Saturday, 8 June 2013

Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea + Everton - Season Reviews and Analysis #1

Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest blog post where I have part 1 of 5 in my new "Season Reviews" series.
I will be reviewing all the 20 EPL teams that played this season in detail, including why they played so well/badly along with potential transfer targets and player of the season in each team.

First in the series, I have four teams in alphabetically order starting with Arsenal...

Another interesting year for Arsenal, concluding with 4th place and a consistent end to the season...

The Gunners had an interesting season, finishing 4th after an eventful campaign where they fought local north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur for the final Champions League qualification spot.

They were unlucky losing on away goal rule against Bayern Munich in the Last 16 of the Champions League, while they lost against underdogs Bradford on penalties in the Capital One Cup as well as losing to Blackburn in the 5th Round of the FA Cup.

In a way, this motivated Arsenal to do well in the league and fight for 4th place - especially because they were not involved in Europe or any other competitions unlike Chelsea and Tottenham..

Despite their lacklustre performances at the start of the season, The Gunners showed that they are a decent team who proved that they do not need Robin van Persie to give them Champions League football. 

Obviously next season they will want to be challenging for titles and trophies more fiercely instead of 4th place (which is considered poor for City and United), but added to the fact they have a big transfer budget to spend on quality players they have a chance of winning something next season even if it is not the EPL title or Champions League just yet. 


Scrappy Villa: Aston Villa were lucky to escape relegation this season, finishing in 15th place..
 
Aston Villa:

Aston Villa had a scrappy season this year - luckily surviving the relegation dog fight and finishing in 15th place (5 points off the drop zone).
This is partly because of their young squad who have hardly any experience in one of the most competitive leagues in the world. 

They struggled against most of the teams in the top half of the table, and if it wasn't for players like Brad Guzan or Christian Benteke they would have been relegated a long time ago.

Wanted: Benteke is in red-hot form, with Arsenal, Spurs and Atletico Madrid all interested in him... Will Villa sell?

Rumours have been circulating that clinical striker (with 19 goals in the EPL this season) Benteke will leave Villa this summer, for around £30million pounds as interest is piling on from teams such as Arsenal, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid. It will be intrigiung to see who they will invest their transfer funds in to ensure they stay in the EPL next season.

Average season? Chelsea won the Europa League and secured 3rd place in a season with an interim manager.

Chelsea:

You could argue that Chelsea had a very average season at best this campaign, without really challenging for the EPL title at all with no real stability and controversy surrounding the club at times.

First, four months after Roberto Di Matteo won the Champions League with Chelsea (back in May of last year), he was controversially sacked after two straight losses and a poor run of form. This was controversial because of the fact Abramovich had sacked him less than 2 months after giving him a two-year contract deal (as he was only meant to be the interim manager) plus the way the club handled the matter - being brutal and very harsh with the way they sacked him despite being the only manager to ever win the Champions League with Chelsea.

Then, to make matters worse for the supporters Abramovich appointed former rival Rafael Benitez as interim manager until the rest of the season which crushed any stability the club had until this point.

Despite a good run of form and decent results, the Chelsea supporters were being hateful towards Benitez continously up until he had won them the Europa League against Benfica and secured them a Champions League place next season. 

He became Napoli manager a couple of days after the EPL season finished, leaving England with a bad taste in his mouth after his harsh treatment.

Midfield duo Juan Mata and Frank Lampard were part of the reason Chelsea performed well throughout the season and if it wasn't for them, Chelsea would have struggled even more than they did. 

Star man: Juan Mata has been one of the best and most consistent midfielders in the world this season.

Legend: He broke the all-time goal-scoring record of 203 goals in a Chelsea shirt this season against Aston Villa.

FACT: Mata and Lampard scored a combined total of 37 goals in all competitions this season - from midfield. 

FACT: They also have a combined total of 42 assists...

Solid season for Everton, finishing in 6th place above their local rivals Liverpool for the 2nd season in a row.

Everton:

This season has been a very positive season for The Toffees, finishing in 6th place with a decent squad and current crop of players including Mirallas, Baines, Fellaini and Pienaar.

It will be interesting to see how they perform next season under the reigns of new boss Roberto Martinez, who resigned from his post as Wigan manager a few days ago to join Everton who were without a manager for only a week after long-time serving boss of 11 years David Moyes left his post to take over from the retiring legend Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

They were surprising unlucky to be in the position they were at the end of the season, as they could have easily qualified for a Champions League place if they had won a few more of their drawn matches... 

They will be happy knowing that they were only 12 points off 3rd placed Chelsea, having drawn 15 out of their 38 matches in total (highest in the EPL) but Martinez will be eager to sign a proven, decent striker during the summer transfer window to ensure they will not draw as many games next season and be clinical in-front of goal.