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May 25, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

English Premier League Review

Five hundred words to sum up this season’s English Premier League would be sufficient only if I picked out five hundred adjectives and listed them one after another. Unfortunately, that would be really boring, so instead I’ve decided to focus on the exploits of three teams who show that throughout the league there is excitement and entertainment for everyone.

The fact that Hull City, newly promoted from the Championship, occupied third position in the table in October and generally made a flying start to life in the big time, was quite astonishing. They were playing with an abundance of verve and confidence, and looked set to challenge for Europe. Until, that is, all those qualities abandoned them as they went into freefall and Hull fans soon found out that all good things come to an end. Since the 29 September they have won but twice and picked up just 15 points, thus finding themselves facing a last day battle to avoid relegation, a fall from grace the likes of which has never before been seen and that can only be described as remarkable.

Every action has its opposite though, and in many ways Hull’s fall was mirrored by Tottenham’s rise. Big things were expected at the start of the season as Spurs had splashed the cash, most noticeably on Luka Modric, Croatian star of Euro 2008. However, they picked up just two points from eight games, and were rooted to the bottom of the table until Harry Redknapp replaced Juande Ramos as manager and things quickly changed. Inspiring his team to a remarkable 4–4 draw with Arsenal, Redknapp set the tone for their season, and instilled them with the confidence to play attractive football and climb the table, where they will hope to secure Europa League qualification on the final day.

If they make the Europa League, they will join an Everton side which has shown incredible spirit and resourcefulness this season. Despite suffering season-ending injuries to star players Yakubu, Arteta and Jagielka and playing for much of the season without a natural striker, Everton has secured a Europa League spot, as well as an FA Cup Final date with Chelsea. David Moyes has had to utilise every member of his small squad, including impressive youngsters like Fellaini, Rodwell and Gosling to punch above their financial weight, and will be the first to admit that such success in the face of such adversity was improbable and unexpected.

Of course Manchester United, Champions once again, will take most of the headlines, but I hope I’ve shown that that need not be the case. It’s not all about what happens at the top of the table, because right the way down the League there is excitement and entertainment. The final weekend of the season is proof of that, as the top four teams will be going through the motions while those at the bottom fight for their lives. So next season, don’t just back a winner, pick a fighter and it’ll be much more interesting.


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