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Premier League 2022/23: The football season's best and worst

BY Ryan Murray

11th May 2023 Sport

Premier League 2022/23: The football season's best and worst

As the Premier League 2022-23 draws to a close, we look back at the standout clashes, star players and managerial wins of this thrilling football season

Another enthralling Premier League season is hurtling towards its conclusive stage, with the destination of the title, the configuration of next term’s European representatives, and the relegated trio still all to be decided.

As per the previous twenty-nine editions of England’s revamped top-flight, the 2022/23 campaign has dealt out its fair share of thrills and spills—questionable managerial sackings, controversial VAR decisions, and several spectacularly bizarre results are just a handful of examples.

When the drama is temporarily put on hold after the division’s final weekend of action in late May, who will reflect most fondly on the previous ten months, and who would rather see their contributions obliterated from the Premier League history book?

We review this year’s winners and losers.

Most improved team

Surely, there can only be one candidate for this award? Although Eddie Howe set Newcastle United’s recent revival in motion after his arrival in November 2021, the Magpies have kicked-on to a new level this term.

Following an extremely impressive campaign, the northeast outfit look poised to secure Champions League qualification, having last appeared in Europe’s most-prestigious competition exactly two decades ago.

The foundation of their success is rooted in defensive organisation, with Newcastle conceding an average of just 0.63 goals per game to press.

"Following an extremely impressive campaign, Newcastle United look poised to secure Champions League qualification for the first time in exactly two decades"

At St James Park, a fortress once again under Howe’s stewardship, the locals have suffered seeing the opposition score on just ten occasions.

Although February’s disappointing Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester United ensures the Geordies' elusive search for a first major trophy since 1955 continues, the improvements made over the last eighteen months have been nothing short of staggering.

Best team   

Manchester City football teamManchester City have cemented their reputation as the nation's strongest team

Perhaps this season more than any other, Manchester City have proven why many consider them to be the strongest team in the country—if not Europe.

Several months ago, it appeared that an inspired Arsenal side were strolling towards their fourteenth top-flight crown, but Pep Guardiola & co had other ideas.

As per all perennial champions, the Citizens have stepped up a gear in the business end of the season, and are now favourites to claim a fifth title in six years.

Throughout the campaign, City have once again delivered their intoxicating brand of fluid, attacking football, consequently outscoring any other Premier League side.

With another FA Cup final visit to Wembley already pencilled in the diary, and a Champions League semi-final encounter with Real Madrid on the horizon, could a historic treble lie in wait?

Most disappointing team

When Todd Boehly purchased Chelsea at the beginning of last summer, he announced his desire to establish a new culture at Stamford Bridge.

The short-termism of the Abramovich era, with its managerial merry go-rounds and scatter gun approach to recruitment, was to give way to a fresh, long-term plan for progress, which would champion the values of patience and pragmatism in challenging times. Boehly’s appears to have already abandoned this vision.

One could maybe overlook the parting of ways with Thomas Tuchel after the Blues’ underwhelming start to the campaign—after all, the German was Abramovich’s man.

However, a seemingly reckless spending spree in the January transfer window, and the removal of Graham Potter in April just seven months after the American endorsed his appointment, has ensured that Boehly’s initial tenure in West London has produced anything but the stability and serenity he described.

With less than a fifth of the season remaining, Chelsea find themselves floundering in mid-table obscurity, having endured a series of sobering results, and registered only thirty goals all season.

Best manager

Arsenal v Newcastle at Premier League 2022SonoGrazy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Arsenal have turned their fortunes around with help from manager Mikel Arteta

At various points during Mikel Arteta’s reign at Arsenal, his managerial capability has been called into question.

Indeed, an eighth-place finish in his first full term in charge, and last season’s chastising FA Cup third round elimination to then Championship-side Nottingham Forest, were two moments where the Spaniard appeared particularly close to the Emirates' exit door.

"Arteta has completely turned around the fortunes of a perpetually under-performing Arsenal side"

However, his steadfast belief in the coaching methods he adopts, coupled with several shrewd signings in the summer, has given Arteta a platform for success this term.

After a blistering first six months, the Gunners have entered a rocky patch, but are nevertheless still in the reckoning for the title. Arteta has completely turned around the fortunes of a perpetually under-performing side, and for this reason deserves enormous credit for his efforts.

Best player

Erling Haaland, the best played in Premier League 2022-23Jacek Stanislawek, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Erling Haaland is surely this Premier League season's star player

A category that attracts little debate. Striking sensation Erling Haaland has been almost super-human since descending on England’s northwest, single-handedly putting teams to the sword with remarkable regularity.

The Norwegian has already notched four hat-tricks in the league—and a treble in Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final demolition of Burnley—on his way to topping both the domestic and European scoring charts.

"Striking sensation Erling Haaland has been almost super-human since joining Manchester City"

With plenty of time to spare, Haaland has already netted on more occasions than any other player in a 38-game Premier League season, as he continues to smash goal-scoring records in a whirlwind first campaign.

Best goal   

Willian (FULHAM vs. Nottingham Forest—February): The Brazilian creates half-a-yard of space by evading the advances of full-back Renan Lodi, before angling a fierce drive over a sea of Forest defenders to find Keylor Navas’ top-right hand corner. A goal of real quality.

Most embarrassing moment

Liverpool’s merciless destruction of Bournemouth will not be a game many Cherries fans will cherish.

In the aftermath, manager Scott Parker, who had guided his side to Premier League promotion less than five months before the disastrous 9-0 defeat at Anfield, was promptly—and arguably a little unfairly—relieved of his duties. An embarrassing episode for all.

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