My Premier League Table Prediction for 2022/23 by Dan Smith
It’s that time of the year when Football Fans forecast the Premier League table.
Who will be Champions? Who qualifies for Europe? Who gets relegated? Who’s the first manager to be sacked? Etc.
Within our fanbase it also means unless I predict Arsenal will challenge for the title or at the very least finish in the top 4, I will be accused of being negative.
The last few years have factually been some of the worst in our modern history. For example, we just had a campaign for the first time in a quarter of a century where we had zero European Football. So, it’s understandable any Gooner wouldn’t be happy considering what we were promised when we left Highbury
My own viewpoint is that it doesn’t make you a bigger supporter just by being positive for the sake of positivity, so try and base your thoughts on your head and not your heart.
I also accept that the transfer window is open till September which can alter things.
Arsenal – 5th
I argued last season that while I noticed improvement, I worried that in the crucial moments of matches and the campaign, would we have the mentality to get over the line?
I was called lots of names but whisper it quietly, that’s exactly what happened.
It’s not even criticism when you consider the club made the conscious decision to build the youngest squad in the division, therefore it’s natural they would lack leadership.
I do think Jesus and Zinchenko will help, not just do they know the division, they know how to win it. In terms of recruitment, they are the best we could have got, two players who could become better with the benefit of first team action.
I am worried, it’s gone quiet on links with a proven attacking midfielder/winger, meaning there would again be too much pressure on youth to be our creative outlet.
If I said 12 months ago, we would be relying on Jesus/Nketiah for our source of goals ahead of Lacazette/ Aubameyang, I’m not sure how many Gooners would have been happy?
The 4 who finished above us have strengthened and I just think we need more.
Why do I think in May we will still be talking about potential and being asked for patience while a Vieira, etc, develops?
I am more confident we can win the Europa League. If Rangers can get to the final, then so can we.
Aston Villa -9th
Having started well, it went under the radar that Gerrard kind of never got going at Villa.
Needs to keep Watkins and Ings fit.
Keep an eye on Kamara, a very good free signing.
Brentford – 19th
There are obvious comparisons to be made with Sheffield United who finished top 10 after promotion and 20th the year after.
I’m not saying they will be that bad, but they will suffer from second season syndrome.
A lot of their points came in the first half of the campaign when they took advantage of the momentum of winning the play offs.
Christian Eriksen helped wrestle the slide when their surprise factor wore off.
They don’t have that anymore.
Brighton – 11th
I wrote most weeks last season how Brighton would play well but not win due to not taking their chances.
I admire Graham Potter for always sticking by his principles.
He either needs to buy a new striker (they haven’t really invested this summer) or hope Danny Welbeck stays fit.
If you haven’t seen his physique go check his images out.
Will continue to try and play a good brand of football with Potter’s reputation enhancing.
Bournemouth – 18th
I grew up in the area so have a soft spot for the club.
Unfortunately, it does seem like their business model is different to the last time they were in the topflight.
This time round the Cherries is using money from promotion to improve the structure off the pitch such as the training ground.
It means they have so far got a couple of free agents and players from the Championship.
Will play the game the right way and get the odd shock win but clearly have set up where relegation wouldn’t be the end of the world.
I’m not one of these supporters who reads too much into pre-season.
It sums up the world we live in that fan are now actually putting their managers under pressure based on friendlies.
In reality I think some of their signings have gone under the radar.
Playing every week, Sterling could get 15-20 goals while Koulibaly for 34 million is a bargain.
They have the resources where they can still do something big in the transfer market. Would they have let Lukaku return to Italy without the intention of buying a striker?
If they purchase a forwaord, they can challenge for the title before falling away.
Crystal Palace – 10th
Another season where Vieira will take a step closer to being the next Arsenal manager.
Impressed many last year with how quickly a new group of players brought into his ethos, with each one knowing their own roles.
In theory young talent should only get better.
A lot of fixtures the Eagles didn’t get results they deserved last campaign because of a lack of fire power.
They might yet correct that by buying a new striker.
Evertonians have to accept where their club is currently at. While there’s uncertainty about the ownership, the days of worrying about being a top 6 side are over.
Frank Lampard can be trusted to get the best out of their young players, and he won’t tolerate the senior pros who let the club down last year.
The Toffees are better than being in a relegation fight, which should never happen again.
Fulham – 20th
Marco Silva has already warned Fulham are not ready for the season.
While he maintains that’s not to put any pressure on the board who he insists are committed to bringing in fresh faces, I think any team who have 16 senior players available with less than a week before the campaign, their ambition needs to be questioned.
Leeds – 16th
Looking at the squads from last season, none look dramatically weaker as much as Leeds who have lost their two best players.
This from a team who only stayed up on the last day of the campaign.
Jesse Marsh does now have a pre-season to properly teach his ethos and values, yet he remains an unknown quantity. Wouldn’t be shocked to see a managerial change.
Was tempted to put them in the bottom 3 but at squeaky bum time the atmosphere at Elland Road can get them over the line.
Leicester – 13th
Brenden Rodgers might argue he’s been a victim of his own success, but I feel he needs to start the season well.
Needs to show he can turn the tide when things are not going well. For example, as he fixed the set-pieces problem which caused them conceding so many goals.
With the likes of Vardy getting older and Maddison and Schmeichel possibly leaving, you sense the Foxes are in a state of transition.
Liverpool – 3rd
Both Man City and Liverpool have shown an incredible mentality to essentially play every few days with the pressure of having to win. From January, the Reds drew three games in the Prem and won the others yet that wasn’t enough to be Champions.
Barring the year the sport was played without fans, both have been doing that for years.
A big club act like one. So, they were prepared for Mane’s exit by bringing in Diaz in the New Year and now Nunez.
There was talk that the Reds were becoming predictable in the run in, just crossing the ball in as they seemed to tire. Nunez might give them alternative options.
Law of averages, the top 2 can’t keep up those levels, not in a World Cup year.
They don’t have the depth that City do.
Man City – 1st
I don’t think the Champions get enough credit for the standards they have set.
I think they have been so good for so long we almost take for granted the mentality they have to reach to hit the heights they do.
Since January, they and Liverpool every few days essentially played in must win fixtures where even a draw felt like the end of the world.
As humans, you assume eventually this group will lose that hunger and get complacent?
That’s why Pep Guardiola is special. He’s so driven and almost obsessed in his attention to detail. That’s the reason he eventually walked away from Barcelona because emotionally it takes so much out of him.
That will eventually happen at the Etihad but not this year.
Sir Alex used to stress the importance of adding a couple of players to a winning squad to keep everyone competitive. Haaland and Phillips will do just that.
Man United – 6th
The quicker Man United fans accept this is where they are at, the quicker they will return to their previous levels.
They have too many resources to not win the Prem again one day, but have made so many bad decisions they have to tolerate a step back to go forward.
Finally, they seem to have learnt about not buying a marquee name for the sake of it, allowing their new managers to base his shortlist on the right kind of character as much as quality.
They need to trust Ten Haag though.
If the Glazers think he’s the man for the job, then don’t panic if things don’t go right the first year.
He might even have to upset the dressing room a little bit.
A transitional year.
Like us, it’s more realistic that they win the Europa League then that they finish top 4.
Newcastle – 7th
If I was a Geordie, I would be disappointed as the assumption, was they were going to do a Man City or a Chelsea in the transfer market when they were brought out.
Of course, a lot can change till September, but it does seem like the Toon’s growth will be a gradual process.
Apart from being the richest club in the UK, they have a manager in Eddie Howe who has made every player better since he arrived on Tyneside.
After his hiatus following Bournemouth, some needed reminding about Howe’s obsession for the sport and attention to detail. He’s the first to arrive at training and last to leave.
He can now worry about the top half of the table.
Nottm Forest– 15th
Unlike the other two promoted teams, Forest is taking a different approach in their bid to beat the drop.
Where Fulham and Bournemouth appear to have prepared for relegation not financially being the end of the world, Forest have thrown money at it.
They have already spent over 100 million on new faces.
There’s zero guarantee this works as evidence in the past suggests it can upset the balance of a squad who won the playoffs, with too much talent trying to settle into a new club at the same time.
What will keep them up I think is the atmosphere at the City Ground.
Forest is a big club, are back in the top division for the first time since 1999 and I can see big clubs having their scalp being taken.
Southampton – 17th
One of those examples where ending the previous campaign in poor form could impact on the new one.
Ralph Hassenhuttl might need a good start.
Often, he starts a season well, but can’t maintain those standards because his ethos requires his players to put in so much energy.
Squad looks stale, a club standing still.
It’s a compliment to Conte that many think Spurs can break the gap between themselves and the top 2 purely based on who they had in charge.
Make zero mistakes. They have a world class manager who won’t accept the negativity we associate them with.
Now with a pre-season to have worked with his players, I can’t see Spurs starting this season as slow as last season.
They will have their moments but obviously don’t have enough depth to maintain a challenge.
Don’t worry though Gooners, Conte can never keep it up. This time next year he will fall out with Daniel Levy.
West Ham – 8th
A victim of their own success. Hammers need to remind themselves how hard it is to better than what they have managed in the last couple of seasons.
David Moyes might choose to prioritize Europe which is the correct decision.
That will impact their League form as they don’t have the biggest squad
Wolves – 14th
One of the dullest teams to watch. Don’t score many, don’t concede many either.
Haven’t done too much in the summer to change that.
Be respectful of others’ opinions
Be Kind in The Comments