🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24 | OneFootball

🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24 | OneFootball

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OneFootball·20 May 2024

🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

Article image:🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

That’s a wrap on the 2023/24 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 …

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👏 Who is your Player of the Season?

Article image:🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

Lewis Ambrose: I’m not sure, outside of the Arsenal fanbase, Martin Ødegaard is quite getting enough appreciation. To me he is Arsenal’s answer to Rodri; his absence more than anyone else’s could see it all fall apart without. Their orchestrator on the ball and the man who leads and organises the press that has helped Arsenal boast the league’s best defensive record.

Dan Burke: I’m gonna go for Rodri. Attacking players usually have the edge when it comes to these awards, but the Spaniard’s absurd consistency was the key to Manchester City’s success, and seven league goals and nine assists show that he’s far more than just a holding midfielder.

Richard Buxton: It has to be Cole Palmer, purely for being far and away Chelsea’s best player in an otherwise forgettable campaign. It’s not just the abundance of goals and assists but every time he was on the ball, Mauricio Pochettino’s side almost looked like they had their act together. Almost.

Alex Mott: Arsenal have been the best defensive in the division by a mile this season and although it seems sacrilegious to split up Gabriel and William Saliba, my Player of the Season award goes to the latter. A true defensive colossus who has been brilliant from minute one of game one.

Pádraig Whelan: Decades from now when we reflect on his career, this will be viewed as the breakout campaign for Phil Foden at Manchester City. He hasn’t always been the main man under Pep Guardiola but has exploded this year to cement himself as the best homegrown player the club have ever produced.

👶 What about Young Player of the Season?

Player must be 21 or younger on the final day of the season.

Article image:🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

LA: Destiny Udogie tailed off towards the end of the season before picking up his injury but his first six months at Tottenham were seriously impressive. He’s still got to sharpen the defensive side of his game but the Italian is hard to beat when he’s on it and he’s a huge threat flying forward, whether overlapping or underlapping, under Ange Postecoglou.

DB: He may have only joined in January, but Crystal Palace’s Adam Wharton did enough to win this award for me. He’s quality and will surely move for far more than £22.5m next time a club swoops for him.

RB: Jarrad Branthwaite was a real shining light during another dark season for Everton. Even when times were toughest, his reading of the game was second to none. There will be no shortage of suitors for the ‘Carlisle Kaiser’ this summer, when he’ll inevitably be sold off due to the club’s ongoing financial disarray.

AM: He can be frustrating at times, but for the rest of it, Jérémy Doku is one of the most thrilling players to watch on the ball in the Premier League. The Manchester City winger has often taken Jack Grealish’s place in the starting XI this season and Pep Guardiola’s side have been all the better for it.

PW: It has been another disappointing season for Manchester United but one of the positives has been the emergence of their younger stars. Kobbie Mainoo looks like a serious prospect but perhaps arrived on the scene a little too late to usurp fellow teenage talent Alejandro Garnacho, who does offer big hope for the future at Old Trafford.

🤯 Who or what has surprised you most?

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LA: Gary O’Neil’s Wolves were great, weren’t they? They weren’t just good but they were exciting too, with Pedro Neto, Matheus Cunha, Hwang Hee-chan and Pablo Sarabia flying forward. O’Neil arrived right before the season started at a club tipped by many to go down and they ended up playing good football and staying up comfortably.

DB: Like many people, I was expecting much better from Burnley when they came back up from the Championship, but a lack of quality in both boxes and a bit of tactical naivety from manager Vincent Kompany cost them dearly. It perhaps shows how worryingly big the gulf between the Championship and the Premier League has become.

RB: Crystal Palace’s ascent under Oliver Glasner was a real clapback to the ‘be careful what you wish for’ merchants that were out in force when Roy Hodgson departed. The Austrian surpassed early expectations by hitting the ground running and the form table since his appointment would have the Eagles in a European place.

AM: After the opening weeks of the season, I was really expecting Angeball to start a revolution at Tottenham. Instead, the Australian tactician has dogmatically stuck to his way of playing and seen the north London club slide down the table as a result. Fifth is about par for this side, but I was really hoping for so much more.

PW: Jürgen Klopp’s bolt-from-the-blue January announcement that he would be leaving Liverpool this summer. There were no real indications that it was coming and was a real shock to hear. The Premier League won’t be the same without him.

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

Article image:🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

LA: For the fourth season in a row, Mikel Arteta has led Arsenal to more points than in the previous campaign. This time around the questions were if Arsenal would ‘bottle’ it again after falling away late last season but they held their nerve throughout 2024, only to be pipped by the greatest team in Premier League history. The last time the Gunners won 28 league games in a season was 1930/31, when four more matches were played. As Arteta said himself: “That’s not progress, that’s history.”

DB: Unai Emery for me. The second half of Aston Villa’s season may not have been as good as the first, but guiding them to the Champions League is a huge achievement for the Spaniard, and it will be interesting to see how they strengthen their squad this summer, because they might not be too far away from a proper title tilt.

RB: Andoni Iraola deserves huge credit after being heavily tipped as the season’s first managerial casualty. Bournemouth’s subsequent turnaround is a testament to the qualities which served him so well at Rayo Vallecano, not to mention being another feather in the cap of Gipuzkoa’s impressive stable of elite-level coaches.

AM: I’m with Dan on this one. Unai Emery has completely altered the feeling around Villa Park since his arrival in 2022 and this season has completed his masterpiece. There is simply no way Aston Villa should have finished in the Champions League places this term, and yet big European nights will be returning to the west Midlands for the first time in 40 years.

PW: Ange Postecoglou took a Spurs side who finished eighth last season, lost captain and talisman Harry Kane and whose support were growing ever more disenchanted and revitalised everything around the club. He has brought them back into Europe and done so with an exciting brand of football that always entertains, while his pull-no-punches press conferences have also been a refreshing change of pace.

🚀 And your Goal of the Season?

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LA: For the fact that every touch was perfect, I’m going with Dominic Solanke against Luton. The first touch under pressure, back to goal, then a superb turn and a wonderful chipped finish. Much more delicate, more measured, more perfect than any long range strike.

DB: My favourite goal of the season was Oscar Bobb’s in Manchester City’s win at Newcastle in January. The pass from Kevin De Bruyne was sublime, but the youngster’s composure and footwork to round the goalkeeper and score his first Premier League goal to win the game in stoppage time was pure class.

RB: Stunning overhead kicks at Goodison Park became a bit of a theme in 2023 and Alejandro Garnacho’s effort for Manchester United was the pick of them. A strike truly out of this world, not shinned (take note, Wayne Rooney) and so good that its arrival in the second minute felt almost unbecoming.

AM:  We can try and be as clever as we want here, but the best goal scored this season was Garnacho’s overhead kick at Goodison Park. A Barclays all-timer.

PW: Manchester United enjoyed plenty of stunning strikes this season but the pick of the bunch was Marcus Rashford’s thunderbolt in their derby trip to City. He’s never caught the ball as sweetly as this.

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

Article image:🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

LA: A fair few teams — Newcastle, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea — have been involved in some real ding-dong, end-to-end affairs but I think it’ll be Crystal Palace’s one-sided demolition of Manchester United for me. Things looked good already under Oliver Glasner, especially with Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise both fit again, but even still nobody had the Eagles down as the side that would send United to a new low.

DB: For me it’s that bonkers 4-1 win for Chelsea away at Tottenham back in November. Spurs played much of the second half with just nine men but kept piling men forward anyway, and Chelsea probably should have scored at least six goals on the night. The Blues were involved in most of the craziest matches of the season now I think about it. You can’t deny they were entertaining.

RB: Chelsea have often been this season’s agents of chaos, but Aston Villa’s 3-3 draw with Liverpool in the final week was a late contender. Emiliano Martínez’s uncharacteristic fumble into his own net set the tone for an evening of sheer bedlam in B6 which had further thrills and spills before a late double from Jhon Durán ensured it finished honours even.

AM: It really has been a classic season with so many unbelievable matches. The one that sticks most in my mind though, was that thrilling 4-4 between Chelsea and Manchester City back in November. With the rain pounding down at Stamford Bridge, Cole Palmer scored a 95th minute equaliser from the penalty spot.

PW: As has been mentioned, when it comes to fixtures filled with utter anarchy, Chelsea were the team to watch. Who else could follow a 6-0 win up by losing 5-0 in their very next game? Their victory over Manchester United in April sums them up. From 2-0 up, they fell 3-2 down and stayed that way until the 100th minute before Cole Palmer struck twice to pull off the latest and most incredible comeback in Premier League history.

🤑 And the Signing of the Season has to be …

Article image:🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

LA: I think Declan Rice is the obvious pick when you’re looking at the top clubs but what about team-mate Kai Havertz? Arsenal reportedly parted with £65m to sign the German and eyebrows were raised. Havertz never had more than 11 goals and assists in his three Premier League seasons at Chelsea … he’s almost quietly clocked 19 in his debut campaign in north London.

DB: A few people scoffed at Chelsea spending £40m on Cole Palmer last summer, but what an investment it has proved to be. The 22-year-old was one of the best players in the country this season, with 21 goals and 10 assists in the league, and should be central to the club’s rebuild in the coming years.

RB: It’s a close call between Declan Rice and Cole Palmer but the Arsenal man just shades it because of his impact on their latest Premier League challenge. The definition of a Rolls-Royce midfielder, he dovetailed seamlessly with Martin Ødegaard to see Mikel Arteta’s side take the title race with Manchester City to the wire.

AM: Was there a better decision made last summer than the dropping of Aaron Ramsdale for David Raya? Plenty decried the England international’s benching but Mikel Arteta has been fully vindicated with his opting for the Brentford shot-stopper. An inspired piece of recruitment.

PW: Let’s have some love for Ross Barkley shall we? The midfielder arrived back in the top flight on a free at unfancied Luton Town after a spell in France. He was sensational for the Hatters in their bid to beat the drop – so much so that there were serious and entirely deserving calls for him to return to the England squad for the Euros.

👕 Go on then, give us your Team of the Season …

Article image:🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

LA: (3-2-4-1) — Martínez; White, Saliba, Gvardiol; Rodri, Rice; Saka, Ødegaard, Palmer, Foden; Watkins.

DB: (4-2-2-2) — Raya; White, Akanji, Saliba, Gvardiol; Rodri, Rice; Palmer, Foden; Watkins, Haaland.

RB: (4-2-2-2) – Raya; White, Branthwaite, Saliba, Gvardiol; Rodri, Rice; Foden Palmer; Watkins, Isak.

AM: (4-2-3-1) – Raya; Dalot, Saliba, Akanji, White; Rodri, Rice; Palmer, Ødegaard, Foden; Watkins.

PW: (4-2-3-1) – Vicario; White, Gabriel, Van Dijk, Burn; Rodri, Rice; Palmer, Ødegaard, Foden; Haaland

🤞 Finally, can you give us one thing you hope to see in 2024/25?

Article image:🦁 OneFootball’s Ultimate Premier League season review 2023/24

LA: I hope the three promoted sides — Ipswich, Leicester and whoever wins the play-offs — put a better fight than this season’s trio, especially Sheffield United and Burnley.

DB: If I can have two, no more points deductions and a resolution to Manchester City’s Financial Fair Play case. The Premier League really needs to get its house in order when it comes to its financial rules, because the mid-season punishments made things a bit farcical this year.

RB: The introduction of semi-automated offside technology has the potential to make on-field decisions a lot more straightforward. Anything that ends the needless delays caused by lengthy VAR deliberations can only be a good thing. Hopefully this proves to be the first step.

AM: The blame has been put on VARs shoulders for the past few seasons but overall the standard of refereeing in the Premier League is the worst it’s ever been. Here’s hoping that changes for the 2024/25 campaign.

PW: To echo Dan’s point but more clarity is needed on points deductions and punishments for financial misdemeanours. The way it was handled this season was extremely messy and left a lot of uncertainty at the bottom of the table heading into a crucial period. It needs to be improved upon.