Chelsea – First of all congratulations to the Premier League Champions, marking their 5th Title under the ownership of Roman Abramovich with an impressive dominant campaign. Ever since manager Antonio Conte changed their formation to the re-invigorated 3-4-3, Chelsea dominated the league, and go into Saturday’s FA Cup final as heavy favourites in many fans opinions. Players such as Eden Hazard, David Luiz, and for me one of the players of the season Cesar Azpilicueta, have all achieved career high seasons, and the signing of the season N’Golo Kante has truly stepped into the echelons of world-class. Some fans from rival clubs may argue the point of Chelsea competing in no European competition playing a pivotal part in their consistent league form, but I disagree, and predict them to atleast make the semi-finals of the Champions League next season. With Conte at the helm, and ensuring they can keep hold of Hazard and Kante, with a few quality additions the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern, and Juventus will fear playing them next season.
In terms of league position, Tottenham ought to be proud of their accomplishment, but calling the whole season a success is frustrating me, and it may be me as I don’t like them on a personal note but under Pochettino and with these so-called £80million star players, they still fail to win anything. This season it would have taken a top Arsenal or Manchester United of past years to beat Conte’s Chelsea to the title, and I can’t see Tottenham ever winning the league with this generation, however they definitely have the class to claim FA Cups and League cups, but 16/17 finishes in another potential-filled, pretty football trophyless year. Failing to progress past Gent in the Europa League, and being outclassed and outwitted by Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, gives brutal evidence that Tottenham still have a long way to go to being a top club they so adhere to be.
Moussa Sissoko –
Staying on the subject on Spurs, I had to add that £30million summer signing Moussa Sissoko has been a massive disappointment. Last season Sissoko was a powerful force in the Newcastle United team, and although they were ultimately relegated in a dismal season he shone and earned his move to Tottenham. Apart from a December performance at Old Trafford where he terrorised Matteo Darmian during the second-half, performances from Sissoko have been non-existent and he’s been less than half the player I expected him to be at the start of the season. Nevertheless remarkably in recent news, Barcelona and Real Madrid are interested in securing his services this summer.
Bradley Lowery and Jermain Defoe
The most heart-warming, and genuine chapter of this season was the development of the friendship between brave 6 year-old cancer-battler Bradley Lowery and Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe. I’m not going to elaborate any further as I feel the two’s bond has touched on the whole nation regardless if one is a football fan or not.
Gylfi Sigurdsson –
Even though as a team Swansea City haven’t experienced the most comfortably of seasons, and mainly owning to a late resurgence under manager Paul Clement they ensured survival in the Premier League. With the team sheet constantly altering around him and two managerial sacking, Sigurdsson continued his fine form ultimately weighing in with 9 goals and 12 assists for the season. Never really cementing a first-team place during his 2-year tenure at Tottenham, Sigurdsson has been Swansea’s standout player since joining permanently in July 2014, and although unfortunately for Swansea fans it looks like he will be transferred this summer, hopefully to a club in European competition, as a player of Gylfi’s quality deserves to.
Sacking of Ranieri –
Outrightly the most distasteful and disgraceful moment of 16/17, the sacking of Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri on February 23rd, left a sour taste in not only Leicester fans mouths but fans nationwide. I don’t care how Jamie Vardy or Kasper Schmeichel, et al attempt to defend themselves in the media as I refuse to believe a word they say. Being realistic it would have taken a bigger miracle to retain their title than it took to win it, but to drop form like they did was a dishonour to not only Ranieri but to the Leicester fans. Additionally it was the way they found themselves near the relegation zone, a total lack of energy and commitment compared to the championship season, and complete lack of respect to perform for the manager who played the largest pivotal role in them achieving the impossible dream of becoming Premier League champions. Honestly it is a shame they didn’t end up getting relegated.
Adama Traore –
Arguably the most exciting yet frustrating player this season, ever since his powerful performance at Arsenal, I generally thought he could single-handedly carry Middlesbrough to not just safety but to a respectful mid-table position but it didn’t materialise. During Karanka’s reign he showed plenty of glimpses of his talent and frightening pace, even being linked to Chelsea in January, but since Karanka’s departure Traore has been limited to substitute appearances and has struggled to make an impact during his clubs spiral to relegation. That being said, Traore possesses outrageous talent and potential, leading to any full-back in world football to fear playing him, and he is basically impossible to defend against in one-on-one situations. I hope a Premier League club takes a gamble on him, and successfully refine and mature him into the world-class player that is trying to breakout.