I haven’t posted in 40 days, so first thing’s first.. I’m so, so sorry! I’ve had to finish my degree and then had to get on with exams and then move back home which all took a lot of time but I’m back now and posts will be a lot more frequent, I promise.
As a punishment for missing so much I am going to do a rundown of how the Premiership signings fared last season. It’ll be in five instalments of four teams each, let’s go.
Lukas Podolski – A lot was expected of the German striker who finished the season with 16 goals in 42 games. Form dropped mid-season as fatigue kicked in which manager Arsene Wenger blamed on a lack of winter breaks in England. All in all, good first season.
Olivier Giroud – Signed as a replacement for Robin Van Persie, after a dry spell at the beginning of the season and doubts over his ability he finished the season with 17 goals and 11 assists in 47 games. Promising first season, must improve on finishing.
Santi Cazorla – Excellent first season as he racked up goals and assists in abundance and quickly became one of Arsenal’s key players. 16 assists and 12 goals in 49 appearances shows how important he became to Arsenal’s play in what was a great first season from the ambidextrous playmaker.
Nacho Monreal – Signed as an extra option at left-back after more injuries to regular Kieran Gibbs, showed reliability in his 11 appearances as well as good ability in going forward, scored in Arsenal’s 2 – 0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
Christian Benteke – One of the signings of the season by Paul Lambert as Benteke went on to establish himself as one of the most feared strikers in the league and maybe a move to a bigger club beckoning for the Belgian beast. He finished the season with 23 goals in 39 appearances and he was one of the major reasons Villa survived the drop.
Matthew Lowton – Good season from the young full-back who is a promising prospect for Villa. Got onto the score-sheet twice in his first season and one of these goals was a contender for goal of the season in a 3 – 1 win over Stoke City from all of 35 yards.
Ron Vlaar – Was named captain in the absence of club captain Stiliyan Petrov and was one of very few senior players to play regularly for the club. Presence at the back should be built on if Villa want to use their survival as a foundation for better things.
Brett Holman – Not the best footballer technically but quickly became a favourite with the Villa fans due to his hard-working nature and determination.
Joe Bennett – Another young full-back who was signed and thrown into a lot of first-team football early on, similar to Lowton, also similarly had a solid first season in which he impressed despite no top-flight experience.
Yacouba Sylla – Not utilised much in his first season in English football in which he only made 10 appearances but a hard-working midfielder who is solid on the ball. Good squad player.
Jordan Bowery – Only made 10 appearances and seemed to be a bit of a waste of a signing, only really used as a sub sparingly, needs to be loaned out.
Karim El-Ahmadi – Made 24 appearances for Villa last season and looked to be a good squad player, not the quality which Villa need to re-establish themselves as a top-half club but reliable nonetheless. Scored on his home debut in a 3 – 1 loss to Everton.
Ashley Westwood – Another promising prospect for Villa, a player who seemed to go about his business with little fuss whenever he played. Made 30 league appearances and his versatility proved useful.
Eden Hazard – Signed after a massive transfer saga which was settled when Hazard announced he was signing for Chelsea. Scored and assisted in quantity, including 13 goals in his 62 appearances. Candidate for PFA Player and Young Player of the Year in his first season in English football. Great first season despite massive price tag.
Oscar – Another youngster who arrived with a huge price tag at Chelsea but quickly formed an excellent partnership with midfield duo Juan Mata and fellow newbie Hazard. Scored 12 and assisted 12 in 62 appearances in his first season. Also scored Chelsea’s goal of the season with his strike against Juventus in the Champions League.
Victor Moses – Scored 10 goals in 43 appearances in which he was mainly used as a sub. Handy player in both cup runs as well as Chelsea’s successful Europa League run. Still a player with a lot of promise, hopefully will be given more of a chance this season.
Marko Marin – Player signed with huge promise and a big reputation in Germany but not played nearly enough for me. Only made 15 appearances all season and if Chelsea continue to spend must look to move on.
Cesar Azpilicueta – Reliable right-back who Chelsea initially used as back-up to Branislav Ivanovic who moved into the centre mid-way through the season. Azpilicueta made 48 appearances in all competitions and showed consistency throughout both in his defensive duties as well as going forward.
Thorgan Hazard – I can only help but feel he was signed purely because he is Eden’s younger brother…
Demba Ba – Signed to provide Chelsea with some goals from their striking department as Torres continued to struggle for form in the Premiership. But at the end of the season it looked as if Ba wasn’t the answer to Chelsea’s misfiring frontline as he finished the season with six goals in 22 appearances.
Steven Pienaar – Returned to Everton after a brief spell away at Tottenham and built a strong partnership with left-back Leighton Baines, seen at one stage as the best left sided partnership in the league. Scored 7 goals in 40 appearances, becoming one of Everton’s most creative influences.
Steven Naismith – Enjoying the Steven’s weren’t they? Made 35 appearances in which he grabbed five goals but his work-rate is his best asset which was utilised by David Moyes as he played him mostly in a midfield role.
Kevin Mirallas – Another brilliant prospect in the seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of Belgian talent. Scored nine goals in 33 appearances and added pace and trickery to the Everton frontline and looks to be an exciting player for the Toffees after a promising first season where he impressed.
Bryan Oviedo – Only made 15 appearances for Everton after signing from Copenhagen. Mostly coming on as a late substitute.
Thomas Hitzlsperger – Only made nine appearances after only initially signing on a short term contract, an extension was signed so Hitzlsperger could stay as an option in Everton’s midfield.
John Stones – Erm.. didn’t make an appearances after signing in January… *Tumbleweed*
Next four teams coming up tomorrow! Also a top five centre-backs in the World coming up later!