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Reader Poll: EPL Manager of the Season

Which gaffer gets your vote for EPL Manager of the Season?

Pep Guardiola shakes hands with Mikel Arteta - Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League
Pep Guardiola shakes hand with his former assistant, Mikel Arteta, who is now the manager of Arsenal.
Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

The position of manager is one of the highest-pressure jobs in football. On top of handling the countless mundane tasks required to run a team, managers also have to contend with the constant anxiety about the security of their jobs (Pep-level coaches excepted). To wit: across the 20 EPL teams during the 2022-23 season, 13 managers were sacked, and there were a total of 21 managerial changes.

Pep Guardiola has already been announced as the official Manager of the Season, but there was no shortage of legitimate contenders. Valid arguments can be made for others, and I’ve outlined some of those below. Have a look and then vote for the man you think deserves the award.

Note that the poll is based on the performance in the league. Managers such as David Moyes from West Ham who have done well in European tournaments but struggled in the EPL are not included.


Who is your choice of Manager of the Season in 2022-2023?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Pep Guardiola (Man City)
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
    (2 votes)
  • 40%
    Eddie Howe (Newcastle Utd)
    (8 votes)
  • 20%
    Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton)
    (4 votes)
  • 20%
    Unai Emery (Aston Villa)
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Marco Silva (Fulham)
    (0 votes)
20 votes total Vote Now

Pep Guardiola (Man City)

Under Pep Guardiola, Man City has become a dynasty, winning its third league title in a row. City is now poised for a treble, with an FA Cup final to play this weekend, followed by a Champions League final the weekend after.

But at mid-season, Man City was only in second place, trailing league-leading Arsenal. For a glimpse into Pep’s genius. let’s examine the changes Pep made that lead to the league trophy.

Two seasons ago, Pep used an inverted fullback system to stymie counterattacks and to control the tempo in the middle of the park. Since then, the squad has changed slightly — Raheem Sterling leaving and Erling Haaland arriving, the Norseman proving to be one of the most prolific number-9s in the world.

In the early stages of this season, Pep’s formation was a 4-1-2-3 with an inverted fullback, just like last season. Although Haaland prospered in this setup, City often lacked flow when building attacks — similar to when Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Pep’s Barcelona in 2009-10.

By switching to a 3-2-4-1, Pep unlocked City’s full potential and rejuvenated John Stone’s career as one of the two pivots in front of the defenders. The additional number 10 behind the lone striker improved the service to Haaland and covered ground that the Norwegian could not.

Pep is not only a master tactician, but also a brilliant man-manager. He has kept players like Jack Grealish, John Stones, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, and Riyad Mahrez fully motivated and hungry despite periods during which they were not regular starters and could easily have become demoralized.

Pep has now achieved so much success at Man City that we’ve almost come to take it for granted that the Sky Blues will have seasons like this one. But that success is a direct product of their manager’s deep understanding of tactics and his willingness to adapt. Indeed, he is one of the figures responsible for shaping the definition of modern football.

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)

The fact that Mikel Arteta’s Gunners spent 248 days on top of the table this season shows how much they have improved. They accumulated 15 more points this campaign than last (84 versus 69) and scored a total of 88 goals while maintaining the third best defense in the league. If not for some unfortunate injuries to key players in the final part of the season, Arsenal may have even marched to its first league title in 19 years.

Mikel Arteta played under the great Arsene Wenger, then joined Pep’s coaching staff at the Etihad for three seasons before returning to the Emirates as manager of Arsenal. His football philosophy has been substantially shaped by those experiences. Arsenal is playing a positive brand of football, emphasizing role responsibilities such as the fullbacks inverting into midfield in transition, and the forwards counter-pressing when out of possession.

A testament to his abilities, Arteta challenged for the title this season despite fielding the youngest squad in the league, featuring young talents such as Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, William Saliba, and Gabriel Martinelli as regular members of his S-XI when healthy. As a fan of EPL football, it has been a joy for me to watch Arsenal’s young players improve under Arteta’s concept of beautiful football.

Eddie Howe (Newcastle)

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United is playing in the Champions League next season! Since its acquisition, Newcastle has had the richest owner in the league. However, Eddie Howe did not make any panic purchases. In fact, together with the management boards, he strengthened the squad with suitable players at reasonable prices.

Howe has always shown the potential to be one of the best managers since he managed Bournemouth years ago. If we analyze Newcastle this season, there is no individual player that outperforms all others, but they are where they are now in the league because of the collaboration of the team.

In team building philosophy and how to do their best with the players they have, Newcastle makes the correct decision almost every time. Howe might not be the most charismatic manager in a press conference, but he is improving. It will be interesting to watch now that the Magpies play in the Champions League — Can Howe cope with the big names?

Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton)

“Brighton are the best team in the world at making build-up, bringing the ball out from the back to midfield.” The praise from Pep shows the quality of Brighton football. Under De Zerbi’s management, Brighton has qualified for the Europa League next season. Despite losing key players and having limited resources, the Seagulls have taken points from all top-4 teams, including impressively defeating 3rd-place Man United twice in the league.

De Zerbi was appointed Graham Potter’s sack halfway through the season. Even more complicated, top scorer Leandro Trossard had a fallout with management and transfered to Arsenal. Despite the challenges, De Zerbi was still able to achieve the result while developing young talents. Julio Enciso, Evan Ferguson, Levi Colwill and Facundo Buonanotte were given opportunities to shine even though they are still under 20 years old. De Zerbi will now have a full summer to build his own team and prepare it in the preseason. Watch out for Brighton playing bigger teams in the Europe next season!

Unai Emery (Aston Villa)

When Unai Emery was appointed, Aston Villa was still struggling in the bottom five. Toward the end of season, Villa qualified to the European Conference League! Counting only game-weeks managed by Unai Emery, Villa would have been Top-4! Throughout the season, the Villans had an impressive 10-match unbeaten run, obtaining 26 points from 30.

Alex Moreno is the only new player since Gerrard’s departure, but the results have significantly improved. Unai Emery has helped Aston Villa adapt to modern possession football by building from as far back as the goalkeeper.

World Cup champion Emi Martinez is averaging more passes and defensive actions outside his box than before. This helped to defend the through passes and minimize the risk of defending behind-the-back for centre back pair Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.

Attackers such as Ollie Watkins (15 goals, 6 assists) and Jacob Ramsey ( 6 goals, 7 assists) have also benefited from the new approach. Similar to De Zerbi at Brighton, Emery now has his first full summer to bring in players and prepare in preseason on his own terms. With Aston Villa’s history and financial resources, we can expect some big names joining Aston Villa this summer!

Marco Silva (Fulham)

Fulham was promoted to the premier league for 2022-23 season, ending on 52 points in the top-half (ranked 10th). Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Cottagers’ top scorer, played only 24 of the 38 matches in the league., Had he been involved in more matches, there is a good chance that Fulham would have finished even higher.

Under Silva, Fulham plays direct football with wing-focused attacks. The players are always passionate and motivated on the field, and it brings joy to whoever watches.

Joao Palhinha and Harrison Reed as the duo pivot in the 4-2-3-1 formation have been vital to Fulham’s plays. Players from “Big-6” such as Willian (Chelsea, Arsenal), Harry Wilson (Liverpool), Andreas Perreira and Daniel James (Man United) as well as Bernd Leno (Arsenal) have performed above the expectations under the management of Portuguese. If Mitrovic can avoid injury and disciplinary issues, Fulham can target top-7 and European competition slots next season.

Stats and info for this article were sourced from