A breathtaking season of Premier League football came to a relatively lacklustre conclusion on Sunday as Manchester City were crowned champions for the second time in three years. A comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham handed the Blues the trophy as Liverpool’s glimmer of hope that they could reclaim the title for the first time since 1990 was unfounded.
At the other end of the table, a 2-0 home defeat by Arsenal saw Norwich join Cardiff and Fulham in relegation to the Championship. Carl Jenkinson scored his first goal for the Gunners as the Canaries’ three-year Premier League tenure came to an end.
It has been an undeniably thrilling season of football, full of twists and turns that have made it the most competitive in recent memory. No one expected Manchester United to finish seventh, while Crystal Palace’s fight back against Liverpool on May 5th is evidence that there is a renewed sense that every team now believes they can beat anyone in the Premier League.
There have been great goals, matches and individual moments. 2013/14 was the first time that two clubs (Manchester City and Liverpool) have scored over 100 goals in a season. Luis Suarez claimed the golden boot with 31 and his 40-yard volley against Norwich in December is a contender for goal of the season. Also up there is Pajtim Kasami’s screamer against Crystal Palace, Wayne Rooney and Jonjo Shelvey’s long range efforts against West Ham and Aston Villa, and Jack Wilshere’s finish after a fine Arsenal move against Norwich.
Liverpool vs. Manchester City was highlighted as potentially the game of the season as the fight for the title provided a great advert for the Premier League. It is hard to argue that Suarez has been the player of the year, but the likes of Yaya Toure and Eden Hazard have also played their part. The emergence of young talent such as Ross Barkley, Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling has also been encouraging for England.
Ten managers have lost their jobs over the course of the season, whilst Pepe Mel and Tim Sherwood have left West Brom and Tottenham already this week. Disastrous spells for the likes of David Moyes suggest that some sackings were fully deserved, however Norwich and Cardiff fans might feel that they may have escaped relegation if Chris Hughton and Malky Mackay had not been shown the door.
Amongst many, contenders for manager of the season include Brendan Rodgers for masterminding Liverpool’s surprise title challenge, and Tony Pulis and Gus Poyet for managing to steer their teams away from danger.
Overall, the 2013/14 Premier League season has been a fascinating encounter. With roughly three months until the ball starts rolling again, all eyes will now turn to Brazil as Roy’s boys look to cause a stir at the World Cup.
Image courtesy of Sky Sports