Its’s the most traumatic time of the year for football fans when the Premier League season ends. All those weekend afternoons and midweek evenings, previously filled with all-consuming matches, now suddenly feels empty and devoid of meaning.
But fear not. Its’s still possible to live a meaningful life for football fans. There is more football to come, there is football-related activities to come, and last but not least, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to actually be glad that the season is over.
Here, we give you 10 good reasons to be cheerful, even after the Premier League season has finished.
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1. Aston Villa supporters will no longer have their weekends ruined by watching that awful team
Relief has been the buzz-word around Villa Park these last few weeks, and I guess relief would be a pretty accurate description of how the average Villa fan feels about the fact that the season has come to an end.
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It’s the mark of a truly terrible campaign, when the discussion centres around whether this team is the worst, not only in this year's Premier League, but in the whole Premier League era.
2. Pep Guardiola can finally do some good for Manchester City
It has been every club owners dream for years: to get Pep.
Now, Manchester City have finally got their man. Although so far, the Spaniard, admittedly through no fault of his own, has only contributed to making the City team poorer.
Since the announcement of Guardiola's arrival on February 1, City have suffered a marked downturn in form, culminating in their truly half-hearted attempt to reach the Champions League final.
City's average points per game tally in the league before and after Guardiola was announced as their new manager is quite revealing, with a noticeable drop from 1.91 points per game before February 1 to 1.47 after that date.
Guardiola's average points per game ratio during his manager career, by the way, is a half-decent 2.48. So, I guess the Manchester City fans look forward to seeing him at the Etihad.
3. The long goodbye at the Boleyn Ground is finally over
The Hammers played their last game at the famous old ground against Manchester United, and the club and fans paid tribute to their home in Upton Park during 112 Years.
They say there’s a first time for everything. Well, at the Boleyn, there surely was a last time for everything too.
Through the entire season we have had to listen to how this game is the last one ever, against this team, in this tournament, at the Boleyn.
It all became a bit boring, but now its’s thankfully over, as West Ham will move into its new taxpayer-funded home at the Olympic Stadium from next season.
4. The maddest transfer window ever is coming up
This summer's transfer window will probably be the craziest ever in England, as 20 nouveau rich Premier League clubs fight it out for every half-decent footballer out there.
In addition, several of the traditional big spenders are in rebuilding mode, which really means cash-spending mode, after a season where they’ve underperformed and subsequently changed manager.
All football fans should try to enjoy the transfer window, as we ultimately pay for the madness.
5. Jurgen Klopp can get to work on part two of the Anfield revolution
Jurgen Klopp has worked wonders with the Liverpool team since he came into the club seven months ago, and he has done it, to a large degree, with the players that already were at the club.
He resisted the temptation to bring in lots of new players in January. That was probably a very wise move. It gave the existing squad a fair chance to prove themselves, and vice versa, it gave Klopp enough time to properly assess the players.
Recruitment is such a vital part of a manager's job these days, and it’ll be very interesting see how Klopp approaches the market this summer.
If his wonderful skills in team management and motivation is coupled with a successful summer in the transfer market, the future looks bright for the red part of Merseyside.
6. Jamie Vardy, and everybody else at Leicester, can have their party
Let’s not waste time trying to find new and brilliant ways to describe how fantastic Leicester City have been this season, or how big a surprise it was when they cruised to the Premier League title.
Instead, we should just wish them a very happy summer. If there ever were a group of players who really deserved to let their hair down, it’s the Leicester boys.
7. We will finally know if Jose Mourinho gets the Manchester United job
You have to wonder if Manchester United fans really want Jose Mourinho as their manager, as I've yet to hear one of them show any kind of enthusiasm when they discuss the possibility.
You get the impression they see the Portuguese as some kind of necessary evil; it won't be any fun, but we have to do it, to get the club back where it belongs.
The speculations surrounding the manager position at Old Trafford have been going on since Christmas now, so I guess it will be a relief for all parties when a decision finally is made.
As Louis van Gaal likes to put it: we shall see what happens.
8. Chelsea fans can finally bring down the curtains on the club's worst season in the Roman Abramovich era
What a difference a year makes. 12 months ago, Chelsea were champions of England. Mourinho was negotiating a new four-year deal, which he signed later that summer, and Eden Hazard, Chelsea's star player, had just been voted Player of the Year by both his fellow professionals and the football writers.
A year down the line, it has all changed. The Blues' title defence was pretty much over before a quarter of the season had passed, and Mourinho was sent packing before the Christmas decorations were brought out.
Hazard, meanwhile, performed a disappearance-act that would have made the great Harry Houdini proud (the Blues' number 10 has reappeared and even found some form during the last couple of weeks, just at the right time - for Belgium).
Chelsea fans must be thankful that their nightmare season has come to an end, and even all those opposing fans and neutrals who have basked in schadenfreude must have had enough by now.
9. There are still a few treats left in the club-football calendar
While the league football may be finished for the season in most European countries, there are still a considerable number of domestic and European cup finals left to be played.
It kicks off with the big cup-final weekend on May 21 and 22, when domestic cup finals in Italy, France, and Spain follow the FA Cup final between Crystal Palace and Manchester United.
The conclusion of the club season is the final in the Champions League, between city rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, on Saturday May 28.
The game will be played at the iconic San Siro stadium in Milan. A cruel reminder to fans of the city's two fallen giants Internazionale and AC Milan. The current season is the first in 60 years that none of them had qualified for any of the European cups.
10. The Euros are coming up
International football. So often an unwelcome distraction in the fixture schedule, forcing us to forgo the high-octane Premier League football to watch Wayne Rooney and his teammates harass some poor bus-driver from San Marino.
Every other summer however, when the big tournaments comes around, it all changes completely, and on June 10 the four-week football party kicks off. Just as the big tournaments are the pinnacle of a professional footballer's career, it is also the pinnacle of an armchair football fans' career. Enjoy!
Who do you think will win the Premier League next season? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!
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