2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Burnley

Premier League Final Position: 19th

Review

Burnley suffered with an array of problems that ultimately lead to an unsuccessful Premier League season. First of all, they struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, scoring fewer goals (28) than any other side. They also recorded the fewest wins (7) out of any team. The squad that Sean Dyche had at his disposal simply wasn’t prepared for life at the top level and Burnley’s lack of financial resources played a big role in determining the quality of players they could bring in. You cannot fault the work-rate, desire and commitment of the Clarets but they didn’t have the technical ability or clinical finishing required in front of goal in a cut-throat division. The squad is essentially a Championship level of quality and that’s why they came up just short in the end.

Embed from Getty Images

Best Moment

Winning 1-0 at home to Manchester City. It was a great moment for everyone involved with the club as the reigning champions were stunned at Turf Moor by a fantastic George Boyd strike. That goal helped Burnley to their first win for eight games and gave them a glimmer of hope that they could potentially avoid the drop.

Worst Moment

The 1-0 defeat at home to Leicester. The Clarets welcomed fellow relegation strugglers Leicester to Turf Moor for a crucial game. Matt Taylor had the chance to give Burnley the lead from the penalty spot but he struck the post with his effort. Then 59 seconds later, Jamie Vardy bundled in a winner for the Foxes which crushed Burnley’s realistic hopes of survival.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Danny Ings – The Englishman scored 11 goals and made four assists from his 35 appearances and was easily Burnley’s stand-out player for the season.

Biggest Win

Burnley 1-0 Hull City (Nov 8, 2014)

Stoke City 1-2 Burnley (Nov 22, 2014)

Burnley 1-0 Southampton (Dec 13, 2014)

Burnley 2-1 Queens Park Rangers (Jan 10, 2015)

Burnley 1-0 Manchester City (Mar 14, 2015)

Embed from Getty Images

Hull City 0-1 Burnley (May 9, 2015)

Aston Villa 0-1 Burnley (May 24, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Burnley (Sep 28, 2014)

What to improve for the 2015/16 season…

Achieving an instant return to the Premier League is going to be tough for Burnley. It’s going to be a summer of transition for the Clarets and holding to their key assets won’t be easy. Danny Ings has already drawn attention from Liverpool and Tottenham, while his contract expires in June anyway, so it looks like he’s certain to leave. Sean Dyche could also be on the shortlist for clubs looking for a new manager, so they will do well to keep hold of him. The areas for improvement next season are obvious – score more goals and bring in suitable replacement for those heading out of the club.

Advertisements

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Leicester City

Premier League Final Position: 14th

Review

Leicester City produced arguably the greatest escape in Premier League history this season as they avoided relegation despite being seven points behind 17th placed Sunderland after 29 games, having also recorded just four wins at the time. The astonishing run of seven wins from their last nine games (D1, L1) will live long in the memory of Leicester fans and football fans alike as an emotional rollercoaster of a journey eventually concluded with them winning in fine style on the last day of the season to see them finish six points clear of the drop.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

The 3-2 win away at West Brom. The Foxes came into that after recording their first win in nine games at home to West Ham a week earlier and knew that they had to back it up with a positive result at The Hawthorns if they were to stand a chance of survival. Trailing 2-1 with ten minutes to go, it looked as though their season was all but over. But then a Robert Huth goal to draw it level, followed by an injury time winner from Jamie Vardy sent the away end into raptures. That was the moment that Leicester started to truly believe survival was a genuine possibility.

Worst Moment

Nigel Pearson holding Crystal Palace’s James McArthur by the throat during the 1-0 defeat at home to the Eagles. McArthur tangled in a challenge with Marc Albrighton on the touchline before accidentally falling onto Pearson and knocking the Leicester manager over. Pearson then proceeded to grab McArthur by the throat in a bizarre incident which led to speculation over his job and caused the club to be subjected to unnecessary negative media attention at a time when they needed it least.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Leonardo Ulloa – There were question marks over whether or not Ulloa could cut it in the Premier League after his move from Championship side Brighton in the summer, but he certainly delivered the goods with 11 goals and three assists from his 37 appearances.

Biggest Win

Leicester City 5-1 Queens Park Rangers (May 24, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City (Aug 23, 2014)

Crystal Palace 2-0 Leicester City (Sep 27, 2014)

Swansea City 2-0 Leicester City (Oct 25, 2014)

Southampton 2-0 Leicester City (Nov 8, 2014)

Leicester City 1-3 Liverpool (Dec 2, 2014)

West Ham United 2-0 Leicester City (Dec 20, 2014)

Manchester United 3-1 Leicester City (Jan 31, 2015)

Manchester City 2-0 Leicester City (Mar 4, 2015)

Leicester City 1-3 Chelsea (29 Apr, 2015)

Embed from Getty Images

What to improve for the 2015/16 season…

While Leicester’s survival will be rightly heralded as a huge success, relegation was a major concern throughout the course of the whole season and that was obviously down to lack of successful results. Pearson made it cleat that he believed they were putting in the performances but not getting the results and bemoaned the luck of his side. But you have to make your own luck in football and four wins from the first 29 games cannot be blamed entirely on luck. The Foxes cannot afford to do the same next time around as relying on an incredible end-of-season run to retain Premier League status is a dangerous game to play and it’s unlikely they’d be able to pull it off again.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Queens Park Rangers

Premier League Final Position: 20th

Review

Queens Park Rangers have suffered a terrible season and rightly finished bottom of the table. Easily the worst side the league, a lot is to be questioned how a club can fall so far off the required mark.

With an ageing squad that has the majority of their members past their prime, QPR are in desperate need of a restructuring in terms of their playing staff so they can rebuild an efficient squad.

Newly appointed full time boss Chris Ramsey now has the summer to improve the current playing squad and also ‘trim the fat’ as it were as a lot of high earners will be on their way out, we presume.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment
The 4-1 win against QPR was a standout in their battle to avoid the drop, as they went 3-0 up at halftime after a stunning display. The result lifted spirits among the camp that they could survive the drop.

Worst Moment

The 6-0 loss the Manchester City that sent the club down. To go down is one thing, but sealing your fate with a 6-0 loss is dreadful, regardless of opponent.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Charlie Austin – It has been well documented how good a season Austin has had. And with an incredible total of 18 goals, he was the shining light in a QPR side that still finished bottom.

Biggest Win

West Brom 1-4 QPR (April 4, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester City 6-0 QPR (May 10, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Let’s be honest there is a lot to improve on. The priority has to be on provide a more dynamic and youthful side. They will be playing in the Championship so perhaps keeping a few of the ageing players may aid experience to the squad, and they need to focus on defending as they had the worst defence in the Premier League this year.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Sunderland

Premier League Final Position: 16th

Review

It was another disappointing season for Sunderland as they only just escaped relegation once again, ending the season just three points off the drop zone. Dick Advocaat arrived at the club in March and helped them avoid relegation but the hunt for a new manager now goes on as the Black Cats look for a long-term solution to their relentless relegation threats.

Staying up is clearly a positive but supporters will be worried by the fact they only won seven games, which is fewer than Hull and QPR who both went down. They only scored 31 goals too – the second lowest number in the top flight so there’s lots of room for improvement once more.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

A 1-0 win against arch rivals Newcastle in Dick Advocaat’s first home game in April was a real boost for supporters after a run of seven games without victory.

Worst Moment

The embarrassing 8-0 loss at Southampton in October is undoubtedly the worst moment of the Black Cats’ season. They were thumped on the day and offered almost no fight, letting their club and fans down.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Patrick Van Aanholt – The Dutch left-back impressed in his first season at the club and was one of few players to consistently perform at a high level. He will look to pick up where he left on when the new season starts in March.

Biggest Win

Sunderland 3-1 Stoke (October 4, 2014)

Crystal Palace 1-3 Sunderland (November 3, 2014)

Sunderland 2-0 Burnley (January 31, 2015)

Everton 0-2 Sunderland (May 9,2015)

Biggest Defeat

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland (October 18, 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Appointing the right manager will be the start, though that’s easier said than done. A strong transfer window is a must and then on the field, scoring more goals and improving home form must take place. Sunderland scored the second fewest goals in the Premier League this year and had the second worst home form. A lot to improve but it must change for the better or they will be in trouble again.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Southampton

Premier League Final Position: 7th

Review

It’s hard to know where to start with describing how impressive Southampton’s season has been. From the incredible management by Ronald Koeman to the destruction of Sunderland at St Mary’s combined with the fantastic defensive solidity are just a few of the many highlights to draw upon. The Saints came into this campaign as potential relegation candidates after a summer exodus saw a number of key players departing. But you cannot praise enough just how well they’ve performed, and if Arsenal beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup final, a place in the Europa League awaits, and it’s nothing less than they deserve.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

Back-to-back wins against Arsenal and Manchester United – Southampton convincingly swept the Gunners aside at St Mary’s on New Year’s Day with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Sadio Mane and Dusan Tadic. Ten days later, they put in an impressive, steely performance at Old Trafford and secured a 1-0 win with another goal from Tadic marking a truly excellent stage of the Saints’ season as they showed they can compete with top sides home and away. Those two games also came after a well-earned draw at home to Chelsea.

Worst Moment

The 1-0 defeat at home to Swansea at the beginning of February – Southampton were still clinging on to a Champions League spot in the table heading into that game. A draw would’ve kept them a point ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal, but a late Jonjo Shelvey strike sunk Saints hearts and left them level with the Gunners. It was the first moment in the season that they let the chasing pack in through the back door and it was also the game that began their dip in form.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Jose Fonte – The skipper has consistently been a rock at the back with 37 appearances and was a key figure in orchestrating strong defensive performances. Southampton boast the second best defensive record this season, conceding just 33 goals – only Chelsea conceded fewer (32).

Biggest Win

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland (Oct 10, 2014)

Biggest Defeat

Southampton 0-3 Manchester City (Nov 30, 2014)

What to improve for the 2015/16 season…

Southampton’s form in the last third of the season wasn’t great, and away from home in particular they suffered massively. Koeman’s side won just five of their last 16 games (D3, L8). They also failed to win any of their last seven Premier League away fixtures (D1, L6), scoring just three goals and conceding 11. Performances in the latter stages of the season will be an area that needs addressing.

With the potential added commitment of the Europa League next season, they will need to learn quickly how to deal with a congested fixture list.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Manchester City

Premier League Final Position: 2nd

Review

Because of the money that Manchester City have invested in their squad over the last few years, failure to win the title is probably considered a failure. Had the 2013/14 Premier League winners had a domestic trophy on the sideboard at the end of May, then it could’ve potentially papered over the cracks. Manuel Pellegrini’s job could be under serious threat this summer because of the lack of silverware delivered in this campaign and too many shock results this season is the reason City have fallen well short of eventual champions Chelsea.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

The last six games of the season. It was imperative that City ended the season strongly and a six-game winning streak was the perfect way to recover from a 12-game run in which they recorded just four victories (D3, L5).

Worst Moment

The 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor against Burnley thanks to a fantastic George Boyd strike all but ended City’s title hopes, leaving them nine points off the top with just nine games of the season remaining. It was a devastating blow against a side that would eventually be relegated and a game they couldn’t afford to lose at the time. There were of course other season defining moments, but this was the one that seemed like it marked the end of their title hunt.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Sergio Aguero – The Argentinian comfortably won the Premier League Golden Boot with 26 goals in 33 appearances. He also made 8 assists meaning that his overall goal contribution was 34 goals – an incredible effort.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that he entirely carried City this season, but with Yaya Toure not replicating the form he showed last season, there was even more pressure on Aguero’s shoulders and he certainly responded well.

Biggest Win

Manchester City 6-0 Queens Park Rangers (May 10, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal (Jan 18, 2015)

Manchester United 4-2 Manchester City (Apr 12, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015/16 season…

The ins and outs throughout the summer will go a long way to deciding where City stand in terms of the title race next season. Yaya Toure is just one of many key players being heavily linked with a move away from the club and they must bring in world-class talent to bridge the gap on Chelsea. Both Arsenal and Manchester United are likely to strenghten, so the Citizens have to do the same.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Everton

Premier League Final Position: 11th

Review

Participation in the Europa League has undoubtedly hindered Everton’s performances this season and they just haven’t managed to replicate the kind of form that saw them finish fifth with 72 points last time around. While the Toffees can’t blame their below par season entirely on the fact they had European commitments, it’s certainly been a major factor with ten extra games to play. Roberto Martinez isn’t a man to make excuses and he will know that the league form hasn’t been good enough with just 12 wins all season – their lowest number of victories in a season since the 2003/04 campaign when they recorded nine. Everton’s 11th place finish was also their worst final league position since 2005/06 when they also finished 11th.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

Easing past Manchester United at Goodison Park – Everton’s 3-0 victory against United at the end of April signified their best spell of the season. That win extended a mini-unbeaten run to six games (W5, D1) and was also the highest placed team in the league which they managed to secure all three points against. It was one of the few highlights of a fairly average campaign.

Worst Moment

The 2-0 defeat away at Hull City – Everton arrived in Yorkshire on New Year’s Day with hopes of turning a corner and using 2015 as a fresh start. It wasn’t to be and a poor performance led to a defeat that came in a barren mid-season run of 16 games that saw them win just twice (D5, L9). It was also the fourth straight defeat at the time and a sixth loss in eight games – an ultimate low point.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku – Although the big Belgian striker hasn’t had the greatest season, he’s still been one of Everton’s brightest sparks throughout the campaign. He’s scored ten goals and made five assists in 36 Premier League appearances, which isn’t in a bad return for an Everton side that never got going.

Biggest Win

Everton 3-0 Aston Villa (Oct 18, 2014)

Everton 3-0 Newcastle United (Mar 15, 2015)

Everton 3-0 Manchester United (Apr 26, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Everton 3-6 Chelsea (Aug 30, 2015)

Southampton 3-0 Everton (Dec 20, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015/16 season…

It seems obvious, but Everton’s defensive frailties this season were a real concern. They conceded 50 goals, which is 11 more than last season and their worst defensive record for 11 years. This is clearly a key area to improve on, as well as trying to take more points from the tougher teams in the league. The Toffees only won two games against top nine opponents (D6, L11) – a worrying record for a side that has come so close to finishing in the top four on numerous occasions.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Crystal Palace

Premier League Final Position: 10th

Review

It was a fine season for Crystal Palace in the end despite a rough start to the campaign as Alan Pardew led the side to a best ever points tally after taking over in January. Tony Pulis left the club on the eve of the new season and was replaced by Neil Warnock but he failed to impress and Pardew was brought in after leaving Newcastle.

The Eagles soared into a tenth place finish and ended the year with three more points than the previous campaign. They look in good shape to kick on an improve further next term and Palace fans will be delighted with the 2014/15 season.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

Coming from 2-0 down early on at Burnley to win 3-2 was a fine moment for fans and set the tone for what turned out to be a comfortable survival run in.

Worst Moment

Losing 3-1 at home to London rivals West Ham in the second game of the season was a very low point in a season more remembered for its highs, but the Eagles fans will not want to recall that game.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Jason Puncheon – Puncheon ended the season with six goals and seven assists and was excellent in the second half of the season under Alan Pardew. He thrived in a more central role and was perhaps unlucky to not be rewarded with an England call-up.

Biggest Win

Sunderland 1-4 Crystal Palace (April 11, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester City 3-0 Crystal Palace (December 20, 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

They could probably work on ball retention as for the second season running Crystal Palace recorded the lowest average possession statistic in the Premier League at 40.5%. That said, they still picked up points consistently and so it will be more of a style issue for Pardew to assess. A strong summer transfer window could see Palace challenge for a European place next season and that will be the ambition come the start of the new season.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: West Ham

Premier League Final Position: 12th 

Review

West Ham endured a dismal second half of the season, which finished with a 2-0 loss away to Newcastle United, and following the release of Sam Allardyce, the club are now looking for a new manager in what was a season of two halves.

Interestingly if the season had started at Christmas then West Ham would have been relegated based on their form as they only managed 16 points from their last 21 matches.

It’s very much looking like a season for the Hammers to build on though as they played some very attractive football in places, especially early on. Whoever the new manager is, they have a decent platform in the current squad to build on.

And should they capture their early season form to start the coming season, there is no reason to rule out a European place come next May but finding consistency is crucial.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

The 2-1 win over Manchester City was the highlight of a very good start to the season for the Hammers as they managed to place fourth at Christmas.

Worst Moment

The final day 2-0 loss to Newcastle was the icing on a very disappointing cake for ‘Big Sam’s’ men. It was Newcastle’s first win in 11 Premier League games and the Hammers’ late season capitulation was highlighted in that game.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Stewart Downing – The England International had an amazing season with the Hammers and arguably merited an England recall. With six goals and eight assists he has proved to be a valuable asset for the East London side and will look to improve again next term.

Biggest Win

West Ham 3-0 Hull City (January 18, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Arsenal 3-0 West Ham (March 14, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Consistency. There is a common theme that runs with West Ham and that is their inability to perform at their potential for a prolonged duration. An early season charge was outdone with their late season struggle and this will need addressing in the coming months. The upcoming season will be their last at Upton Park and they will want to leave on a positive note before the move to the Olympic Stadium.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Aston Villa

Premier League Final Position: 17th

Review

It was another frustrating season for Aston Villa fans as the threat of relegation hung over the club for most of the campaign, before managing to narrowly survive. Tim Sherwood turned the fortunes around when he took over in February but the Villains end the season with their joint lowest points tally in the top flight.

They do still have an FA Cup final against Arsenal to look forward to and success at Wembley would deem the campaign a good one, but the fact remains that things weren’t good enough and Sherwood must now try and bring the club back to a level it should be at.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

The 1-0 win away at Spurs was probably the club’s best win in the league as the result moved them six points clear of the relegation zone with five games to go. Sherwood managed to seal all three points against his former club and the team followed up success at White Hart Lane with an FA Cup semi-final win against Liverpool just eight days later.

Worst Moment

The 2-0 loss at Hull in February was a bad defeat and that game spelled the end for Paul Lambert as he was replaced by Sherwood after that match. The loss at Southampton at the end of the season was bad but they weren’t in major trouble at that point.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Fabian Delph – Didn’t score this season but picked up three assists and was probably the only player to consistently perform. He penned a new contract back in January and was rewarded for his performances over the season with England call ups.

Biggest Win

Sunderland 0-4 Aston Villa (March 14, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa (February 1, 2015)

Southampton 6-1 Aston Villa (May 16, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

There’s still a lot that needs improving at Villa. They must escape the dangers of relegation and try to compete for a top half finish once again. That’s easier said than done but Tim Sherwood may be the man to bring success back to the club. The transfer window will be crucial as retaining star players, or bringing in suitable replacements will be vital. Scoring more goals will be the main aim as they struggled for large parts of the season in front of goal, netting just 31 times.