Compared to last season, the latest #Premier League campaign hasn’t quite had the excitement. With Chelsea and Liverpool not having to deal with European #Football, they had a free crack at the title; it was Antonio Conte’s Blues who found the formula to lift the trophy. If Spurs hadn’t had had an eventually poor Champions League campaign, they would have pushed Chelsea the entire way, whilst Manchester United’s efforts were hampered by a lengthy Europa League campaign. As for Manchester City and Arsenal it will be regarded as a ‘nothing’ campaign, unless The Gunners can hijack the top four on the final day of the season or lift the FA Cup on May 27.

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So what about the rest? Did we get entertainment elsewhere? Well, not really. Everton have had a respectable season, but fans will be concerned as proven match winner Romelu Lukaku looks more than likely to leave in the summer. If he is not adequately replaced they will not be able to build on their momentum. The expected solid mid-table clubs of Southampton, Stoke and West Ham have only shown the briefest flashes of excitement this season, although the Saints were arguably robbed of a EFL Cup success at the hands of Man United. Tony Pulis’s head was held high after three quarters of the system, but his West Brom side have had an eye on their summer holidays, with their last victory coming on March 18.

The relegation battle has been an intriguing watch, with 10 sides fearing the drop this season.

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Champions Leicester got off to a rotten start, but a last season flourish gives them a chance of a top half finish, and something to build on for next term. Bournemouth, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Swansea and Watford have lacked identity, with the relegated trio of Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland all too poorly run to compete in the Premier League.

Royal rumble for relegation

The vast amount of clubs flirting with relegation ironically highlights how important PL survival is. Teams are perhaps all too happy to sit back and avoid defeat rather than to go out and win matches. The battle for survival only picked up in the final six weeks of the season as Crystal Palace, Swansea and Hull finally found some form. This philosophy has given the smaller or less renowned clubs in the league a platform, hence why the likes of Bournemouth and Burnley have done so well this season. Brighton and one of Reading, Huddersfield or Sheffield Wednesday will join the party next season, and they will feel there are more than enough winnable games for them to stay up.

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Opportunity will return next season

When Leicester won the title in 2015/16, all of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham had European football to deal with, and as a result they couldn’t get close to the fresh and coherent Leicester side. It’s easy to forget that Southampton and West Ham also finished above Chelsea and Liverpool that campaign. That flavour could return in 12 months’ time, so there will be an opportunity for the rest of the division. It is not inconceivable that newly promoted Newcastle could gate-crash the top seven, especially with Rafael Benitez in charge.

Is the Premier League falling behind?

You don’t want to see a divide in the Premier League, and after Leicester’s triumph, many thought that it had gone. 10 years ago, it was the ‘big four’ and it is now the ‘big six’ with Everton doing their best to join them. As a result we are heading in the right direction in that respect, but the gap between them and the rest is still just as big. It does give hope to the newly promoted sides, but it can be detrimental to those bigger sides if they are not put under pressure. The beauty of the Premier League is that anyone can beat anyone, but you feel this season it has happened less. With the English sides also struggling in the Champions League, the Premier League’s identity may be starting to evaporate. #championship