The final part of the review of the predictions made back in August sees me look at those sides I placed in positions 5-1.
5. Man City (Finished 9th)
I was so confident City would do well, with Sven, a proven club manager, an expensively assembled team, andgreat support, that I bet on them to win the Premiership handicap, while putting both Elano and Petrov in my fantasy side. Until November, those decisions looked fantastic, with a chance that City could even challenge Liverpool for fourth. Since then, they were abysmal, the 8-1 defeat to Boro on the final day summing them up. Truly a season of two halves.
4. Liverpool (Finished 4th)
I didn’t give any credence to Liverpool being better than any of the other ‘Big Four’ nor to the notion that Spurs or anyone could challenge for their spot. Right on both counts. I was wrong about Torres though, who shone brighter than probably anyone predicted.
3. Arsenal (Finished 3rd)
In pre-season, I figured we were better than Liverpool, but not ready for a title challenge. As it turned out, only a bad blip towards the endof the season denied what would’ve been a fantastic underdog story the season after being comprehensively written off. Although I got the position right, in truth I underestimated the team as did so many others, even quoting ‘no-one will score 25 goals this season’. Sorry Ade, but nice one.
2. Man Utd (Finished 1st)
Last summer, United had just become champions but it seemed like so much had gone their way – few injuries compared to their rivals, and a sense that the title was just destined for them. Strip that away, and they’d lose out to Chelsea, I thought. I was wrong. After a slow start to the season they became like the mechanical United of old, managing to win games no matter how badly they were playing. And with Ronaldo smashing records by hitting the forty goal mark, they had the individuality they needed to break down the most stubborn of defences. Worthy champions.
1. Chelsea (Finished 2nd)
Chelsea lost the title in the first couple of months, with Mourinho sacked as they sat sixth in the league. Grant actually did a decent job after that, but a couple of costly games (not least the League Cup final), saw him fired too. I said that I hoped they would win nothing, and that’s exactly how it turned out.