Teams that might look back at the 2020/2021 season as a wasted opportunity
A campaign with many twists and turns, some clubs might look back at the 2020/2021 season with some regret. With many of the bigger clubs struggling to cope with a congested fixture list, many experts had hoped we`d see some new faces nearer the top of the table.
Improvements for West Ham
Some West Ham fans probably feared a relegation battle at the start of the season, but they performed above expectations. From early in the season, English Premier League relegation odds never really had them as likely to face the drop.
Going into the final stages of the season, West Ham played many teams in the bottom half with odds on the Premier League matches suggesting that they were huge favourites to pick up more points than they ultimately did. Dropped points against Newcastle and Brighton would have been seen as a huge disappointment and ultimately ruled them out of finishing in the top four.
Looking to next season, the Hammers will want to secure the permanent signing of Jesse Lingard. The English midfielder has impressed since moving to the club on loan and he will be key to the club building on this improved season.
Some regrets for Leicester?
Despite winning the FA Cup and securing another top 6 finish, Leicester might have regrets about some aspects of the season.
They were briefly top of the Premier League in January following a great run of form. However, since the start of April, there have been some inconsistent performances. The Foxes managed to win at Old Trafford for the first time since 1998, a victory that came after a shock defeat at home to Newcastle United.
This is similar to their form towards the end of last season. After being in the Champions League places for most of the season, they lost three of their last four matches and missed out on the final day.
Liverpool need to go again next season
After a wonderful two seasons for the club, Liverpool have struggled during this campaign. The injury to Virgil van Dijk at the start of the season certainly hasn`t helped them. The lowest point of their season came in a 7-2 away defeat to Aston Villa. It was perhaps the first sign their season wasn’t going to be as successful as previous campaigns.
Like Leicester, Liverpool had been top of the league at one point but a poor run of form in February saw them lose four consecutive matches. This meant hopes of retaining the Premier League trophy vanished and their attention turned towards simply qualifying for Europe.
Getting closer to the "big six"
In terms of ability, the likes of West Ham and Leicester now appear to be closer to the big six clubs. West Ham, alongside Everton, will be hoping to use some momentum from this season and challenge for major trophies next season. Leicester`s FA Cup win, combined with their historic title win in 2016, can be used as inspiration for those clubs who are dreaming of glory.
Going into the 2021/20222 season, the likes of Leeds United and Wolves might also challenge these clubs for places at the higher ends of the table. This could make the season highly competitive as the battle for European places start to hot up.
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