A year ago this weekend, the wild and wacky debut of the 2010 EPL season was upon us. We were jubilated, hopeful, optimistic, and even naïve regarding what the following 12 months had in store for us.
Plenty of people offered their preseason predictions, but to correctly prophesize such an irregular season would have taken the mind of an impartial legend. To refresh your memory of what fans around the league were feeling, I have summed up what was happening just a mere 365 days ago. My, how times have changed.
Well, without further ado, this time last year...
It was another optimistic August for Arsenal fans, who wouldn’t dare believe their devasting drought would last one more year. Surely the Soccer gods would show some sympathy and give them even the smallest of silverware. FA Cup? Carling Cup? Emirates Cup? History repeated itself yet again.
And we thought Manchester City was overspending last summer! My how naïve we were. After a summer spending spree for the history books, Manchester City finally looked like a contender for some serious silverware at the start of last season. After adding David Silva, Jerome Boateng, James Milner, and Yaya Toure, many thought City had all they needed to compete for a crown.
Clearly, Mansour bin Zayed el Nahyan wasn’t satisfied with just one summer of breaking bank. MCFC has added Edin Dzeko, Kun Aguero, Gael Clichy, and possibly Samir Nasri the last 12 months and still looks hungry for more big names. Hopefully, I am not the only one scared to see what City will look like with 12 more months of work.
Dimitar Berbatov was being labeled one of the biggest busts in EPL history last August. However, the Bulgarian put together a stellar season that won him the EPL Golden Boot and salvaged some respect after two years of disappointment. Sadly, it seems as though Berbatov’s popularity remains the same, as United has been looking to shop his services the last couple of weeks. Stay strong, Dimitar!
Just 12 months ago, the EPL world had not yet been graciously blessed by the some of the best talents in the game. Words like Chicharito and Odemwingie could have just as easily been names of foreign foods instead of the last names of two dominant EPL strikers. Odemwingie’s/Hernandez breakout seasons made me think of other star players who were nobodies just last August.
DJ Campbell: The journeyman forward finally found bliss at Blackpool last season.
Charlie Adam: It would be hard to find another striker who went from just another man in a jersey to a desired starlet in 12 months.
Andy Carroll: Carroll went from scoring just a handful of Premier League goals in his career to being sold to Liverpool for £35 million. A solid year by the big man.
Last August, Torres was not coming off a tremendous World Cup, but many avid EPL fans still expected the Spaniard to regain top form for his Liverpool campaign. But Torres’ season didn’t exactly go as planned, as the man turned into more of a liability than a goal-scorer on the Chelsea attack. Needless to say, Torres is not quite as feared by opposing fans now as he was 12 months ago.
Just seven years ago, Swansea was battling in League Two and was barely considered a respectable club in English football. Last year the Swans were playing in the Championship, but after two mediocre seasons, the squad couldn’t have expected anything more than a mid-table finish.
However, after a miraculous promotion season, Swansea City became the first Welsh team in the English Premier League and have more than doubled their expected fan base. Swansea wasn't even considered a Championship contender last season, and now they are battling with the big boys.
Coming off a disappointing 2009-10 season, expectations at Upton Park were most certainly not sky high. However, after staying afloat in the Premier League with a limited budget for nearly half a decade, no one truly expected West Ham’s Premier League tenure to actually come to an end. In fact, a number of analysts predicted the prestigious side to finish mid-table and be safe for at least another year in England’s top flight.
But after finishing dead last and being relegated for just the second time in the Premier League era, West Ham must enter a harsh rebuilding stage before they get to compete with their superior London counterparts once again. Will the pain for Hammer fans miserably continue or will they finally have something to cheer about down at Upton Park this year? Only time will tell.
Well folks, I guess things haven't changed that much after all! Thanks for reading!