The 2019-20 Premier League season has drawn to a close. The unusually long, 11-month campaign brought a lot of drama, with elation for the champions Liverpool and anguish for the three relegated teams.
Emphatically, the title was wrapped up with seven games to go; such was the dominance exhibited by Jurgen Klopp and his men. As for the remaining Champions League spots, Manchester City qualified comfortably, while the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea had to secure a result on the final day of the Premier League to confirm their participation in next year’s competition.
At the bottom end of the table, Norwich City’s fate had been sealed long ago, while Watford and Bournemouth joined the Canaries in the Championship on the final day.
In this article, we compare the teams’ performances and standings from the previous season of the Premier League and, as a result, the three newly promoted teams – Sheffield United, Aston Villa & Norwich haven’t been taken into consideration.
The Premier League teams whose fortunes changed most dramatically this season (cont'd)
Improved – Southampton
2019-20 Standings - 11th, 52 points; 2018-19 Standings - 16th, 39 points
Tipped for a relegation battle by many at the start of the season, Southampton quashed all such claims by finishing closer to 3rd-placed Manchester United than to the relegation spots.
Despite the 9-0 drubbing at the hands of Leicester early in the season, the boards’ decision to stick with Ralph Hasenhuttl bore dividends as he steered the Saints to a comfortable 11th place finish with 52 points.
To put this into perspective, the Saints finished five places and 13 points better off than their previous Premier League season highlighting the work that has gone on behind the scenes at the Saint Mary’s. The Saints scored more while conceding less and undoubtedly Danny Ings was the star man.
Ings’ 22 goals fired the Saints to crucial victories this term while his improved fitness meant he played more times this season than any other except the 2013/14 campaign.
Declined – West Ham
2019/20 Stanings - 16th, 39 points; 2018/19 Standings - 10th, 52 points
After finishing 10th last season, West Ham signed the likes of Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller for hefty sums in a bid to push on towards the European spots this campaign.
Instead, a season of struggle ensued, as David Moyes had to rally his team late on to remain in the division. The Hammers declined six places and 13 points from the 2018/19 campaign, going from an outside bet for European qualification to relegation strugglers.
Their Premier League points tally of 39 was their lowest since they got relegated in 2010/11. The only silver lining was the late form of Michail Antonio, whose 7 goals and 1 assist post lockdown steered West Ham to safety.