The title race may not have been as close as last season, but the 2014-15 Premier League campaign was certainly not short of entertainment, with goals and drama every single weekend.
Chelsea stormed to the title, but the battle below them was intriguing and unpredictable in the race for the Champions League, whilst at the bottom, great escapes shocked even the smartest of pundits.
We saw new rising stars emerge as Harry Kane made his name, summer signings flop as Mario Balotelli and Radamel Falcao failed to impress, and an end of an era as England and Premier League legends Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard both departed for America.
The Final Table
- Chelsea are champions.
- They will be joined in the Champions League next season by the rest of the top four: Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. The Red Devils will have to go through a qualifying round first though.
- Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool will definitely play in the Europa League next season, and Southampton will join them if Arsenal win the FA Cup. If Aston Villa are victorious at Wembley, they will qualify.
- Hull City, Burnley and QPR will be playing in The Championship next season after getting relegated.
Team of the Season (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
- GK: David de Gea – The Manchester United goalkeeper won 65% of your votes, and it’s no surprise. He was nominated for the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year Awards, as well as making their team of the season. He kept 10 clean sheets in 37 games, which has led to reports that he could be at Real Madrid next season.
- RB: Nathaniel Clyne – Receiving exactly 50% of your vote, Nathaniel Clyne takes his place at right-back unlike in the PFA Team of the Year. But the Southampton man has every reason to be included, after featuring in 35 Premier League games in which the Saints kept 13 clean sheets. At the other end of the field, Clyne notched two goals and two assists. 2014-15 also saw the 24 year old make his England debut.
- CB: John Terry – The man who lifted the Premier League trophy on the final day was your most popular centre-back choice with 67% of you choosing him. John Terry became only the second outfield player to play every minute of a Premier League title winning campaign, and he chipped in with five goals along the way. The 34 year old also helped keep 17 clean sheets, the most in the division.
- CB: Gary Cahill – Completing the Chelsea centre-back pairing is Gary Cahill, who received 52% of the vote, just 4% more than Jose Fonte. No doubt the Blues’ defensive record, the best in the division helped towards Cahill making the cut, and the Englishman was part of 33 games, keeping 14 clean sheets. He also scored once, and like you, the PFA gave him a spot in the team of the season.
- LB: Ryan Bertrand – Joining his fellow Southampton full-back in the team is Ryan Bertrand, who also features in the PFA’s best XI. The former Chelsea man was picked by 42% of you, but still made it in thanks to 13 clean sheets in 34 matches. Like Clyne, he also contributed going forward by scoring twice and setting up three goals. It’s no surprise that Southampton signed him permanently from Stamford Bridge in January.
- RM: Alexis Sanchez – Alexis Sanchez took the Premier League by storm after joining Arsenal from Barcelona last summer, and clearly impressed you, receiving 88% of your votes, second only to our other winger. Thanks to his 16 goals and 8 assists in 34 games, the PFA thought likewise, whilst they also nominated him for the player of the year award as well.
- CM: Santi Cazorla – Somewhat of a surprise inclusion in the team, Santi Cazorla was the second most popular central midfielder, getting 50% of your votes, enough to get him comfortably in this XI. Although the PFA disagreed, the Spaniard’s stats show his place is very valid. 7 goals and 11 assists, made him the second most influential Arsenal player in 2014-15 behind Sanchez.
- CM – Nemanja Matic – It’s not often that defensive midfielders get recognition, but the PFA included Nemanja Matic in their team of the season, and so have you, giving him 54% of the vote. Attacking wise, the Serbian only scored once and set up three goals, but his influence in the middle of the park contributed hugely to Chelsea’s impressive defensive record and stopped attackers from even getting the chance to shoot.
- LM: Eden Hazard – With 92% of the vote, Eden Hazard’s place in this team was the most unanimous out of all 11 players. He was nominated for the PFA Player and Young Player of the year, and won the former as well as the FWA award. The 24 year old scored 14 goals and set up 9 throughout the course of the campaign and is on his way to becoming one of the best in the world.
- ST: Harry Kane – People would be lying if they told you they thought Harry Kane would be in the PFA Team of the Year at the start of the campaign. His incredible rise has been surprising and outstanding, and he’s also included in your XI, getting 73% of the vote. 21 goals from 28 starts also won him the Young Player of the Year award and a nomination for the main prize.
- ST: Sergio Aguero – Replacing Diego Costa from the PFA’s team is the season’s top scorer Sergio Aguero, who was voted in by 54% of you. 26 goals and 8 assists from 33 games is an impressive tally but wasn’t enough for Manchester City to retain the title or see the Argentine nominated for the player of the year award, something which Aguero has proved was the wrong decision.
There are three changes between your team and the PFA’s team. Branislav Ivanovic, Philippe Coutinho and Diego Costa go out, and Nathaniel Clyne, Santi Cazorla and Sergio Aguero come in.
Player of the Season (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
Eden Hazard – Chelsea
It was a unanimous decision as Eden Hazard won 50% of your vote to complete a hat-trick of awards for the 2014-15 season after he picked up the PFA and FWA accolades. So for everybody to agree the boy must be pretty special right? You bet he is, and Hazard could certainly be up there with Messi and Ronaldo in a few years’ time if he carries on the form he showed last season. The Belgian featured in all 38 games of Chelsea’s title winning campaign, scoring 14 goals and setting up nine for his team-mates. Hazard also netted the goal that confirmed the Blues could not be caught at the top of the table, which capped off a season which saw his meteoric rise continue. Jose Mourinho has said that the 24 year old will cost any team £100 million per leg, and the value is not wrong.
2nd – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
3rd – Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Young Player of the Season (AS VOTED FOR BY YOU)
Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane started the season as Tottenham’s third choice striker and finished it as the Young Player of the Season who scored within a minute of his England senior debut. The 21 year old received 42% of your vote to add to the the PFA award he won last month. Many people have been astounded by his incredible breakthrough which has really taken shape since the turn of the year. Kane hasn’t looked back since scoring a brace to sink Chelsea 5-3 on January 1st, and ended the campaign with 21 goals, placing him only behind Sergio Aguero in the scoring charts. The youngster collected both the January and February player of the month awards, and was also nominated for the PFA Player of the Year accolade and included in the team of the season. Kane now goes off to the Under-21 European Championships to show the continent what he can do.
2nd – David de Gea (Manchester United)
3rd – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Manager of the Season
Jose Mourinho – Chelsea
This year there were many managers who could have won this award, but for me you cannot look past Jose Mourinho, whose Chelsea side were the best team in the division by a long, long way. Whilst other teams had their inconsistencies, the Blues lost just three games all season and were top of the Premier League from August 30th, right the way until May 24th. That is some achievement. They won the title with three games to spare, and finished on 87 points, eight ahead of last years’ champions Manchester City. All along the way, Jose Mourinho was charismatic, intelligent and well, just typical Mourinho. In a squad full of superstars, he managed to keep everybody happy, and the business he did in the summer transfer window was the best in the league, and certainly contributed towards Chelsea’s charge to the title. Incredibly, the 52 year old didn’t win a single manager of the month award in 2014-14, but does it really matter, he’s won the season one and is walking away with the Premier League trophy?! Looks like that little horse has become a race winner!
2nd – Ronald Koeman (Southampton)
3rd – Garry Monk (Swansea City)
Goal of the Season
Charlie Adam vs Chelsea
2nd – Jermain Defoe vs Newcastle United
3rd – Matt Phillips vs Crystal Palace
Game of the Season
Leicester City 5-3 Manchester United
Leicester City fought back from 3-1 down to secure a stunning victory over a defensively frail Manchester United. United were on course for a win when a Robin van Persie header and a magical Angel Di Maria chip put them ahead. Leonardo Ulloa’s header reduced the deficit before Ander Herrera’s back heel extended United’s lead. But Leicester hit back through a David Nugent penalty and Esteban Cambiasso equalised before Jamie Vardy and an Ulloa penalty secured the win. Young defender Tyler Blackett was sent off for the visitors for the foul on Vardy which led to Ulloa’s late spot-kick, whilst Radamel Falcao’s first United start couldn’t prevent the loss. Read the full report here.
2nd – Tottenham Hotspur 5-3 Chelsea
Read the full report here.
3rd – QPR 3-2 West Brom
Read the full report here.
Club-by-Club Player of the Season
Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez
Aston Villa: Christian Benteke
Burnley: George Boyd
Chelsea: Eden Hazard
Crystal Palace: Jason Puncheon
Everton: Phil Jagielka
Hull City: Michael Dawson
Leicester City: Esteban Cambiasso
Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho
Manchester City: Sergio Aguero
Manchester United: David de Gea
Newcastle United: Ayoze Perez
Queens Park Rangers: Charlie Austin
Southampton: Jose Fonte
Stoke City: Steven N’Zonzi
Sunderland: Seb Larsson
Swansea City: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane
West Bromwich Albion: Saido Berahino
West Ham United: Aaron Cresswell
The new 2015-16 Premier League season begins on 8th August, if you disagree with any of the awards, please feel free to let me know who you think deserved a mention in the comments below! There’s still Big Match Previews of the FA Cup and Champions League finals to come, as well as coverage of the Women’s World Cup and Under 21 European Championships.