With the season all wrapped up, we can now have a look back on how each team faired, so in Alphabetical order, the first 5………..
Arsenal – 3rd C+ (B if they retain the FA Cup)
A title challenge never looked possible this year, considering an underwhelming start to the season, allowing Chelsea to pull away. Finishing in the top 4, and more importantly, 3rd, to avoid an early season qualifier would be the main aim. The sensational form of Alexis was the primary factor in Arsenal hanging in until the New Year, with the likes of Ozil & Giroud out to long term injuries. A long streak of wins in Spring gave them a chance to sneak into 2nd, but 3rd reflects where they are right now, jsut not good enough to challenge the top 2. With still an FA Cup final to come, their season could end on a high.
Aston Villa – 17th D- (C if they win the FA Cup)
Speaking of the FA Cup, it will be Aston Villa who will face the the current holders this Saturday. Their domestic form was abysmal for the first half of the season. A run of form that saw Paul Lambert depart the club in February. At that point, it seemed relegation was inevitable, but the maverick Tim Sherwood was drafted in. Though many were sceptical of his abilities, his positive effect on the team cannot be denied. Christian Benteke has been their stand out player, but the likes of Fabian Delph and the emergence of Jack Grealish have helped Villa survive. A shock FA Cup will be help forget a largely forgettable season.
Burnley – 19th E
The smallest club in the league, with the smallest budget were likely to go straight back down. Though they did not bring any shame in their fight to beat the drop. The team did have to wait until November to win a game, a run which they never truly recovered from. The team never managed to go above 17th place in the table. They did some some great highlights though, mainly at the expense of Manchester City. They pulled back a 2-0 deficit to draw away at the Etihad, then recorded a stunning win at Turf Moor. The performances of Danny Ings, their top scorer has caught the eyes of many Premier League clubs, and they look set to lose him over the summer.
Chelsea – 1st A+
What more can be said? The stand out team in the county and deserving champions. Chelsea did all their summer business early, the addition of Costa and Fabregas was vital in their early season surge. The talent of Eden Hazard adding the extra fire-power to an already quality team. With all the attacking potential, it was the defence that won Chelsea the title. John Terry marshalling a water tight defensive unit, protected by Matic, only conceding 32 goals all season. This was the vital factor that gave them the edge over a shaky City defensive unit. Chelsea ended every month top of the league, which pretty much says it all.
Crystal Palace – 10th B-
It was a season of two halves for Palace. The first half was dreadful, manager Neil Warnock struggling to get anything out of a reasonably talented side. Heading into the New Year, in the bottom 3, Palace took action, and sacked Warnock, the first managerial sacking of the season. At the same time, Alan Pardew had left Newcastle after a turbulent few seasons, and as a former player for the South London side, saw it as a great opportunity. Pardew reinvigorated the team, firing the team up the table, taking scalps such as Man City, Spurs and Liverpool in the process. The team finished in 10th, a remarkable job considering where the team were at the start of the new year!