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25th May 2015

Was that the worst Premier League season in history?

Tony Cuddihy

Was that the worst Premier League season since football was invented in 1992?

Yes, is the simple answer.

It’s hard to get enthused about a campaign in which Chelsea cruised to the title just three days into May, with seemingly no-one else wanting to win the bloody thing.

Manchester United may have limped over the line for fourth since beating Liverpool in March, but it was a stop-start season for Louis van Gaal’s side. It took the unlikely efforts of Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini to cover up for the deficiencies of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, who went missing in plain sight for much of the past nine months.

Liverpool were just… Liverpool. It’s the hope that killed them off, as well as losing all of their goals to Barcelona and a Boston treatment room. For 13 games they were irresistible, and then Brendan went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid about finishing second. No wonder it went arseways soon after that.

It was an ugly end to a disappointing year at Stoke, and a horrible way for Steven Gerrard to finish his career in Red. Both Rodgers and Raheem Sterling came in for flak, and it looks like being a long summer at Anfield.

There have been other reasons to wish this dying dog of a season away:

  • West Ham reverting to type after unexpectedly finding themselves chasing Champions League football. Who remembers Andy Carroll saying the Hammers “believed” they could secure a top-four finish on January 19? Congrats on two wins in the last 16 matches, Andy.
  • Leicester City’s survival under the most unpleasant Premier League manager since [redacted].
  • QPR
  • Alan Pardew proving almost palatable at Crystal Palace, as well as a bloody good manager.
  • Mike Ashley being rewarded for his running of Newcastle by the club maintaining their top-flight status.
  • Yaya Toure’s loss of form and interest.
  • Sterling, Aidy Ward and the absence of dignity.
  • Wilfried Bony going from goal machine at Swansea to bench-warmer at Man City.
  • John Carver’s puppy dog eyes.
  • Mario Balotelli: A move to Fenerbahce surely awaits.

But enough doom and gloom. Not every season can have the drama of 2013/14, or Sergio Aguero’s magical finish in 2011/12, or even the all-consuming brilliance of Alex Ferguson’s best Manchester United triumphs.

Chelsea may not wow the purists but they’re far from the tallest dwarfs.

Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, Diego Costa, John Terry and, of course, Eden Hazard have been the outstanding players in each of their respective positions, with Thibaut Courtois only bettered by David de Gea. They were the best, if not the most popular, side in the division.

The Blues will take some stopping next year, but here’s hoping they at least have some competition. Louis van Gaal may have been in triumphant mood lately, while Arsene Wenger could lift another FA Cup at the end of the week, but the chasing pack have a lot of ground to make up over the next few months.