Top 15 Talking Points From The 2022-23 Premier League Season
The long and gruelling 2022-23 season is finally done and dusted, with Manchester City winning the Premier League for the third successive year. There was drama on the English top flight’s final day all across the board, as Everton edged past Bournemouth to seal safety, and Aston Villa finished strong to make sure they will play in Europe next season.
Meanwhile, a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Tottenham sealed Leeds United’s fate and sent them packing to the Championship, while Leicester City’s 2-1 win over West Ham was not enough to keep them in the top flight.
It has been another exciting season in the Premier League. Here are the 15 talking points.
Dream debut season for Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland couldn’t have dreamt of a better debut season in England when he swapped Borussia Dortmund for Manchester City in the summer. And it was only a matter of time before he shattered Alan Shearer and Andy Cole’s Premier League record for goals in a single season.
Haaland scored 52 goals in all competitions for Man City, including 36 in the Premier League. He won the coveted treble in his first season in England and the prospect of him getting more in tune with the rest of the team and getting better individually is indeed frightening for the rest of the league.
Erik ten Hag turns Old Trafford into a fortress again
Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United ended the Premier League season strongly in third spot with a 2-1 win over Fulham at Old Trafford.
Manchester United went 18 games unbeaten at Old Trafford, with just three draws—a league-best streak that goes back to their opening weekend 2-1 defeat to Brighton. It is no secret that Ten Hag’s team have overachieved in context to the pre-season predictions and following a disastrous start to the campaign.
The progress of the team is clear to see, the fans are fully behind Ten Hag and Old Trafford feels like home again!
David de Gea silences critics with Golden Glove award
David de Gea’s credibility as Manchester United’s No.1 came under the knife again this season, with his inability to play out from the back and command the box leading Ten Hag to initiate a search for a new goalkeeper. With his contract expiring at the end of the month, Man United fans are divided over whether they want the Spaniard to continue as the first choice between the posts.
However, De Gea has managed to silence a lot of naysayers by keeping 17 clean sheets in the Premier League and winning the Golden Glove award for 2022/23. Even if Ten Hag wants to sign a sweeper-keeper in an attempt to make United a possession-based side, De Gea’s 17 shutouts just cannot be overlooked.
Harry Kane elite in a mediocre Tottenham side
While Harry Kane has some way to go to reach Alan Shearer’s Premier League record of 260 goals, this season he yet again demonstrated his world-class status as a striker.
Despite Tottenham being in disarray, players like Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski enduring difficult campaigns and a glut of injuries, Kane kept his head down and did what he’s known for, i.e. scoring goals. He scored 30 goals in 38 league games, operating as the focal point of an ordinary Spurs side, and if not for the incredible Erling Haaland, he would have won the Golden Boot award.
Evan Ferguson’s stock continues to rise
Evan Ferguson has enjoyed a superb breakthrough campaign at Brighton at just 18-years old. His two goals against Southampton helped the Seagulls secure European football for the first time in their history.
Still in his teens, the impact Ferguson has had in the Premier League has left many believing he could easily develop into a £100m player in the coming years given the developing transfer climate. Having recently signed a contract extension with Brighton, the Republic of Ireland international will look to build on his breakthrough season.
But if he continues his current trajectory, De Zerbi and Brighton will know it’ll be immensely difficult to keep Ferguson for a long time at the Amex Stadium especially if the Seagulls are unable to keep up the current rate of progress.
Liverpool in desperate need of midfield surgery
After Liverpool’s crazy 4-3 win over Tottenham at the start of May, Jurgen Klopp admitted that his club would not dip into the transfer market as some people have been expecting this summer. But before the summer transfer window had officially begun, Liverpool wasted no time in announcing the signing of Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton.
Klopp is wary of the extent of work the club needs to put in to overhaul the midfield unit after watching his side fail to dominate the central area of the pitch for the majority of this past season. James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have left, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara have turned 30 and Fabinho has been a shadow of his former self for quite some time now.
The signing of Mac Allister is a good way to kickstart the summer transfer business, but Liverpool will certainly not stop after getting one. They clearly need more quality in the engine room in order to harbour any hopes of challenging for the Premier League title next season, having finished fifth and a whooping 22 points behind champions Man City.
Leaky Leeds United were doomed to get relegated
A team cannot concede close to 80 goals and think of staying in the Premier League. Leeds United had the worst defensive record, leaking 78 goals and that became the biggest factor behind their drop. They conceded nearly a third of their goals in April alone after suffering heavy defeats to Crystal Palace and Liverpool. Following that, the Whites’ failed to win a single game in May.
Leeds’ fate was sealed on the final day of the season, and they will play in the Championship after three years in the top flight. Sam Allardyce was brought in a bit too late to instil his system and save the club. The signs were ominous post the World Cup break and the fans shouldn’t be surprised at all by what transpired.
Positive vibes for Arsenal despite title disappointment
In the end, a meek 1-0 away loss to Nottingham Forest officially extinguished Arsenal’s title hopes.
Mike Arteta’s side led the Premier League table for 248 days—the most for a team who failed to win the title in the English top-flight history. They gave everything in an attempt to end a 20-year title draught but were undone by a brilliant Manchester City side, who won the title for the third successive year. It just goes to show how staying at the summit is way more difficult than simply reaching the top.
However, the 5-0 win over Wolves at home on the final day saw Arsenal end the season on a high. Regardless of what they add to the squad this summer, the belief in Mikel Arteta is sky high from both the fans and the club hierarchy.
Brighton show they are the model club
Roberto de Zerbi has done a spectacular job since replacing Graham Potter at Brighton, all the more so as he’s made the team braver, fitter, stronger and hungrier mid-season.
When Brighton lost Potter to Chelsea, Tony Bloom and co. never panicked because they had a plan in place to replace him. The club hired De Zerbi and he has taken the team into Europe. The club’s scouting, recruitment, nurturing of young talents and attractive style of play are simply top-notch.
The way the Seagulls have operated in recent years is clearly an evidence of an almost perfectly run football club—one that should definitely inspire others at every level.
Gary O’Neil proves his managerial credentials at Bournemouth
Bournemouth fans had a forgettable day at Anfield when their team were hammered 9-0 by Liverpool. This resulted in the sacking of Scott Parker and the appointment of Gary O’Neil as the caretaker boss.
After the 9-0 drubbing at Liverpool, Gary O’Neil found it difficult to pick his players up and give them confidence. The team morale was understandably low and needed uplifting, which O’Neil rightly did. What followed was a run of good results and soon the Englishman was given the job permanently.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though; O’Neil had to embrace a lot of disappointment but the club supported him firmly. In the end, he clinched Bournemouth’s safety with four games to spare. From taking a team that was lost, shot on confidence and primed for relegation to the comforts of another season in the lucrative Premier League, O’Neil has worked wonders at the Vitality Stadium in his first job as manager.
Callum Wilson bags best-ever Premier League haul
Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins have grabbed the headlines this season and have been praised for their goalscoring returns.
Callum Wilson has gone rather quietly about his work in a Newcastle shirt though, racking up 18 goals in 31 games. With Alexander Isak showing how dangerous he can be with his blistering pace and cunning movement off the ball, Wilson has taken his goalscoring to another level.
The England international deserves more acclaim for reaching his best-ever Premier League haul, with the lethal partnership of Wilson, Isak and Almiron proving crucial in taking Eddie Howe’s side into the Champions League next season.
Another great escape for Everton
Everton beat the drop in the penultimate game of last season by beating Crystal Palace 3-2 at Goodison Park. It was felt this summer could be a change in the grand scheme of things for Everton, and that with proper recruitment and strategy, they will challenge for a top-half finish.
However, hardly anything changed and Everton found themselves again in a relegation dogfight. Lampard was sacked and in came Sean Dyche. Dyche added pragmatism and structure while bringing in much-needed steel and fight in the squad. There was a malaise again around Goodison Park but Dyche slowly changed the attitude of the fans.
This, in turn, worked and lifted the Toffees over the line. Backed by a ruckus Goodison crowd on the final day of the season, Everton beat Bournemouth 1-0 to clinch another great escape from the jaws of relegation.
Chelsea mess is Boehly and Eghbali’s doing
Chelsea have been a royal mess ever since Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali assumed control last summer.
Boehly and Eghbali backed Thomas Tuchel in the transfer window before sacking him for losing a game in the Champions League. They hired Graham Potter as Tuchel’s replacement, gave him funds to strengthen his squad in January and tried to achieve stability. But when Potter couldn’t get the desired results and left Chelsea far away from European spots, they sacked him as well and subsequently threw away the season by appointing Frank Lampard as the interim boss.
Boehly and Eghbali have not painted themselves in good light, having burned through two respected managers in a messy seven months and a have been left with a bloated and overpaid squad. The duo will sincerely hope the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as the new permanent manager works and the Blues get back on track next season.
A successful season for Marco Silva and Fulham
Pre-season predictions had Marco Silva’s Fulham going back to the Championship at the first time of asking. But the Cottagers have not only stayed up but also finished a respectable 10th in the table.
Securing top-flight survival was the no.1 objective of Marco Silva when the season began. There is also no small matter of Fulham reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals, where they were beaten by eventual runners-up Man United in a controversial fashion at Old Trafford.
A 10th-place finish on their return to the top flight is excellent, and Silva laying some important groundwork ahead of a pivotal summer transfer window shows he’s finally found a home in the Premier League.
Aston Villa’s transformation under Unai Emery
Aston Villa have qualified for the Europa Conference League after finishing seventh, and the turnaround of the club’s fortunes under Unai Emery has been remarkable.
From languishing in the relegation zone under Steven Gerrard to making it to Europe, Villa fans witnessed a rollercoaster season. Who would have given Villa a chance to finish in the top half of the Premier League table, let alone finish only a point below sixth-place Brighton? But here they are, and qualifying for European competition is just the start Villa’s owners and Emery want to achieve together in the coming years.
When Emery was first appointed, the trophies and the teams he had managed, spoke for themselves. And going by the quick transformation Villa have undergone, the Spanish manager will now want the club to take the next step and aim to add some long-due silverware.