End of Season Reviews – Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Hull

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Chelsea

chelsea

Where they finished: 3rd + FA Cup winners

Season in five words: Big Phil flops, saviour Guus.

Successful season? In the end yes. Scolari started well but things soon turned sour with home defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal and a string of poor results at the turn of the year. Hiddink came in on a part time basis from his Russia job and reinvigorated the squad; got them fit and hungry; was within a couple of minutes of a second consecutive Champions League final and topped it off with the FA Cup in his final game.

Defining moment: The 93rd minute of the second leg in the Champions League semi final against Barcelona. Essien fails to clear in the box, Messi lays it off to Iniesta, he scores to take Barcelona to the final.

Player of the year: You realise this isn’t going to be anyone but Frank Lampard. Another year, another 20 goal season including the winner in the FA Cup final. Credit to Cashley Cole who had his best season yet for the Blues and Malouda and Anelka who began to justify their transfer fees.

Goal of the season: This long range, left foot volley by Michael Essien. This was lovely by Lampard too. 

Flop of the season: For someone who started so well, Deco did nothing from about October onwards. Just because he’s not playing, doesn’t mean Phil Scolari can’t be one either.

Highlight: Spanking Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates was fun, but a 3-1 win at Anfield in Europe was particularly impressive. 

Summer homework: Hope Ancelotti learns English quickly, invest in a superstar (current not past), make sure there’s adequate cover for Essien, Drogba and Mikel come the African Cup of Nations.

 

 

Everton

everton

Where they finished: 5th + FA Cup finalists

Season in five words: Best of the rest, again.

Successful season? Very much so. David Moyes led his Everton side to fifth in the league for the second year running while also reaching the FA Cup final for the first time in fourteen years. This was done without a proper striker for much if the season as well overcoming serious injuries to Arteta and Jagielka.

Defining moment: Louis Saha scoring after 25 seconds in the FA Cup final. The perfect start but at the same time the worst time for Everton to score. It meant they would naturally sit back and invite Chelsea to attack. They did and Everton lost.

Player of the year: Tim Cahill was vital again while Fellaini adapted quickly to the rigours of the Premier League with several goals and several more bookings. Phil Jagielka was the star of the show however, marshalling the Toffees’ back line whilst earning England recognition in the process.

Goal of the season: The fans’ choice and mine too. Dan Gosling vs Liverpool in the cup. Just a shame ITV viewers saw a Tictac advert.

Flop of the season: Yakubu and Saha spent much of the time injured, Tony Hibbert is a mess at right back and  just how Andy van der Meyde is still there is a bit baffling. We’ll give it to the Yak however, as he needs to stay fit if Everton are to push on.

Highlight: An extra time win over Liverpool in the cup and later on a day out at Wembley.

Summer homework: Keep the strikers fit, replace Hibbert, make sure none of the stars leave.

 

 

Fulham

fulham

Where they finished: 7th

Season in five words: Teamwork means best ever finish.

Successful season? Absolutely. This was a team that survived on the last day in 07/08. This season Hodgson got them playing neat, attractive football founded on a rock solid defence led by Hangeland and free signing Schwarzer. A string of excellent results led to a highest ever league placing of seventh. Europa League here they come. They could even afford to get rid of Jimmy Bullard and his dodgy knees.

Defining moment: The free signing of Schwarzer in the summer. The results could be seen as soon as the second game against Arsenal where he produced plenty of saves to help his team win 1-0.

Player of the year: Mark Schwarzer and Hangeland are the obvious targets but Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy were outstanding in midfield. This was a side very much greater than the sum of its parts.

Goal of the season: There weren’t many to choose from (just 39 in the league) but Paul Konchesky‘s strike against West Ham was pretty special.

Flop of the season: Bobby Zamora should be scoring more often. 

Highlight: Fulham 2-0 Manchester United.

Summer homework: Keep Hangeland if possible, sign another striker and perhaps someone to improve on Dickson Etuhu.

 

 

Hull

hull

Where they finished: 17th

Season in five words: Big shocks then big freefall.

Successful season? If at the start of the season success was defined as staying up then yes, it was a good season. However Hull lied 6th as late as early December before going a dreadful run of one win in about 22 games. They stayed up by a point in the end based solely on their early form which saw away scalps at Arsenal and Spurs.

Defining moment: Half time against Man City on Boxing Day. 4-0 down, Phil Brown conducts his team talk on the pitch. Hull were never the same again.

Player of the year: Geovanni scored some great goals but Michael Turner was probably the best player.

Goal of the season: Of all Geovanni’s goals, this against Arsenal was the best.

Flop of the season: Jimmy Bullard. Five million pounds, 38 minutes on the pitch. Hull knew he had knee problems but signed him anyway.

Highlight: Beating Arsenal at the Emirates 2-1.

Summer homework: Hope Phil Brown gains some humility over the summer. The fake tan, the Fabregas spitting row, the pitchside team talk, the end of season karaoke – it’s not all about you Phil. Secondly, sign some new players, the ones you have won’t keep you up second time around.

 

T.

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