If the thunderous arrival of Erling Haaland, or the courses of Newcastle and Brighton were highlights of the Premier League season, the huge mess of Chelsea, the waltz of the coaches and the controversies on the VAR were the highlights. embarrassing flops.
Haaland, the viking conquered England:
Author of thirty-six goals in thirty-five games, before the last day, the Norwegian colossus stormed the Premier League in his first season, far exceeding the most optimistic expectations.
He has already set a new record for most goals in a season at 38 rounds and, with his eight assists, he equaled Thierry Henry’s record of 44 goals (24 goals, 20 assists) with Arsenal. in 2002/2003.
Aged just 22, he played a major role in Manchester City’s fifth title in six years, earning him the all-time journalists’ Player of the Year award with more than 80% of the vote, an all-time high. .
Newcastle, the rising force
When its new Saudi owners arrived, Newcastle was struggling to maintain. A year and a half later, here is the club qualified for the next Champions League.
With a squad without huge stars, led by Eddie Howe who showed that England coaches can take teams to the top 4, the Magpies have been very consistent and have kept their composure to resist the hot comeback of Liverpool.
Participation in the C1 will increase their attractiveness on the transfer market this summer and, if their judicious and cautious recruitment policy is confirmed, they can settle in the very top of the table in the coming seasons.
Brighton, the divine surprisedto
Club often “darling” of the followers of the Premier League for a few years, because of the quality of the play which it develops, Brighton reached a level by reaching for the first time the European places.
Everything had however started with what was experienced as a betrayal, when Graham Potter left the club for Chelsea.
But the Seagulls bounced back tremendously by attracting Roberto de Zerbi and under the leadership of the Italian, with revelations like Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma, Ecuadorian central midfielder Moises Caicedo or Argentinian Alexis Mac Allister, world champion in Qatar , their 6th place is not usurped.
Chelsea, all for that
Hundreds of millions of euros spent, two coaches sacked and in the end the club’s worst season in the Premier League era, this is the sad record of the first season of American businessman Todd Boehly and of the investment fund Clearlake Capital at the controls of the Blues.
Fewer points scored, fewer goals scored, more defeats in a 38-day season… It’s almost a miracle that the team is still in 12th place.
If Mauricio Pochettino takes the helm well at the end of this season, as announced by the media, his task, with a workforce as unbalanced as it is plethoric, will be immense.
While the coaching profession is often precarious, the Premier League has taken the concept to a whole new level, with half of the clubs having changed coaches during the season.
Three have even sacked their coach twice: Southampton who ended up relegated, Leeds threatened to join him, and Chelsea.
If the arrival of Unai Emery has taken Aston Villa from the fight for maintenance to that for Europe, loyalty has sometimes also been rewarded, like the promoted Nottingham Forest who remained loyal to Steve Cooper and who obtained its maintenance by beating Arsenal (1-0) on the penultimate day.
The setbacks of the VAR
While video assistant refereeing is unpopular in almost all leagues, the Premier League season has been punctuated by a series of blunders that have resulted in several official apologies from English professional referees (PGMOL).
Forgotten penalties or a goal unfairly disallowed due to poorly drawn offside lines, Brighton have suffered at least three of these mistakes, but even the biggest clubs, like Arsenal, have not been spared, with a equalization (1-1) had been wrongly validated in favor of Brentford during the meeting against the Gunners in mid-February.
Lee Mason, the referee in charge of the VAR during this last match, had even definitively left his functions « by mutual consent » a few days later.
But if this effort of transparency on the errors is commendable, the frequency of these, for a league with the means and the financial stakes so important, is a stain.