7 THINGS LEARNT FROM 2019/20 PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON

 

1. English managers making a bold statement: The just ended English Premier League season unlike recent campaigns witnessed a high number of English managers in the division (nine) and they were competitive against their foreign counterparts despite two of them eventually going down relegated with their teams.

Frank Lampard, Chris Wilder and Sean Dyche might have finished highest of the home breed, but spare some admiration for Graham Potter whose Brighton team showed enough quality to spring a surprise or two next season.

2. Controversial VAR, hit or miss? Change is one of the most difficult events to effectively deal with and adapt to in human nature and it wasn’t any different with the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Premier League this season. Was it a hit or miss?

Well the answer depends largely on how the decisions turned out either in favour or against your team, however, what is certain is that the application of the technology and interpretation of the rules (handball and offside) can only get better moving forward.

3. The Special One loses invincibility: Jose Mourinho’s appointment at Tottenham Hotspur might have yielded a UEFA Europa League ticket after taking over when the team were 14th on the log but it was far from a smooth sailing for the Special One on his third return to the Premier League.

The opposition managers appeared to find Mourinho’s tactics very predictable, no surprises as he lost seven of his 26 league matches and generally didn’t look his dominant and confident self.

4. Last line almost cost Chelsea: Chelsea’s goalkeeping and defence almost cost the Blues UEFA Champions League qualification, the Blues conceding an alarming 54 goals, the most for any team in the top half of the table.

More worrying was the form of Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Spanish goalkeeper whose shots to save percentage was extremely disappointing, a fact highlighted by the world’s most expensive goalie finishing last on the ranking of the 20 Premier League goalkeepers factoring save percentage.

Obviously the Chelsea management should put aside a chunk of their transfer budget for defensive reinforcement and start by bringing in Andre Onana from Ajax Amsterdam.

5. Record-setting campaign: The 2019/20 English Premier League season was one which produced a few records in the competitions history.

Leicester City secured the biggest away win result in the league’s history with a 9-0 victory at Southampton, Liverpool emerged champions with seven games to play, the Reds equally set the record for the longest winning run at home (24) and Manchester United became the team to earn the most penalties in a single campaign (14).

6. Ndidi toppled: For the first time in three seasons, Leicester City’s midfielder Wilfred Ndidi didn’t emerge top of the list for most tackles in the Premier League, finishing second.

The 23-year-old Nigeria international successfully recorded 128 tackles, one less than Manchester United’s right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Obviously Ndidi will have to do more in future, perhaps adding assists, goals and possibly signing with a super agent if he is to get the desired attention his talent and consistency deserve from the heavyweight clubs.

7. The dream continues for Vardy: Jamie Vardy became the oldest player to win the Premier League Golden Boot at age 33 after finishing the season with 23 goals.

The Leicester City forward became the ninth Englishman to win the award and when you remember that Vardy was still playing non-league football eight years ago, then it highlights one major lesson: Never give up on your dreams, no matter how big they may seem!

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