The 2016/17 football league season is drawing to a close and with the finalists now decided for all domestic and European finals we decided to take a look back on the last 9 months and see where it went right for some and incredibly wrong for others (Sunderland fans, you may want to look away now).
Rewind to August and the season started with eternal optimism for the 92 English league clubs, Sam Allardyce had just been installed as the new national team manager following a dreadful Euro 2016 campaign. His departure from Sunderland would see the Black Cats call on the services of ex Everton & Manchester United boss David Moyes to steady the ship of unstability on Wearside. Allardyce’s move onto the International stage would ultimately prove short-lived, becoming the shortest serving England manager ever receiving his marching orders just 67 days into his reign after an undercover newspaper sting caught him discussing bending the rules surrounding player transfers and ownership.
Manchester United captured their first piece of silverware under the Jose Mourinho era beating unexpected 15/16 champions Leicester City in the Community Shield at Wembley with new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic finding the net on his club debut. The promoted trio of Hull City, Middlesborough and Burnley struggled as many clubs do to adjust to life in the top flight, Hull in particular being on the receiving end of some heavy early season defeats.
Chelsea’s start under new manager Antonio Conte was mixed to say the least with the Blues registering only 3 wins from their opening 6 matches before a change in formation triggered an astonishing winning sequence of 13 games – eventually halted by Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
The 2016/17 football season has provided some of the best goals in Premiership history cracking overhead kicks from Emre Can and Andy Carroll & who could forget the stunning scorpion kick goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan during December. Goals that will be repeated and repeated for years to come.
Into the New Year and Mourinho’s Man Utd gathered pace stretching their unbeaten PL record to 26 games and picking up the EFL League Cup along the way – gunning down Southampton 3-2 at Wembley in February. They could not keep pace with leaders Chelsea though who marched on in search of another League title, with only Tottenham emerging as credible contenders to their crown.
Last seasons man of the moment Claudio Ranieri was cruelly sacked from his post at relegation threatened Leicester and left the Foxes amid outrage throughout the footballing world. The midlands club would eventually reach the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions league and secure safety in the Premier League for another season.
At the time of writing Chelsea will wrap up a league title by beating West Bromwich Albion tonight (12 May) and will face Arsenal in 2 weeks time to contest the FA Cup final in an all-London affair. Manchester United are the sole English representative in Europe and will face Ajax in the Europa League final in Stockholm.
Further down the football pyramid 4 clubs will battle it out for the richest prize in football and hope to join Newcastle and Brighton who have been promoted from the English Championship – Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Reading will do battle over two legs in the coming week with the two victors heading to Wembley on May Bank holding to compete for the last place in England’s elite league.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this season’s action and of course we’ll back again in August with our usual wide range of posters and merchandise featuring Europe’s top club and players. In the meantime enjoy our end of season sale where we have slashed the prices on all 2016/17 products by upto 70%. View the football clearance sale here.
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