You probably hear this year after year but this has been the best Premier League season ever. Mancini said it: “It was a crazy season, a crazy game, a crazy last minute.” How right he was. We had a 30-goal striker; hidden gems like this guy and this guy; goals like this and this; and matches like this, this and, of course, this. It was a title that came down to goal difference, with the final kick of the game, and where the side on the wrong end of it were celebrating almost as much as the victors. Oh, and Gary Neville.
And so it was a privilege for the Kantar Media Premiership to make its debut season. Here is a quick rundown of who prospered from this season’s madness…
Well, there’ll be no value in betting that wevewonitfivetimes change their name for next season, as Stephen Callow can now officially add another title to his seemingly ever-growing list of honours. In the end, despite a brave finish, BBC Trust’s Gareth Barr, leading Isca Victoria was unable to overturn the nearly 200 points which separated them and wevewonitfivetimes. Andre Mitchell managed 4th place, despite managing Kiwi Destroyers from the other side of the world. Degenerates 101, managed by Bauer’s Neil Gooden, had been floating around the top 10 all season and can be proud of their top 5 finish. Microsoft’s Julie Forey had taken her Dodgy Knees FC to the league’s summit earlier in the season; they finish in a very respectable 7th. Peter Gradidge of Associated was another top-10 constant throughout the season (including 102 pts at Gameweek 36), and his Boro’s Arsenal finish in 8th. Just behind were the Blue and White Wizards – they were 31st in Gameweek 23, so credit to BBC Worldwide’s Mark Goodison who masterminded their revival.
Others weren’t so shrewd. Well I say ‘others’ but I probably mean Kantar Media managers. As the league “sponsors” we seem to have used this debut season to establish ourselves as the managers who you’re guaranteed to beat. You know the sort. In fact, every manager from 47th and beyond is spawn from the Kantar Media pool. And even 41st, 42nd and 43rd are ours. But there are a few of us trying to avoid this dreadful reputation: Willshee win, coached by KM’s Rachel Willshee, finish in a [relatively] respectful 39th – this, after hogging bottom spot for most of the first third of the season; and George Taylor’s Georges Best 11/12 managed to stave off a late surge from the teams around him to secure a top 10 finish. But look at Jonathan Brown who, with Rubbish, finished in third spot – giving his Kantar colleagues a glimmer of hope for next season but also a message that you can’t blame a low league position on a Kantar curse; it’s just poor management.
Have a great summer. We’ll be keeping an eye on the Euros – probably not so much to see how England get on, but more to scout out talent for the new season. That’ll start in August so expect an invite before then. Hope to see you there.