Premier League 2023/24: Club-by-club review

By Alex Keble 28 May 2024
Adoni Iraola, Bournemouth

From Arsenal to Wolves, Alex Keble takes a look at how each of the 20 clubs fared this season

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Alex Keble reviews how each Premier League team fared in 2023/24 and considers whether their season can be defined as a success or a failure.


When Arsenal let a 2-1 lead slip at home to 10-man Fulham back in August we were left wondering if Mikel Arteta’s side could sustain a title challenge, or if the drop-off witnessed in the second half of 2022/23 was a regression to the mean.

They answered their critics emphatically. Arsenal’s superb season has rightly been hailed a success by both supporters and the manager, who said it best when he praised his team’s club record of 28 Premier League wins over the campaign: “That’s not progress, that’s history.”

There is no shame in finishing two points shy of Manchester City's unstoppable machine, although naturally some fans won’t be able to help searching for where those points were lost. Many will land on that Fulham match - or the other one at Craven Cottage in December, when Arsenal led within five minutes but lost 2-1.

They shouldn’t dwell on it. Arsenal’s points tally of 89 would have been good enough to win the league in 15 previous Premier League seasons and finish joint-top in a further five. Elimination in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League to Bayern Munich was a slight disappointment, but this was a triumphant year - and a sign of even greater things to come.

Aston Villa

Nobody had Aston Villa down for a top-four finish back in August, especially after their humbling 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United on the opening day.

Unai Emery has performed a near-miracle. Transforming relegation candidates under Steven Gerrard into a Champions League outfit in only 17 months is special enough, but to do it amid a relentless injury crisis and while juggling a Thursday-Sunday schedule in the UEFA Europa Conference League (UECL) is unheard of.

Losing to Olympiacos in the UECL semi-finals is the only negative in an almost perfect campaign. At that point, in May, Villa had simply run out of energy - and no wonder. They relied on a tiny core throughout the season but Emery, never complaining, got on with the job and saw Villa over the line.

Ollie Watkins won the Castrol Playmaker of the Season award and finished on 32 Premier League goal contributions, while club captain John McGinn was superb throughout, starting 51 of Villa’s 54 matches, and Leon Bailey took his game to a whole new level.

Ollie Watkins Twenty3

As late as December, when Villa dominated Man City and then beat Arsenal in a season-defining week, Emery’s side were in the title race. They’ve already proved they can compete at the top while playing in Europe. With another good summer, who knows how far they can go?

AFC Bournemouth

Many onlookers were surprised by the decision to replace Gary O’Neil with Andoni Iraola last summer, but after a difficult (and winless) first nine matches, AFC Bournemouth rocketed up the league, winning a remarkable 45 points from 26 encounters between 28 October and 28 April, the fifth-most in the division in that time.

Most points won between 28 Oct-28 Apr
Team Matches Goal diff. Pts
Arsenal 26 +47 59
Man City 25 +38 58
Liverpool 26 +30 55
Aston Villa 26 +11 48
Bournemouth 26 +6 45
Man Utd 25 +3 39

And Iraola did it in style. His brand of hard-tackling, fast-transition football took off in the autumn and led to some spectacular performances, notably December's 3-0 win at Old Trafford and a sensational comeback from 3-0 down to beat Luton Town 4-3 at home in March.

Even more surprising, they did it without their priciest new signings having an impact. Milos Kerkez is the only one of their five most-expensive recruits - a list that doesn't include Justin Kluivert - to start more than 12 Premier League matches.

That’s a plus for Iraola’s coaching, and also bodes well for the future: Alex Scott, Tyler Adams, Hamed Traore and Romain Faivre all missed huge chunks of the season due to injury or being loaned out.

Thanks in no small part to Dominic Solanke’s 19-goal haul, Bournemouth ended with a club-record Premier League points tally of 48. A superb achievement.


It has been a season to forget for Brentford, who went from ninth place and 59 points in 2022/23 to 16th and 39 points - an enormous decline.

But there are mitigating factors. They’ve had a dreadful campaign for injuries - including for marquee signing Kevin Schade, who was restricted to only three Premier League starts - while Thomas Frank had to manage the first half of the season without Ivan Toney, and the second half with a Toney who was performing below his best.

The real issue, however, was defending. Brentford scored only two goals fewer than last season, dropping from 58 to 56, but conceded an alarming 19 more, up from 46 to 65, plus their 30 points dropped from winning positions was a competition-high.

The Bees' old resilience deserted them and some excellent performances from Yoane Wissa weren’t enough to paper over the cracks.

Nevertheless, Brentford are victims of their own success; considering their budget, staying in the top flight for a fourth season is mission accomplished.

Wissa v Toney Twenty3
Brighton & Hove Albion

The way Brighton fell apart towards the end, winning only one of their final 10 Premier League matches, has tainted the legacy of departing head coach Roberto De Zerbi.

But we cannot see 2023/24 as a bad season for the club. Brighton have one of the lowest wage bills in the Premier League and, posting record profits of £122.8m in April, are punching well above their weight.

To even be in contention for a European place this spring was a solid achievement, especially after losing Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo in the summer, coping with Thursday night football and dealing with injuries decimating the team.

It was an uphill battle from the start for De Zerbi, yet 11th is still the third-best finish in the club’s history, and their 48-point haul only three short of Graham Potter’s tally in his final full season at the club.

What’s more, Brighton supporters will cherish memories of their first European adventure, most notably the 2-0 wins home and away against Ajax in the UEFA Europa League.

All in all: not as bad as it looks.


There were high hopes for Vincent Kompany’s Burnley, who were expected to hit the ground running but instead discovered their expansive style of football was too open for Premier League level.

It was a long period of adjustment and Burnley finished eight points short of Nottingham Forest in 17th, although a run of one defeat in eight matches between 10 March and 27 April suggests that with a bit more time, Kompany might have done enough.

Still, this was not a happy season. Having spent a reported £100m on players, Burnley’s disappointing performances up until March - they won just three of their first 28 Premier League matches - reflect poorly on their recruitment and tactical strategy.

Too often they were caught playing out from the back. Kompany stuck to Plan A and Burnley put up a fight too late to save themselves.


On almost every metric you can find, Chelsea’s performances through 2023/24 were of top-four standard - apart from the one that really counts, of course.

Still, they finished a mere five points behind Villa in the fourth Champions League spot.

Top sides for Expected Points 2023/24
Team Expected Points
Arsenal 76.45
Liverpool 72.71
Man City 71.92
Chelsea 59.89
Newcastle 58.13
Aston Villa 52.71

Between the boxes they were tactically coherent, as the stats bear out. Profligacy in front of goal let them down in the first half of the campaign (although by the end, they had scored their third-most goals ever in a Premier League season) and defending in the second half.

That’s what you get from the youngest team in the division, averaging 24 years 233 days, and a big squad that the head coach was tasked with sorting out in a single summer.

Granted, there were few highs and many lows, perhaps most of all losing the EFL Cup final to a Liverpool team full of Academy graduates, but there is a reason why so many Chelsea players were shocked by news of Mauricio Pochettino’s departure by mutual consent.

Crystal Palace

It was a season of two halves - or to be precise, two thirds and a third.

Until Oliver Glasner’s arrival, this looked like one of the more difficult seasons at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace were 15th in the table and only four points above the relegation zone when Roy Hodgson stepped down in February. That feels so much longer than just three months ago.

The Glasner revolution has been remarkable - 24 points from 13 Premier League matches, the fourth-best record in the division since his appointment - lifted Palace to their joint-best points tally of 49 and left fans wondering what might have happened had he come in a few weeks sooner.

Top-performing sides after Glasner's appointment
Team Matches W  D Pts
Man City 14 12 2 38
Arsenal 13 11 1 34
Chelsea 13 8 4 28
Liverpool 13 7 4 25
Crystal Palace 13 7 3 24
Newcastle 13 7 2 23

Benefiting from the return of Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze, Glasner has created a wonderfully synchronised 3-4-3 that has Jean-Philippe Mateta firing (13 goals in 13 matches) and January signings Adam Wharton and Daniel Munoz playing starring roles.

If Palace can keep the band together, Glasner could have a similar impact to Emery and on a significantly smaller budget. Rarely, if ever in the Premier League era, have Palace fans gone into a summer this excited for the future.


Familiar off-field issues put a dampener on supporters’ feelings at the end of a trying campaign, but Everton have been a stoic success on the pitch.

Sean Dyche comfortably secured safety for Everton in challenging circumstances, and without the points deduction they would have finished on 48 points, only one point behind Palace in 10th.

He did it in the most "Dychian" way imaginable. Only the top three teams conceded fewer goals than Everton’s 51, and 11 of their 13 wins were to nil, thanks to Dyche’s expert defensive organisation plus a brilliant breakthrough season from Jarrad Branthwaite.

But goals have been hard to come by. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s goalscoring problems never quite went away, Beto only netted three times in his debut season, and Everton ended up scoring the second-fewest goals in the Premier League, with 40.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, twenty3

It’s easy to work out where Dyche can improve on a solid, if stolid, year. Whether he will able do so is another thing altogether.


So seamless was Fulham’s adaptation to the Premier League under Marco Silva it is easy to forget this is only their second year back in the top flight, making a 13th-place finish and 47 points a very tidy return.

It’s even more impressive when considering Fulham lost Aleksandar Mitrovic to Saudi Arabia in the summer, and on deadline day had Joao Palhinha on a flight to Munich.

Credit to Silva, then, for keeping Fulham floating safely in mid-table. They avoided drama of any kind thanks predominantly to another outstanding season from Palhinha - his 154 tackles again topped the Premier League charts - plus the attacking threat from rising star Antonee Robinson, and the goals of Rodrigo Muniz.

A safe and forgettable season consolidating their place at the top table: job done.


A summer of upheaval – Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino departing, and an entire central midfield signed late in the window - had most pundits predicting a transitional campaign for Liverpool before they could rise again under Jurgen Klopp.

Nobody thought he was nearing the end. In retrospect the announcement was perhaps not well timed.

Liverpool were part of a three-horse title battle through until April and although they were never truly convincing - coming from behind to win 28 points in some haphazard performances built more on vibes than steely structure - it’s hard not to equate their sudden fatigue in the spring with Klopp’s revelation that he “cannot do the job again and again and again and again”.

But as a young team still finding their rhythm, Liverpool probably would have fallen away regardless. We must judge their campaign on our initial expectations.

A good season, then, albeit one with a sad ending. Who knows what life after Klopp will bring, and that alone makes it hard to judge where 2023/24 sits in the grand scheme of things. But a third-place finish and nine points off the title isn’t a bad starting place for Arne Slot.

Luton Town

Rob Edwards’ tears at the final whistle on the final day were hard to watch. He and his team gave it all, but in the end horrible bad luck with injuries, not least the loss of captain Tom Lockyer in December, saw a combative and competitive Luton fall away in the final months.

Of the three promoted clubs they had always looked most likely to scrap their way to safety; to turn Kenilworth Road into a fortress.

Eight of the 12 matches they lost before 10 February were by a single goal, and as Ross Barkley began to run the show in central midfield you felt as though Luton were building towards something.

Then defensive injuries struck, enough to knock any team off course, but particularly challenging for a club punching well above their weight after four promotions in nine years. That Luton scored 52 goals - only five fewer than Manchester United in eighth – suggests better luck at the back might have saved them.

But the single biggest factor was Luton’s performance against their fellow relegation candidates. Edwards’ side finished last in the mini-table between the bottom five. That, in the end, was the difference.

Man City

When Man City let a two-goal lead slip at Selhurst Park on 16 December to make it only one Premier League win in five outings, Pep Guardiola’s side departed for the Club World Cup lying fourth in the league and five points off the top.

The post-Treble hangover so many had predicted was coming to pass. Then, all of a sudden, they recovered.

Man City won 18 and drew three of their final 21 Premier League matches after returning from Saudi Arabia in what amounts to one of Guardiola’s greatest achievements in English football.

They won seven more points than anyone else in that time, which included a run of nine victories in a row to close out the season. With Arsenal finishing only two points behind, Arteta’s side would have won the title had City dropped points in a single one of those nine.

Top-performing sides 27 Dec-19 May
Team Matches W  D Pts
Man City 21 18 3 57
Arsenal 20 16 1 49
Chelsea 20 12 5 41
Liverpool 19 12 4 40
Newcastle 19 9 4 31
Crystal Palace 20 9 4 31

Guardiola’s astonishing feat has a lot to do with his endless tactical innovation. From inverted full-backs to a line of four centre-backs, from Phil Foden’s rise in a central position to the Mateo Kovacic tweak that got them over the line, opponents simply cannot keep track of what City will do next.

It has given Man City the durability required to win an unprecedented four titles in a row, a feat that confirmed Guardiola’s team are the greatest that English football has ever seen.

Man Utd

Victory in the FA Cup final salvaged something from a miserable second season at Old Trafford for Erik ten Hag.

Throughout the campaign he has maintained that performances have been largely adequate, dismissing the relevance of all those shots conceded (660 in total, second only to Sheffield United) and even arguing last week that United are in a “better position” than a year ago.

But frankly the evidence is does not look good. United slumped to an eight-place finish, their worst in Premier League history and one below the David Moyes season in 2013/14.

Injuries played a part, as with most clubs this season, but it is difficult to explain the complete collapse of Man Utd’s tactics, most notably the wide-open central midfield symbolic of a club pulling in different directions: the forwards pressed, the defence dropped, and opponents walked through the middle.

Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho and emerging talent Kobbie Mainoo were bright sparks, while behind the scenes the INEOS part-takeover was the news every Man Utd fan was waiting for, but none of this can distract from what happened on the pitch.

A negative goal difference, a record 14 Premier League defeats, and sitting 15th in Opta’s "Expected Points" table are just some of the markers in a season of endless difficulties for Ten Hag.

Worst six sides for Expected Points 2023/24
Position Team Expected Points
15 Man Utd 43.93
16 West Ham 42.60
17 Burnley 40.93
18 Wolves 33.42
19 Luton 31.16
20 Sheff Utd 30.04
Newcastle United

Replicating the top-four finish of 2022/23 was always going to be tough, so Newcastle fans ought to be pleased with a commendable seventh-place finish in what proved to be a hugely entertaining campaign at St James' Park.

Newcastle broke their Premier League goalscoring record, netting a remarkable 85 times (105 in all competitions) thanks to superb performances from Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon in particular.

Isak's Matchweek 38 goal v Brentford

Along the way they enjoyed memorable wins against Man City and Arsenal on home turf and, although their Champions League adventure was short-lived, supporters will never forget the 4-1 thrashing of Paris Saint-Germain in October. That’s what being a football fan is all about.

It might not have been a season of progress, and missing out on Europe is undoubtedly a blow, but there were plenty of goals and big wins.

It must be remembered that Newcastle’s summer signings never got going. Sandro Tonali missed most of the season through suspension, while young players Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall struggled to settle, and Harvey Barnes had spells on the treatment table.

Newcastle have spent a season in a holding pattern and become "Eddie Howe’s Entertainers" in the process. Not a bad campaign.

Nottingham Forest

The objective was safety, which was duly delivered on the penultimate weekend of the season, and in that sense it is job done for Nuno Espirito Santo.

But prior to 2023/24 the lowest-ever points tally for a non-relegated club was 34 and Forest, even if you give them back their four deducted points, earned just 36. They are lucky that the three promoted clubs all struggled as they did.

Chris Wood had an excellent campaign, scoring 14 Premier League goals, and there were standout seasons for several other attacking players such as Morgan Gibbs-White, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Anthony Elanga - which makes it all the more surprising that Forest scored a mere 49 goals.

player_shot placement map - 16x9 (3)

Things did improve slightly under Nuno, who won 22 points from 21 matches - enough to hit the magic 40-point mark if extended over a full season. Perhaps 2024/25 will be a little less anxiety-inducing for supporters.

Sheffield United

The less said about Sheff Utd’s season the better. They managed only 16 points, just five more than Derby County managed in their record-breaking 2007/08 campaign, and on pretty much every statistical measure the Blades were the worst team in the division.

They took the fewest shots (360) and conceded the most shots (671); they scored the fewest goals (35) and conceded the most (104). That last figure set a Premier League record, while Sheff Utd’s goal difference of -69 is the joint-record with that Derby team.

In fairness, manager Paul Heckingbottom didn’t stand a chance from the off. In the summer the Blades lost two of their best players, Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge, while star player in the Championship Tommy Doyle was not loaned back from Man City.

It meant Sheff Utd began the 2023/24 season with a lighter squad than the one that won promotion. Things were only ever going to go one way. The 8-0 home defeat to Newcastle in September felt like an ending and Chris Wilder, appointed in December, could do nothing to stop the slide.

Tottenham Hotspur

When Ange Postecoglou’s explosive start had Spurs top of the Premier League after an unbeaten opening 10 matches, it seemed certain they would qualify for the Champions League. Nobody had ever failed to do so from that position.

The decline since has been concerning - 40 points from the final 28 matches of the season is the ninth-most points over that period and, as results dipped significantly through 2024 and Spurs limped to a fifth-place finish, questions were raised about Postecoglou’s commitment to Plan A.

Top-performing sides 2 Nov-19 May
Team Matches W  D Pts
Man City 28 20 7 67
Arsenal 28 21 2 65
Liverpool 28 17 8 59
Chelsea 28 15 6 51
Aston Villa 28 13 7 46
Man Utd 28 13 6 45
Newcastle 28 13 4 43
Bournemouth 28 12 6 42
Spurs 28 12 4 40

It’s a brilliant Plan A, mind, and hugely entertaining to see it enacted even in the most trying of circumstances, most notably the 4-1 home defeat to Chelsea when nine-man Spurs stood resolutely on the halfway line, refusing to drop into a defensive formation.

But the goals conceded from set-pieces stacked up and opponents increasingly found the holes in the Postecoglou system. Season Two will require some adaptation, flexibility and - above all - squad depth.

Nevertheless, winning more points than in 2022/23 after losing Harry Kane in the summer is a commendable achievement.

West Ham United

There is universal agreement that Moyes left at the right time.

He was a brilliant West Ham manager but supporters had grown restless with the negative football, particularly when it appeared to stop working.

West Ham conceded the fourth-most goals in the Premier League, with 74, and this surprisingly poor record - a consequence of Declan Rice’s sale, according to Moyes - was the sole reason for a disappointing ninth-place finish. It certainly had nothing to do with their attacking options.

The trio of Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus are one of the most formidable forward lines in the country, and it is fair to say Moyes looked ill-suited to make the most of West Ham’s firepower, even if 60 goals scored is a decent return.

They fared better in the Europa League, reaching the quarter-finals before going out to finalists Bayer Leverkusen, and indeed it is the European adventures for which Moyes will be fondly remembered.

Perhaps, in the end, it was the Thursday-Sunday schedule that proved too much for this team. Lest we forget, at the halfway stage West Ham were just six points behind Villa in third - only for results to fall off a cliff in 2024.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

A sequence of one win from their final 10 matches of the Premier League season has taken the gloss off what had been a very impressive first season in the job for Gary O’Neil. We shouldn’t let it affect our judgment too much.

It’s easy to forget that Wolves were in crisis back in August when Julen Lopetegui resigned on the eve of the new season following the departures of Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes and Nathan Collins.

The team had been gutted and most people tipped Wolves for the drop. O’Neil deserves enormous credit for easily keeping them in the division.

His brand of counter-attacking football has got the best out of Matheus Cunha and Hwang Hee-chan, both of whom scored 12 Premier League goals, and it could even have led to a top-10 finish were it not for Pedro Neto’s season-ending injury on 9 March.

Hwang Hee-chan Twenty3

Wolves were ninth at the time and five points behind Man Utd in sixth. They won just one match after that, a 2-1 victory against Luton. With Neto back and a more stable summer ahead, who knows how high O’Neil’s Wolves can climb?

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