Premier League Grades for the 2019/2020 season
The dust has barely settled on this years Premier League season but already attentions are turning towards September 12th when it all kicks off again. It’s been a season of ups and downs and here are our grades for the clubs between 1-10
Liverpool - A+
Winning their first premier league title and ending a 30 year wait, Liverpool strolled to the title with 7 games to spare. Deadly in attack and solid at the back - noone can deny that Liverpool were not worthy winners and were clearly the leagues strongest team. Yes, there’s been a small drop off since the title was won, however Klopp’s men have to be considered title favourites for next season.
Man City - C
City were left trailing in Liverpool’s wake this season and for a squad as good as City’s being that far behind could be considered unacceptable. Obvious strengthening is needed at the back and I expect City to invest heavily this summer. League cup winners once again, but with a squad as talented as theirs it’s not enough. A bright spark has been the emergence of Phil Foden who looks right at home amongst a side littered with stars.
Man Utd - B
The second half of the season has seen an emergence of ‘The Old Manchester Utd’ with Rashford, Martial and teen sensation Mason Greenwood looking as good as any forward 3 in the league. Utd also seem to have found a new talisman in Bruno Fernandes. Finishing 3rd in the league and securing Champions League Football is a good achievement for a Utd side that struggled early on this season. However for Utd there will be concern that they are so far behind Liverpool and although Champions League qualification is good, titles are what the club is judged by, which is why they achieve a B grade.
Chelsea - A
Similarly to Utd, Chelsea will be delighted with a Champions League berth, but will be concerned of the gap to Liverpool. With Frank Lampard needing to prove his credentials, he has managed a young, hungry squad exceptionally well. You can see that this Chelsea side has really only just begun. With the club already investing, expect Chelsea to launch a real title challenge next season.
Leicester - B
A harsh grade, as for so long this season Leicester were on course to shatter pre season expectations. However dropping out of the top 4 after being there for so long is why I have marked them down from an A to a B. The potential of the team is huge, blooding new and exciting youngsters as well as Jamie Vardy still looking like he is full of goals means this team will be around the top 4 places next season.
Tottenham - D
A really tricky team to grade, ultimately the season has been a disappointment as Spurs failed to qualify for The Champions League, however decent form post lockdown and qualification for The Europa League has given some room for optimism. The reliance on Harry Kane is abundantly clear and Spurs need new bodies if they are to compete for the top 4 or even mount a title challenge next season. The standard of football also needs to improve.
Wolves - B
7th place feels like a harsh final position for Wolves who continued to impress this season. It’s a sign of how far they have come, that in only their second season since being promoted, they can be disappointed to not have qualified for The Champions League. It feels like a defining period for Wolves as so many of their squad will be coveted by top clubs. Adama, Neves and Jimenez will attract much attention, but perhaps the biggest worry will be the demand of manager Nuno. If the squad can stay together it would be no surprise to see Wolves kick on even further next season.
Arsenal - D (doesn’t include FA Cup run)
Like Spurs, its tricky to grade Arsenal as the season has been an overall disappointment but has offered rays of optimism. The appointment of Mikel Arteta seems a good one and already he has bought a defensive solidity and has achieved some big wins against top teams. A team filled with exciting youngsters, the future looks bright with Saka and Martinelli looking incredibly exciting. A worry going into next season has to be the contract status of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, his goals have been vital and if Auba seeks pastures new, his goals will be hard to replace.
Sheffield Utd - A
My pre-season favourites to go down, Sheffield Utd proved all of the doubters wrong by making a real run at Europe. Securing big wins against Wolves, Tottenham and Chelsea since lockdown, Sheffield Utd have been a handful for every team in the league. Chris Wilder’s side play a great brand of football and have been a really good watch. Wilder‘s own admission that his side have to be at it 100% each game is a concern going into next year. There have been times towards the end of the season where they have looked leggy and easier to play against. The future of Dean Henderson needs to be sorted as he has been so critical to the Blades success this season.