Sunday, June 16, 2024

From City’s Era Of Dominance To Klopp’s Anfield Farewell: What have been the Premier League’s biggest stories this season?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 21 May 2024

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City make more Premier League history

While Manchester City might have relinquished their maiden European crown last month, Pep Guardiola’s men have only embarked on another domestic romp this season.

Claiming a 3-1 victory at home against West Ham on the final weekend and officially getting their hands on a fourth consecutive Premier League title, the Sky Blues have achieved something no other men’s side has managed since the English league was formed in 1888.

Eventually holding off Arsenal’s charge, Man City have only further cemented their spot as the greatest club side in the Premier League era.

Flying out of the traps after opening the New Year and not suffering a single Premier League defeat since the start of December, the former Barcelona boss still has a famous double-winning campaign at the top of his agenda.

Now crowned Premier League champions in six of the previous seven campaigns, Guardiola’s men will meet bitter local rivals Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday afternoon as they look to get their hands on an eighth FA Cup title.

Klopp’s Anfield tenure draws to a close

Although Liverpool might have eventually fallen short in their bid to mount a genuine Premier League title charge this season, the Reds have endured an emotional campaign in the red half of Merseyside.

With Jurgen Klopp shockingly announcing back in January that he would be leaving Anfield at the end of the 2023/24 campaign, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has cemented his spot as a Liverpool icon.

Since joining the Premier League giants back in October 2015, Klopp is widely regarded as one of Anfield’s most iconic figures and has overseen a real fairytale era.

Leading Liverpool to famous Champions League success back in 2019, the German tactician oversaw the Reds claiming a first domestic title in 30 years during the 2019/20 campaign.

With Liverpool officially booking a lucrative top-four return this season, it was confirmed on Monday that ex-Feyenoord boss Arne Slot will take charge and replace Klopp at Anfield with immediate effect.

Another Old Trafford crisis

Although Manchester United might have signed off the 2023/24 campaign with back-to-back Premier League victories, it is no secret that the Reds have endured a public crisis this season.

With the pressure on Erik ten Hag’s shoulders still at a boiling point, there are large sections of the Old Trafford fanbase that are demanding a change in the dugout over the summer.

Gaining a reputation for their glaring defensive issues and breaking a string of unwanted records this season, United also remarkably failed to book any kind of European finish as they endured a nightmare campaign in the red half of Manchester.

Forced to settle for an eighth-place finish and struggling to find any kind of identity under ten Hag, United now face what is a monumental summer behind the scenes at Old Trafford.

Eventually finishing eight points adrift of booking an essential Champions League ticket, the Reds also still remain lightyears away from being considered a legitimate title contender.

Villa upset the establishment

Watching Newcastle spring a major upset last season as they secured an iconic top-four return, it was Aston Villa’s turn to upset the Premier League establishment this time around.

While Villa might have only appointed ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery back in October 2022, they have continued on a sensational rise and have broken a string of records this season.

Receiving a string of praise from across the continent and with many billing Emery as this year’s Manager of the Season, Villa eventually wrapped up a remarkable Champions League ticket with time to spare.

With Villa’s ambitions owners making it clear that they now want to be a regular top-four contender going forward, Emery’s men are more than deserving of a spot in Europe’s elite competition next season.

Registering 68 points from their 38 Premier League appearances this year and gaining a fearsome reputation for their free-flowing approach under Emery, Villa have certainly been one of Europe’s surprise packages.

Everton & Forest suffer serious sanctions

While Manchester City might still have 115 separate allegations hanging over their head, the Premier League have made a real point of dishing out serve sanctions this season.

With it now looking almost certain that an Independent Football Regulator will be installed, England’s top-flight have been trying their upmost to show that they they can enforce their own rules.

Along with being hit with a six-point deduction back in February, Everton were also handed a further two-point sanction on April 8th following a string of serious financial breaches.

However, while Everton might be dealing with some public financial issues behind the scenes at Goodison Park, they are not the only Premier League club that have been fighting hefty legal battles.

Back in March Nottingham Forest were deducted four points after an independent commission found their losses for 2022/23 breached the threshold of £61million by £34.5million.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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