Our writers’ Premier League end-of-season awards

We’ve reached the end of another Premier League season and after the campaign’s conclusion our writers have reflected on the events gone.

The season’s finest footballer, greatest goal and best signing are all included, as we delve through the 2022/23 campaign and reminisce on the season gone by.

Here are our writers’ Premier League end-of-season awards.

Player of the Season

Peter Henry: Erling Haaland. Having your place in the Premier League Hall of Fame secured after a year in the Premier League is pretty special to be fair.

Ben Guest: It’s hard to look past the record-shattering goalscoring cyborg that is Erling Haaland. 36 goals in 35 appearances is simply insane.

Harry Diamond: Erling Haaland. What he has achieved in the Premier League this season is unprecedented. He came, saw, conquered and scored a record-breaking number of goals in the process. No goal record appears safe from the Norwegian.

Vishnu Anandraj: Erling Haaland – The goals speak for themselves.

Young Player of the Season

Peter Henry: Future Balon d’Or winner Evan Ferguson. I am ridiculously biased here, but the kid has every finish in the book and can link-play like a veteran striker despite only being 18 years old. Shout out to William Sailba too, whose true impact on Arsenal’s defence only became apparent once he wasn’t available.

Ben Guest: I liked Manchester City’s signing of Julian Alvarez before the season had even started and the Argentine has matched my expectations with a fine debut season in the Premier League, despite Haaland being the obvious first choice number nine at the Etihad. A mid-season World Cup winners’ medal made this a brilliant season too.

Harry Diamond: Erling Haaland will no doubt win the recognised awards, but in an attempt to offer some diversity to our accolade winners I’ll go for Bukayo Saka. Arsenal, for long periods, were the best side in the division this season and Saka was so often the inspiration behind their best performances. Still just 21, only Saka and Mohamed Salah reached 10+ for both goals and assists in the Premier League this season.

Vishnu Anandraj: Romeo Lavia – In his first season in senior football, he became one of the best progressive, press-resistant midfield prospects in Europe. He’s had a sensational campaign in a woeful team and will almost certainly be playing for another Premier League side next term.

Manager of the Season

Peter Henry: In terms of the statistical improvement brought to a side, it’s probably Unai Emery, but stats are for nerdsm so I’m going to go with the brilliant Roberto de Zerbi. Some of the football Brighton have played under the Italian coach has been a joy to watch and I firmly believe he will go on to become a modern-day Marcelo Bielsa type figure over the next few years.

Ben Guest: A hard choice, but I’ll narrowly give the award to Eddie Howe. Even in spite of their Saudi takeover, not even the most optimistic of Geordies would have imagined they would have been in the top four all season and secure a Champions League spot with a game to spare. Honourable mentions must go to Gary O’Neil for his work at Bournemouth, Roberto De Zerbi for improving Brighton, and the stunning turnaround provoked by Unai Emery at Aston Villa.

Harry Diamond: This was a season in which several sides overachieved, but perhaps none more so than Newcastle. Eddie Howe is a deserving winner of the Manager of the Season accolade, after leading the Magpies into the Champions League for the first time since 2002/03. Newcastle’s Saudi-funded takeover meant many expected the club to challenge the established elite, but none predicted it to happen so quickly.

Vishnu Anandraj: Eddie Howe – He’s made the most of Newcastle’s signings, extracted so much from unheralded players such as Jacob Murphy and Sean Longstaff, and shown his own improvement as a coach from his Bournemouth days by creating one of the best defences in the league.

Signing of the Season

Peter Henry: Casemiro. In terms of ‘night and day’ effect a player had on a team, it’s hard to look beyond the Brazilian. While it’s true his form dipped a little over the last couple of months of the season, he filled a defensive midfield void that has been glaring at Old Trafford for years, and it’s highly unlikely Man United would have made the top four without his influence.

Ben Guest: It would be easy to plump for Erling Haaland again, though, one player I have absolutely loved watching is Manchester United’s, Lisandro Martinez. Despite the reservations about his height, the diminutive Argentine has more than made up for it with his battling desire. Reads the game well, gets stuck in, and is excellent in possession. Casemiro and Alexander Isak have also been transformative signings for Manchester United and Newcastle respectively.

Harry Diamond: Joao Palhinha – He’s been immense for a Fulham side who have exceeded expectations to secure a top-half finish. The Portugal international has given everything, covering every blade of grass and winning more challenges than any other player in the division. How the Premier League’s top clubs, several in bad need of midfield bite, overlooked Palhinha last summer is a mystery. A fee of around £20m is a bargain for a player of his quality.

Vishnu Anandraj: Lisandro Martinez – Oleksandr Zinchenko, Joao Palhinha and of course Erling Haaland are all good shouts, but Martinez is arguably his team’s most important player both with and without the ball, which can’t be said for almost any other player in the division. He’s also brought an aggression to Manchester United’s backline that’s been missing. The breadth of his impact, especially when many were sceptical of how he’d do in England, has made him a superb signing.

Goal of the Season

Peter Henry: This is probably recency bias at work, but I don’t think I’ve watched a goal on repeat as much as Julio Enciso’s shit-scorcher against Man City this season.

Ben Guest: Plenty of superb strikes to choose from and long-rangers always draw the attention, but I’m going to go for Miguel Almiron’s strike against Fulham. The Paraguay international fired a first-time volley beyond Bernd Leno from a narrow angle.

Harry Diamond: Youri Tielemans loves a banger, doesn’t he? Goals aren’t hit much sweeter than this.

Vishnu Anandraj: Michael Olise vs Manchester United – Doesn’t get much better than a last-minute, left-footed free-kick equaliser that goes in off the crossbar. A magical goal from a magical player.

10 of our favourite 2022/23 Premier League goals

Shock of the Season

Peter Henry: Chelsea being such a mess both on and off the field despite spending £600 million. I mean if someone had said they’d drop out of the top four after getting new owners and sacking Tuchel I would have thought ok, but for the Stamford Bridge to become the stinking sh*tshow they did did really catch me by surprise.

Ben Guest: Personally, I was stunned to see Manchester City allow Joao Cancelo to leave the club in January having been such an influential cog for the Citizens.

Harry Diamond: Liverpool 7-0 Manchester United. This is not a season that will be looked back at with fondness by Liverpool fans, but this result most certainly will.

Vishnu Anandraj: Fulham – Their squad is full of players who seemingly had no future in the Premier League: Andreas Pereira, Willian, Harry Wilson, Carlos Vinicius, Dan James, the list goes on. Even Marco Silva, once considered a bright managerial prospect, had faded away in the minds of most Premier League fans. That they’ve been comfortably mid-table this year and played some great football was quite surprising.

Best Game

Peter Henry: Liverpool 4-3 Tottenham. A madness.

Ben Guest: Manchester United fans won’t agree, but their 7-0 defeat to Liverpool will live long in the memory. A ruthless display of finishing saw Liverpool massively outscore their xG of 2.78 against their most bitter rivals.

Harry Diamond: Liverpool 4-3 Tottenham – The best and worst of each team was on show, as two sides who have disappointed this season went toe-to-toe at Anfield. Liverpool raced into a three-goal lead as Spurs threatened another implosion, before the north Londoners fought back to capitalise on Liverpool’s defensive deficiencies. Richarlison’s stoppage-time equaliser looked to have rescued Spurs, until Liverpool went up the other end seconds later to snatch a dramatic win.

Vishnu Anandraj: Liverpool 4-3 Tottenham – The swings in momentum in a game between two good but flawed teams produced a thrilling game. Richarlison’s celebration, followed by Jota’s winner, was also hysterical.


Peter Henry:

Ben Guest: A real toss-up for this one, but considering I didn’t even have Arsenal to finish in the top four in my pre-season predictions, I will go for the Gunners for going toe-to-toe with Manchester City for 30 games. Just a shame that they suffered another end-of-season slump. Newcastle and Brighton would be close runners-up for me.

Harry Diamond: Newcastle. It’s amazing to think that this team were bottom of the Premier League and winless when Eddie Howe took over in November 2021. Yes, the Saudi riches have helped, but more money has been spent – and squandered – elsewhere in the division. Improvement was anticipated, but who predicted Champions League football would be returning to St James’ Park so soon?

Vishnu Anandraj: Brighton – Roberto De Zerbi has built on Graham Potter’s success and the team is consistently producing technically brilliant talents within an exciting, effective style. Given their resources, European football at the Amex Stadium is a stunning achievement.

Biggest Disappointment

Peter Henry: Kalidou Koulibaly. A transfer gossip legend and a player who looked like an absolute monster of a defender during his days at Napoli. Chelsea signing the Senegalese captain looked so good on paper, but alas his woefulness ended up being a microcosm of the Blues’ dreadful season.

Ben Guest: Chelsea have obviously had a season to forget, though again, I actually predicted that they would. However, I am surprised that Tottenham didn’t kick on under Antonio Conte. Liverpool’s season of struggle is also right up there, with many – including myself – having tipped the Reds to challenge for the title. 

Harry Diamond: Chelsea – That Todd Boehly has managed to take ownership of a top three team, invest £600m on new players, and it lead to their lowest Premier League finish since the early nineties is astonishing.

Vishnu Anandraj: Tottenham – They were playing brilliantly at the end of last season under Antonio Conte and their summer business seemed sensible. The fact that they are now not only out of the top four, but without any clear sense of direction as a team is a dramatic downturn from where they were projected to be.

Read – Choosing a ‘non-Big Six’ Premier League Team of the Season

Read Also – Eight big-name Premier League players who look set to be on the move this summer

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