While a year is an incredibly long time in football, the end of one allows us the perfect opportunity to look back on the previous 12 months and with 2021 all but in the history books, here is our review of what has happened in the English Premier League.
We will be continuing our Premier League betting news and tips in to 2022 and beyond! Keep up to date with the latest articles here on VIPCasino.
Newcastle Takeover Finally Completed
With Mike Ashley’s reign of terror finally coming to an end on Tyneside, it allowed Newcastle supporters the opportunity to dream big and with a Saudi-led takeover of the club now complete, an embarrassment of riches will soon be unlocked.
Then again, since the arrival of new owners, Newcastle’s performances have been largely embarrassing and although the club may have won the footballing equivalent of the lottery, it does seem as if they have lost the winning ticket.
Whether Newcastle can find their way out of the relegation zone at the end of the season remains to be seen and if that is to be the case, then Eddie Howe is going to have to spend incredibly wisely during the January transfer window.
Ole No Longer At The Wheel
There was no doubt that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was always operating something of a boom-and-bust cycle as Manchester United manager and just when it looked like his head was on the chopping block, an important victory would be found in timely fashion.
However, the Norwegian’s luck finally run out in November and with him being given his marching orders by the club’s board, a hunt for his successor or at least an interim one until the end of the season, began in due course.
One that eventually saw Ralf Rangnick installed until the end of the campaign and with the German then moving upstairs in a consultancy role, it will be interesting to see who then takes the United managerial baton in the summer.
Mo Salah Finds Another Level
In fairness Mo Salah has always been world-class, it is now a case of him being a lot closer to the world’s best and although he only managed to finish seventh in the 2021 edition of the Ballon d’Or, you get the feeling he will be in contention for the award in 2022.
Because the Egyptian wizard has been more like a ballerina in recent times and with him dancing past opposition defences, the former Roma forward has scored some absolutely incredible goals in the second half of the year.
Then again, the only thing that may work against him, is that he is scoring these goals at the wrong time in terms of Ballon d’Or voting. While the best way to remedy that, is to keep scoring incredible goals in the New Year and beyond.
All Change Please
While it is all change in terms of Premier League managers and although the sacking of another Watford manager is of no real surprise, the sacking of Dean Smith from Aston Villa was perceived as somewhat harsh.
However, Smith would quickly end up at Norwich, as Daniel Farke was given the boot after the Canaries’ dreadful start and the man that would replace the now former Aston Villa boss, was none other than Steven Gerrard.
While although a switch from Glasgow to Birmingham can be considered as something as a shock, the biggest shock was the arrival of Antonio Conte and with the Italian replacing Nuno Espirito Santo at Tottenham, his new Spurs charges already look a team transformed.
Super Sevens At The Top
If three is the magic number, then seven is something far more supernatural and with both Chelsea and Manchester City handing out defeats by that margin, it sometimes shows the chasm between the top and bottom teams in the Premier League.
Of these seven-nil thrashings that were recorded, it was Chelsea who logged theirs in the history books first and after mauling Norwich at Stamford Bridge, it was the beginning of the end as far Daniel Farke’s Canaries tenure was concerned.
While Manchester City’s thumping of Leeds is still rather fresh in the memory and after putting seven of the best past Marcelo Bielsa’s men, the legendary Argentine manager may have to reconsider his long-standing coaching ideas.
Although the threat of COVID-19 is always set to linger, there was a feeling that it had been eradicated from the world of the Premier League. Unfortunately, a resurgence in 2021 has proved this not to be the case.
Which means, with a raft of recent postponements taking place, player welfare once again comes back into the spotlight and not only that, but an ongoing headache regarding how to rearrange so many matches.
Add the fact that there is a winter World Cup in less than 12 months and the fixture calendar is already fit to burst. Something that means the beautiful game is going to have to tread very carefully in 2022.
Viva Ronaldo Again
What looked like being a move to Manchester City, ended up becoming a move to Manchester United and with Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford before the end of the summer transfer window, it was undoubtedly the biggest domestic deal of 2021.
Not quite the biggest deal across the globe in 2021 and once again Cristiano Ronaldo’s nemesis would have managed to upstage him – as Lionel Messi made his own sensational move from Barcelona to PSG.
Then again, if it is the Premier League spotlight that the Portuguese icon craves, he certainly has that in spades and although his return to Manchester United has not scaled them back to the top of the table, they could be good value for Champions League success instead.
Hey Big Spender
While although Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Manchester United was huge in terms of spotlight, it was rather small in terms of expenditure and with his now employers already spending big money elsewhere, a miniscule outlay may have been necessary.
Because United have also added Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to their ranks and with these new arrivals, it meant that the Red Devils spent approximately £134m over the course of the summer transfer window.
Add the Chelsea return of Romelu Lukaku and Jack Grealish’s switch from Aston Villa to Manchester City and there is no doubt, that the biggest clubs in the division are part of a personnel arms race once again.
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