All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2014-15 Premier League season. From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the 380 games as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.
For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now, the marks are in and it is time to dish out the grades for each team in 2014-15.
Swansea City:Nobody expected Monk’s men to get a record points tally. Superb season which deserved a top six finish. Sustainability is the key for the Swans going forward and this could only be the start.
Southampton: Same could be said for Koeman’s Saints. After the mass exodus last summer the Dutchman worked miracles. So many highlights including 8-0 and 6-1 wins. A Europa League campaign next season would be a great reward.
Chelsea: Mourinho’s men marched to the title with four games to go and Hazard led a sublime team. In the second half of the season they lost their attacking panache. That’s the only reason they don’t get full marks.
Arsenal: Wenger is progressing this side. A third-place finish proves that and if they can keep everyone fit next season and add 1/2 star players this summer… Watch out.
Stoke City: Mark Hughes is doing a great job at the Brit. A record points tally for Stoke and when they are on form and firing on all cylinders, few can match them.
Crystal Palace: What a second half of the season it was. As soon as Alan Pardew replaced Neil Warnock, Selhurst believed again. A top 10 finish is the stuff of dreams for Pards and Palace.
Leicester City:Just four wins in the first 29 matches and then… BOOM! Nigel Pearson is unorthodox but got his boys playing late on as seven wins from their last nine suggests. One of the greatest “great escapes” in PL history.
West Brom: Alan Irvine was fired in January and Tony Pulis arrived to do his best Harry Houdini impression once again. The Baggies survived comfortably in the end and bagged big wins vs. Man United and Chelsea.
Tottenham: An up and down year for Spurs as Pochettino will be happy enough with his first season in charge at the Lane. Harry Kane’s emergence was a pleasant surprise and fifth place shows progress.
Manchester United: The Red Devils made hard work of making the top four, didn’t they? Louis van Gaal had mixed results to start with but a strong Spring carried them through. Now, time to spend the big bucks wisely and assemble a title-winning squad. Slow progress so far.
Manchester City:The Citizens had a down year but still finished second behind Chelsea. If Manuel Pellegrini remains he will likely make plenty of changes this summer. Fresh legs are needed but City aren’t far off. Some of the stuff they play is sublime.
West Ham: Fourth in December, a potentially special season unraveled as the Hammers finished 12th. Sam Allardyce has now left as a new era begins in east London.
Everton: A season to forget for the Toffees who suffered from their Europa League exploits and injuries to key man Lukaku and Barkley. Roberto Martinez knows Everton must do better.
Newcastle: They stayed up by the skin of their teeth. John Carver took over on an interim basis in January when Pardew left and the Magpies lost eight-straight, only saving themselves on the final day. Surely they’ll be better next year?
Burnley: Yes, they were relegated. But Sean Dyche can be extremely proud of his players. That stuck in close in so many games and had Danny Ings found his goalscoring touch after Christmas, it may well have been a different story. Down, but their heads held high.
Aston Villa: Paul Lambert was fired and his replacement Tim Sherwood saved Villa after restoring some attacking intent. They’re in the FA Cup final too but a rebuild is badly needed.
Sunderland: Dick Advocaat took over from Gus Poyet and saved the Black Cats but it was far from vintage stuff. Another team who needs a huge rebuild, but on their day they can give anyone a game. Season to forget.
Liverpool: This may seem a little harsh, but the drop-off from the Reds was alarming this season. After spending $150 million in the summer, it’s hard to see where that went. Losing Suarez hurt. Plus Sturridge being injured. But Rodgers is walking on thin ice after a sixth-place finish.
Hull City: The Tigers went down on the final day and a severe lack of goals (just 33) haunted Steve Bruce’s side. Expect plenty of players to leave this summer. From an FA Cup final to relegation in 12 months. Ouch.
QPR: The less said about this season the better. After Harry Redknapp left in Feb. the reins were handed to Chris Ramsey and he did his best but the defense was shocking. Can QPR keep their yo-yo club status going and bounce back?
Serie A fixtures set for remainder of 2019-20 season
Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The DFB also said on Monday that Jadon Sancho’s booking for removing his jersey to reveal a T-shirt with the demand “Justice for George Floyd” had nothing to do with the message — rather, the yellow card was issued because the 20-year-old England forward broke a rule that says players who celebrate goals by taking off their jerseys or lifting them over their heads must be booked for “unsporting behavior.”
Borussia Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi, 21, who displayed the same message after scoring in the same game on Sunday, was not booked because he did not lift his jersey over his head.
The DFB control committee is looking into their gestures and those made by Schalke’s 21-year-old American midfielder Weston McKennie and Borussia Monchengladbach’s 22-year-old French forward Marcus Thuram to see if the four players broke laws that prohibit players from displaying “political, religious or personal slogans.”
Thuram on Sunday took a knee after scoring in Borussia Monchengladbach’s win over Union Berlin.
Sancho and Hakimi followed suit later Sunday.
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck. Three other officers were also at the scene. Chauvin has been charged with murder and all four were fired.
DFB president Fritz Keller on Monday showed his respect and understanding for McKennie, Thuram, Sancho and Hakimi’s gestures.
“If people are discriminated against on the basis of their skin color, it is unbearable. If they die because of their skin color, then I am deeply distraught,” Keller said in a DFB statement. “The victims of racism need all of us to show solidarity.”
Keller referred to meetings with victims of discrimination and representatives of organizations that have faced anti-Semetic, anti-Muslim or racist hostility, and said the DFB and German soccer was showing its clear rejection of all forms of racism, discrimination and violence.
Keller also praised both male and female players for taking a stand and showing their solidarity.
“I’m proud of them. I can completely understand the actions from the weekend. Nobody can be indifferent to what happened in the United States,” Keller said.
Former Mainz forward Anthony Ujah was just given a warning by the DFB in 2014 in regard to the ban on political statements when he displayed a T-shirt with Eric Garner’s name and the words “can’t breathe” and “justice,” in reference to Garner’s death after a police officer placed him in what appeared to be a chokehold.
Now playing for Union Berlin, Ujah on Thursday tweeted a picture of his protest from the time, but with Floyd’s name typed above in bold.
Floyd also said “I can’t breathe” before he died.
“If the DFB’s control committee wants to investigate, then I have to ask myself if we all have the same values,” Union sporting director Oliver Ruhnert said. “It’s about a global issue here: The no to racism.”
A great early save from Timo Horn on Timo Werner preceded Koln’s opener.
Elvis Rexhbecaj timed his run well and knifed to the near post, where he shot through the legs of Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.
The ball hit the post and skittered into the box and Gulacsi could only get a piece of Cordoba’s left-footed attempt.
Leipzig leveled when Upamecano dribbled up the heart of the pitch before finding Man City loanee Angelino on the left for a perfect cross and Schick header. Angelino had an exceptional day on the left flank.
Leipzig took its lead in the 38th minute with a deft finish from Nkunku, who took Konrad Laimer’s perfect feed and popped it over a charging Horn for 2-1.
Werner finished off a lightning counter as Gulacsi collected a free kick and hit a perfect punt to the league’s second-leading scorer.
Modeste hit an absolute hammer to make it 3-2, but Leipzig restored the two-goal advantage when Olmo hit a seeing-eye shot through the traffic to cap three goals in seven minutes between the two sides.
French striker Modeste won a penalty that was denied by VAR with under 20 minutes to play, he then missed wide after beating the keeping one 1v1 break with four minutes to play.
Americans Abroad: American midfielder Tyler Adams continued his streak of playing in every Leipzig match since the break when he came off the bench just before the hour mark.
Adams hit 94 percent of his 18 passes, drawing three fouls, making an interception, and winning three of four duels.
Lionel Messi is going to spend at least one more year with Barcelona.
The world’s best player had an exit clause in his contract that allowed him to leave without a transfer fee, but that expired at Midnight according to Marca.com.
Messi has 19 goals and 12 assists in just 22 La Liga appearances this season, one of just four players in Europe’s top five leagues to collect double-digit goals and assists (Jadon Sancho, Serge Gnabry, Alassane Plea).
It had been reported since November that Messi would not exercise his option to leave the club, but there were numerous reasons to think he might rethink things given problems at Barcelona.