Barclays Premier League 2012/2013 season review

Trudat. Image: Facebook
Now that the Premier League is over, it's time to reflect on what was a pretty mixed season. The title was decided with a month to spare and the relegation battle was settled before the final day of the season, leaving us with only one battle on the final day; the battle for UCL qualification. Other than that there were some major talking points throughout the season; the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson probably being the biggest announcement ever in the world of football. Paul Scholes has also hung up his boots bringing his "second" United career to an end. Suarez proved yet again how he can sometimes be brilliant on the field, yet at other times he can just be hungry. Michu proved that you don't need to be a multi-million signing to make an impact in the league, and comparisons between Gareth Bale and Christiano Ronaldo have gotten even more attention after his personal sweep of awards. Here are some of my thoughts at the end of the 2012/2013 Barclays Premier League season.

1500 games. Probably never going to be accomplished again
I can't talk about the season without first mentioning Sir Alex Ferguson. It doesn't matter what club you support, you simply cannot deny the greatness he has achieved at Man Utd. He took the club at a time when Liverpool were at the top of English football, and transformed it to one of the major powerhouses in the world of football. His personal collection of trophies eclipses some other clubs' entire history. The longevity he enjoyed at one club is something unheard of in this era. Will we ever see someone come close? Say, even 1000 games at a club? We might. But no one will be brave enough to bet on it. 

Winning trophies is no longer enough for managers
Thanks for winning the UCL. You're fired. Image: Mirror
You would think that if a manager wins trophies for his club, his job would be secure. Yet for some strange and seemingly incomprehensible reason, managers are being sacked even though they have brought success to their clubs. Di Matteo won Chelsea's first ever UEFA Champions League trophy, yet was sacked just 6 month's later. SIX MONTHS. This of course led to many fans and pundits questioning the sanity of the club's owner and board of directors. But the club moved on and hired a very publicly hated figure (by the fans) to replace Di Matteo, Rafa Benitez. He led Chelsea to victory in the Europa League, but was always just an interim manager. He could have been offered the job full time, like was done with Di Matteo, but that didn't happen. It's like Chelsea don't want a manager who wins them trophies. The same can be said of Man City. Exactly one year after Roberto Mancini won the club's first Premier League title, their first league title in 44 years, he was sacked. I seriously do not understand the mindset of these clubs' owners.

Michu proves that the best players don't always cost the most money
Michu has scored 18 goals this season for Swansea, the 5th highest in the league. That's more than Rooney, Dzeko and Ba have scored this season, who are all top strikers for their respective clubs. How much did Swansea pay for his transfer? Just £2 million. Michu has scored more league goals for Swansea in one season than £50 million Torres has scored for Chelsea in his 3 seasons at the club. Which by the way in case anyone is wondering, is 15. Proof that money isn't as good as a great scouting network.

Bale has some thinking to do
Comparisons between Bale and Ronaldo have been a common occurrence this season, especially during award season. Bale has bagged the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award and was also named the PFA Young Player of the Year for the 2012/2013 season. He has also been named the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year, and most recently was awarded the Premier League's Player of the Season award. But apart from awards, I do see some similarities between them on the field as well. Their style of play, their dribbling, their shooting and their impact on their respective teams is quite similar. Major European clubs will no doubt have their eyes on Bale, and without European football at Spurs, Bale will definitely be considering his future.
Best player in England. But won't be in the UCL next season.
Or will he? Image: Telegraph
The "one-man club" argument isn't relevant anymore
Many people said after Man Utd won the league that the only reason they did was because of Van Persie and all his goals. Now yes, his goals were important no doubt and without him maybe Man Utd wouldn't have won the league. But that does not mean that Van Persie single handedly won the trophy for Man Utd. He was Arsenal's top scorer last season as well, but they did not win the league. In fact, he scored more goals for Arsenal last season than he did for United this season. The top scorer in the league does not automatically win the league. Each team has a top scorer every season, but in the end it is a team game, and the team wins the league, not the individual who scored the most goals.

The competitiveness of the league is dwindling
No trophy? No problem. Image: Facebook
No club can stay on top forever. That's understandable. Even United had a barren spell where they didn't win the league for 3 seasons. But when you fall, you fight to get back up, not accept your fate and celebrate mediocrity. Chelsea and their fans celebrating the Europa League, when one year ago they lifted the UCL trophy. Arsenal celebrating UCL qualification when they haven't won the league in 8 years. Yes you do your best, and any accomplishment is still an accomplishment, but don't act like you are happy with mediocre achievements when your club is capable of so much more. Arsenal once went an entire season without losing. Now they have been relegated to fighting for UCL qualification, and they seem OK with it! If you can't perform at the highest level at the moment that's fine. Clubs go through transitions all the time. Just don't let your standards fall. Otherwise you'll end up like Liverpool ;p

Will goal-line technology open a can of worms?
Next season will be the first season where the Premier League uses goal-line technology to settle goal-line disputes. No more "did the ball cross the line??" arguments. Technology will handle it from here. But this leads to a whole new argument; should more technology come into the game? Referees and linesmen already communicate with headpieces during games, will we soon use replays for offside disputes? How about handballs in the area? Or diving? Is the line drawn at goal-line technology? It will certainly be interesting to see how the use of technology in football develops.  
Next season, this won't be an issue. Image: DailyMail
The transfer window opens in about 5 weeks time, and it will be interesting to see what Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City do, seeing as they will each have new managers. The first Premier League season without Sir Alex Ferguson will make Man Utd the centre of everyone's attention. The probable return of "The Special One" will take some attention away from Old Trafford no doubt. And will clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool continue their downward spiral? We'll have to wait and see.

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