2017/18 Premier League Grades: Part 1
Another dramatic Premier League season has come to a close – but did your club live up to expectations?
Here are our marks for the class of 2017/18…
Final position: 12th
High point: A shock 3-0 away win against Chelsea.
Low point: Failing to beat struggling local rivals Southampton.
Verdict: Another season of comfortable consolidation for the Cherries. The fact no-one even considered the South Coast side a probable relegation candidate even during times of struggle is testament to the work Eddie Howe has carried out at the Vitality. Bournemouth continue to punch above their weight.
Final position: 6th
High point: A 2-0 win against AC Milan at the San Siro that gave Wenger belief a first European title wasn’t simply a pipe dream.
Low point: Two consecutive 3-0 defeats to Man City and a 2-1 loss to Brighton in the space of the week – effectively sealing Arsene Wenger’s fate.
Verdict: A damp squib of a season for Arsene Wenger to end his 22 year association with the club on, only marginally improved by the way his inevitable exit was gracefully managed by the Gunners.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
Final position: 15th
High point: A fairy-tale 1-0 victory over Man Utd to secure safety.
Low point: An abject 2-0 defeat to give Alan Pardew his one league win as West Brom manager.
Verdict: Survival was the ultimate target, and achieving that with games to spare in the midst of the toughest run-in the Premier League must go down as a huge success for the understated Chris Hughton. They will need to show more ambition on their travels next year to avoid another struggle, but fully deserve another crack at top-flight football.
Final position: 7th
High point: An opening day 3-2 win at Chelsea – a sign of things to come.
Low point: A 5-0 defeat to Arsenal proved a rare off-day for Sean Dyche’s men.
Verdict: The Clarets are in dreamland after securing European football at Turf Moor for the first time in decades. One of the Premier League’s most refreshing stories. Dyche may joke about how the media look down on his ‘unfashionable’ team and methods, but he is fast becoming one of the top flight’s most respected coaches.
Final position: 5th
High point: A 5-0 victory over Stoke in December meant Conte’s side moved into the New Year looking like Man City’s closest contenders.
Low point: A drab 1-1 draw to Huddersfield in May that all but ended Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League football just as they were looking back to their best.
Verdict: A frustrating season for Antonio Conte in his second season in charge at Stamford Bridge, but he could still end it on a high with an FA Cup win.
Final position: 11th
High point: A 3-0 away win at Leicester City in December was a major statement of intent from Palace, and the moment where they started to build real daylight with the dropzone after months of edging closer to safety.
Low point: 7 games, no points – it’s easy to forget how bleak things looked for the Eagles back in September.
Verdict: All things considered, a phenomenal effort from Roy Hodgson as Palace looked doomed for at least a third of the season. Perhaps due to his England experience, his efforts have gone under the radar but in terms of stabilising a mid-table club, there are few better in the game.
We’ll be posting up Part 2 and Part 3 later this week.
Do you agree with our grades?