Season Review: Crystal Palace – Leicester
Written by The Final Ball on 06/07/2021
Welcome to The Final Ball Blog! This is where we’ll have weekly a weekly detailed insight into the last week of sport for those of you who just couldn’t live by only listening to us for an hour a week!
It’s part 2 of the season review, so let’s stop wasting time, the sun is out
The whole season felt like a farewell tour for Roy Hodgson and half of the squad and contracts galore are set to end this month and after comfortably staying in the league again, the Eagles are taking the opportunity to change the direction of the club. Hopefully someone can come in and add a new more exciting dimension that might even convince Zaha to stay and develop what could be a very good academy by virtue of simply sweeping up the rejects that get dropped from the other big London clubs. The right appointment would aim to get Palace into the top 10, the wrong one might have them back in the relegation zone and bring Big Sam back to the helm. But those options do sound more entertaining than the last 4 years of consolidation.
Moment of the Season: Winning at Old Trafford
Player of the Season: Christian Benteke
Brought in a manager with one of the best CV’s, players that have excelled at the top level, developed attacking players that are currently enjoying their summer with their respective national teams. All of that came together to give Everton a typically dull 10th place finish that begged the question; What was the point? The football hasn’t been exciting, James Rodriguez has performed a similar disappearing act that he did at previous clubs and injuries have hampered most other key players. Now that Ancelotti has jumped ship, Everton look like a lost puppy without a real plan but do have an opportunity to bring in a progressive manager that could bring in a philosophy in the same way that Moyes or even Martinez did. They’re not at risk of relegation or getting into Europe so they might as well focus on creating an identity rather than throwing money around like it’s going to expire.
Moment of the Season: Finally breaking the Anfield hoodoo
Player of the Season: Ben Godfrey
The most confusing club in the Premier League. Are they good in attack? Do they play fluid possession-based football? Can they defend? Is the manager actually any good? All these questions have been asked and none answered. The talent levels seemed to match up with the rest of the league and they showed glimpses of it at times, but it doesn’t feel like they really believed that they belonged at this level. At one point, they were within touching distance of getting out of the relegation zone, but rather than step up a gear, they stagnated and more or less let everyone walk all over them. Naïve with the squad build based on loans, nobody has a clue what happens next with the club, players or manager in west London.
Moment of the Season: Victory at Anfield (There’s a theme here)
Player of the Season: Alphonse Areola
After Leicester, Leeds are probably every neutral’s favourite team. Biesla ball has the world hooked, which is shown in Ousmane Dembele’s request for Leeds shirts from Illan Meslier. And to be honest, they’ve taken the perfect approach to the league. Give the big teams a good game, and live off that confidence to smash the smaller teams to pieces. And seeing their “Murderball” training methods, matchday comes as a breeze to them. Add to that the lovable personalities that have emerged from this squad, from Luke “Bill” Ayling, Stuart Dallas & Patrick Bamford, and the top level performances from Kalvin Phillips, Jack Harrison & Raphinha, the positive vibes couldn’t be higher in the northern part of Yorkshire. We all know Biesla likes to combust at any moment but for now, this is an entertainment train that we’re going to ride until the wheels fall off
Moment of the Season: Taking points of all of the so called “big clubs”, but beating Citeh in Manchester sticks out
Player of the Season: Stuart Dallas
Leicester fans will be struggling with the concept of perspective year on year at this rate. The big picture says they sell their top players every year, compete in Europe, established themselves as the 5th best team in the league and won their first FA cup. But moments within the season will constantly make them think that this has been another opportunity missed, losing out on the last day after spending the whole season in the top 4. Is it mentality? Is it the fixture list? Has winning the Premier League in 2016 warped expectations? There isn’t a specific answer but considering the injuries that they’ve been through, the fact that they’ve made history this season shouldn’t be taken lightly and you imagine that they’ll continue to bring in niche talent to sell for 3x the buy price and consolidate in the European places for a while longer
Moment of the Season: Winning the FA Cup
Player of the Season: Youri Tielemans