Five lessons learned: season’s climax
Frank Monkhouse | 22 May 2017
What can we take from Sunday going forward?
So, we have arrived at the conclusion of the 2016/17 Premier League season and we’re sure, like us, you enjoyed every bit of it. If your club won something, lost something or rolled to an uninspiring midtable finish, it was another year of drama, reminding us just why the world loves the English Premier League.
It’s now on to a summer break for all concerned. Players get a chance to rest those weary legs on holiday, managers can begin to look at improving their sides for next season and fans, well we’re left scratching around for something to do on a Saturday afternoon.
Billed as a thrilling climax in the race for the top-four, it all ended up as a bit of a damp squib, Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal winning, for a case of ‘as you were’. Let’s look at what punters learned from round 38.
Terry will probably retire
What was that guard of honour all about? OK, so John Terry is a great at Chelsea, and fully deserved his day in the sun, but getting the Chelsea team to give him a guard of honour as he walked off the pitch with just 26 minutes on the clock. It all looked a bit unprofessional. It’s a good job he wasn’t number two. The FA will take a dim view of the whole thing, we’re sure, and that suggests Terry doesn’t care, and is off over the hill into retirement. If he does – what a way to end, lifting the Premier League trophy for the side he has dedicated his career to.
Kane wins golden boot
Lukaku was sitting pretty, ahead in the race to win the Premier League golden boot, but Spurs forward Harry Kane wouldn’t have it, firing seven goals in the last week of the season. A hat-trick against Hull took his tally for this month alone to eight goals, making him a fully deserving winner. Kane really is something special, and everyone at the London club must ensure he does a Terry and spends the best years of his career at the firm. Pochettino dubbed Harry one of the best strikers in the world recently, and he was bang on the money with that one. It’s difficult to remember he’s only 23, but having completed the Premier League, could he follow Gareth Bale off to La Liga? You really couldn’t blame him.
Liverpool going in the right direction
It’s been far from plain sailing for Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side this season, and they finished with 76 points, 22 wins, 10 draws and six defeats, but there’s no doubting the club are moving in the right direction. Fans, the board and management are all happy to admit The Reds are a work in progress at the minute, but that’s exactly what the gaffer has brought to Anfield – progress. They are back in the Champions League, which is a massive achievement for the side, and Klopp told the press immediately after the final-whistle that he’s looking forward to strengthening his side and getting stuck into next season.
Wenger deserves better
Arsenal – what to think. There has been an uproar at the Emirates this season, with the usual ill feeling amongst a few in the stands against manager Arsene Wenger growing into a tidal wave. The Gunners missed out on Champions League football, but let’s not get carried away, they missed by a single point. And what about the two decades spent mixing it with Europe’s elite? As a neutral, you’ve really got to feel for the manager. Arsenal beat Everton 3-1 to end with a five-match winning run, and could still claim the FA Cup. There’s plenty of clubs in British football who would take a failure of a season like that.
Aguero’s future must be secured
There are still a few question marks hanging over the future of Man City sensation Sergio Aguero, but he proved on Sunday why the club should pull out all the stops to tie down his long-term future. Aguero showed again vs Watford just what the team would be missing if they lost him, scoring a double, and having a hand in plenty more. A club of City’s size, and one having ambitions to get their hands on the Champions League, must secure one of the world’s best players. They are sure to be active in the transfer window over the coming months, but the best piece of business would be dealing in their top-performer.