Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.48.55

Yes, new lows were possible for Gerrard’s goodbye tour
Sunday’s visit to the Britannia Stadium was billed as the emotional and dramatic end to Steven Gerrard’s fantastic career at Liverpool and in the Premier League as the Champions League winner prepared for life in LA. Despite the romantic rhetoric however, Stoke had other plans as they dealt the Reds their heaviest defeat in 52 years as they embarrassed Brendan Rodgers with a truly humbling 6-1 defeat. With questions already raised over Rodgers’ tenure at the club, this huge defeat has hurled the manager’s position into real question as Liverpool were replaced by Tottenham Hotspur in fifth position. For Stoke City however, this emphatic victory provided the perfect end to a sublime season that saw Mark Hughes’ side rack up a record 54 points and a confortable 9th position. BF

West Ham are rolling the dice this summer
The decision of the West Ham United board to let go Sam Allardyce’s contract expire this summer is not the most surprising one, but it may be risky given the fate of their departing manager’s previous clubs once he left. Allardyce’s appointment a few years ago was unpopular but the need to secure Premier League football was a priority and they knew he was reliable, albeit expensive. The Hammers were not only away from the relegation fight this season but were incredibly fourth at Christmas, so perhaps it’s more than a little harsh that Allardyce isn’t being kept on. Four wins in the 21 league games since, though – more like the form seen last season – is more of an indication as to why the board perhaps thought they could look elsewhere. With the Olympic Stadium move next year it is imperative that they get this next managerial appointment right, as they’re not necessarily as established as the 12th-placed finish suggests. JW

Harry Kane reminds us all how pivotal he is
The last day of the season offered up only a few possible dramas, mainly at the bottom end of the table, but in keeping with his phenomenal campaign Tottenham’s Harry Kane once again offered up a season changing moment for the North London side. With Liverpool suffering their huge loss at Stoke City, the door was left ajar for fifth position and the Europa League, and so Harry Kane provided the push needed to help Tottenham earn that spot as only he can. With his 31st goal of the season, Kane equalled Gareth Bale’s Premier League record, further cementing his status as one of the most valuable players in the division. Tottenham’s season has had its ups and downs but this last day reminder of the ability of young Kane, will provide a massive boost to Spurs come the new season. BF

Palace could be a real threat with a stable season
Results elsewhere meant that Crystal Palace’s win over Swansea City on the final day was enough to lift The Eagles to a first top ten finish in the top flight since 1992. It’s a remarkable achievement for the South London side and manager Alan Pardew, especially since the club was in the relegation zone with just three league wins when he arrived in late December, and it makes us wonder just how well they’d fare with a full season under their gaffer. Palace fans have felt this hope before, though, and only a year ago at that. Tony Pulis masterminded a similar rescue operation at the club – albeit with much more time – and had supporters dreaming  before he abruptly quit on the eve of this league season. That experience means Palace will likely only be cautiously optimistic of this team’s potential despite the best league finish in a generation, as recent memories show the importance of retaining and building on the club’s core as the main focus for further success. JW

The most almighty of clearouts is coming in Humberside
Even though Newcastle United’s win sealed their fate regardless, Hull City were unable to get a surprise result against Manchester United and The Tigers now face Championship football next season. While Burnley will be able to retain the core of their side that went down, Hull are more likely to have the kind of massive rehaul already expected at Queens Park Rangers due to the ambitious and expensive signings made since promotion. While parachute payments for relegated sides continue to skyrocket, the sort of players brought in to Humberside – the Abel Hernandez, Mohamed Diame and Nikica Jelavic’s of this world – still won’t likely want nor have to hang around for much longer. It’s not the year Steve Bruce had in mind after their achievements in the last campaign, but it seems Hull are going to have to go back to square one. JW

Words by Joe Walker and Ben Fawcett