It's a stable season for managers
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It's a stable season for managers

Few manager changes last season

One of the more intriguing aspects of the recently concluded Premier League action is that there were only three managerial changes during the entire season. This was in sharp contrast to the previous season which proved to be a merry-go-round with only nine of the top-flight teams keeping the manager they had started with.

However, there have been several changes since this season ended and it is not easy to keep up with who is where. We can only wish former Leicester manager Enzo Maresca the best of luck at Chelsea. He's going to need it.

It should be pointed out that last year there had been four pre-season changes with managers being moved from Chelsea, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Wolves before the August kick-off.

The first casualty during the actual season was Sheffield United's Paul Heckingbottom who was sacked on Dec 5 after the Blades had been thrashed 5-0 by relegation rivals Burnley. His departure didn't come as any great surprise as the club was bottom of the league with only five points from 14 games.

Heckingbottom was replaced by Chris Wilder who had previously managed the club. However Wilder's "second coming" was not enough to turn things around and could not prevent United being the first club relegated.

The second manager to get the chop was more controversial when long-time Nottingham Forest gaffer Steve Cooper was ousted on Dec 19 and replaced by Nuno Espirito Santo. Forest went on to just escape relegation, finishing in 17th place.

Many Forest fans were unhappy with Cooper's dismissal because he had rescued Forest when they were bottom of the Championship and had somehow won them promotion to the Premier League with an attacking playing style.

The third and final managerial change of the season came on Feb 19 when Roy Hodgson resigned from his post at Crystal Palace owing to illness. Many believed the veteran gaffer was about to get the sack anyway. He was replaced by former Eintracht Frankfurt manager Oliver Glasner.

The change at Palace proved to be the biggest success. When Glasner took over, the club was in 16th place and struggling after having lost 10 of their previous 16 games. Under Glasner the south London club enjoyed a stirring end to the season finishing in 10th place, their joint-highest-ever finish in the Premier League.

The 2023-4 Premier League was also notable for the record number of goals with 1,246 being scored at an average of 3.28 per game.

Among the strikers we have to thank are Manchester City's Erling Haaland who banged in 27 goals, Chelsea youngster Cole Palmer with 22 and Newcastle United's Alexander Isak who netted 21 times. Four players contributed with 19 apiece -- Phil Foden (Man City), Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) and Mo Salah (Liverpool).

At the other end Arsenal custodian David Reya was a clear winner with 16 clean sheets, followed by Everton and England keeper Jordan Pickford with 13, not a bad effort considering the Toffees were battling relegation for most of the season.

Among the annual awards presented by the Premier League Manchester City won twice with Pep Guardiola named best manager and Phil Foden best player.

Best young player went to Chelsea's Cole Palmer, best goal to Manchester United's Alejandro Gamacho and best save to Luton Town keeper Thomas Kaminski.

There were no huge disciplinary issues. Three players received two red cards -- Yves Bissouma (Tottenham), Reece James (Chelsea) and Olie McBurnie (Sheff Utd). Leading the way with yellows was Fulham's Jaoao Palhinha and Bournemoth's Marcos Senesi with 13 apiece.

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