While the best of the Premier League performers this season are deservedly taking plaudits, we're here to point out the players simply did not perform. Here is a "worst XI" of the campaign of 2015-16.
GK: Featuring in only six games does not automatically make you a sub-par goalkeeper but Adam Bogdan did himself few favours when he did step in for Liverpool. He had actually started the season well, saving three penalties in a League Cup shootout win over Carlisle, but then he was called up for Liverpool's match at Watford in December. He was glaringly at fault for the home side's two early goals and did not start another league game until the final day of the season.
RB: Carl Jenkinson saw his West Ham season ended by injury against Manchester City in January but had, in contrast to his first loan spell from Arsenal, endured poor form to that point and seen winter signing Sam Byram impress before succumbing to fitness issues of his own. Unfortunately for Jenkinson, who is now back with the Gunners, he looks set for a summer in limbo.
LB: An experienced Greek left-back, Jose Holebas' arrived from Roma as part of Watford's summer influx but he rarely broke into the side and was perhaps a victim of his own complacency, with his then-manager Quique Sanchez Flores saying in October that "maybe when he arrived, he thought it would be easy to play at Watford". Not so, and he only managed an 11 league appearances in a deeply underwhelming campaign.
CB: It should have been the kind of experienced centre-back signing needed to steer a club through a potentially tricky season. Instead, Joleon Lescott managed -- whether intentionally or not -- to alienate Aston Villa fans by tweeting a picture of an expensive car after a 6-0 defeat to Liverpool and later claiming that relegation was "a weight off the shoulders". It was probably just clumsy wording but his performances in a shoddy back line did not exactly cut him much slack.
CB: You need leaders when you are stuck in a relegation dogfight and Fabricio Coloccini, who has been around the block for long enough to know better, provided few such qualities for Newcastle. A red card in the ignominious 3-0 defeat at Sunderland in October was a low point but he was involved in a number of other spineless defeats and the calf injury that ended the 34-year-old's season in February was something of a blessing.
MF: There was plenty of optimism when, prior to their 3-3 draw with Manchester United in January, Newcastle paraded big-money midfield signings Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet on the St James' Park pitch. Saivet came with good pedigree, the Senegal international having thrived at Bordeaux before his £5 million move, but he did not make an appearance after Feb. 6 and was even taunted by a banner from the fans he had left behind in France.
MF: With five top-flight seasons at West Brom under his belt and seemingly in the prime of his career, Youssouf Mulumbu seemed a decent signing for Norwich after their promotion from the Championship. But a preseason injury meant he did not make his debut until October and he struggled to get going after that, playing only seven times in the league and making hardly any impact in a central midfield area where Norwich never quite found the right combination.
MF: Perhaps it is harsh to poke too much fun at Jack Grealish, who is still just 20 and may have a glittering future ahead of him. Some of his off-pitch exploits have not helped his image, though, while more damaging figures lie on the pitch. Villa lost all 16 league games in which he has featured and former manager Remi Garde made him train with the U21s in November after tiring of his indiscipline.
MF: Like Grealish, Memphis Depay may have time on his side at 22 and it can take a season for any player to adapt to Premier League life. But Manchester United have simply not had enough for their £25m fee so far; two league goals is not a convincing return and Depay's lack of progress is cast into light by the rapid development of both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. It is not as if Louis van Gaal has denied opportunities to his forwards.
FW: The huge frustration with Scott Sinclair is that surely things should not have come to this. Four years ago he was an exhilarating player for Swansea and, while a permanent move to Villa last summer seemed a decent opportunity to get his top-flight career back on track after a disastrous stint at Manchester City, the season could barely have gone worse. Sinclair's two goals both came in an August draw with Sunderland; after that, he summed up the disappointment and lack of fulfilment around the entire Villa side.
FW: Can there be a better example than Cameron Jerome to show the leap from Championship to Premier League is simply too great? Jerome scored 21 goals for Norwich in their 2014-15 promotion season but managed just three in 35 this time around. Norwich's main problem throughout the campaign was a lack of firepower and Jerome, while undoubtedly a hard and selfless worker, was not up to the job.