The Roar
The Roar


Haiku review: A poetic assessment of every EPL side's 2015-16 campaign

Leicester City's win was one for the underdogs. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
16th May, 2016

When the season ends, the churning stops. There’s a unsettling disquiet in the air; our stomachs, having twisted, fallen and flipped with every goal, every tackle, every result, suddenly unclenches itself.

We realise that, as painful as the wrenching can be, the absence of it makes us fidget just as much, as our eyes nervously flick toward that day in August when the great machine roars back into life, as it must.

As soon as the Premier League table stops vibrating with potential, and recedes back into its stony final placings, a tremendous cathartic release occurs, as the furious toiling ends and the prizes and punishments are handed out.

A sea of past opportunities, rippled by the tears of those relegated damned and those weeping gloriously in victory, retreats back toward the horizon, in preparation for the crashing wave of the 2016-17 season.

It’s at this time that we can get a little poetic about it all, in the soft silent moments following the season’s conclusion. Season reviews are published everywhere, as the memories – things we only now realise we didn’t engrave deep enough into our minds – are relived.

There is a pain in looking back with too much scrutiny, so instead of a traditional evaluation of 2015-16, perhaps something more ephemeral would do. Why not review this season, the most unique in Premier League history, in Haiku?

The stunningly restrained, lilting poetic architecture of the Haiku can be hard to arrange around the muscular tussles of modern football.

A 5-7-5 syllabic structure – in actual fact, a slightly makeshift anglicised version of the traditional Japanese structure – is hardly enough to encapsulate an entire Premier League campaign, more a drifting impression of it, a barely-heard whisper caught by a warm breeze, imparting as much as it can with the barest caress.

Such as they are, bespoke Haikus have been written for each team.


AFC Bournemouth
Limping, they fought it
Wilson down convalescing
Howe, King of Dean Court

Arsene stands alone
in front of a bawling crowd
hand cupped to his ear

Aston Villa
The black end arrives
a throat of bitter spittle
woe… Relegation…

Now that Jose’s gone
we are happier… freer
was it worth it, Cesc?

Crystal Palace
Our muscles rippled
in early season, but, mind:
Pardew never lasts

Roberto, aesthete,
a grand two-year lesson in
“To wreck a defence”

Leicester City
No chance, Claudio
your flighty lot will fall soon
my god… you did it!

Teeth bared, Kop behind
Klopp can see something in there
To sink them into


Manchester City
Thank you, old Manuel
but, make your way hastily
a Pep in your step

Manchester United
The Theatre of Dreams,
numbed, congealed, sedated
what – where – is the goal?

Newcastle United
Swollen, flapping, flop
the magpie bobs horribly
on a salty sea

Norwich City
Forlornly, they leave
heads high, hearts heavy and filled
with the song: “if only”

Another season
thriving, and comfortable,
from their own stable

Stoke City
These imports catch eyes,
but gilded names like these, Mark
don’t win you games, Mark

One big man, shouting
one little man, shoots and scores
to save a drowned cat

Swansea City
The Swan, feather-white
once so jubilant and clear
now looks so pallid


Tottenham Hotspur
Youth, wonderful youth
not yet though, boys, not just yet
there’s growing to do

So proud they should be
safe and sound, on solid ground
there’s the door, Quique

West Bromwich Albion
A gnarled stone rampart
six feet of gristle and knees
a capped man smiling

West Ham United
Bubbles soar, dawn breaks
above a new, shiny home
arm-in-arm, wet-cheeked.

Please, if any of these disappoint, compose your own and leave them below. Onward to the Euros!