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.

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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

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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

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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)

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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 Review: Hull City

Premier League Final Position: 18th 

Review

The 2014/15 season was a difficult one for Hull City fans to take and the side never really got going. The Tigers won on the opening day but then had a run five games before their next win came and winless streaks became a feature of their season. Their longest winless run came between October 18 and December 20, where Steve Bruce’s failed to take all three points in ten. The Tigers only registered eight wins all season, drew 11 and lost 19 games and their tally of 35 points was two worse than last season. They did show in patches in the season they were capable of picking up points from difficult games but ultimately Bruce’s side never had enough to stay up.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

1-0 win over Liverpool – one of the better moments of Hull’s season. This gave them some hope in their battle against relegation but, unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough.

Worst Moment

Losing both home and away to Burnley. To avoid the drop it is essential to pick up points from teams around you in the league and taking points from both these games could have made all the difference.

Player of the Year

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Ahmed Elmohamady – the winger featured in all 38 of the season and his work-rate was impressive. If Hull can keep players with his mentality they will have a chance of bouncing back next season.

Biggest Win 

Hull City 2-0 Crystal Palace (Oct 4, 2014)
Sunderland 0-2 Hull City (Dec 26, 2014)
Hull City 2-0 Everton (Jan 1, 2015)
Hull City 2-0 Aston Villa (Feb 10, 2015)
Crystal Palace 0-2 Hull City (Apr 25, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester United 3-0 Hull City (Nov 29, 2014)
West Ham United 3-0 Hull City (Jan 18, 2015)
Hull City 0-3 Newcastle United (Jan 31, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Hull City have an awful lot to improve on if they are to come back into the Premier League. Steve Bruce will be hoping to avoid a mass-exodus, but at the same time there are players who Hull need to move on. Conceding was a real problem for Hull this season and if they are to stand any chance of a swift return to the Premier League they have to solidify their leaky defence.

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.

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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

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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: Newcastle United

Premier League Final Position: 15th

Review

Newcastle United have yet again failed to live up to their ‘big club’ status as their performances on the pitch were simply not good enough this season.

With the second worst defence in the league, they were lucky to avoid the drop and had Alan Pardew not of left we would not be talking about a side that marginally avoided relegation.

Current boss John Carver has arguably coached a half decent squad but only managed one win in their last 11 matches. So there a clear need to address performances and to improve consistency ahead of the next campaign.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment
Their best moment is a disappointing factor in that it was avoiding relegation on the last day. For a huge club like Newcastle, this is drastic at best as they are way off where they should be. However, their performance on the final day was impressive as they beat West Ham by two goals in front of their own fans.

Worst Moment

Losing manager Alan Pardew at the turn of the year was easily their worst moment of the season. Pardew has been a sensation for Crystal Palace since joining in January and Newcastle capitulated in his absence, despite continuous protest from supporters.

Player of the Year

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Daryl Janmaat – It was a tough call between him and Jack Colback, but the Dutchman gets the nod. After impressive displays in last year’s World Cup for the Netherlands he has continued to impress in the Newcastle backline; as well as providing as many as six assists.

Biggest Win

Hull City 0-3 Newcastle United (January 31, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Manchester City 5-0 Newcastle United (February 21, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season

There are a lot of things that need improving at the club, but top of the list is stability. Whoever ends the summer as the boss will need to identify a plan on how this club can go forward knowing that the current set of players are simply not good enough. This is very much a team in transition now and they need a stable platform to build success because their fans deserve better.

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.

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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

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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.

Premier League 2014/15 Season Review: Stoke City

Premier League Final Position: 9th 

Review

Stoke City equalled their highest ever Premier League position of 9th, beating last seasons points tally of 50, with 54. Mark Hughes has been transforming Stoke from a long-ball side to a ball playing side and this season has been very respectable. They have been very difficult to play against at the Britannia and have beaten; Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Everton and Arsenal at home. Impressively, they won away at Manchester City and did the double over Spurs.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

Beating Liverpool 6-1 on the final day – what an achievement this was for Stoke. To be leading at 5-0 was quite possibly the most surprising moment of the Premier League season. It showed how they have the ability to exploit a side on the back-foot and was a great way to cap off a good season.

Worst Moment

Losing 2-1 to Burnley at home. This was a disappointing result for Mark Hughes, conceding two goals in as many minutes isn’t just poor defending but it also shows a lack of concentration.

Player of the Year

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Charlie Adam – the Scottish midfielder enjoyed another good campaign, scoring seven goals and registering one assist. He played a pivotal role in the midfield and showed his ability to provide the unthinkable with his wonder goal against Chelsea.

Biggest Win 

Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool (May 24, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Arsenal 3-0 Stoke City (Jan 11, 2015)
Stoke City 1-4 Manchester City (Feb 11, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Stoke need to start avoiding defeats to sides lower in the table if they are to improve on 54 points. Coming 9th is a great achievement and any improvement on that will be another great season.

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League Final Position: 5th

Review

Tottenham Hotspur finished the 2014/15 season in 5th and once again missed out on Champions League football, but there are plenty of positives for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. They improved on last season’s position of 6th and have a good foundation to build upon. They picked up some great wins in the campaign but also had some low points. It was ultimately their inconsistency and distraction of the Europa League which cost their chances of finishing in the top four.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

Beating Chelsea 5-3. This is one for the Spurs fans to treasure, beating one of their biggest rivals and the eventual champions. A game where they could have easily crumbled going 1-0 down early on, Pochettino’s side came back in great spirit and showed they have the ability to mix it with whoever comes to White Hart Lane.

Worst Moment

Losing to 3-0 to Manchester United. This result is arguably the killer in their hunt for Champions League football. Conceding three first half goals simply isn’t good enough and again, showed their inconsistency.

Player of the Year

Harry Kane – what can be said about this young man that already hasn’t? Kane has had a superb season and it looks like Spurs have a real talisman for time to come. He became the first Spurs player to hit 30 goals in a season since Gary Lineker in 1992. Finishing as runner-up to Sergio Aguero for the Golden Boot shows what a great season he had and his tally of 21 goals in 34 league games is impressive. With all the great talking points said, Kane must continue to improve next season and prove to any doubters that he can provide on a regular basis.

Biggest Win 

Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Queens Park Rangers (Aug 24, 2014)

Biggest Defeat

Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Liverpool (Aug 31, 2014)
Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Oct 18, 2014)
Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Dec 3, 2014)
Manchester United 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Mar 13, 2015)
Stoke City 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur (May 9, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Spurs have to strengthen their squad. They have a number of players who they need to release and bring in some more experienced, high-quality European stars in order to break into the top four. Pochettino needs to ensure his side stop losing games they expect to win, which again comes back to inconsistency. Spurs have to build upon winning big games like the 5-3 against Chelsea and the North-London derby at home in February. Goal difference is a problem for Spurs, scoring just 58 goals and conceding 53 is not good enough. If Pochettino can solidify his defence and keep hold of Hugo Lloris he has a great chance of improving for the second season on the bounce.

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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.