The EPL is over. Manchester United are the champions but I based my decisions of the top teams of the season on how well they played above themselves.
Top Teams this Season
Arsenal- Show of hands. How many of you expected Arsenal to challenge for the title this year? People expected Arsenal to be too young, too raw and too inexperience. Some people, including me, thought that they might have problems even to get into the top 4. If there's one thing this season taught us; do not second-guess Arsene Wenger. The French master got Arsenal going, hell they are top of the EPL for most of the season. If not for injury problems, the Gunners may have really surprise all of us. Arsene Wenger will now have to keep the core of the team together, if he do that, I wouldn't bet against Arsenal next season.
Everton- Everton is defensive, boring and very, very effective. Manager David Moyes put together a strong, hardworking team which chased Liverpool all the way this season for the all-important fourth place in the EPL. They didn't do it, but Everton can still take heart in the season.
Surprise Team this month
Derby- Wow, were they bad or what! Everyone expected the Rams to go down this season but I am totally shocked by how out-classed they are. To give you an idea; they played and lost to Reading 4-0 on the last day of the season. And Reading finished second last in the league! I hope Hull will be better next season.
Disappointing Teams this month
Newcastle- Manager Sam Allardyce really got it wrong this season. Playing Alan Smith as a defensice midfielder is just one of many surprising decisions he made. Fired as expected, Newcastle then took a big chance on Kevin Keegan. Surprising for me, 'King' Kev managed to pull Newscastle to a respected mid-table position. Still, considering the outlay and investments they had made, this has to go down as a disappointing season.
Liverpool- Yes, they managed the 4th spot but they sure made hard work of it. Manager Rafael Benitez's rotation policy hit the team's chances this season as Liverpool just did not managed to win against the lower-placed teams. If not for Fernando Torres, they might not have even managed 4th. At the start of the season. I've said they were the most likely champion of the season, I still think they have the players to be champions but only after Rafa dumped his rotation policy. That's not going to happen...new manager maybe?