I am officially rested and recharged, and back with some more Hoddles. Shall we?
Ramble of the Day
Since the Expectation-Embarrassment Index takes all competitions into consideration, it made sense to delay this season’s final edition to this week after three teams played European finals. It worked out for one and didn’t for the other two, but there’s no need to get into that. Again, the Index is a measurement of recent form and so this edition is very clearly about who finished the season nicely.
Let’s dive in for a final exercise in recency bias this season, and here’s the rubric if you need it.
- Liverpool, 47 points (+15 places)
- Leeds United, 40 points (+3 places)
- Arsenal, 39 points (+6 places)
- West Ham United, 36 points (+2 places)
- Chelsea, 35 points (-3 places)
- Tottenham Hotspur, 34 points (+5 places)
- Newcastle United, 33 points (no change)
- Aston Villa, 33 points (no change)
- Leicester City, 33 points (-5 places)
- Brighton & Hove Albion, 32 points (+3 places)
- Everton, 32 points (-1 place)
- Manchester City, 31 points (-11 places)
- Southampton, 28 points (+1 place)
- Manchester United, 28 points (-11 places)
- Crystal Palace, 26 points (+3 places)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers, 24 points (+1 place)
- Sheffield United, 22 points (+2 places)
- Burnley, 21 points (-6 places)
- Fulham, 15 points (+1 place)
- West Bromwich Albion, 14 points (-5 places)
As I always note, the results tend to dictate the table and Liverpool’s were the best — they picked up five out of five wins to close out their season, getting an uneven season on track. A few of the Premier League’s top teams had less steady ends — Manchester City wrapped up the title but lost the Champions League final; Chelsea won the Champions League but lost the FA Cup; Leicester won the FA Cup but threw away a position in the top four in the dying moments of the season. That leads to varied results, for City especially as they had the look of a team on the beach in those meaningless league games.
As for Spurs, they get credit for having a fairly decent run of form but did not get points for entertainment. Others have said this before, but it’s worth stating: having a manager should benefit this team next season.
Since we’re wrapping up the 2020-21 season, though, let’s make this a two-part edition of the Expectation-Embarrassment Index. Here’s the cumulative ranking of the season (from December 14), with average point totals. Again, the higher up the table a team was, the less embarrassing it was over the last five months and change. Here’s how the table looks, 350 available points later:
- Manchester City, 280 points (average of 40 points)
- West Ham United, 253 points (average of 36.1 points)
- Leicester City, 251 points (average of 35.9 points)
- Leeds United, 241 points (average of 34.4 points)
- Chelsea, 237 points (average of 33.9 points)
- Aston Villa, 228 points (average of 32.6 points)
- Manchester United, 227 points (average of 32.4 points)
- Everton, 219 points (average of 32.3 points)
- Southampton, 218 points (average of 31.1 points)
- Liverpool, 217 points (average of 31 points)
- Arsenal, 215 points (average of 30.7 points)
- Tottenham, 208 points (average of 29.7 points)
- Brighton & Hove Albion, 198 points (average of 28.3 points)
- Burnley, 198 points (average of 28.3 points)
- Crystal Palace, 185 points (average of 26.4 points)
- Newcastle United, 185 points (average of 26.4 points)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers, 178 points (average of 25.4 points)
- Fulham, 158 points (average of 22.6 points)
- West Bromwich Albion, 156 points (average of 22.3 points)
- Sheffield United, 124 points (average of 17.7 points)
This feels fairly reasonable. City were obviously the best and the relegated teams were obviously the worst; West Ham, Leeds, and Aston Villa were the type of teams that achieved more than expected; big teams with bad stretches of form paid the price in terms of meeting expectation.
tl;dr: A final round of the Expectation-Embarrassment Index for the 2020-21 season!
Stay informed, read this: Nicole Chung on the burden placed on victims of anti-Asian discrimination to explain their experiences for Time
Links of the Day
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were racially abused on social media after the Champions League final.
Nike dropped Neymar last year after an employee said the player sexually assaulted her.
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne suffered a fractured nose and eye socket during the Champions League final.
MLS’ Inter Miami was fined $2m for violating roster rules when signing five different players.
Transfers: Liverpool signed Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig
A longer read: Maxine Bernstein on the latest in 15-year-old Olivia Moultrie’s antitrust lawsuit against the NWSL, with the league rejecting her latest attempt to join the league for The Oregonian