🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2021/22 | OneFootball

🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2021/22

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That’s a wrap on the 2021/22 Premier League season but there are some awards to hand out before we move on.

Let’s find out what our writers made of the campaign …


👏 Who was your Player of the Season?

Alex Mott: No player has given me more joy this season than Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian maestro is an effortless genius and has once again been at the heart of everything Manchester City have done well this term. There’s simply no one better in the English top flight.

Chloe Beresford: I’d have to go with Mo Salah. I love his energy and dynamism. I watched him when he was on loan at Fiorentina and he just exploded onto the scene – even experienced defenders couldn’t cope with him. 22 goals and 13 assists is a phenomenal contribution in one season.

Dan Burke: For his consistency throughout the season I’m gonna give João Cancelo a shout-out here. He played in 36 of Manchester City’s 38 Premier League games, scoring one league goal and chipping in with seven assists. He’s a brilliant footballer as well.

Joel Sanderson-Murray: Has to be Salah as well for me. His goalscoring form before heading off to the African Cup of Nations was remarkable, and he seemed to be having his own goal of the season competition. Although the goals have dried up since January the Egyptian has still been providing important assists in Liverpool’s quest for the title.

Lewis Ambrose: I would also go with Salah. It’s a funny thing, the order of a season. If Salah’s form in front of goal was flipped, with the goals coming slowly before exploding into life in January, we would all be talking about the season he’s had now. He was devastating for a long period.

Pádraig Whelan: In the same vein as Dan, I’m go with a full-back and his incredible consistency from start to finish this season. While others at Liverpool’s form has fluctuated a little, Trent Alexander-Arnold has been outstanding again.


👶 What about Young Player of the Season?

AM: The amount of young talent shining in the Premier League this season has been one of the genuine highlights but, for me, the best of those has been Declan Rice. Still only 23 but already a complete midfielder who has carried West Ham on his back at times.

CB: It’s weird to think that Phil Foden is still only 21, considering how established he is in an elite side. He’s an incredible young talent. And he’s from my home town, too.

DB: Conor Gallagher for me. He scored eight goals and was probably Crystal Palace’s most influential player. Let’s hope he gets more chances wherever he’s playing next season.

JSM: I’m going to go slightly left-field here and give it to Jacob Ramsey. Villa have one hell of a goalscoring midfielder on their hands who should properly explode next season.

LA: A special mention for Nathan Collins but I just cannot look beyond Bukayo Saka, who has carried Arsenal for long periods and ends the season as the club’s top scorer. No other player under 21 scored as many goals (11) or provided as many as his seven assists.

PW: Conor Gallagher has been the main factor in Crystal Palace’s surprisingly impressive season. He’s given Chelsea some serious food for thought this summer.


🤯 Who or what surprised you most?

AM: The hiring of Ralf Rangnick, on the face of it, seemed like an inspired choice by Manchester United. How wrong I was. The German tactician has utterly failed to get anything out of this disjointed squad and left new permanent Erik ten Hag with a mountain to climb.

CB: Eddie Howe for me. No-one gave him a chance of keeping Newcastle up, and rightly so, considering how far adrift they were when he took over from Steve Bruce in November. Despite the big-money January spend, he’s implemented an excellent tactical plan to revitalise the Magpies to a comfortable mid-table finish.

DB: I was convinced we would have at least a three-horse race for the title and in the early weeks of the season Chelsea were looking like the strongest contender, so for them to drop off and finish 20 points behind the champions was as disappointing as it was surprising.

JSM: West Ham managed to maintain a tilt for a place in the top-six while going deep into the Europa League with a paper-thin squad, no back-up striker and remaining attractive to watch was really impressive work by David Moyes and co.

LA: Just how well Brentford adjusted to life in the top flight. Beware second season syndrome (see Leeds) but there has been so much to like about Thomas Frank’s side.

PW: From misfiring, £40 million striking flop who wasn’t being utilised properly to a breath of fresh air and one of the league’s best deep-lying midfielders. It is safe to say that nobody saw Joelinton’s turnaround coming in a completely new role.


👔 If you had to pick a Manager of the Season, it would be …

AM: The way Jürgen Klopp has managed to juggle four competitions and keep his squad happy for the entire season has been truly remarkable but a special shout-out must also go to Thomas Tuchel who kept Chelsea going despite the club going into free fall off the pitch after Christmas

CB: I’d have to say Jürgen Klopp, and that’s purely personal because as a neutral, I love Liverpool’s style of play in terms of their physicality and the way they bully opponents to win the ball back at every opportunity.

DB: Thomas Frank for me. Many expected Brentford to struggle after they came up via the play-offs but they looked at home in the Premier League straight away and survived comfortably. Norwich and Watford should take note.

JSM: Frank deserves real credit. It looked as if his side had been worked out by the league in December but the signing of Christian Eriksen was enhanced by a tactical switch and their performances post-Christmas have been brilliant.

LA: I can’t look beyond Eddie Howe. Newcastle looked doomed before he arrived and — yes, with a lot of help in the January window — are a completely different team now and looked more or less safe by the middle of March.

PW: To overcome a Liverpool side who lost just twice all season and registered an incredible 92 point tally takes some doing. Pep Guardiola may have plenty of resources but it doesn’t make his achievement any less impressive.


🚀 And your Goal of the Season?

AM: For sheer jaw-dropping, ‘did you see that?’ brilliance it just has to be Bernardo Silva’s volley for Manchester City against Aston Villa. It just gets better every time you watch it.

CB: Rodri’s rocket versus Everton in November. The way he hits it through a crowd of players with pace and accuracy…wow. Special mention to Danny Ings’ overhead kick early on in the campaign, a beautifully worked goal from a throw-in thanks to their set-piece coach. I love it when a plan comes together.

DB: Bernardo Silva’s goal at Villa Park in December was my personal favourite. A precise counter-attack, a pinpoint cross and a volley I wouldn’t even dare try on FIFA.

JSM: Mo Salah’s against Watford in October. Ending the careers of three defenders by having them on strings before ever so casually stopping the ball dead and slotting it into the far corner. Chef’s kiss.

LA: Same game as Chloe but a different goal, amazingly: Raheem Sterling against Everton because it’s all about great assists and you won’t find a better one than João Cancelo’s for that goal.

PW: Kai Havertz’s last minute winner for Chelsea against Newcastle. Jorginho’s pass was one thing but the touch and then execution of the finish was the definition of sublime. Technical genius.


🥊 The game or moment that will live longest in the memory was …

AM: For me, it has to be the return of fans to stadia. Crowds had been slowly allowed back in dribs and drabs over the previous 12 months, but this season was the one when football returned to its normal state post-pandemic.

CB: When West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko came off the bench to score in his first game back from compassionate leave versus Aston Villa. There was a lot of emotion on display in football after news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine broke, and none more so than on that occasion.

DB: Manchester City’s clash with Liverpool at the Etihad in April was the match of the season for me. The two best teams in the world currently went toe-to-toe in a match of the highest quality, and it was fitting that there was nothing to separate them at the end.

JSM: Christian Eriksen returning to a football pitch eight months after what happened at the Euros was heartwarming and brilliant to see.

LA: A personal one — Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Tottenham in September was my first game back in a full stadium. The stadium was rocking after a long time behind closed doors and it was oh so good to be back.

PW: This isn’t just recency bias but the final day drama was epic. Manchester City looked to be on the canvas until they pulled off another stunning late comeback for a 3-2 win at home and rescue the title from the jaws of defeat. Where have we heard that before?


🤑 And the signing of the season has to be …

AM: It has to be Luis Díaz. Wanted by Tottenham in January, Liverpool were quickest off the mark and landed the Colombian for €45m and has been one of the main contributing factors to their charge for four trophies.

CB: Dejan Kulusevski to Tottenham – part of Fabio Paratici’s plan to raid his former club Juventus. His form will be surprising to Juve fans too, as they watched him huff and puff his way through dire performances in Turin. A change of scene was clearly what was needed and he’s been revitalised under Antonio Conte. And he’s still only 22.

DB: Luis Díaz joined had an incredible impact after joining Liverpool from Porto in January and was probably the reason they were able to get back into the title race. Imagine how good he’s going to be next season.

JSM: Marc Guéhi has looked seriously impressive in his first season in the Premier League after joining Crystal Palace. The Eagles have a real promising defender on their hands in the 21-year-old.

LA: It doesn’t feel like a vintage year for new signings but Takehiro Tomiyasu has been superb for Arsenal. They have 2 points per game when he plays and 1.44 points per game when he doesn’t. He’s just so reliable.

PW: Not much was made of Tino Livramento’s move from Chelsea to Southampton but he became an instant fan favourite with his outstanding performances at right-back at the age of just 19. It was a great pity to see his debut season ended by a cruciate injury as he has so much to offer as one of the division’s brightest defensive prospects.


🤞 Finally, can you give us one thing you hope to see in 2022/23?

AM: After a near two decade absence I would love to see Nottingham Forest back in the Premier League. The City Ground is one of the great stadiums and a packed house on the River Trent, watching top flight football, has been too long in coming.

CB: More aggressive, pressing football. Can’t get enough of it.

DB: We’re definitely going to see Erling Haaland at Manchester City next season and that’s exciting, but it would be great to see a few more top quality players heading to the Premier League this summer. It’s a shame nobody was able to afford Kylian Mbappé because how good would that be?

JSM: The current offside rule where the linesman delay putting up their flag, although does make sense in some ways, needs to be binned. A player will end up picking up a serious injury unnecessarily at some point.

LA: A title race with more flaws. The top two have been too perfect throughout, there just isn’t quite enough jeopardy for maximum drama. The final day drama was a rare look at this teams looking shaky and it was all the better for it.

PW: Serious improvement from Manchester United under Erik ten Hag. Love them or hate them, the league is better with a strong United in contention.