It may not have had the whirlwind ending of last, but this season has still generated headlines galore. Daniel Storey draws ten Premier League conclusions...
Following Man United's decision to appoint David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, Matt Stanger looks at ten bosses who have struggled to maintain success...
10. Norwich Giving In To Grant Holt's Demands
After bagging 15 goals in his debut season in the Premier League, Holt was struck by delusions of grandeur in the summer, announcing his transfer request on Twitter with the hashtag '#lovedmytime'. Both West Ham and Aston Villa expressed an interest in the chunky hitman, with a £4million move mooted in the papers, but eventually Norwich caved in to Holt's demands and rewarded the striker with a bumper new contract. Unfortunately for the Canaries the gamble has failed to pay off with Holt looking off the pace and scoring just four goals this year as the team languish in the bottom half of the table.
9. Newcastle Resting On Their Laurels
Although Newcastle's shrewd business in January should steer them away from trouble, the Magpies are still left to rue their failure to strengthen in the summer. Following such an impressive campaign, it was vital for Newcastle to try and build on their success ahead of a return to European competition this season. But instead of adding quality to the squad, the Toon board dithered in the transfer window, leaving Alan Pardew short as suspensions and injuries piled up before Christmas. It was always unlikely that Newcastle would repeat their impressive fifth-place finish, but they certainly would have stood a better chance if they hadn't been so frugal in the summer.
8. Liverpool Putting Their Faith In Agger/Skrtel Partnership
Although Liverpool had the joint-third best defence in the Premier League last season, Brendan Rodgers may be ruing his summer decision to reject Man City's interest in Daniel Agger and hand Martin Skrtel a new long-term contract. While Agger's performances have been below his usual level - underlined by a poor night against West Brom - Skrtel's form has tumbled over the edge of a cliff. The defender has been dropped for the last five Premier League matches and further damaged his reputation with poor displays in the cup defeats to Oldham and Zenit St Petersburg. With Jamie Carragher set to retire at the end of the season, Rodgers will be desperate to add new faces in the summer to improve the Reds' defensive fortunes.
7. Spurs' Centre-Back Pairing Against Leeds In The FA Cup
It's been refreshing to see Andre Villas-Boas taking the cup competitions seriously this season, but the manager must regret his starting line-up against Leeds which saw Spurs exit the FA Cup in the fourth round. Villas-Boas selected a centre-back pairing of Steven Caulker and Jan Vertonghen for the tough test at Elland Road and both defenders struggled against Leeds' long balls over the top. As the Championship side cruised into a 2-0 lead, it was clear that Michael Dawson would have been a better option against the hosts' aerial assault, and Villas-Boas admitted that his team "were always chasing the game" after Spurs' disappointing defeat.
6. Liverpool Spending £25million on Joe Allen and Fabio Borini
We've said it before and we'll say it again; spending £25million on Joe Allen and Fabio Borini was just plain crazy. Both players may eventually prove their worth to Liverpool, but neither has made an impression in their first season with Borini failing to prove his worth before his unfortunate injury troubles and Allen losing his place to Jordan Henderson in recent weeks. Brendan Rodgers was accused of excessive caution in the summer after signing two players he had worked with previously, but in truth the manager's signings were embarrassingly frivolous and the Reds were taught a lesson in finding value for money by Swansea's reinvestment of the £15million they received for Allen. Liverpool's January deals for Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho have offered more encouragement, but Rodgers may find it hard to convince FSG to back him in the summer after his previous mistakes.
5. Too Much Too Soon At Chelsea
Roman Abramovich celebrated Chelsea's maiden Champions League victory with a summer spending spree designed to initiate an open, more attacking style of play at the club. Eden Hazard and Oscar arrived for big money to play behind Fernando Torres, who was further indulged as the Blues allowed Didier Drogba to leave without signing a replacement, while Marko Marin and Victor Moses also joined as back-up to the first team. But with Michael Essien allowed to leave on loan and Raul Meireles sold to Fenerbahce, Chelsea left themselves with a soft underbelly in midfield and a squad short of vital experience. As results took a turn for the worse in November, it was clear the Blues had tried to achieve too much too soon with their transition to a new style of play and the squad lacked the necessary steel to recover. Although they have managed to hold on to third place thus far, Chelsea could end up trophyless in a difficult and disappointing season.
4. Arsenal's FA Cup Exit
As sure as night follows day, Arsenal cup exit follows Arsenal cup exit. After the embarrassing defeat to Bradford in the League Cup and extremely difficult draw against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, the FA Cup was Arsenal's only realistic remaining chance of winning a trophy this season and ending their eight-year hoodoo. It was therefore clearly a mistake for Arsene Wenger to rest his three best players against Blackburn, with the manager forced to throw Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott on in the second half to inject life into an insipid performance. Despite making several changes to his starting line-up - including handing a start to the...erm...mercurial Gervinho - Wenger bemoaned the Gunners' lack of consistency, before adding that the team need "to show more maturity on the mental front". Do things ever change?
3. QPR Making A Rod For Their Own Back
It's hard to narrow down QPR's list of regrets to a single example with a number of factors contributing to their desperate plight. Mark Hughes' transfer plans in the summer laid the foundations for a poor season, and it was foolish of Tony Fernandes to back the manager's moves to bring in aging players on high wages and expensive gambles such as Esteban Granero and Stephane Mbia, who have failed to adapt to the Rs' relegation battle. The club's mistakes have been compounded by more excessive spending in January, with Loic Remy and Chris Samba arriving for big money despite Harry Redknapp's claim that he wouldn't let Fernandes have his 'pants pulled down'. Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, this has certainly been a season to regret at Loftus Road.
2. Roberto Mancini's Starting Line-Up Against Man United
Nick Miller covered Man City's woes this season in more depth here, but one particular regret that stands out in a disappointing campaign is Roberto Mancini's decision to start Mario Balotelli in the Manchester derby. Before the fixture, City had won six of the seven matches Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero had started together and it was clear that the Argentine duo were the strongest pairing available to Mancini. But the manager opted to play Balotelli, who scored only once in the Premier League this year before his sale to AC Milan, and the striker's ponderous performance forced an irate Mancini to throw Tevez on immediately after half time. The 29-year-old was key in City wrestling the score back to 2-2 but after United grabbed a late winner, the champions were left to reflect on a missed opportunity that could have tightened the race for the title.
1. Roberto Di Matteo's Starting Line-Up Against Juventus
Roman Abramovich was reluctant to appoint Roberto Di Matteo on a permanent basis in the summer, but Chelsea started the season in fantastic form, surging into top spot with seven wins and a draw from their first eight matches. However, when the Blues' form started to slide in November, Di Matteo struggled to find a solution and his 'false nine' formation against Juventus sealed his fate as Abramovich's false ninth. Although Fernando Torres' form has proved a problem for a succession of Chelsea managers, it was a ridiculous idea for Di Matteo to try an entirely unfamiliar system in a game of such importance and it was little surprise to see the Blues thrashed 3-0. The defeat ensured the end of the Italian's brief tenure as well as Chelsea's ignominy of being the first Champions League holders to exit at the group stage.
Matt Stanger - follow him on Twitter.
Surely Arsenal selling RVP has to be in at No.1?- eyeball tickler