TOP 5 – Premier League seasons
Written by Elliott Sheaf. Originally published in Issue 05.
Every season is beautiful in its own way, but some seasons are the Olivier Giroud of seasons. With the 2017–18 campaign fast approaching, we’re filled with optimism that this will be another great one, and relief that the summer is over and we can finally stop pretending to like other inferior sports like Tennis. Fuck Tennis.
Read on for Top Corner’s Top 5 Premier League seasons...
Newcastle’s title challenge
This season had everything for the neutral fan and nothing but heartbreak for the Newcastle faithful. Kevin Keegan’s team were 12 points clear at the top of the table at one stage during the season, only to capitulate late on and end up 4 points off the pace to Man United’s maturing ‘Class of ‘92’.
Newcastle’s swashbuckling attacking football was not the only factor in this being one of the greatest top flight seasons of all time, we had the return of Cantona after his 9 month kung-fu kick ban, Keegans infamous “I will love it” post match interview, the epic Liverpool 4-3 win over title challengers Newcastle and the farcical United invisible kit debacle at Southampton. Oh, and most importantly, this was the season that Tony Yeboah scored ‘those’ goals.
This was a great season, but its the unbelievable last day which places this season on the list. Manchester City needing a win to claim the title over local rivals Manchester United we’re 2-1 down to QPR heading in to injury time, when Edin Dzeko equaliser gave them hope of a late winner. The stage was set for Sergio Aguero to pop up with one of the most iconic goals in modern football to clinch the title on goal difference no less.
This season also gave us the bananas 8-2 Man U victory over Arsenal and Sir Alex Ferguson suffering one of his worst ever defeats at United by title rivals Man City in a 6-1 hammering. On a more unsavoury note, the John Terry racism incident proved what we already knew about that man, that he is, and forever will be, a dickhead.
Leicester achieve the impossible
Not much more can be said about a season that still feels like it was set in an alternate reality bizzaro Prem. The achievement itself is one of the most remarkable in sporting history, however what makes it worthy of the best seasons of all time is the wider impact it had on society and mainstream media, not just in England but all around the world.
Everyone loves an underdog story,
and few were as inspirational as this one, with everyone had their own moment of realisation where the impossible seemed possible. Combined with the entertainment of watching Chelsea fall apart, it felt like a win for the working class football fan over the mega rich ownership which dominates the modern game. It is very likely that such a feat will never be seen again in our lifetime.
Blackburn win the league
Before we had the heroics of Leicester City, Blackburn were the most unlikely Premier League winners, but in hindsight Kenny Dalglish’s men were a strong team with good Premier League players peaking at the right time. They were helped also by title rival Manchester United’s golden generation still being inexperienced and talismanic captain Eric Cantona serving his nine month ban for the aforementioned kung fu kick.
The title was decided in last day drama which lives long in the memory of West Ham fans, where goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko defiantly held United at bay to earn a 1-1 draw which handed the league to Blackburn despite their 2-1 loss. Over 20 years later the Hammers denying United the title is still a source of much pride for the fans, you have to take what you can get I guess?
It might not be remembered for being the most eventful Premier League season, but it gave us arguably the best Premier League team of all time. Not only were they unbeaten all campaign, they did it with an Arsene Wenger brand of football that entertained and excited; undoubtedly an achievement unlikely to be repeated any time soon...especially by Arsenal.
Arsenal were world class in every position, with players such as Viera, Pires, Bergkamp and Gilberto Silva all in their prime, to name just a few. In 30 goal striker Thierry Henry, they had one of the most electrifying players to ever grace the league, who not only epitomized the Arsenal mentality but has inspired a generation of players to try and emulate his swagger and style on and off the pitch.