THIS was billed as the season of the super managers — all the big guns shooting it out for the title.
We had Pep Guardiola moving in with his medals at Manchester City to face Jose Mourinho, fresh in at United.
And serial winner Antonio Conte coming to the capital to fight Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger.
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Plus Jurgen Klopp in his first full season at Liverpool, hoping his methods had taken hold.
And with only four Champions League spots to aim for, it was meant to be a battle royale.
Well, Conte’s Chelsea put an end to that — blowing away the opposition with ease and taking the Prem crown with something to spare.
It all started so differently. But Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat at Arsenal was a blessing in disguise.
That saw Conte implement his favourite three-at-the-back system and they have not looked back since.
He has drilled them non-stop — and having the midweeks clear, with no European football, has obviously helped. Ideally, as a manager, you want your team to mirror you and Conte has that with Chelsea.
His work ethic as a player was second to none — just like his squad this season.
There are no weaknesses.
And they have been successful because what each individual does on the pitch also helps the player next to them. For example, if Eden Hazard drives inside with the ball, it creates space for the wing-back.
They all know their individual jobs, which helps the whole. They are like a well-oiled machine and that is down to Conte.
He was pushed hardest by Pochettino and his fantastic Spurs side.
The Argentine is building a really outstanding team at the North London club.
This was, though, a great chance for them to win the league.
With them playing home games at Wembley next season, it will be harder.
Spurs play great stuff but they do not have any medals to show for it — that will hurt.
Now they have to look at their wage structure as other clubs will be sniffing around and offering double. But they have an unbelievable nucleus of young, quality players that can grow together if they can keep them.
If they lose one to a club like United, who knows?
If someone goes to Real Madrid for silly money, fair enough. But selling to a Prem rival . . . that’s different.
Pochettino’s recruitment has largely been fantastic. He has also impressed with his ability to switch tactically, even mid-game. He must be all over it on the training ground.
He is an outstanding manager and I love watching Spurs.
I just hope they can keep it all together.
In August, most pundits were predicting a Pep v Jose fight for the title.
It did not turn out like that and for Pep it was maybe asking too much.
This year has been about learning — and he will have learnt a lot.
He loves intelligent players who can buy into his tactical, forward-thinking plan.
This summer the age of the squad will plummet, as you can see with City releasing a host of players in their thirties — including Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy.
Bernardo Silva, 22, is the first replacement to arrive. Younger players are more open to change.
Pep will be a major force next season now he has come to terms with what it’s all about.
Just like with Pep, maybe it was too much to expect Mourinho to challenge for the title in his first season.
But it still goes down as a very good campaign.
Ajax was one of the biggest matches in United’s recent history. A crossroads.
If they lost, it would have been a poor season. But now it’s three trophies and Champions League qualification.
They have not been great to watch but they are a work in progress.
Only Chelsea and Spurs have got the right balance between defence and attack. And now Mourinho has got the defence right — United only shipped 29 goals — he will look to add more stardust up top.
For now, he has them back in the Champions League and back winning trophies. That’s a good start.
Down the road, Klopp did what was asked of him at Liverpool — he has got a huge club back in the Champions League.
Now he needs to build. It was a strange season. He he had no problems with the top six but the “smaller” clubs frustrated him by sitting deep and forcing players out wide.
Klopp’s Reds are not cut out to cross into the box as they have no aerial threat.
That’s something he may look at. He must find a way to counter teams that sit, as he failed to deal with that during this campaign.
It’s a disappointing Prem campaign for Arsenal and Wenger. He would have had high hopes as the season got underway.
He should have already revealed the plan for next season — and, now that he has won his seventh FA Cup, I’d be amazed if he doesn’t stay.
Tactically, he has shown some flexibility by moving to three at the back. But he has been undone by his love of a particular type of player.
You cannot question the squad’s ability but you can question the variety. There’s just too many of one type of player and Arsene must accept the blame for that.
Look at Chelsea with Nemanja Matic, N’Golo Kante and Gary Cahill, who can put themselves about. You need that.
Arsenal are lovely on the eye but what sets the great sides apart is being able to mix it up.