Despite substandard season, excitement will mount for next Premier League
The 2014-15 Premier League season has drawn to a close with status quo virtually maintained throughout the table.
With the title comfortably wrapped up by Chelsea three weeks ago, there was very little to get excited about in the top half as Man City, Arsenal and Man Utd faltered.
Below the top four, Liverpool and Spurs fought to stamp their authority but fell short once again and look destined to stay that way unless there is a dramatic turnaround.
In mid table, well ran clubs continue to impress and speak of lofty ambitions but the lack of resources mean they have reached their level.
Toward the bottom, some of the league’s bigger names such as Aston Villa and Newcastle struggled to cope with expectations, found themselves in danger of peril and looked a shadow of the yesteryear.
But despite the uneventful nature of the season, there were a number of storylines and plot points which will dominate the summer.
Can Jose Mourinho establish an era of domestic dominance at Chelsea akin to his old adversary Sir Alex Ferguson? On the evidence of this season, the Blues are streets ahead of their rivals and they will not stand still and admire what they’ve accomplished.
With a relatively young squad, they will continue to evolve and develop in the hands of the league’s best manager, the possibilities at home and abroad are endless.
Behind them, City have much work to do. For such an expensively assembled squad, there is a startling lack of heart and fight when instead they should push harder. Their ageing squad requires major surgery and an attitude adjustment just to compete with Chelsea.
Arsenal always seem to promise to deliver the next year but now is time for actions to speak louder than words. Everything is in place for them to mount a sustained challenge for the title and if they fail again, heads must roll.
Manchester United did the bare minimum by qualifying for the Champions League. But after spending over £150m last summer, not enough progression was made.
Louis Van Gaal is said to have another spending spree ready for the next transfer window and he will hope those signings will make the difference in the next campaign.
Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the miracle in Istanbul for Liverpool but the atmosphere around the club is at best depressed. Their embarrassing 6-1 defeat to Stoke on the final day has left Brendan Rodgers on the edge of the precipice. With their talisman Steven Gerrard gone, an average squad, no Champions League football and Raheem Sterling desperate to leave, Rodgers faces a desperate battle to change their fortunes.
A mention for Southampton, Swansea, Stoke and Crystal Palace who have all provided moments to remember this season, giving some of the major teams examinations and at times passing those tests in style.
Leicester City’s remarkable rise to 14th is another of this season’s stories. They appeared to be down and out but their revival means a long term stay in the Premier League is a strong possibility.
There are less than 80 days until the start of the 2015/16 season and in that time so much can and will happen.
The world’s best league has had a sub-standard year but as the days tick by, you can guarantee the anticipation for next season will be greater than ever.