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Premier League 2015-16 season team-by-team reviews: Arsenal to Man United


All week at ProSoccerTalk we are reviewing the dramatic 2015-16 Premier League season.

From dishing out awards to looking back at the highs and lows in the as 20 teams battled it out, we’ll have every angle covered.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

For the full archive of our review content, just hit the link above. Now we are looking at the individual teams alphabetically and analyzing how they fared.

Here’s a look at the 10 teams from Arsenal through to Manchester United.


Arsenal's French manager Arsene Wenger reacts in frustration during the second half of the English FA Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates stadium in London, Sunday, March 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Position: 2nd
High: Beating Man United 3-0 early in the season when everything clicked into place quite nicely
Low: Second half meltdown. In February they were just three points off Leicester but finished 10 points behind. This was meant to be their year and they crumbled
Star man: Mesut Ozil – Lead the PL in assists (19) and easily had his best season in an Arsenal jersey
Coach: Arsene Wenger – Under severe criticism after late season collapse, needs a big summer in transfer market (we’ve heard this before, right?) to mount a serious title challenge next season
Grade: B+ – Second place finish may be a little flattering when all is said and done, but 20 straight years of finishing top four and 21 years of finishing ahead of Spurs sounds pretty darn good

Aston Villa

BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 09: Protesting goods against Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner are on sale prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and A.F.C. Bournemouth at Villa Park on April 9, 2016 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
(Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Position: 20th
High: 1-0 win on the opening day at Bournemouth. That was as good as it got
Low: Entire campaign was a low but 6-0 defeat against Liverpool was embarrassing. Players downed tools
Star man: Idrissa Gueye – His play went unnoticed but I’d be stunned if a PL club doesn’t pick him up this summer. Beast in the engine room
Coach: Tim Sherwood, Remi Garde, Eric Black – Sherwood was unlucky to get canned so early, Garde never stood a chance and Black just patched things up. Now they’re managerless
Grade: F: Probably don’t even deserve this. First-ever relegation from PL, equaled a club record of 11-straight defeats as they were relegated. Woeful and potential new owner has lots to sort out


BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Callum Wilson (L) of A.F.C. Bournemouth celebrates scoring their first goal with Matt Ritchie and Dan Gosling during the Barclays Premier League match between A.F.C. Bournemouth and Sunderland at the Vitality Stadium on September 19, 2015 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
(Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Position: 16th
High: Beating Chelsea 2-1 away from home in December. Belief grew massively after that
Low: Probably the final few weeks. Played very well but seemed to show much more fragility. Lost six of last eight games
Star man: Charlie Daniels – Has been a stallion from left back rampaging up the flank. Callum Wilson or Benik Afobe would’ve won it had they played throughout the season
Coach: Eddie Howe – He’s done a tremendous job to take this team through the leagues and kept them up comfortably in first-ever PL season. Now, can he kick them on?
Grade: B+: If you would’ve offered the Cherries survival at start of the season they would’ve taken it. They’ve played with style and racked up big wins as well as staying up


LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Jose Mourinho Manager of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
(Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Position: 10th
High: Late equalizer at home against Tottenham to halt Spurs’ hopes of winning the PL. Also, reaching last eight of UCL was a bonus
Low: Any of the home defeats against Bournemouth, Palace, Southampton in early season. Mourinho and his players shown up, badly
Star man: Willian – Especially in the early part of the season as he scored free kicks and was the one player who turned up consistently
Coach: Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink – The shocking demise of Mourinho was incredible and the Eva Carneiro situation played a huge part in that. Hididnk patched things up nicely
Grade: D: The worst title defense in PL history as Chelsea collapsed and it cost Mourinho his job. The players simply weren’t prepared and now Antonio Conte has arrived to whip them into shape

Crystal Palace

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Damien Delaney and Scott Dann of Crystal Palace appeal to referee Andre Marriner as he awards Liverpool a penalty during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park on March 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
(Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Position: 15th
High: Reaching the FA Cup final against Manchester United this weekend
Low: Pretty much the whole of 2016. Around midseason they were challenging for the top six but then went on a terrible run, wining just two PL games in 2016
Star man: Joel Ward – He’s been very consistent and popped up with a few important goals. The main attacking threats and Yohan Cabaye faded badly
Coach: Alan Pardew – It all started so well as Palace were tough to beat and fantastic on the break but the way it faded will leave a sour taste in Pards’ mouth
Grade: C+: A season which promised so much has slightly under delivered. If they win the FA Cup it is a success, but PL form faded badly


SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 11: Roberto Martinez, manager of Everton gives instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Everton at the Stadium of Light on May 11, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
(Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Position: 11th
High: Reaching both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup semifinals was a plus but in terms of PL, maybe the 3-0 wins away at Stoke and Southampton were the high points
Low: The 4-0 hammering at Anfield against Liverpool summed up the demise of John Stones, Everton’s defense and Martinez. So many poor home defeats too
Star man: Romelu Lukaku – Scored 18 goals and although he missed plenty of chances, shudder to think were Everton would be without him
Coach: Roberto Martinez – Fired before the final game of the season, Martinez was walking the plank after another stagnant season. Defensively so naive and appeared to lose the locker room
Grade: D: A season where they should have really challenged for the top six, given players at their disposal, turned into a farce. Martinez simply didn’t learn from his mistakes

Leicester City

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri of Leicester City lift the Premier League Trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
(Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Position: 1st
High: Pretty much the whole season but the 3-1 win at Manchester City announced they were legit title contenders. Never looked back and coasted to the title in the end
Low: Defeat at Arsenal in the last second in February thanks to Welbeck’s goal. They responded by going the rest of the season unbeaten. A brief low point
Star man: Riyad Mahrez – Hard to single out one player but Mahrez added goals, assists and magic all season long. He had the x-factor
Coach: Claudio Ranieri – He simply pulled off one of the greatest managerial jobs in sporting history. 64-year-old Italian will have a statue built of him in Leicester
Grade: A+: If I could give them a higher mark I would. Every single player performed to 100 percent of their potential, Ranieri managed the situation marvelously and they are worthy champs


LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates as Bruno of Villarreal scores an own goal for their first goal during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
(Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Position: 8th
High: Beating Manchester City 4-1 away, late win at Norwich, beating Dortmund in dramatic fashion in Europa League and reaching the Europa League final against Sevilla
Low: Losing against West Ham 3-0 at home or losing at Man United 3-1. Total lack of direction under Brendan Rodgers
Star man: Roberto Firmino – The Brazilian attacker has got better and better under Klopp. Expect him to have a huge season next year
Coach: Brendan Rodgers, Jurgen Klopp – The writing was on the wall for Rodgers and after a slow start he was replaced by Klopp. The German is a perfect fit for Liverpool’s character
Grade: C+: Things are starting to take shape but you still can’t get over the fact that two years ago this club almost won the title. They spent most of this season in midtable

Manchester City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City holds off the challenge from Luka Modric of Real Madrid CF during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Manchester City FC and Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on April 26, 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
(Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Position: 4th
High: Beating Chelsea 3-0 early on, winning the League Cup and reaching the UCL semifinals for first-time ever
Low: The way they limped over the line in the second half of the season once they found out Guardiola was coming in
Star man: Sergio Aguero – Scored 24 goals and is an absolute machine. Kevin De Bruyne was a close second
Coach: Manuel Pellegrini – Delivered two League Cups and one PL trophy in three years in charge, plus three-straight UCL knockout berths and UCL semi this season. Decent but not great
Grade: B-: Did the bare minimum in sealing a top four spot for next season. There will be a lot of changes under new manager Guardiola this summer

Manchester United

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Louis van Gaal manager of Manchester United celebrates with winning goalscorer Anthony Martial of Manchester United after victory in The Emirates FA Cup semi final match between Everton and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
(Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Position: 5th
High: Beating Man City away from home in league, reaching the FA Cup final
Low: Defeats against Bournemouth, Norwich in PL, Liverpool in Europa League and hammerings at Arsenal and Tottenham
Star man: Anthony Martial – Yes, they paid a ridiculous amount of money for him but he is worth every penny. Huge future
Coach: Louis Van Gaal – It remains to be seen if he will be around for the third and final year of his contract but with Jose Mourinho lurking it seems unlikely. Regression in full flow
Grade: C-: After money they spent last summer finishing outside the top four is unthinkable. Yes, they had injuries but Van Gaal didn’t deliver the minimum of top four. Fresh impetus needed

Tottenham – Everton stream: How to watch, odds, team news, prediction

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Tottenham – Everton is an intriguing clash on Monday (start time, 3pm ET on NBCSN and online via between teams who are separated by just one point and one place in the table but have been heading in very different directions since new managers arrived midseason.


Spurs lost last time out at Sheffield United in very controversial fashion as Jose Mourinho now has a very tough task to guide them back to the Premier League ahead of the final six games of the season.

Carlo Ancelotti has Everton surging as they have lost just three of his 14 Premier League games in charge and those defeats came at Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Tottenham – Everton is a game both teams will go all out to win in their pursuit of European action and this should be a beauty.

Team news

Tottenham may have Dele Alli available, as he suffered a slight hamstring injury after coming on as a sub in their defeat at Sheffield United. Aside from that Japhet Tanganga will return to training next week.

Everton should have Richarlison back fit as the Brazilian suffered a knock in their win against Leicester City.

What they’re saying

Jose Mourinho on Carlo Ancelotti: “I think everyone in football admires Carlo as a coach and as a person. If you don’t know him as a person, at least you know him as a coach. It’s not because I like him so much as a person that I’m going to say the obvious, which is: he’s one of the top managers in the world of the last two decades and of course now. I think it’s a privilege for the Premier League to have Carlo back, it’s a privilege for Everton to have Carlo as manager, or head coach, whatever way you want to call him.”

Carlo Ancelotti on teenager attacker Anthony Gordon: “He is doing really well and is ready to play for Everton, no doubt. He improved in the past six months and how he is playing [in training and games] gives me a lot of confidence and trust in him. He is a player with personality. You can find a lot of players with quality, but you have to show strong personality. In football, you need players with personality and character. Players who are not afraid to make decisions. Anthony is one of these. He is ready to be with us and part of what we are doing.”

Odds and ends (full matchweek odds)

Tottenham (+107) are the slight favorites but this should be a very tight game as Everton (+265) have been in really good form and look solid defensively. The value here is in a win for Everton or a tie (+250) in north London.


Tottenham basically have to win all of their remaining games to have a chance of finishing fifth and a potential Champions League spot. Mourinho’s side won’t really want to be in the Europa League next season so if they don’t win here, what do they do? Everton would be delighted to be in the Europa League and I could see the Toffees edging this, especially if Richarlison is fit. I’m going for Tottenham 1-2 Everton.

American coach Marsch named Austrian Bundesliga Coach of the Year

Jesse Marsch award
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American coach Jesse Marsch saw his incredible season grow with a predictable but wonderful honor.

Marsch is the Austrian Bundesliga Coach of the Year after leading Red Bull Salzburg to a domestic double despite myriad challenges.

Obviously all coaches had to manage their teams during the coronavirus pandemic, but Marsch also had to contend with sales of stars Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Takumi Minamino (Liverpool), and Marin Pongracic (Wolfsburg) to big clubs in top European leagues.

[ MORE: Premier League summer schedule ]

The Salzburg release brands Marsch as someone with “his American charm and sheer endless positivity” and includes this quote from Marsch:

“Winning Coach of the Year for me is a reward for the entire team, which I think is deserved. The trophy is for the whole coaching staff, as we have worked so well together. Losing players in winter brought us even closer together.

Aided by LASK Linz loses its table lead when it was docked six points for unauthorized team training during the pandemic, Marsch’s Salzburg left no questions in winning the league with four matches left (The club went 1W-1D-2L in the final matches).

Marsch spent last season assisting Ralf Rangnick and RB Leipzig to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga. Prior to that he was MLS Coach of the Year with the New York Red Bulls. As a player, he won three MLS Cups and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups while also earning two USMNT caps.

It will be interesting to see if Marsch sticks around another year in Austria. His name has risen in renown like a rocket and he had been linked with Borussia Dortmund, and there are no guarantees he can continue to impress with Salzburg in the Champions League and Europa League.

Salzburg was a stepping stone for its last Coach of the Year, and Marco Rose enjoyed success at Borussia Monchengladbach this season. With league Player of the Year winner Dominik Szoboszlai expected to fetch a big fee and join Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, Konrad Laimer, and the aforementioned transfers in challenging a coach to rebuild his squad, perhaps Marsch will go sooner rather than later.

We wouldn’t put anything past him, though. At one point before he’s done, Marsch will be an exciting USMNT coach if he wants the job.

Premier League confirm zero positive COVID-19 test results

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Following the latest batch of tests on players and club staff the Premier League have revealed that there were zero positive COVID-19 results out of 1,973 tests from Monday 29 June to Sunday 5 July.

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With the twelfth round of testing now completed in the Premier League, a total of 16,280 COVID-19 tests have now been carried out with 18 positive results.

All players and staff at Premier League clubs will be tested twice a week during the strict return to training protocols put in place, as games are now up and running after a restart date of June 17 has been set.

Here is the statement from the Premier League in full on the latest result:

The Premier League can today confirm that between Monday 29 June and Sunday 5 July, 1,973 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive.

The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency. No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.

Previous test results

Round 1: 17-18 May – 748 tested, with six testing positive from three clubs.
Round 2: 19-22 May – 996 tested, with two testing positive from two clubs.
Round 3: 25-26 May – 1,008 tested, with four testing positive from two clubs.
Round 4: 28-29 May – 1,130 tested, with zero testing positive.
Round 5: 1-2 June – 1,197 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 6: 4-5 June – 1,195 tested, with zero testing positive.
Round 7: 8-9 June – 1,213 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 8: 11-12 June – 1,200 tested, with two testing positive from two clubs.
Round 9: 15-16 June – 1,541 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 10: 17-21 June – 1,829 tested, with one testing positive.
Round 11: 22-28 June – 2,250 tested, with zero testing positive.
Round 12: 29 June – July 5 – 1,973 tested, with zero testing positive.

Premier League odds: Matchweek 34

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Check out the EPL betting odds for the games in Matchweek 34, as the Premier League return continues with games coming thick and fast.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Take a look below at the odds for the Premier League games in midweek, as the action has resumed following the suspension on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Click on the link above to watch all of the games live via our platforms here at NBC Sports, while below are the individual EPL betting odds for each game via DraftKings.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League predictions ]

Also, click play on the video above to watch my predictions for the games and where you should focus your attention this weekend as the Premier League action continues to come right at us.

Matchweek 33

Tuesday, July 7: (+650) Crystal Palace v. Chelsea (-220), Tie: +335
Tuesday, July 7: (-152) Watford v. Norwich (+440), Tie: +285
Tuesday, July 7: (+125) Arsenal v. Leicester (+220), Tie: +245
Wednesday, July 8: (-835) Man City v. Newcastle (+2000), Tie: +245
Wednesday, July 8: (+310) Sheffield United v. Wolves (+107), Tie: +210
Wednesday, July 8: (+104) West Ham v. Burnley (+285), Tie: +235
Wednesday, July 8: (+510) Brighton v. Liverpool (-182), Tie: +320
Thursday, July 9: (+100) Everton v. Southampton (+270), Tie: +255
Thursday, July 9: (+425) Bournemouth v. Tottenham (-157), Tie: +310
Thursday, July 9: (+900) Aston Villa v. Man United (-315), Tie: +420