Premier League 19/20 Round Up
It was a season like no other. For months, what seemed like an inevitability – a League title for Klopp’s men in red, was put in jeopardy through the worldwide pandemic and so continued Liverpool’s long wait. It was Mikel Arteta, the recently appointed Arsenal manager, whose health was threatened by the illness for the world of football to follow the calls from governments and the W.H.O and soon came the postponement of the beautiful game.
Through the weeks and months that followed, schedules were proposed and postponed, calls for abandonment and confirmations occurred but, finally – the date was set for the return of football, and what a return it was.
Liverpool never looked in doubt for the title. After narrowly missing out in 18/19 to a thoroughly metronomic City side, who through a Vincent Kompany wonder strike ensured their points haul could not be matched in the remaining games, even by the most valiant 2nd place tally the English Premier League has ever – and likely will see for some time.
Liverpool under Klopp has been, for many, a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ the title would return to Anfield and for most of the season it had been a case of ‘against who’. With Frank Lampard’s Chelsea beating the former Champions it was also City who would go on to perform the guard of honour for Liverpool, one of the many cruel poetries of the game we get to see so often – but had missed for what felt like such a long time.
As Liverpool were crowned, we were left with battles at either end of the table to keep the intensity running for the remainder of the fixtures. Relegation was beckoning for Villa, Bournemouth and Watford – with Norwich already well beaten, unable to take points in any of their games since the restart, it was a fight to see who would join them.
Although a season seemingly in disarray, no one would have expected Arsenal to be in the relegation battle discussions at the end of the season – though had Unai Emery continued at the club, anything could’ve happened. But this was no ordinary season. Having lost to Brighton after the resumption to kickstart the Seagull’s ascent up the table, a defeat by Aston Villa in the penultimate game had set up a 1 point gap between Villa, Bournemouth and Watford at the last. It seemed only right for the Gunners to send a shot across the bow of Troy Deeney’s Hornets – who labelled them a team without any ‘bottle’ – and with a 3-2 victory they dispatched the Hornets to the Championship. Villa held on to a 1-1 draw against fellow strugglers West Ham, which left Bournemouth.
It could never be undervalued or made to seem insignificant even in the face of relegation, the immeasurable job Eddie Howe has done at Bournemouth. But even a final day 3-1 victory at Goodison Park was not enough for them to make up the point Villa would go on to take at West Ham. Villa would remain in the Premier League thanks to a hometown boy, Captain Jack Grealish’s goal would go down in folklore in Birmingham – much like his hairstyle.
With Liverpool finally crowned Champions, Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich relegated. So came to the close the longest and most turbulent Premier League season in history. But as is with football, no one knows whether that will remain so in years to come – what we can know however, is that it all starts again soon and that’s good enough for me.