Spurs seem to be finally running out of gas. Successive draws to West Brom and Chelsea were followed by loss to Southampton. For the third game in succession, Tottenham squandered the lead and didn’t look too bright. Make no mistake, their season is still a massive success.
Tottenham always lacked a few things and the recent dropping of points only makes the problem more visible. They need reinforcements in the summer. A striker needs to come to support Harry Kane, whether it be Sadio Berhahino or someone else. Spurs have lost key players in Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele to suspensions and are obviously missing them in the midfield. Dier doing so well in the holding role and Dembele’s form this season (he was close to being sold) was something that just happened, and something that wasn’t expected. All through last summer, the addition of a central midfielder was something that was badly needed.
Quite clearly, there are positions that need addressing and the fizzling out end to an otherwise spectacular season might be something they need, as they prepare for a season in the Champions League (which means more matches) along with sustaining the success of this season.