OneFootball·29 May 2023
OneFootball·29 May 2023
That’s a wrap on the 2022/23 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 …
Lewis Ambrose: Maybe we all go for him but if ever one of these questions deserved a unanimous answer it’s probably now. You cannot score as many goals as Erling Haaland and not be named Player of the Season.
Dan Burke: Has to be Haaland for me too. He’s had great service but a record-breaking goals return and a league winners’ medal in your first season in the Premier League is nothing short of phenomenal.
Alex Mott: Could Haaland have been anything this season without the help of Kevin De Bruyne? Yes. Yes, he could. The Norway international has, in just one season, arguably proven himself to be the Premier League’s greatest ever striker.
Pádraig Whelan: Much as I want to add some variety, anything other than Haaland is quite simply the wrong answer here.
Player must be 21 or younger on the final day of the season.
LA: Bukayo Saka. He has carried an incredible weight of expectation along with him and become not just a talismanic player for Arsenal but one of the league’s outstanding wingers. Just watch him. He’s not just technically and physically gifted but, most importantly, he never, ever makes a poor choice on the ball.
DB: It’s Saka for me too, but shout-out also to Levi Colwill, who looked brilliantly assured in defence while on loan at Brighton from Chelsea, making it easy to forget he’s only 20. Manchester City youngster Rico Lewis also has a very bright future ahead of him on the evidence of his mature performances this season.
AM: Brighton’s recruitment has been nothing short of revelatory in recent seasons but in Moisés Caicedo the south coast club have unearthed their best yet. A midfield general who will be going right to the top.
PW: Saka is so good and has been at that level for so long, it doesn’t feel like he’s still 21! I’m also advocating for a little Evan Ferguson love. The Irishman didn’t even feature in the league for Brighton until late December but adapted seamlessly and has double the amount of goals of any other teenager this season.
AM: Manchester United signing world class players over 30 years of age? It’s not exactly been a recipe for success in recent seasons, but Casemiro’s arrival at Old Trafford has been completely transformative to the club.
DB: Newcastle finishing third is really impressive this early in their evolution. They haven’t spent ridiculous sums of money on marquee signings so far, instead making some smart purchases for the benefit of the team. I feel like they are way ahead of schedule and being in the Champions League could really accelerate their progress, which will be a concern for the rest of the league.
LA: Arsenal taking Liverpool’s customary title race spot. I was maybe the only person on the planet who had the Gunners to finish third last summer after a strong 2021/22 (until injuries struck) and a good summer but apparently even I underrated Mikel Arteta’s side, while Liverpool looked a shadow of their former selves before finally finding momentum in the spring.
PW: Fulham’s exceptional season deserves more respect. I had them tipped for a relegation scrap but Marco Silva’s side have registered a club record for most wins and goals scored in a Premier League season. And they also finished above Chelsea for the first time in 40 years.
AM: It’s been a bumper season for impressive managerial feats but my vote for this award is going to Steve Cooper. The Nottingham Forest boss was dealt a dreadful hand with over 30 new arrivals but turned the City Ground into a fortress by the season’s end.
DB: For the reasons mentioned above I’ll go for Newcastle’s Eddie Howe. If Manchester City win the treble I might change my answer to Pep Guardiola, though.
LA: When Graham Potter chose to leave Brighton for Chelsea, you worried the Seagulls wouldn’t maintain their early season form. Roberto De Zerbi has come in and made them even better, while implementing one of the most exciting and dominant styles of play in the league. Incredible.
PW: How on Earth was Gary O’Neil not in Manager of the Year contention? He took a squad which shipped nine at Anfield and were deemed not good enough to survive by Scott Parker – and then achieved just that. Quite comfortably too.
AM: Miguel Almirón came of age this season and his goal against Fulham back in October showed early on that Newcastle meant business in the hunt for a top four place.
DB: İlkay Gündoğan against Everton. A sublime first touch and an ingenious finish. Dennis Bergkamp would have been proud of that one.
LA: Jacob Murphy against Everton. Sometimes the goal is all about the assist.
PW: Volleys don’t come much more satisfying than this. Not a bad way to get your first Wolves goal.
AM: Sean Dyche’s arrival at Everton didn’t entirely go to plan with the Toffees often struggling under the weight of a relegation battle. But for 90 minutes at Brighton, they turned into Brazil 1970.
DB: Manchester City 4-1 Arsenal. After months of stalking their prey and Arsenal looking like they would hold their nerve, this was City grabbing the title race by the scruff of its neck and showing that nothing was going to stand in their way.
LA: OK, not Erling Haaland, because it was obvious that any team should try to sign him. A signing of the season needs to be a bargain or pay off so much more than anyone anticipated. I don’t know how many people would have expected João Palhinha to excel for Fulham after his £15m move.
AM: Can a managerial appointment be considered a ‘signing’? Well, we make our own rules here and as such, my signing of the season is Unai Emery. The Spanish tactician joined an Aston Villa side fighting relegation after Steven Gerrard’s ‘destroy and exit’. Now, they’re in Europe.
DB: Newcastle signing Nick Pope for £10m looked like a steal at the time and has proved the bargain of the season. He was underrated at Burnley and has been the best goalkeeper in the league for my money this term. They wouldn’t have had the season they’ve had without him.
PW: Beating Milan to Sven Botman’s signature was inspired business from Newcastle. After settling on Tyneside, he became a key man for Eddie Howe’s side in their return to the Champions League and at 23, the £32m spent on him will prove to be a steal.
AM: (4-2-1-3) — Alisson; Trippier, Stones, Dias, Estupiñán; Rodri, Casemiro, De Bruyne; Saka, Haaland, Rashford.
DB: (4-1-2-3) — Pope; Trippier, Stones, Saliba, Aké; Rodri, Ødegaard, De Bruyne; Saka, Haaland, Salah.
LA: (4-1-4-1) — Alisson; Trippier, Stones, Gabriel, Aké; Rodri; Saka, De Bruyne, Ødegaard, Mitoma; Haaland.
PW: (4-3-1-2) – Raya; Trippier, Gabriel, Stones, Aké; Rodri, Ødegaard, De Bruyne; Saka, Haaland, Kane.
AM: As president and founding member of the Graham Potter Fan Club, I hope the former Brighton boss gets another go in a Premier League dugout. The Chelsea job was a poisoned chalice from the start and the 48-year-old deserved another go at the big time.
DB: Arsenal to build on their success of this season and challenge for the title again. They came up short this year ultimately but they’re a young team with a great manager who were a joy to watch and with two or three key additions in the summer they should be a force to be reckoned with again next year.
LA: Brighton keeping their team together, or at least keeping De Zerbi and replacing outgoing players well enough that they can give it another proper crack. That and a nice new job for Graham Potter to rehabilitate his reputation.
PW: Plenty more Darwin Núñez shenanigans. Haaland obliterating more goals records. Sam Allardyce back in a dugout after his brief Leeds cameo. Another insane Nottingham Forest summer transfer window. There’s so much to look forward to already!