The Premier League season will likely be remembered for the rises of certain players, but what about those who didn’t fare so well?
The likes of Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy and Delle Alli all were all launched into stardom, but at the other end of the scale it’s tough to ignore the names that failed to deliver.
Who have you, the fans, voted as the failures of 2015-16?
5. Memphis Depay
The £25million arrival from PSV Eindhoven has showed small teases of his ability in 2015-16, but there have been too many times when he has failed to make any impact, at all.
After arriving from PSV, comparisons were made with Cristiano Ronaldo. Those were perhaps fair; he’d come off the back of a 22-goal season playing on the left for the Eindhoven club who won the title.
Two goals in 29 wasn’t quite the return on investment that United were looking for, though. You have to feel for him in a way, mind you, as Old Trafford wasn’t treated to the most flowing and expansive football the fans have ever seen, and perhaps he was a victim of that.
Next season promises to be brighter for Memphis so long as he can hit form, but this one has certainly been one to forget.
4. Aston Villa
Villa could really have their own separate article listing five failures within their club, but they have got off lightly here after a dismal season.
Three wins all season, 17 points, a minus 49 goal difference and 76 conceded at an average of two goals per game.
They were relegated on April 16 with four matches left, but that didn’t stop fans calling Villa the ‘worst Premier League team in history’.
Top to bottom, the club was a laughing stock all season. After a 1-0 opening day win at Bournemouth, nobody really expecting the team to fail to win any of their next 19 games. They lost 11 of their first 14 games, and never moved off the bottom of the table from November 2.
Who knows what next season holds for Villa. At least they have a Birmingham derby to look forward to, I suppose…
3. Louis van Gaal
For all his loveable tendencies, Mr Van Gaal never really managed to properly implement his “philosophy” at Old Trafford.
Despite an FA Cup win, the United faithful never warmed to the Dutchman. They saw the football as negative, tedious, boring, and not characteristic of the great Red Devils sides of old. In truth, it’s tough to disagree with them.
They did head into the last round of games still in top-four contention, and he brought home a trophy, but when LVG asked “who could have done what I have done”, he might not have been thinking straight (as per usual)…
United registered their worst ever Prem goal difference, fired a blank 10 times, committed the most fouls of any Premier League team, had the most backwards passes in the league and the lowest goals-per-game ratio in United’s Premier League era.
2. Jose Mourinho
After a shocking title defence, the ‘Special One’ was sacked before the New Year as Mourinho continued his trend of third-season failure.
In 2014/15, the Portuguese man had led the Blues to an eight-point title win, winning 26 of 38 games, losing just three all season as the Stamford Bridge side returned to dominance.
Fast forward to December 17 2015, and Chelsea had lost nine out of sixteen league games. Chelsea announced that they had parted company with Mourinho “by mutual consent”.
For whatever reason, Jose had lost the dressing room. The fall-out with Eva Carneiro was an apt storyline that just about summarised the demise and chaos of what was supposed to be a strong title defence. Instead, it was underpinned by unwanted media attention and poor results…
1. Eden Hazard
That links us on to the top of the list – Eden Hazard.
The Belgian was a huge factor in Chelsea’s winning campaign, scoring 14 goals and amassing 10 assists in 2014-15 to add to the similar numbers of 14 goals and nine assists the season previous.
There was no doubt during that period that Hazard was being discussed as one of the top five players in the world, and with a title win under the belt of the 25-year-old, this was supposed to be a season to kick on and do even better.
What happened? Well, he managed just four goals and four assists in 31 Premier League games. Hazard looked lost on the field at times, and didn’t show the same desire and hunger to drag Chelsea out of their mess. Instead, Willian was forced to step up and be the star performer in an otherwise mediocre side.