Every season in the Premier League is a series of trials and tribulations for each team. It has ended a week early as Newcastle and Norwich were pushed into relegation by Sunderland, and now join an already relegated Aston Villa side in the championship next season.
Sunderland confirmed the departure of club and relegation rivals Newcastle and Norwich with a stunning 3-0 victory at home against Everton.
Sam Allardyce has once again worked his magic in coming to a struggling side facing relegation, by making some fantastic signings and making his team incredibly difficult to break down and beat, time and time again increasing their ability to win games and get results against top-tier sides.
Aston Villa were relegated for the first time in their history from the Premier League. Their slide from a top team, finishing 6th with Martin O’Neill to being a perennially low grade side is blamed on the owners, a grievance that Newcastle fans share with Aston Villa after another poor season that ended in relegation.
Newcastle fans, and ex-managers alike in Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer are staunch critics of Newcastle’s transfer, and management policy that has hung over every campaign in recent memory, with as much focus placed on that as the poor football wheeled out each week at St James’s Park.
Steve Maclaren’s position as head coach came with a position on the board, making it difficult to remove him from his position once it was clear that he was woefully inept and the wrong man to take that side to where it needs to be.
Norwich had built a reasonably strong squad this season, and weren’t an absolute certainty to go down. Watford, and both especially and bizarrely Leicester did as well too.
It has been a very intriguing season in the Premier League, and one that hopefully is the beginning of a trend. Less emphasis on a ‘top 4’ that have had a stranglehold on the league for over a decade, to one that is more open with many strong sides that can make a strong run at lifting the title.
So far, it has been confirmed that Burnley, as winners of the SkyBet Championship, and Middlesbrough, as runners up on goal difference, will be back in the Premier League next season.
The team that joins them will have to win the play off final, being contested by Brighton and Hove Albion Hull City, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday.
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