2022/23 Premier League Previews | Four teams and their mission to break beyond mid-table mediocrity

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2022/23 Premier League Previews

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2022/23 Premier League Previews | Four teams and their mission to break beyond mid-table mediocrity

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Siddhant Lazar

08/05/2022

The 2022/23 Premier League season is around the corner but while some have their hearts set on titles and trophies, others have their goals set on European football and lots of money. It means for the rest, their dreams and aspirations have been placed slightly lower than most at a mid-table place.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton © Twitter

How did Brighton and Hove Albion do in the 2021/22 Premier League season?

It wasn’t the worst season in Seagulls’ history but it wasn’t the best either as despite a flying start to their 2021/22 term, Brighton soon fell upon hard times. They won four out of their opening five games and would only win eight more in the 33 games after that. However, it wasn’t that Graham Potter’s side struggled to beat teams because they were bad but that they struggled to beat teams because they failed to score goals.

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That was proven by the fact that they had the sixth worst goals scored record in the league as Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay finished as joint top scorers. Yet even then, thanks to their brand of football and Graham Potter’s influence, the Seagulls never struggled as much as they should have and somehow managed to finish ninth in the league. 

Improvements they have made:

That’s the shocking thing as despite having sold Yves Bissouma to Tottenham and having let Aaron Connolly leave on loan to Venezia, Brighton are yet to make any major signings this summer. They have brought in Julio Enciso and Simon Adingra plus Deniz Undav has returned from his loan-spell with Royal Union SG. But beyond that, Brighton haven’t made any real signings and that has to be a concern for their fans, especially with Neal Maupay linked with a move away.

Not only that, rumours have indicated that the Seagulls are open to letting the French forward leave the club this summer. That is made worse with the fact that the club have already lost Bissouma and then Marc Cucurella, a day before the season officially started, which is never a good sign even if Chelsea spent upwards of 60 million on the Spaniard. He was one of their best attacking outlets last season and replacing that should be high up their shortlist.

Why they won’t get beyond a mid-table finish in the 2022/23 season

It’s not a big secret that Brighton aren’t exactly the richest club in the world and that the club have thrived under Graham Potter’s tutelage but there is only so much the Englishman can do. His efforts and tactics could help the club compete for more than just a mid-table place but with the team they have in-place right now, that might be unlikely.  Not only that, it’s equally unlikely that things will become worse although how they cope without Yves Bissouma could play a huge role in what happens to their season.

Brentford

Brentford © Twitter

How did Brentford do in the 2021/22 Premier League season?

After a decent start to their season, Brentford’s form took a nose-dive just before the January transfer window as the team began to struggle to cope with the rigors of Premier League football. Not only that, the lack of creativity hurt the Bees as they won five of the sixteen games they played before the January window opened.

Once the window opened though, the Bees signed Christian Eriksen and their form also dramatically improved as the club not only moved out of the relegation zone but surged up the table. It wasn’t all rosy and happy going for the club but the presence of Eriksen combined with a few other stars finding their feet meant that Brentford did enough to survive.

Improvements they have made:

With Christian Eriksen signing for Manchester United, his loss will be a massive massive hole for Brentford to fill and so far the Bees have yet to do exactly that. They do have a month left in the window to try and fill the gap but their moves have been to strengthen other areas. Aaron Hickey arrives as wing-back coverage on either flank while Ben Mee adds in experience to their defense.

Not only that, signing Thomas Strakosha on a free-transfer might turn out to be a coup although the Albanian hasn’t quite been himself over the last few years and will likely play back-up to David Raya. They have also signed Keane Lewis-Potter from Hull City but he might be one for the future although having scored 12 goals in the Championship last term, he may be one to watch out for.

Why they won’t get beyond a mid-table finish in the 2022/23 season

Well for one, they’ve lost Christian Eriksen and for another, they haven’t replaced him. It was lucky that Brentford managed to sign someone of his quality in January and he definitely played a key role to their survival in the second half of the season. However, it doesn’t mean that without him that they are likely to collapse but it’s unlikely that they’ll do anything incredible this term.

Either they’ll thrive and make an upper mid-table spot or struggle and barely escape relegation but other than that, anything else might just be beyond Brentford’s reach.

Leeds United

Leeds United © Twitter

How did Leeds United do in the 2021/22 Premier League season?

Terribly. That’s how and that’s not even sugarcoating things because Leeds United were most definitely one of the worst Premier League teams last season. Everton were a close second with the three relegated sides on the same side of the table as well although the only reason the Peacocks survived was because Burnley endured a late season blip that they couldn’t come back from.

But the loss of Marcelo Bielsa, a consistent flurry of injuries, the fact that they had the fifth worst goals scored record and the second worst goals against record meant that they were very bad. Yet others were even worse which when combined with the honeymoon period that Jesse Marsch had, allowed the team to survive. It could have been worse.

Improvements they have made:

Losing Raphinha and Kalvin Philips could hurt any team on this planet but when one was your top scorer last season and the other a key piece of the midfield, it makes things even tougher. But so far, the Peacocks have spent that money well and on multiple new arrivals. Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra, Tyler Adams, Rasmus Kristensen and Marc Roca are bound to be first team-choices.

Especially since Sinisterra, Adams and Roca were brought in to replace Raphinha and Philips although the concern is whether they can replicate their efforts in the English top tier. Kristensen on the other hand, is a long-term replacement for Luke Ayling but again the same question arises.

Why they won’t get beyond a mid-table finish in the 2022/23 season

The five new arrivals, the new manager still figuring out the Premier League and the fact that the fans aren’t quite happy with the loss of Marcelo Bielsa alongside Raphinha and Kalvin Philips. That doesn’t quite make for happy tidings at Elland Road and given the competition this season for a European place or a top table finish, Leeds United just don’t seem to have it in them.

They could, however, move up the table probably even as high as 10th place if everything clicks together but that’s a big if even if Jesse Marsch does have a history with his new signings.

Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest © Twitter

How did Nottingham Forest do in the 2021/22 Championship season?

Given that Nottingham Forest started the 2021/22 Championship really really really badly, few expected the Tricky Trees to be anywhere near the Premier League at the end of the season. But after one win in their opening eight games, it saw Chris Hughton sacked and replaced by Steve Cooper, who turned their season around. So much so, that Forest surged up the table and ended the 2021/22 season by missing out on that automatic promotion spot by one loss.

In the end, they made the cut via not one three rather impressive wins in the playoffs, including a penalty shoot-out against Sheffield United and a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the final. Not the worst games to win especially when you consider the fact that it earned them promotion to the English top tier.

Improvements they have made:

When you consider the fact that it is their first season back in the Premier League for almost 23 years, the club haven’t gone stir crazy and signed a bunch of players. No, what they’ve done is make up for the time lost instead by going stir crazy and signing a bunch of players. That includes moves for Neco Williams, Taiwo Awoniyi, Moussa Niakhate, Omar Richards, Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson, Wayne Hennessey and five more new faces.

That could be a problem if the club hadn’t lost their first team right-back, goalkeeper striker and needed offensive and defensive quality to add a little more punch to Cooper’s side. Whether it works out or not is a completely another question but the club have added pieces.

Why they won’t get beyond a mid-table finish in the 2022/23 season

Some believe that Nottingham Forest may barely survive the 2022/23 Premier League season and those people, critics and fans might be slightly right. But even then, given the lack of additions that Bournemouth have made, given the lack of quality that Fulham have added and Everton’s struggles, there might be three other sides sitting in a worse boat than Forest. It means that while they may be a part of the relegation dog-fight, there is a good chance that it all clicks together and they instead settle for mid-table mediocrity.

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