01 June 2023

The best 'what ifs' of top sports stories

01 June 2023

Mission accomplished for Sean Dyche as he successfully steered Everton to Premier League safety after his appointment as manager on January 30. At the time of his arrival, Everton were in 19th place and two points away from safety. Despite limited attacking options due to injuries, the club secured survival with a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on the final day of the season, extending their top-flight stay to 69 years. Dyche accumulated 21 points from his 18 matches in charge, achieving notable improvements, particularly in the final third, to ensure Premier League survival.

The 2022/23 Premier League campaign concluded after 38 thrilling gameweeks, with Manchester City emerging as champions and Arsenal closely behind. Newcastle United, Aston Villa, and Brighton & Hove Albion surprised many in the European battle. Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea disappointed, finishing eighth and 12th, while Southampton, Leeds United, and Leicester City faced relegation. Controversial VAR decisions impacted numerous matches, prompting an analysis of how the league would look without VAR. The revised table reveals significant changes in standings.

Sean Dyche recognises the challenges ahead at Everton this summer. Despite narrowly securing Premier League survival, the Toffees require significant improvements. With financial limitations, Dyche will need to make strategic changes to align the squad with his philosophy. A considerable overhaul is expected, with several players out of contract and others potentially on the move during the summer transfer window.

Shortly after the 2022-23 Premier League season ended, rumours surfaced about the future of Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes. The midfielder played a crucial role in Newcastle's return to the Champions League after a 20-year absence. Barcelona and Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing the 25-year-old Brazilian. However, it is believed that Guimaraes is content at St James' Park and not looking to leave, with the player expressing his love for the club and desire to win a title. Newcastle is also unwilling to sell the star, who still has a contract until 2026.

The thrilling Premier League 2022-23 season has concluded, with Manchester City as champions and Arsenal as strong contenders. Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Aston Villa secured European qualification, while Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur faced disappointing finishes. Brentford and Fulham emerged as surprise contenders, and Wolverhampton Wanderers and AFC Bournemouth made impressive recoveries. Nottingham Forest and Everton narrowly avoided relegation, unlike Southampton, Leicester City, and Leeds United. Manchester United secured third place, and all 20 clubs will receive prize money based on their final positions, with an estimated £2.2 million per place plus a base fee of around £84 million from television revenue.

The 2022/23 Scottish Premiership season concluded with Celtic as champions, finishing seven points ahead of Rangers. Despite the introduction of VAR, penalty decisions remained controversial, with technology fuelling debates rather than resolving them. A look at data from football statistics site Transfermarkt reveals the number of penalties awarded to each of the 12 Scottish Premiership clubs during the season, ranking them from lowest to highest.

Borussia Monchengladbach bid adieu to Marcus Thuram as he seeks a new club this summer. Thuram refused a new contract after four years at Gladbach, scoring 44 goals in 134 matches, and becoming a France international. Manchester United, Chelsea, and Newcastle United are rumoured to be interested in the 25-year-old free agent. Thuram's close friend, Magpies winger Allan Saint-Maximin, expressed his desire for Thuram to join him at Tyneside. Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe acknowledged Thuram's talent but did not comment further.

Birmingham City are reportedly competing with Sunderland to sign Dion Sanderson this summer. John Eustace has expressed his desire for Sanderson, who has already successfully completed two loan spells at St Andrew's. However, Sunderland are also interested in the centre back. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sanderson's parent club, are expected to make a decision on his long-term future soon. Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion could lose Carlos Corberan to Leeds United. Corberan has a release clause in his contract, and if Leeds offer the undisclosed amount, it would be up to the Spaniard to decide.

The Premier League boasts impressive attendance figures, with Manchester United as one of the largest clubs in Europe for average home attendances across all competitions this season. Using data from football statistics site Transfermarkt, we compared them to their rivals in the English top flight and across Europe. The final attendance table for the 2022/23 season reveals the top 25 clubs with the largest average home attendances in European competitions.

Joao Felix will not remain at Chelsea next season, as new manager Mauricio Pochettino opts against signing the Portuguese player permanently. Felix, on loan from Atletico Madrid, played 16 Premier League games and scored four goals for Chelsea. Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo confirmed Pochettino's decision, leaving Felix facing an uncertain summer. Despite interest from Newcastle, it seems unlikely they will meet Atletico's £90million asking price.

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