1st – Chelsea
Started the campaign with the same formation as Chelsea ended the last, but back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal changed everything. At half-time at the Emirates in September, 3-0 down, the Italian switched to 3-4- 3 and Chelsea never looked back. Brave enough to change and drop players into unfamiliar positions to fit the system. It worked so well other teams copied him.
Man management: 9
Despite a limited grasp of English, certainly at the start of the season, he can hardly be faulted. Handled Diego Costa’s mid- season explosion well, dealt with John Terry’s exclusion and eventual departure calmly and managed to keep players who have not been in the team, like Willian and Cesc Fabregas, happy.
Has not spent particularly big by recent Chelsea standards. Marcos Alonso and David Luiz were not recruited as first choices but both have been excellent while Michy Batshuayi only had an impact late in the season. However, N’Golo Kante is perhaps the signing of the season. Has not been slow to cull either – Oscar, Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel were all swiftly moved on.
Express Sport takes an in-depth look at this Premier League campaign
Meeting expectation: 9
Exceeded, having won the title in his first season. Took over a
fractured, demoralised squad that had finished 10th and, with a few additions, remodelled them into a team that dominated the league. At the start of the season most fans would have been happy with a top-four place.
Public profile: 9
Excitable touchline persona has been a huge hit with fans. They love his sheer exuberance, his passion and his connection to them. Made a real effort with English and it has got markedly better. His warmth and modesty –and the lack of an edge–area welcome change from recent regimes.
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2nd – Tottenham
Having introduced ‘Antonio Conte’s back-three’ before the Chelsea manager had arrived in the Premier League, he used a range of systems according to the opposition, beating everybody except Liverpool this season.
Man management: 9
His touchy-feely approach helps bond the squad and the whole at Tottenham is bigger than the sum of the parts. He can be tough too, though. Just ask Kyle Walker.
Vincent Janssen failed to provide the goals when Harry Kane was injured and £30m for Moussa Sissoko? Offset against that, Vincent Wanyama for £11m was one of the bargains of the season.
Meeting expectation: 8
Champions League qualification was the aim at the start of the season and he smashed it. Pochettino nearly became a victim of his own success by raising hopes of the title, and next season the demands could be tougher.
Public profile: 9
There is a lot of warmth towards Pochettino. While others moan and groan about their lot, he will never criticise referees or the Premier League fixture computer. He exudes a genuine warmth, especially at difficult times.
Antonio Conte led Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season in charge
3rd – Man City
His play-from-the-back philosophy was a delight to watch but cost City at times. Lots of goals but not always in the key games. Taken by surprise by the competitiveness of the Premier League and what referees will allow.
Man Management: 7
Made a big early statement by off- loading Joe Hart, exiling Yaya Toure and dropping Sergio Aguero. Very demanding. Players have to em- brace his methods or move on.
Decision to loan Hart and buy Claudio Bravo backfired. But Gabriel Jesus was an instant hit, Leroy Sane improved steadily, Ilkay Gundogan looked class before his injury, while John Stones will be better for a season under Guardiola.
Meeting expectation: 5
Title challenge faded away far too early and failed to win a trophy for the first time in eight seasons. Had Vincent Kompany been fit all season it might have been different. Started and ended the campaign brilliantly and the signs look good for next season.
Public profile: 6
Intense, demanding and appears to live on nervous energy. Struggled to keep a lid on his frustration at times when his team failed to perform.
Liverpool finished in the top four for only the second time in the last eight years
4th – Liverpool
Relentlessly attacking. Stuck resolutely to 4-3-3 and the style which served him well in Dortmund; pressing high and hunting lost possession immediately the ball is surrendered. Fluid and, at times, unstoppable up front.
Man management: 9
Froze out Mamadou Sakho early and frustrated at times with Daniel Sturridge’s fitness, but otherwise his arm was always round a shoulder. Excellent use of young players and never publicly critical.
Sanctioned four signings last summer – Sadio Mane (£34m), Marko Grujic (£5.1m), Joel Matip (free) and Loris Karius (£4.7m) – so quite good on balance, but might have acted in January to bolster squad.
Meeting expectation: 7
Following eighth place in his first campaign (30 games), fourth represents both progression and success. Losing semi-final of EFL Cup was disappointing particularly given the games it added to schedule in January.
Public profile: 9
Charismatic and engaging, he maintained sunny disposition even when things went against him. That transmitted to the dressing room and he remained popular with players, owners and the fans.
Arsenal missed out on Champions League football for the first time under Arsene Wenger
5th – Arsenal
In September, Antonio Conte changed tactics and turned his side’s results around. Wenger did the same…205 days later. Finally showed he could re-invent, which was too late for the league but in time for FA Cup final glory.
Man management: 5
For two decades this has been his watch- word. But too many contracts running out has led to too much uncertainty and accusations of favouritism.
Granit Xhaka for the same price as N’Golo Kante. Bargain Lucas Perez when he needed a big-money striker. He even made Shkodran Mustafi look like £35m wasted by picking up Rob Holding for peanuts.
Meeting expectation: 3
It’s the classic school report. “Arsene sets too low targets and this term has failed to achieve them.” Prides himself on fourth, fans want the title – huge disappointment only lifted by FA Cup success.
Public profile: 5
When people hire aeroplanes to say you’re rubbish and rip up £100 tickets, you have a PR issue.
Eddie Howe steered Bournemouth to their best ever finish in the top flight
6th – Man Utd
Mourinho has always been a pragmatic manager. He has made United hard to beat but the majority of their games have been a far cry from the club’s swashbuckling traditions. A meagre Premier League goal tally of 54 – 32 less than top scorers Tottenham – shows where their problem lies.
Man management: 6
Puzzling. He started the season by exiling Bastian Schweinsteiger only to bring him back into the squad. He also publicly criticised Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. But the players seem to have responded with a positive attitude and the squad spirit is good.
Spent around £150m last summer on four players. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly have been hits but far more was expected from Paul Pogba and Mkhitaryan.
Memphis Depay (Lyon), Morgan Schneiderlin (Ever- ton), and Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire) were all off- loaded mid-season.
Meeting expectation: 6
No one expected United to finish sixth in the Premier League – and certainly not 24 points behind the champions. But adding the Europa League to the EFL Cup and qualifying for the Champions League by the back door can count as success.
Public profile: 5
Has appeared a sullen and frustrated figure for much of the season and, as always, seems to believe the world is against him and his team.
Had several spats with officials in the early part of the season and has moaned con- stantly about fixture overload. But his mood changed with Europa League victory.
Sam Allardyce turned Crystal Palace's fortunes around in the second half of the season
7th – Everton
Has been versatile, deploying several formations, three at the back, midfield diamond and even a man marker (v Hazard) but generally likes two holding midfielders behind three attacking midfielders and Romelu Lukaku up front.
Man management: 6
No-nonsense, straight-talking and confident, he is not afraid to call out players in public. Contrasting dealings with Ross Barkley (hard) and Lukaku (soft). Never less than pragmatic.
Stated he wants ready-made players able to slot in to the first team. Made some good calls (Schneiderlin, Williams, Gueye). Unlucky with injury to £20m Bolasie.
Meeting expectation: 8
Has gone from 11th (47 points) to seventh (61pts) in first season, so few fans would be disappointed. Another 14-point jump needed to
chase Champions League.
Public profile: 7
After a bit of flirtation with Barca, Koeman now seems committed to see out his three-year
Walter Mazzarri had lost the Watford dressing room by the end of the season
8th – Southampton
Claude Puel is set to pay the price for a late-season blip by losing his job at St Mary’s. The Frenchman oversaw the Saints’ lowest points total in four years with only one win in the last eight games and his dour demeanour failed to capture the public’s imagination. Tactics 6, Man management 4, Transfers 6, Meeting expectation 6, Public profile, 2
9th – Bournemouth
The best ever finish in the club’s history, achieved on the back of a record points haul; it’s hard to imagine how the season could have gone any better for Eddie Howe who capped things off by ending up as the highest placed English manager. The challenge now is to stay in the top half. Tactics 8, Man management 9, Transfers 5, Meeting expectation 10, Public profile 9
10th – West Brom
A poor start left Tony Pulis facing flak; a superb run from November to February strengthened his position only for an and-of-season slide to prompt more discontent. A top-10 finish is still impressive but Pulis will now want the funds to help his side stay in the top half and push hard for glory in a cup competition. Tactics 6, Man management 7, Transfers 7, Meeting expectation 7, Public profile 5
11th – West Ham
A turbulent first season at the London Stadium has left West Ham, and manager Slaven Bilic in particular, with much remedial work to be done over the summer. Poor home form in an environment alien to Upton Park stalled the campaign early on and the mid- season defection of Dimitri Payet was another crisis Bilic had to manage. Pre-season recruitment had been poor too. Tactics 7, Man management 8, Transfers 2, Meeting expectation 3, Public profile 8
12th – Leicester
Craig Shakespeare turned around the Foxes’ season after replacing Claudio Ranieri, whose reign unravelled with amazing speed after last season’s title triumph. In the final reckoning, a 12th-placed finish and a Champions League quarter- final represented a successful campaign despite an awful start and a flirtation with relegation. Tactics 6, Man management 7, Transfers 3, Meeting expectation 7, Public profile 6
13th – Stoke
Mark Hughes needs a rethink after a couple of disappointing years in the transfer market; 13th place is an unimpressive return, considering the money spent. Lee Grant has proved an inspired signing, Joe Allen a good one, but Giannelli Imbula and Wilfried Bony have flopped. Hughes can be grateful that familiar faces such as Ryan Shawcross, Jon Walters and Peter Crouch bailed him out. Tactics 6, Man management 6, Transfers 5, Meeting expectation 4, Public profile 5
14th Crystal Palace
The despair that accompanied a dismal first half of the season under Alan Pardew was replaced by the uphoria of a thrilling run-in, but it took all of replacement manager Sam Allardyce’s nous and some canny work in the January market to turn things around. Allardyce’s resignation means uncertainty has already returned to Selhurst Park. Tactics 6, Man management 7, Transfers 7, Meeting expectation 5, Public profile 8
15th – Swansea
Loyalty to Francesco Guidolin and a bizarre experiment with Bob Bradley left the Swans in deep trouble, but an initial ‘bounce’ and then a final surge under Paul Clement kept them safe. Swansea will now crave a return to stable management. Tactics 6, Man management 6, Transfers 5, Meeting expectation 5, Public profile 5
Sunderland endured a miserable campaign to finish bottom of the table
On a minimal budget, Sean Dyche achieved safety with relative comfort. He can be satisfied with an outstanding season, helped by a formidable home record. Even the blemish of an FA Cup defeat at home to non-League Lincoln did not tarnish the campaign. Tactics 7, Man management 9, Transfers 7, Meeting expectation 9, Public profile 8
Not once were Watford consumed by any real fear of relegation yet Walter Mazzarri’s one and only season in charge must still be branded a failure. The players hated his draconian training regime and the fans did not take to him either. The Italian’s lack of English hindered him significantly, as did a lengthy injury list. Tactics 6, Man management 0, Transfers 6, Meeting expectation 5, Public profile 0
18th – Hull
The damage was done in a shambolic pre-season with the departure of Steve Bruce, a botched transfer market and leaving Mike Phelan in charge for too long. Despite early, largely unfounded scepticism, Marco Silva oversaw a marked upturn in fortunes but ultimately ran out of time and, predictably, quit this week. Tactics 5, Man management 6, Transfers 3, Meeting expectation 5, Public profile 2
The Teessiders paid for a lack of ambition – both in the stiflingly negative tactics of Aitor Karanka, then in choosing the easy option when the Spaniard was jettisoned in March. Caretaker boss Steve Agnew was horribly out of his depth, as one win in 11 games sealed a return to the Championship. Tactics 1, Man management 3, Transfers 2, Meeting expectation 2, Public profile 5
20th – Sunderland
An utter disaster both on and off the pitch. From players who didn’t care, to a now departed manager who threatened to slap a female reporter, the woeful Wearsiders scraped the barrel in every respect and it could be a long time before they are seen anywhere near the top flight ever again. Tactics 2, Man management 3, Transfers 2, Meeting expectation 0, Public profile 2