Another action packed English Premier League season has finally came to the end and we unwillingly welcome a summer break without any major European football to look forward to. But there is one man who will go on holiday with a big smile on his face is Arsène Wenger. Constantly written off this season, Arsenal stood up to the pressure of a must-win game against Newcastle United, beating them 1-0 away from home to secure the final Champions League spot ahead of Tottenham Hotspur by a single point.
It’s not all bad news for Spurs manager André Villas-Boas. While it is a shame they missed out on the Champions League after a great mid-season run, it appears that Gareth Bale, the club’s talisman, is poised to sign a new deal to stay at Hotspur. The English presence in next season’s Champions League will be the same as this season: Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, who will only enter the group stage if they win their play-offs in the pre-season. It will be interesting to see if they can go any further in this competition than they did this year.
Reading, Queens Park Rangers and Wigan are headed back to the Championship with Cardiff City and Hull taking their place in the Premiership after grabbing the automatic promotion slots. Watford and Crystal Palace go head to head in the Championship play-off final on 27 May to win the final Premier League ticket.
The 2012/13 season marked some sea change in the Premier League with the top three clubs changing their managers. With Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and Roberto Mancini’s sacking, it will be interesting to see what their successors, David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini (whose appointment is still waiting to be officially announced) can do in their new posts. José Mourinho is almost certain to return to Stamford Bridge after Real Madrid announced his departure and the “Special One” will bring an extra edge to the Premier League. Some old legs, such as Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher and Paul Scholes, waved goodbye to the football world after long and successful careers but the EPL never lacks for new things – next season “Eagle Eye” technology lands on English soil to assist the referees and we look forward to the new viewing experience that has already proved so popular in sports such as tennis and cricket.