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Premier League 2022/23: 101 Great Goals season review

The 2022-23 Premier League season came to an end this weekend, with Leeds and Leicester relegated from the top flight in a typically dramatic final round of fixtures.

The majority of the biggest issues had already been settled, with Manchester City pipping Arsenal to the title, Manchester United and Newcastle securing Champions League football for next season and Southampton already relegated, leaving Everton to scrap it out with Leeds and Leicester for survival.

Abdoulaye Doucoure’s winner at Goodison meant 2015-16 winner Leicester went down into the second tier, while it was no surprise that Leeds joined them after a miserable couple of seasons.

101 Great Goals has been there at every step of the season, bringing you the latest news, transfer rumours, player ratings and betting tips on every game in the English top flight, so here is what our team of writers has to say about the 31st season of the Premier League.

Player of the season

Josh Barker: There should be little debate about who the Premier League player of the season is. Erling Haaland smashed the Premier League goals record in 2022/23 despite playing four games less than the previous record holders. Nobody has come close to the Norwegian’s level this campaign.

Jamie Brown: Erling Haaland. Hands up and admit I got this very wrong suggesting it wouldn’t work out for him at Man City. 36 league goals, a Premier League title and two finals remaining, it’s fair to say that this has been one of the best debut seasons this country has ever seen.

Conor Laird: I really wanted to give this one to Kevin De Bruyne, as the Belgian supremo remains English football’s best player as far as I’m concerned. But the numbers don’t lie. And Erling Haaland breaking the Premier League’s all-time goalscoring record in his first season in Manchester City colours speaks for itself. Haaland is the Player of the Season.

Manager of the season

Josh Barker: Pep Guardiola is the obvious choice for many, but the award should go to Mikel Arteta. Yes, Arsenal have ‘bottled’ the league but they were up against arguably the best team in English history. The Gunners would have had the youngest squad and youngest manager to win the Premier League had they done so in 2022/23, so taking City right to the end was a good achievement in of itself.

Jamie Brown: Gary O’Neil. I’m not sure anyone, other than Bournemouth’s fans, would have had Bournemouth staying up. Following a horrific start, including a 9-0 defeat at Anfield, O’Neil has done a remarkable job turning the ship around and steering them well clear of danger.

Ben Browning: Gary O’Neil. Had Arsenal won the Premier League, Mikel Arteta would have been a shoo in for the award, and he and Eddie Howe both run O’Neil close, but keeping Bournemouth up is a miracle that no one expected, especially when Scott Parker was sacked following a 9-0 defeat at Anfield.

To keep them safe with time still to spare is bordering in the unbelievable, and he deserves plenty of credit for his achievements.

Conor Laird: A legitimate case could be made for no fewer than seven managers here, with all of Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta, Eddie Howe, Roberto De Zerbi, Unai Emery, Thomas Frank and Gary O’Neil having overseen outstanding seasons with their respective clubs. For me personally, though, for his remarkable efforts in guiding the club to a first-ever season in Europe, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi tops the list.

Game of the season

Josh Barker: Liverpool 7-0 Manchester United

The likes of Liverpool and Manchester City putting seven past a team at the bottom end of the table is not that shocking. However, when Jurgen Klopp’s men put seven past their bitter rivals it was a surprise to say the least. What made the game even more memorable, though, was Man United were coming off the back of a League Cup final win and a huge Europa League victory over La Liga champions, FC Barcelona. This, combined with the fact Liverpool actually scored six of their seven goals in the second half make it a major contender for game of the season.

Jamie Brown: Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham

My personal favourite was the Battle of the Bridge II. An incredibly feisty fixture on and off the pitch. On the pitch you had two teams going back and forth with a last minute equaliser from Harry Kane. Then you had the bust up after between Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel. A proper derby match.

Ben Browning: Manchester City 3-3 Newcastle United

A game dubbed as Oil Clasico on social media threw up six goals, and swung both ways before eventually ending all square. Shooting out of the blocks, Eddie Howe’s side looked like producing a massive shock, only for some excellent Manchester City football to claw it back to 3-3 before some Nick Pope heroics kept it level for full time.

Conor Laird: Liverpool 4 – 3 Tottenham

Two games immediately spring to mind for me here, for very different reasons. First, Liverpool’s historic seven-goal drubbing of arch rivals Manchester United. And second comes my winner, with Liverpool again centre stage. The Reds’ downing of Tottenham in late-April had everything – seven goals, a three-goal comeback, another ‘celebrated too soon’ moment for Richarlison, and of course, Lucas Moura’s moment of madness laying on a last-gasp Diogo Jota winner.

Story of the season?

Josh Barker: Brighton have had a simply outstanding 2022/23 campaign. Despite losing long-time boss Graham Potter to Chelsea, the Seagulls secured European football next term for the first time in their history. Roberto De Zerbi has come in and improved upon Potter’s foundation and will end the season by beating Brighton’s highest-ever finish in the division, which was 9th in 2021/22.

Jamie Brown: Brighton finishing in Europe for the first time ever. After the departure of Potter, Brighton looked like they could be in free fall. But the smooth transition to De Zerbi pays testament to just how well run Brighton are. Their player recuperating has been phenomenal with signings like Mac Allister, Caicedo, Estupian and Mitoma. They’ve had to battle some real financial juggernauts to do it, making their achievements even more impressive.

Ben Browning: Eddie Howe may have had the pleasure of plenty of spending in the transfer window, but he has still got the most out of the players that he already had on Tyneside. And none embody that more than Sean Longstaff, who has become a key part of the Magpies side, and will be a Champions League footballer next season. Tell that to most (and even him) two years ago, and he would have thought you were taking the piss.

Conor Laird: Until very recently, Arsenal’s odds-defying endeavours en route to mounting a legitimate Premier League title bid would have taken taken the cake for me. The Gunners’ costly late stutter, though, has instead swayed my vote towards Brighton. Amid uncertainty in the aftermath of all of Marc Cucurella, Yves Bissouma, Neal Maupay and then boss Graham Potter moving on, Roberto De Zerbi’s men clinching a 6th-placed finish is nothing short of remarkable.

Young player of the season?

Josh Barker: Whilst Erling Haaland is still eligible for the Young Player of the Season award, it seems somewhat unfair to hand him that on top of POTS. So, the next best option is Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal. The Brazilian’s campaign was cut short by injury, but he still scored 15 and assisted five in the league. No player aged 21 or under scored more.

Jamie Brown: William Saliba. Over the last month or so, the importance of Saliba has been highlighted. The Gunners have looked so much more defensively secure with him in the team and he was a big reason why Arsenal came so close to their first league title since 2004.

Ben Browning: Erling Haaland is the clear winner for both this and the senior version of the award, but given his robotlike abilities, I’m giving it to Bukayo Saka. The Englishman has hit double figures for both goals and assists this season, and very nearly had Arsenal on course to win the Premier League.

Conor Laird: Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard, prior to Arsenal’s late-season collapse, could have mounted a genuine case for this one. But, for the same reasons outlined above, Erling Haaland is the undisputed Premier League Young Player of the Season.

Highlight of the season?

Josh Barker: Gary O’Neil was handed the caretaker charge of Bournemouth in August of 2022 after the Cherries’ dismal start to the season under Scott Parker. Bournemouth spent very little in the summer and on paper, had the weakest squad in the Premier League. However, despite 99% of fans and pundits backing them to go down, O’Neil secured Bournemouth’s survival with three games to play.

Jamie Brown: As a Spurs fan, there has been very few moments which I have enjoyed this season. So no Premier League highlight for me, I will instead pick Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup. The final was probably the greatest game of football I’ve ever seen and produced the most iconic moment I’ll ever see in my lifetime.

Ben Browning: Arsenal’s title charge – as an Arsenal fan, it is impossible not to put their rollercoaster season top of the list. Defying all expectations ahead of the new season, they looked set to win the Premier League until injuries and form went against them, and though it ended in bittersweet circumstances, it is still a campaign to be proud of.

Conor Laird: Perhaps a slightly under-the-radar moment, but Bournemouth’s David Brooks returning to action with the Cherries after a full 536 days – on the back of lengthy battles with both cancer and injury – was truly heartwarming.

Biggest disappointment?

Josh Barker: After spending over £300m in the summer and another £300m in January, it is hard not to choose Chelsea as the biggest disappointment. The Blues have a plethora of talented players at their disposal, but are set to finish a season in the bottom half of the table for the first time since 1995/96.

Jamie Brown: The Premier League title race. Everything was shaping up for an epic title race that looked set to go down to the wire. But just two wins in Arsenal’s last eight matches have ended up gifting the title to Manchester City. City didn’t even have to kick a ball to get the title over the line as the Gunners crashed to a defeat at the City Ground.

Ben Browning: Another season of VAR dominating the season and leaving every fan feeling like it is working against their side, and it has to change. Ranging from forgetting to draw the lines to rule out Brentford’s equaliser against Arsenal, to drawing offside lines on the wrong player for Brighton and missing several clear penalties for the Seagulls, it continues to do more harm than good in the Premier League.

Conor Laird: No real argument to be had here. Considering the money spent on the club’s squad by new owner Todd Boehly, Chelsea have been nothing short of a disaster this season. A title challenge was expected, a bottom half finish followed. The Premier League’s biggest disappointment by a distance.

Laughing stock?

Josh Barker: After impressing with Luton and playing some good football early in his Southampton stint, things came crashing down for Nathan Jones on the south coast. His final game in charge saw his side lose 2-1 at home to a 10-man Wolves. It was his press conference after the match that will go down in infamy, though.

Jamie Brown: Chelsea. Around £600m spent across the season and they are set to finish 12th, with a minus goal difference and as many goals scored as Erling Haaland on his own. Pochettino has a massive job on his hands.

Ben Browning: I could have picked all of Tottenham, who have had a season that has lurched from good to funny to tragic, but there is a special mention for Richarlison, who arrived for £60m and has managed just one Premier League goal.

In fairness, he celebrated it well, only to see his side concede a winner moments later and with seconds left in the game.

Conor Laird: Sorry Tottenham fans, but this one goes to you. Antonio Conte’s now infamous rant, and subsequent dismissal, marked only the tip of the iceberg in what has been a farcical season on the Lilywhite half of the north London divide. Replacement Cristian Stellini lasting just four games, a five-goal deficit inside 20 minutes at Newcastle, Richarlison’s shirt-removing antics, arch rivals Arsenal building a title contender for years to come… Need I go on?

Goal of the season?

Josh Barker: There have been a number of superb goals scored across the 2022/23 season, but Matheus Nunes’ effort vs Fulham, which he hit on a half volley, deserves the award due to the tight angel he was able to score from.

Jamie Brown: Julian Alvarez vs Fulham. A crucial goal in the title race and an unbelievable strike to beat Bernd Leno, who had been brilliant up until that point. The Argentine showed great feet to keep the ball and then finesse it from outside the area over the head of the German.

Ben Browning: Michael Olise vs Manchester United

Given the circumstances of the game and the situation, for Olise to find the top corner from 30 yards out and snatch a point in stoppage time has to be the best combination of situation, technique and execution that we have seen this season.

Conor Laird: Special mentions go out to both Michael Olise & Julio Enciso, but I’m opting for something of a rogue answer here. My goal of the season has little to do with the finish, but was instead all about the work in the buildup. Alexander Isak’s moment of absolute genius in dancing his way into the Everton penalty area before laying on Jacob Murphy at Goodison Park has to be seen to be believed, and gets its deserved recognition as my pick for Goal of the Season.

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