2016 Premier League table
As we enter 2017, Sports Gazette takes a look at the Premier League table for the year 2016...
That's it, 2016 is over and what a year of football it has been.
We saw England go through three different managers, Portugal won their first major tournament and Leicester City won the Premier League!
But how where would the Foxes place if the table were tracked per annum? Sports Gazette has the answer...
After a slow start, 13 wins in a row helped Antonio Conte's Chelsea finish the year top of the Premier League table and top of the 2016 table. The Blues were the only team to average over two points per game (2.08).
Similar to the season table, Chelsea lead Liverpool in second by six points at the end of 2016 as Jurgen Klopp's men have finally found their feet as genuine title contenders.
Next up are Manchester United, who have had a good year under both Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. Just one point behind historic rivals Liverpool, United fans will be hoping they can build on their good run in 2017.
Closing out the top four are a team from North London who could have finished higher had their game not been moved for television. With the best defence of the year, Tottenham Hotspur are building themselves up to be a team capable of fighting for the title - after recovering from a May meltdown.
Europa League spots
Below Tottenham for the first time since 1995, Arsenal would fail to qualify for the Champions League if the table was taken over a calendar year - though they have played a game less than most. A case of too many draws for Arsene Wenger's men, who started 2016 as favourites for the Premier League title.
Behind Arsenal on goal difference, Manchester City have endured a slightly below-par 2016 under Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola. City missed the chance to finish in the top four after their final day defeat against Liverpool, finishing with a points per game average of 1.82.
There is a six-point gap between sixth and seventh as Southampton would give themselves a fighting chance for the Europa League if cup wins were to go their way. Another team that has played under two managers, the Saints are now part of the furniture in the Premier League.
Eighteen months ago, if you had offered Leicester City fans an eighth-place finish, they would have no doubt snapped your hand off. However, at the end of a ridiculous year we are looking at it as another disappointing title defence from a team in blue.
A new stadium has been welcomed with mediocrity at West Ham United as they finish 2016 with one of the worst defences. Manager Slaven Bilic will be hoping to turn the London Stadium into a fortress in the New Year and a push for Europe.
Everton are the highest-placed team to finish 2016 with more defeats than wins. Both Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman have been unable to find the formula at the School of Science.
Tony Pulis is often slated for being too defensive and it somewhat justified by West Bromwich Albion having the second-worst attack of 2016. Despite their defence shipping less goals than Liverpool, fans will no doubt want to see more from the team in the New Year.
Bournemouth were backed to go down in their debut Premier League season but enjoyed a good first 18-months under Eddie Howe. Now, the Cherries are ready to fight for their right to stay in the top flight.
Stoke City are a side with good attacking talent that are seriously underperforming. A disastrous start to the 2016/17 season has Mark Hughes in real need of finding a way to get the best out of his men.
Everything was looking rosy at Sunderland before Sam Allardyce left for a brief spell as England manager. Now, they are flirting with relegation once more under David Moyes and something needs to change.
Swansea City were once referred to as a well-run club. But three managers and the worst defence in 2016 sees the Swans as relegation fodder.
Despite reaching the FA Cup semi-final in April, Watford sacked Quique Sanchez Flores. The Hornets have faltered under new man Walter Mazzarri, with the poor form of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney contributing to the worst attack of the year.
The worst Premier League team in 2016. The worst English league team in 2016. Things had looked promising for Crystal Palace when Alan Pardew returned in 2015 but after a good first year Palace fell. And they have struggled to get up since.
Best of the half-timers
These are the sides that only managed 19 games in 2016, with things looking good for Burnley. Sean Dyche's men won just four fewer points in 2016 than Crystal Palace, despite the Eagles playing 18 more games.
Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United gave a respectable account for themselves before going down, winning two more points than newly-promoted rivals Middlesbrough.
Norwich City finished a further four points off before being relegated in May with struggling new-boys Hull City just a point behind them.
And with just nine points in 19 games, it is clear to see how Aston Villa were relegated at the end of the 2015/16 season.