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

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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

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

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


Chelsea

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


Everton

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

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

Watch Live: Everton v. Chelsea

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Everton host Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as Duncan Ferguson takes interim charge of the struggling Toffees.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Everton sit in the relegation zone and after they fired Marco Silva, they badly need a morale-boosting win against a young, talented Chelsea. Frank Lampard‘s side remain in the top four but this will be a tough test as they head to Goodison with Everton scrapping for their lives.

In team news Everton make two changes as Ferguson brings in Walcott and Schneiderlin to the starting lineup in a very attacking side.

Chelsea are unchanged from their midweek win against Aston Villa.

LINEUPS

Top Premier League storylines: Matchweek 16

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Matchweek 16 is upon us.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Here’s what we’ll be keeping an eye on when this weekend’s fixtures kick off Saturday morning…


Manchester derby, perhaps you’ve heard of it 

Manchester City might not take home their third straight PL title, given Liverpool’s 11-point lead after 15 games, but they can still maintain their superiority in Manchester. They’re well on their way to doing so in the table, now they can get (another0 one over the Red Devils on Saturday. At what point do they take over the title of “bigger club?” Asking for a friend…


The start of something big for Chelsea?

Marco Silva is gone with Everton siting 18th in the table. Chelsea’s transfer ban has been cut in half with the Blues sitting fourth. Could this week get any worse? for Everton? Could it get any better for Chelsea?


Desperation time for Arsenal

Unai Emery was fired, which was supposedly to magically fix all of the problems at Arsenal. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right? Well, we’re two games into the Freddie Ljungberg (interim) era, and the Gunners have just one point to show for their efforts, and they had to come back from a goal down (twice) against 19th-place Norwich City to get it. Every trip to West Ham is a tricky one for Arsenal, and that’s doubly true given their current form (winless in their last nine games – all competitions).


Does Liverpool’s lead grow? Shrink? Hold steady?

From now until the end of the season, it’s Liverpool’s title to lose. No matter how you look at it, it’s theirs to either win or lose. Therefore, every time out presents a chance to grow their lead, or the risk of seeing it shrink should the drop points and one of the chasing sides to take all three. The math behind it is a bit boring, but if they don’t drop more than 10 points the rest of the season, they’ll win the title. Of course, their margin for error is likely to grow with Leicester and City eventually failing to win. Simply put, Liverpool are sitting comfortably.


Good times roll for Newcastle?

Don’t look now, but Newcastle have won three of their last five games and reached mid-table. Steve Bruce‘s side currently sits 11th after wins over West Ham, Bournemouth and Sheffield United in recent weeks. Welcomeing relegation-threatened Southampton to St. James’ Park could very well spell another three points for the Magpies.

Serie A: Leaders Inter Milan open door for Juve by drawing Roma

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MILAN (AP) Italian league leader Inter Milan was held by Roma to 0-0 on Friday, giving second-placed Juventus a chance to return to the top.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

The home draw left Inter only two points ahead of Juventus, which can regain the lead when it visits third-placed Lazio on Saturday.The result also wasn’t good for Roma, which moved from fifth to fourth place in the standings but remained nine points off the lead after 15 matches.

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez had one of the game’s best chances when he got past a defender and entered the area in the 68th minute, but his shot was blocked at the last minute. He called for a handball by the defender but the referee let play continue.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Inter was coming off five straight wins in the league, with its last setback in all competitions last month against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Its last league loss was against Juventus in October, nine matches ago.

Roma was seeking its third straight league win. It had won five of its last six matches since last month.

Inter visits Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Premier League Preview: Man City v. Man United

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  • Man City (3rd) trail Liverpool by 11 points
  • Man United (6th) eight points out of 4th
  • Last meeting: Man United 0-2 Man City

For the first time in recent memory, Manchester City and Manchester United each find themselves failing to meet expectations — by their own respective standards, at least — as they prepare to meet at the Etihad Stadium in the 179th Manchester derby on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Man City, the two-time defending Premier League champions, are looking increasingly unlikely to retain their crown for a third straight season but look a surefire bet to finish in the top-four, which is a place for which Man United would bite your hand off as they currently trail leaders Liverpool by more points (22) than they have points of their own (21).

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

The struggles for United have been all about consistency as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side hasn’t won back-to-back games all season. The Red Devils haven’t won two in a row in the PL since March. On the bright side, United turned in one of their complete performances of the season on Wednesday, spoiling Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford and beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. Marcus Rashford scored both goals and Solskjaer couldn’t rave enough about his 22-year-old forward after the game. From start to finish, United were the better team and looked in majority control, which isn’t something they’ve been able to say often in 2019.

As for City, they’ve simply been “not good enough” without ever actually being “bad” this season, given Liverpool’s scintillating form (14W-1D-0L thus far). Realistically, City likely need to pick up all 69 remaining points this season, and even then they might still come up short.

Injuries/suspensions

Man City: OUT – Sergio Aguero (thigh), Aymeric Laporte (knee), Leroy Sane (knee), Oleksandr Zinchenko (knee)

Man United: OUT – Anthony Martial (hamstring), Eric Bailly (knee), Marcos Rojo (undisclosed); QUESTIONABLE: Paul Pogba (ankle), Nemanja Matic (groin), Diogo Dalot (groin)


Projected lineups

Man City: Ederson — Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Angeliño — Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva — Bernardo, Jesus, Sterling

Man United: De Gea — Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young — Fred, McTominay, James, Mata, Lingard — Rashford


What they’re saying

Pep Guardiola, on the derby: “It’s Man United. I respect what they’ve done for English football, European, and world football. United have huge history and their quality is always there but we must try to beat them. We play against a good team, try to follow the performances we’ve put in and try to win the game. You know my opinion on the title race.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on his derby memories: “It took many years before I played a Manchester derby myself. Of course, Man City are a better team now than when I was playing. … Confidence is a strange thing in football; you can get performances and results like Wednesday night and it boosts it so much. And I know our boys will be up for it. 24 hours less recovery time [than City] shouldn’t matter, you go on adrenaline.”


Prediction

The win over Tottenham was impressive, no doubt about it, but City remain a challenge of an entirely different class, no matter what their points total says. If the title is well and truly gone for Guardiola’s side, then retaining superiority in Manchester will have to suffice. City 3-1 United.