Back in August, Concrete Sport writers pooled together to predict how the League table would end up come season’s end in May. Here’s how we got on.

  1. Chelsea (Prediction 1st) – The Concrete writers nailed this one, as Chelsea stormed to the title with ease once they received a wake-up after a 5-3 defeat at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day. Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas lived up to expectations and gave Chelsea the edge and the goals they had been lacking when they came third last time around. Eden Hazard scooped virtually all the major honours as well as Chelsea adding the Capital One Cup to put the icing on the cake.
  1. Manchester City (Prediction 2nd) – A perfect prediction once again from our writers, although few predicted them to give up their trophy so easily. Their transfer activity was uninspiring (except for loaning Frank Lampard) and they even feared at one point that they would not finish inside the top four before a late season push.
  1. Arsenal (Prediction 4th) – Arsenal finished a place above where the Concrete writers predicted and this final position was helped by uncharacteristically defensively sound performances against the likes of Manchester City. They could have really challenged for the title if their form in the second half of the season had been reciprocated earlier on.  The successful defence of the FA Cup was the best they could have hoped for.
  1. Manchester United (Prediction 3rd) – Manchester United qualified for the Champions League, but not with the ease the Concrete writers were expecting. Big name signings Di Maria and Falcao were massive flops for the Red Devils and erratic performances left many fans frustrated who felt that a more instant improvement from last season should have been inevitable under management stalwart Louis Van Gaal. If they get their signings right they can challenge next year, but Falcao won’t be part of their plans.
  1. Tottenham (Prediction 6th) – Despite their erratic form, Tottenham managed to sneak above Liverpool in the table to finish in a very strong fifth. This was helped by the whirlwind rise of England youngster Harry Kane who finished second in the golden boot table behind Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero. They will be desperate for a Champions League qualifying spot next season, but the Europa League might hamper their progress again – that is, unless they win it. Pochettino also needs to make signings that won’t already add to their topsy-turvy performances.
  1. Liverpool (Prediction 5th) – The writing team correctly predicted Liverpool wouldn’t equal the heights of their excellent season in 2013/14 without Luis Suarez, but few could have predicted the negativity which surrounded the club at the season’s close. After the humiliating FA Cup semi-final loss to Aston Villa, 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace and a last day 6-1 humiliation at Stoke was hardly the send-off that Steven Gerrard would have wished for and has placed Brendan Rodgers’ future in question. If he does stay, he has the unenviable task of replacing Gerrard and trying to keep the likes of Raheem Sterling without the lure of Champions League football at Anfield.
  1. Southampton (Prediction 15th) – One of the worst predictions from our writing team, but virtually no one predicted how well Ronald Koeman would invest after the exodus of players in the summer of 2014. They remained a football hipster’s dream, playing flowing football that saw them thrash Sunderland 8-0 and Aston Villa 6-1 at home this season. It’ll be tough to keep this up, but Koeman seems like a very astute manager.
  1. Swansea  (Prediction 9th) -So close to a perfect prediction here. There were fears for the Swans once they had sold their talismanic Ivorian striker Wilfired Bony in January, however, Gary Monk proved himself to be the Premier League brightest young manager, securing their highest ever points tally ever and effectively replacing Bony with Bafetimbi Gomis. Again, maintaining this position will be tricky, but a little investment could go a long way.
  1. Stoke (Prediction 10th) – We weren’t far off again, although Stoke didn’t take up the mantle of being the hipster team of the division as we’d predicted. A season-ending knee injury for Bojan didn’t stop Mark Hughes’ men from securing a record points tally in the Premier League, while plundering six goals on the final day gave the Potters’ fans a taste of things to come.
  1. Crystal Palace (Prediction 11th) – One position off once again! Palace had a terrible start to the season under Neil Warnock, but once he was sacked and Alan Pardew was installed, the Eagles simply flew up the table. For their stand out performer, look no further than Yannick Bolasie, whose madly energetic wing play caused havoc with opposition defences. Dejan Lovren, look away now.
  1. Everton (Prediction 7th) – Such was their poor form to begin with, Everton looked in danger of being relegated before hitting good form in the second half of the campaign. The Concrete team predicted them to nab their traditional top 7 finish, but despite showing their muscle in the transfer market by luring Samuel Eto’o to Goodison Park, this proved to be beyond them. Roberto Martinez has a big summer ahead keeping and recruiting personnel.
  1. West Ham (Prediction 14th) – It was looking like we were going to be embarrassed when West Ham started the season in a rich vein of form, with the likes of Aaron Cresswell and Diafra Sakho impressing. However, a poor second half of the season saw the Hammers drift gradually down to 12th by the season’s close. Sam Allardyce has now left of his own accord after several calls for his head during his time at the club, and West Ham must now find a man who will match the ambition of the club’s owners as they prepare to go to the Olympic Stadium the season after next.
  1. West Brom (Prediction 18th) – West Brom were looking very shaky under the stewardship of the inexperienced Alan Irvine as our writers had predicted, but after the Scotsman was shown the door and perennial relegation survivor Tony Pulis brought on board, Albion were able to finish in a respectable 13th. This summer is all about further recruitment and keeping the services of unsettled England under-21 striker, Saido Berahino.
  1. Leicester (Prediction 19th) – Another club predicted to go down by our team, despite the inspired signing of Esteban Cambiasso. After a prolonged spell rooted to the bottom of the league, our fears looked to have vindicated, before a miraculous run of form in the last few months of the season turned their fortunes around. This was also a period which saw manager Nigel Pearson grab Crystal Palace’s James MacArthur by the neck and call a reporter an ‘ostrich’; Pearson’s bizarre us-against-the-world attitude somehow worked out on the pitch and spurred them to safety with a couple of games to spare.
  1. Newcastle (Prediction 8th) – We got this one majorly wrong! Newcastle are a flawed club, still yet to bridge the schism between owner Mike Ashley and their restless fans. After Alan Pardew’s departure, with the team sitting pretty in ninth, the temporary appointment of John Carver prompted an alarming slide down the table, only surviving relegation with a final day 2-0 win over West Ham. Major work needed at all levels of the club.
  1. Sunderland (Prediction 13th) – This was the season of the slightly less great escape for Sunderland. They got rid of Gus Poyet fairly late on in the season in a huge risk which saw Dick Advocaat come into the hot seat and save the club with a game to spare. Despite weeping tears of joy at the end of the whistle, Advocaat resigned a few days after the season ended as he no longer wished to manage in club football. A strong manager and some serious investment is needed to prevent another relegation scrap next year.
  1. Aston Villa (Prediction 16th) – Villa looked to be plodding towards the Championship under Paul Lambert, but his replacement Tim Sherwood galvanised this fairly youthful squad and got Christian Benteke firing again – right up to the FA Cup final. Perhaps the gilet-wearing everyman can be the man to finally bring Villa back to prominence after a couple of seasons in the doldrums for this once-hugely successfully and influential club.
  1. Hull City (Prediction 12th) – It was quite a shock that Hull were relegated when you compare their end of season position to the optimism bestowed upon them by the Concrete writing team in the summer. Unfortunately, their big money signings didn’t gel – Robert Snodgrass suffered a season-ending injury on his debut – and were unable to respond to Leicester’s Lazarus act. Their re-build will either be instant or a very slow and painful one, but keeping the services of Steve Bruce (if he wants to stay) is surely the right option.
  1. Burnley (Prediction 20th) – Well done to Burnley and Sean Dyche for installing a bit of optimism to the relegation battle and defying the prediction from us – and many others – that they would finish bottom by quite some way. Unfortunately, a lack of investment cost them, especially in terms of goals scored, and they were not able to survive, despite a memorable win against big-spending Manchester City. Dyche will be characteristically enthusiastic to go again in the Championship.
  1. QPR (Prediction 17th) – Back in August, we said that QPR seemed like a more unified outfit in comparison to their most recent outings in the Premier League. Sadly, this was not the case. QPR were frankly a stain on the Premier League, putting in perhaps even less effort than in their previously dismal attempts. Harry Redknapp left under mysterious circumstances, citing knee problems and Chris Ramsey oversaw the rest of an awful season. They may have to drop down to League One to truly re-build as the likes of Southampton have done. They’ve also got Financial Fair Play problems hanging over their heads. Oh dear.