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End of season report Pt.2: Berahino wastes a season whilst Sigurdsson shines

Sunderland+v+Everton+Premier+League+rLjKGs5iBYGlLast week we brought you the first half of our end of term report cards for each Premier League club.   This week we look at the best and worst of each team that finished in the bottom half of the table.

Everton

Star pupil:  Slim pickings here. Romelu Lukaku gets the nod on the basis of his 18 league goals – a career best return for the 23 year old, however, he failed to find the net in any of the Toffees final 8 league games.

Must do better:  Ross Barkley. The England midfielder’s form tailed off alarmingly after January. We’ll know next season whether that was a result of Roberto Martinez coaching or Barkley’s own lack of application.

Swansea City

Star pupil: Gyfli Sigurdsson. The Icelander was the cream of the crop for the Welsh club once again. 7 of his 11 goals came in games where Swansea avoided defeat. A key contribution to their relatively comfortable survival.

Must do better:  Baftetimbi Gomis. 4 goals in 4 games at the start of the season, just two in the league thereafter.

Watford

Star pupil:  Troy Deeney. 13 goals in his first season as a Premier League striker, Hornets skipper Deeney led by example. Deserves huge credit for turning his life around after serving time in prison.

Must do better:  Heurelho Gomes. Maybe a little harsh but the keeper’s form dipped as his teams did post-Christmas. Some decent displays but also some mistakes which cost valuable points.  An upgrade is required.

West Bromwich Albion

Star pupil:  Darren Fletcher. It seemed illness would curtail Fletcher’s career a few years back. The fact he’s been able to resurrect it so emphatically after swapping Manchester United for West Brom is inspirational. The Baggies captain started every one of their 38 league games.

Must do better: Saido Berahino. A total waste of a season for the want away striker. A miserable campaign, the lowlight of which saw Berahino miss two penalties in the second half of last month’s defeat to Watford.

Crystal Palace

Star pupil: Scott Dann. Another season of consistent, solid performances in the heart of the Eagles’ defence. Seemingly not quite England calibre, as a reliable Premier League performer, Dann will nonetheless attract suitors this summer.

Must do better: Wilfried Zaha. Only flashes of quality from the winger. Next season feels like a big one for a whose career trajectory has been downwards for the last couple of years

Bournemouth

Star pupil:  Josh King.  The Norway international found himself thrust into the first team spotlight in the absence of others.  He responded with vital goals in wins against Manchester United, Newcastle United, Swansea City and Aston Villa.

Must do better: Glenn Murray. Left Crystal Palace in search of regular football but didn’t find it on the south coast, failing to start a league game after Christmas as injuries and loss of form meant he was no longer part of Eddie Howe’s thinking

Sunderland

Star pupil: Jermain Defoe. Two years ago, it seemed Defoe’s top level career was over when he swapped the Premier League for MLS with Toronto FC. After returning from Canada, Defoe played his part in keeping Sunderland up in the 2014/15 campaign but this time around he was critical. Without Defoe’s 15 league goals, Sunderland surely wouldn’t have survived.

Must do better: Emmanuel Eboue.  The 32 year old joined the Black Cats in March but failed to make an appearance before being banned for a year by FIFA for failing to pay his former agent, just 22 days after he’d signed for Sunderland

Newcastle United

Star pupil: Jamal Lascelles. Refreshing honesty from the young defender who admitted the burden of responsibility for the Magpies failures lay with the players. Lascelles was one of few whose commitment couldn’t be questioned.  He’ll be vital to Newcastle’s cause next season

Must do better:  Jack Colback. Hardly Newcastle’s worst player in a sea of mediocrity but a big disappointment given how well he performed in his first season on Tyneside.

Norwich City

Star pupil:  Timm Klose. That the stand out player for Norwich made just 10 appearances tells you all you need to know about the Canaries season

Must do better: Cameron Jerome. The archetypal “good in the Championship, not good enough for the Premier League” kind of striker.  18 goals to help fire Norwich into the Premier League, followed by just 3 this time around, none of which were scored in 2016.

Aston Villa

Star pupil:  Ashley Westwood. One player who at least gave 100 per cent in every game. Westwood knows all about the Football League from his Crewe days and as such will be one of very few players the incoming Villa boss will surely want to retain.

Must do better:  Literally every other member of the squad but in particular Jack Grealish.  Remember all that fuss about which country he would pick to play for? Halcyon days for the 20 year old, he didn’t start a league game after the defeat at Sunderland on January 2nd.

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