5…4…3…2…1… Happy New Year! OK, OK, so 2016 is still a few hours away (depending on where you are in the world), but for all intents and purposes, it’s 2016 in the Premier League.
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With 19 rounds of fixtures already played to begin the 2015-16 PL season, and 19 rounds of fixtures having been played to conclude the 2014-15 season, it all makes for a nice and tidy league table for the entire year.
Without further ado, we present to you, the Premier League table for the calendar year 2015…
|Team||1st half||2nd half||Total||GD|
|12||West Bromwich Albion||27||23||50||-9|
|14||West Ham United||16||29||45||-5|
|22||Queens Park Rangers||12||N/A||12||-18|
Congratulations, Arsenal, you’re the 2015 Premier League champions! Unfortunately, as we all know, each PL season runs from August to May, not January to December, which means to win the this season’s league title, you’ll have to put together a third consecutive stellar half-season. Is it too much to ask? Only time will tell.
Man City and Tottenham finish the calendar year second and third, respectively, but find themselves one spot lower in the real-life table, thanks to those pesky Foxes from Leicester, who have been the fourth-best team in the PL over the last 12 months. For a club that spent less than $57 million combined during the last three windows (Arsenal, Man City and Spurs spent $147 million, $325 million and $114 million in that same time), Leicester are currently punching roughly five classes above their weight.
No matter how much money Man United and Liverpool spend, or how many managers the two northwest clubs hire and fire, or how much they may hate each other, they eventually end up together again. The Red Devils and Reds mirrored one another during both halves of 2015, grabbing 34 points from January to May, followed by a disappointing 30 from August to December.
No side in the PL had a greater difference in points won from the first half of the year to the second, or vice versa, than Chelsea (21-point decline). The Blues’ woes have been discussed ad nauseam this season, so the less said about them now is probably for the better. West Ham’s 13-point improvement under Slaven Bilic has the Hammers currently sitting eighth in the real-life table, up 10 places from their 18th-place standing during the second half of 2014-15.
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Having already won 20 points this season, newly promoted sides Norwich City (15th) and Bournemouth (16th) are right on pace for the magical 40-point mark that typically means avoiding relegation. Fellow PL newcomers Watford (9th) are nearly three-quarters of the way their themselves, on 29 points.
And then there’s Aston Villa, who in 38 games played during 2015 won four fewer points than Watford, who were promoted in the summer and played just 19 Premier League games in 2015. Goodbye, Villa, it was swell knowing you. And so long to 2015.