Premier League Grades part 1

Written by David Robinson

Another Premier League season is finished and while the league may not be the most unpredictable, this particular season has provided its fair amount of shocks. With a Premier League status never been more important financially, there has been a lot to fight for with the ultimate aim of of meeting or exceeding expectations. With these expectations in mind, I give my verdict on each teams performance in all competitions.

AFC Bournemouth – 16th – Grade: B+ 

A fantastic first year in the Premier League for Bournemouth. The Cherries ended up staying safe comfortably which was their ultimate aim. While their position was looking uncomfortable at points through the season, they had to manage with injuries to key players such as Callum Wilson, Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings. That being said for a newly promoted side, they spent over £35 million which is an awful lot of money, which is why I’ve not given them an ‘A’. I thought they might be too one dimensional as well with their passing style of play but they showed plenty of other qualities which was going to be important for them to stay in the league.

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                                                                            credit Ronnie Macdonald

Arsenal – 2nd – Grade: D+

A broken record. Promising signs in the early months of the season, Arsenal had the best chance in years to stake a claim for the Premier League trophy with Chelsea slumping and Manchester City inconsistent. The wheels fell off again and while exiting at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League is no embarrassment, getting beat in the FA Cup Quarter-Final against Watford meant it was a season of despair for the gunners. Even finishing ahead of Spurs in 2nd place still gets them a ‘D+’.

Aston Villa – 20th – Grade: E 

Ultimately the board are the cause of this disastrous downfall with Benteke and Delph key departures not addressed in the slightest. However the attitude throughout the club barring the magnificent supporters is astonishingly bad. I don’t believe Villa’s squad was significantly worse than a handful of other clubs but the application from players meant this side has to go down as one of the worst in Premier League history.

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credit Ben Sutherland

Chelsea – 10th – Grade: E

A shambles from Chelsea this season.  A cup victory would have rescued this disaster but a loss to Everton in the quarter finals in the FA Cup made it a miserable mystery as to how the former Champions slumped to 10th place. The application under Mourinho wasn’t good enough and you have to question the mentality of the players. Defensively the Blues were a mess at times and that was a key reason for the decline in performance.

Crystal Palace – 15th – Grade: B/D

An FA Cup final changes everything for Palace. It’s been a torrid league season despite an encouraging start but this side should be doing better particularly following the signing of Yohan Cabaye, a statement of intent. The Eagles still haven’t addressed the striking position which I feel could take them to another level and goals have been hard to come by. That being said a win at Wembley means Palace have a trophy which would should generally represent a productive season, although a few issues will need addressing next season. Palace get a ‘B’ with a win at Wembley and a ‘D’ if they get defeated.

Everton – 11th – Grade: D

Everton fans have been left frustrated all season with an impressive team starting to be built, the Toffees have been underwhelming and shipped goals left, right and centre meaning Roberto Martinez was rightfully sacked. While the club enjoyed some good results, the inconsistency and structure from the team was poor. Both Capital One Cup and FA Cup semi-finals deceives what has a been a lacklustre effort despite another encouraging season from Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku. Plenty of potential for next season but not reached this time around at Goodison Park.

Leicester City – 1st – Grade: A+

Champions of England. Ranieri has really performed absolute miracles here despite the spectacular failures of the ‘top 4’. The Italian maximised what he had creating a clever system which involved defending deep and counter attacking with pace which meant that Leicester’s players who aren’t the most gifted in the league were able to play fully to their strengths. Next to no injuries put Leicester in a great position and they were able to stay concentrated and composed superbly to win the league.

Liverpool – 8th – Grade: B-

Liverpool with be disappointed with 8th place as a whole but there are signs that Klopp is pushing the reds in the right direction. A defeat in the Europa League is a huge blow as that would really have made it a successful season however there are still inconsistencies in performance and certainly in defence. The defeat in the Capital One Cup on penalties should go down as a missed chance for silverware this year but not a complete disaster at Anfield.

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Manchester City – 4th – Grade: D                      credit Joshjdss

A shocking Premier League season underpinned more so by how good Manchester City were on the whole in Europe. A disappointing Champions League Semi-Final defeat was still a good achievement however this shows how poor The Citizens have been domestically finishing 15 points behind Leicester. Pellegrini’s side looked structured and hungry in Europe where as they were farcical in the league conceding far too many goals.  Signings like Sterling, Bony and Otamendi haven’t been up to the levels required.

Manchester United – 5th – Grade: B-/D

Not good enough but somehow Man Utd find themselves in an FA Cup final where a win would bail out a poor season for Van Gaal. The style of football insults add to injury for this side who have once again wasted millions on inadequate signings meaning that they have had to rely on youth players who fortunately have been able to produce. While re-building was always on the cards, the Red Devils must consider themselves well behind schedule. They get a ‘B-‘ even with a win at Wembley but a ‘D’ if they lose out to Palace.

What do you make of your teams grade? Let us know in the comments below!