A Song for Every Premier League Club's Season
After plenty of excitement and more twists and turns than an evening drive with Lindsay Lohan at the wheel, the 22nd Premier League season is finally over.
Now that we've all had a week to absorb the shock of the richest club with the best players winning the league, it's time to decompress with a season review that compare's each top-flight club's 2013-14 adventure with a song.
Take a look and leave your song suggestions in the comments.
"It's About Time" by Van Halen
Eight years, 11 months and 26 days. That's how long Arsenal fans had been left waiting for the trophy they feel entitled to, and it finally arrived in the FA Cup Final on Saturday.
While Mr. Wenger proudly moves the Fourth-Place Trophy over a few inches in the cabinet to make room for the new arrival—while casually sweeping that bottled Premier League title campaign under the carpet—the Gunners faithful will be agreeing with the sentiment of Van Halen's Sammy Hagar when he sings "It's About Time."
"Again I Go Unnoticed" by Dashboard Confessional
If the Premier League was a meal, Aston Villa would be parsley. They're on the periphery of the interesting stuff, they're not really bothering anyone, but no one really knows what purpose they serve.
This was parsley's 26th consecutive season of not really causing a stir in the top flight. Roll on number 27 with a new owner at the helm!
"Down Down" by Status Quo
After a single season in the Premier League, Cardiff were sent back to the Championship by finishing bottom. Even a late appearance from Super Sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn't save the Bluebirds from the drop.
Hence, the Welsh side's season is summed up by the title of that Status Quo song that sounds like all the other Status Quo songs.
(I would call this Cardiff's "Swansong" but they might not like the allusion to their Welsh rivals.)
"Magic Bus" by The Who
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea relied on counter-attacking football in 2013/14, intertwined with some almighty bus parking on certain away trips.
It made for dull viewing at the Vicente Calderon stadium in the Champions League and Brendan Rodgers even accused The Special One of "parking two buses" during the win at Anfield that ultimately helped Manchester City win the title.
Yet for the most part, the magic bus got results. Mou's dull method of success has been met with plenty of criticism by those who seem to have forgotten that he did it quite a lot in his first spate at Stamford Bridge.
"Time for Heroes" by The Libertines
The manner in which Crystal Palace turned around a season destined for certain relegation surely makes them heroes in south east London.
The man responsible for this is surely Manager of the Season Tony Pulis, for whom there appears to be a relevant lyric in The Libertines' song: "There are fewer more distressing sights than that/ Of an Englishman in a baseball cap."
Of course, there was nothing distressing about football's favourite baseball-cap advocate in this campaign.
"Thrift Shop" by Macklemore
At the start of the season, Roberto Martinez promised Bill Kenwright that he would deliver Champions League football at Everton.
In his first season, the Spaniard came impressively close to fulfilling his mission on a thrifty budget thanks to some very shrewd loan moves for Gareth Barry, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu.
"Kiss This Thing Goodbye" by Del Amitri
Despite spending nearly £22 million on new talent, Fulham were unable to fight the drop this season, kissing goodbye to 13 happy years in the top flight.
It's all that darn Michael Jackson statue's fault.
Spare a thought for January signing Konstantinos Mitroglou, who gave up a potential starring role in Olympiakos' defeat of Manchester United in the Champions League to become a bit-part player in a relegation campaign.
"That's Not My Name" by The Ting Tings
Despite finishing in 16th position, Hull will enjoy the dizzy heights of Europa League football next season thanks to an admirable FA Cup run that nearly saw them embarrass Arsenal at Wembley.
This season's results, however, have been overshadowed by an off-the-field campaign by owner Assem Allam to formally change the club's name to Hull Tigers. This, apparently, is the only way to market the team in foreign markets. (Some might argue that winning games and being good at football is also a great way to build a following overseas, but there you go.)
Therefore, Hull can pretend it's 2008 all over again with The Ting Tings.
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones
Brendan Rodgers' men might have wanted a song by the Lads from Liverpool to sum up their season, but they have to do with one by the Lads from Dartford instead. Because you can't always get what you want.
As we all know, after that emphatic win over Manchester City, the title was for the Reds to lose. Thanks to Stevie G's slip and their nine minutes of defensive madness at Selhurst Park, their best shot at a league title in over two decades disappeared quicker than a bottle of Jack Daniels in Keith Richards' dressing room.
"Breaking the Rules" by AC/DC
Manchester City's second title win in three years taught us two important lessons. Firstly, if you have the most money, then you will inevitably win the league. Secondly, even if you consciously break Financial Fair Play rules, you are still allowed to win your domestic league without any recompense whatsoever! Yay for modern football!
"Losing a Whole Year" by Third Eye Blind
After Sir Alex Ferguson passed the baton to David Moyes, Manchester United definitely had a season they would rather forget.
But the Red Devils didn't just lose a whole year: They lost European football and about £30 million.
"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar
Alan Pardew seriously tested the resolve of the St James Park faithful with a season that suggested his players were already on the beach shortly after Christmas.
The most appropriate song for the manager with the inexplicably long contract, however, is surely Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Pards was probably humming it in his head as he squared up to Hull's David Meyler.
"Too Little Too Late" by Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies may sound like the kind of band that Olivier Giroud would like, but the Canadian rockers' single "Too Little Too Late" is best applied to Norwich for their strategy of sacking Chris Hughton with just five games to go.
"Three Lions" by Baddiel & Skinner & Lightning Seeds
It was tempting to select the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" in honour of feisty forward Dani Osvaldo, but I've opted for a tribute to the backbone of the team that led to a very successful top-half finish: Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert.
Southampton's Three Lions have all been selected for Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad in Brazil, so Saints fans can feel proud that they will be so well represented at the World Cup.
(Obviously, much of their success was also due to Jay Rodriguez, but his injury is keeping him out of the limelight this summer. And the song isn't called "Four Lions.")
"Oh! You Pretty Things" by David Bowie
Despite being tipped as strong candidates for relegation, Stoke ended up in ninth spot, their highest finish since the 1974-75 season.
Part of the reason for the success was thought to be the abandonment of ugly route one for something more similar to the kind of passing game played by Mark Hughes' former team Barcelona.
The Potters occasionally reverted to hoofing it during the campaign, but the Britannia faithful were generally treated to much prettier football—particularly in the second half of the season.
"Against All Odds" by Phil Collins
At Christmas, Sunderland were rock bottom of the table with just two wins to their name. Judging by the dire football they were playing, they were a safe bet for Championship football next season.
Yet somehow, against all odds, and with Jozy Altidore up front, Gus Poyet managed to reverse the stinky mess that Paolo Di Canio made to ensure top-flight football next year. Take a look at them now.
"Brick" by Ben Folds Five
Swansea had a season of two halves. The first, under the watch of Brian Laudrup, wasn't very good. The second, with Garry Monk at the helm, was pretty impressive and led to a very respectable 12th-place finish.
Before Laudrup was given his marching orders, rumours of turmoil within the Welsh club were rife. The negativity reached a dramatic climax in January when it was alleged that Chico Flores had threatened Monk with a brick. Hence, Ben Folds Five's sombre anthem is highly appropriate.
"Good Riddance (Tim[e] of your Life)" by Green Day
Despite finishing 2013/14 as the Premier League's most successful manager of all time, Tim Sherwood was on a stay of execution at Tottenham the moment he accepted the job.
Rumours of "big name" managers who were on their way to the Lane circulated throughout Tactics Tim's tenure, and a few hours after Ledley King's testimonial last week, he became the 496th manager Tottenham have let go in the past 10 years.
The man with no management experience or relevant coaching badges probably had the tim(e) of his life, but it's all over now.
"Survivor" by Destiny's Child
West Brom only actually spent three weeks in the relegation zone, but they dangled precariously over it for most of the second half of the season.
Thanks mainly to the fact that there were even worse teams around them, the Baggies were survivors in 2013-14. Pepe Mel? Not so much.
"U.G.L.Y." by Daphne and Celeste
No melodic refrain can encapsulate West Ham's style of play better than Daphne and Celeste's 2000 hit "U.G.L.Y."
Sam Allardyce has certainly chosen substance over style at Upton Park this season, with Hammers fans finding their Saturday afternoons almost as frustrating as sitting through a Daphne and Celeste music video. Almost.
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