All in all, a thoroughly successful season for Antonio Conte and it could get even better at Wembley on Saturday. From the introduction of the 3-4-3 to the wider resurrection of Chelsea’s key men, Conte is rightly being hailed for the job he’s done at the Bridge. The challenge next season will be to keep that momentum going with the pressure of the Champions League.
In eight other Premier League seasons, Spurs’ total of 86 points would have made them champions. It seems a great injustice that Mauricio Pochettino’s men are ending the campaign without silverware, as they truly have been the season’s great entertainers. Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, and Christian Eriksen have scored the goals, but Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies deserve a special mention for rising to the challenge in place of Danny Rose and Kyle Walker.
Pep Guardiola will have no illusions now as to the challenge facing him at the Etihad. The answer, no doubt, will be to spend even more this summer ahead of next season’s challenge, but by then he can have no excuses. City’s defence has let him down this season, and replacing Pablo Zabaleta and finding a long-term successor to Vincent Kompany needs to be a priority.
Liverpool fans will be looking ahead already to more European nights under the Anfield lights. In the end, the Reds just got over the line, but they should look back on the first half of the season with great pride. If they can keep Philippe Coutinho and bolster their defence, Jurgen Klopp could well mount a more sustained challenge next season.
Arsenal’s demise is complete. The reality, however, is that this has been coming for some time. The absence of Champions League football may not affect Arsene Wenger’s future, but ultimately the furore surrounding his contract has created a poisonous atmosphere at the Emirates, where it hasn’t been an enjoyable season.
Whatever happens in the Europa League, Jose Mourinho’s first season at the helm has been far from an overwhelming success. United are becoming famed for their mundane style of play, and there’s something very wrong about that.
Ronald Koeman has brought progress, but Everton still have a way to go if they are to seriously compete with the top six. They could well lose Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley now, but the positive from this season is the youngsters Koeman has brought through. Tom Davies, Ademola Lookman, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all have a bright future.
An eighth-placed finish isn’t likely to save Claude Puel. When Southampton have been bad, they’ve been very bad, but they have still had a good season considering it’s been another campaign of transition after Koeman’s departure.
Eddie Howe deserves a huge amount of credit for another incredible year of achievement. Bournemouth have had a few thrashings, but they have admirably stuck to their footballing principles and it’s ultimately paid off with a top-half finish.
Tony Pulis has made West Brom so consistent that it’s perhaps not being recognised how well they’ve done to ensure survival so early this time around. Their veteran defenders have been at the heart of everything they’ve done this season.
It’s been a nightmare first season at the London Stadium, and it will also be remembered for the Dimitri Payet saga. Amidst all that, Slaven Bilic hasn’t done too badly, but the owners haven’t backed him. They absolutely have to invest properly if they’re to avoid another relegation scrap next season.
Leicester’s players haven’t covered themselves in glory, and not just on the pitch. The club’s treatment of Claudio Ranieri was shameful, yet Craig Shakespeare has done very well since coming in and deserves a crack at a whole season.
Given that they have spent money, Stoke would have expected more from this campaign. Mark Hughes is one of the managers under pressure going into the close-season, but he has at least turned them around after their abysmal start.
It’s been a close shave for Palace, but the appointment of Sam Allardyce – at a time when few would give him another chance – was shrewd. He’s restored his reputation, and on their day, Palace have been a joy to watch thanks to the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.
From the board’s point of view, this season has been farcical. Three permanent managers and only just scraping to survival. There is a sense that they should be doing much better, and Paul Clement should be able to achieve more next time around.
Burnley have been steady, but their away form is a big problem. Sean Dyche will need to address that as it can’t be anything but a mental block. The Clarets’ decision to give Joey Barton another chance has also backfired, so they will need to look at strengthening and adding more experience this summer.
Another year, another manager sacked. Sooner or later, the Hornets will pay for their lack of consistency, but Walter Mazzarri has at least ensured they have another season in the top flight. There seems to be no real cohesion in the squad either.
Marco Silva was fairly non-committal about his future when speaking to reporters after the final day 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Spurs. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that the Tigers will be able to keep hold of their prized asset, who gave them brief hope of survival.
Quite possibly one of the most sleep-inducing teams ever to grace the Premier League. It’s been dire. The failure to appoint a permanent manager has come back to haunt them, and they are no longer even defensively tight.
Sunderland’s season has been abysmal. David Moyes has seemingly refused to do anything about their slide and this is a relegation that has been coming. If anything, the chance to rebuild in the Championship might be the best thing that has happened to the club for a long time.