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Every Premier League side’s New Year’s resolution to keep their fans happy

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premier league 2024 new years resolutions

Every year without fail, the clock strikes midnight on 31 December and people shout from the rooftops; ‘New year, new me,’ people rejoice once the clock hits midnight on 31 December each year.

Now, they say, is the ideal time to change, to prepare, to sow a New Year’s resolution into their lives for harvesting later in the year.

4,000 years ago the Babylonians were the first to conceive the concept of New Year’s resolutions. Then, they were tied to religion, power, and socioeconomic values. Now, they target increased yoga uptake or reduced alcoholic consumption.

More often than not, they’re short-lived and unsuccessful.

For Premier League sides, 1 January is a time to reflect on a year that was successful for some and terrible for others and cast their eye towards 2024, a new year and a fresh start.

Each team will have one overarching goal in mind for the new year tailored to their fortunes. We’ve run our eye over all 20 and speculated what each Premier League side’s 2024 New Year’s resolution should be.

ange postecoglou, Spurs
Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou will hope he can cement himself as a top Premier League manager in 2024

Every Premier League side’s 2024 New Year’s resolution

Arsenal

Win something!

Let’s be honest, Arsenal need to win something. Mikel Arteta’s young, exciting side has time on their side but youth can only buy so much credit without success. They must win something now. If not for them, and their fans, then for the noise around them.

Going another 12 months without winning something could be crushing for their confidence and thin their fans’ patience. Supporters trust the process, but only if the process is immediately fruitful.

They’ll enter 2024 near the Premier League’s summit, with a fighting chance in Europe, and a real opportunity for domestic cup glory. For their sake, they’ll need to end the season with at least one of those trophies in their cabinet.

Aston Villa

Give Watkins some assistance

The time for Aston Villa to be a chief Premier League disruptor is here. In 2023, they were a thorn in every team’s side, beating Spurs, Chelsea, Newcastle, and Brighton amongst others along the way.

You get the sense they aren’t far off cementing themselves as a true Premier League heavyweight. To do so, they need just one more piece: assistance for Ollie Watkins.  

What? You may ask. Your face might be scrunched with confusion now. But ask yourself, who comes in if he suffers a lengthy injury? Jhon Duran? 

That’s exactly my point. 

Bournemouth

Keep the good times rolling 

For the first time since they first gained promotion, a manager not named Eddie Howe has made Bournemouth fun. As the kids say, Andoni Iraola is cooking. After a slow side, he’s morphed his side into the high-pressing, quick-breaking, and potent machine many expected them to become.

No side has produced more than Bournemouth’s six goal-ending high turnovers this season, highlighting the effectiveness of their high press, and more notably, just how indoctrinated they’ve become in Iraola’s tactics.

Dom Solanke is enjoying his finest top-flight spell, dropping deep to link the play and kickstart attacks before arriving in the box to usually finish them off.  Continuing to produce such remarkable performances and results, and keep the fun rolling, is critical for both coach and side heading into the new year and beyond. 

Premier league managers, Iraola
Buying Andoni Iraola time is the best thing Bournemouth can do for their short and long-term hopes.

Brentford

Get Toney back, and keep him

Let’s be honest, Brentford are doing okay without Ivan Toney. Before sustaining a lengthy ankle injury, Bryan Mbuemo had filled in admirably. But let’s be brutally honest, he’s no Ivan Toney. 

It’s not just goals Toney gives you (he scored 20 in 2022-23). It’s so much more. His physicality allows them to play in a different, more frightening way (just ask Lisandro Martinez), as does his fantastic link-up play.

His ban for betting breaches ends in mid-January, right at the time Yoane Wissa jets to AFCON, leaving Brentford dangerous light up front. Keeping him will be a mammoth task for the Bees.  Should he remain at the Bees he adds a whole new kind of weapon to Thomas Frank’s arsenal. 

That could come in handy at the pointy end of the season.

Brighton

Find a ready-now midfielder

Brighton haemorrhaged midfielders in the 2023 summer window. Out went World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo. In came James Milner, Mo Dahoud, and Carlos Baleba. 

It was like replacing a Lamborghini with a Nissan Cube. 

Milner and Dahoud are serviceable professionals and Baleba’s promise is evident in flashes but hey’re just not the men they’re replacing. Mac Allister is a creative World Cup winner capable of filling all midfield roles, and Caicedo is a wonderful defensive midfielder with great passing range and understated versatility. 

For a Brighton side fighting on three main fronts; the League, the FA Cup, and Europe, they need win-now midfielders.

Tony Bloom, Premier League
Brighton boss Tony Bloom will need to work his algorithmic magic in 2024

Burnley

Hope some of the kids stick around in the C’Ship

It shouldn’t be controversial to suggest Burnley will be relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2023-24 season. For the youngest side in the division, it’s a confidence blow but by now means a career-defining outcome.

In failure, there are lessons. Burnley’s playstyle might get torn to shreds in the Premier League this time around but they’re building something bigger. If they can keep hold of the core of their squad, and their manager, and rebound in 2024-25 their Premier League prospects could be very different whenever they return.

Chelsea

Find where the goals are going to come from

Goals have been Chelsea’s problem since Diego Costa’s 20-goal haul in their 2016-17 title-winning side, campaign. It’s been eight years and no Chelsea player has gone remotely close to emulating that tally.

Big-money signing, Romelu Lukaku, hit eight in his turbulent, single-season homecoming. Nicolas Jackson has shown glimpses of both brilliance and incompetence, while injury has robbed us of Christopher Nkunku’s talent.

Chelsea hopes the Nkunku-Jackson combination, which showed promise in pre-season, plus the recently reinvigorated Raheem Sterling and exciting Cole Palmer is enough attacking output. If it isn’t, however, they’ll need to swiftly rectify that issue while somehow remaining FFP compliant.

Nkunku, AFCON
Christopher Nkunku’s goals could make or break Chelsea’s 2024

Crystal Palace

Successful transition from Roy

Roy Hodgson has been a brilliant servant to Crystal Palace. But, he’s 76 years old and unless his bag of tricks includes a secret anti-ageing potion, he’s not getting any younger. He’s hinted at being nearing the end of his coaching career, but whether he’s ready to give it away yet or not, Palace must act. 

They have a young, fairly exciting squad – with Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise at the heart of it – and need a young, fairly exciting manager to drive them forward. Graham Potter is out of work and showed at Brighton his knack for massively improving mid-table sides. So too is Steve Cooper. Both would be handy options.

Whatever path Steve Parish and Co. choose to embark on in 2024 needs to be one where Roy is on the periphery, for Palace’s sake and realistically for Roy’s as well. 

Everton

Win the survival fight

Avoiding the drop in the 2022-23 season was the best thing that could’ve happened to Everton in 2023. Receiving a 10-point deduction that flung them back into the relegation dogfight was the worst thing for them.

Just when they thought they were out, they were pulled right back into the thick of it. It shouldn’t write off the brilliant work of Sean Dyche in reviving the club and turning them into a typically Dyche side teams dread playing.

They have the cattle and manager, to remain in the Premier League once the 2023-24 season draws to a close, but football is unpredictable. For the sake of the club, safety must be ensured.

Fulham

Work out who’s replacing Mitrovic

Raul Jimenez is starting to show signs of being the player he once was but he’s on the wrong side of 30 and we’re yet to see if the consistency he once had at Wolves is back or if this run is just a flash in the pan.

Jimenez’s style of play goes with the attacking trident behind him – Willian, Andreas Pereira, and Alex Iwobi, like milk and coffee. But age and form catch up to even the best. 

Marco Silva and Fulham should be looking at freshening up their striking options with someone who mixes former main man Aleksandar Mitrovic’s physicality and finishing with the Mexican’s playmaking and link-up.

Liverpool

Continue midfield rebuild

It’s safe to say Jurgen Klopp’s revamped Liverpool are remarkably ahead of schedule. Ending 2022-23 fifth and 22 points off the title-winning pace, the Reds end 2023 near the Premier League summit and right in the title hunt.

Key to this has been the rapid acclimation and excellence of their new-look midfield. Having unloaded a bunch of ageing legs and experienced heads in Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and James Milner, Liverpool opted for a younger midfielder revamp. Out with the old in with the new, if you must.

Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch, and Dominic Szoboszlai are all in their early 20s and have all made an impression to begin the season. Mac Allister has excelled in a defensive midfield role, while Szoboszlai’s creativity, tenacity, and goal-scoring threat from deep add an extra layer to Klopp’s side.

But, Liverpool cannot rest on their laurels. For sure, their midfield rebuild has exceeded expectations and is operating ahead of schedule, but they need defensive midfield reinforcements to assist Wataru Endo and free Mac Allister to play further forward.

Luton Town

Survive

Of all the sides promoted for the 2023-24 Premier League season, Luton Town are the one I back to stay up the most. This is due to two hard-to-ignore factors; Kenilworth Road, their hostile home ground, and their organised, robust defence.

They know who they are and who they’re trying to be. For them, staying in the Premier League should be of utmost importance. From there, they can build and build and build until the Championship is so far in the rearview mirror that it’s forgotten about. 

Manchester City

Sort left-side out

Josko Gvardiol and Jeremy Doku are two of the best young footballers in their respective positions. But in Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City 2.0 with a back-three and wingers doing fullback defending, their left edge, which includes Nathan Ake, has come unstuck countless times in the 2023-24 season – see their game against Wolves.

With the talent they possess, there is no doubt Doku and Gvardiol will come good. However, solutions need to be implemented if City are to win anything in 2024 and beyond.

For all his attacking flair, Doku is a lacklustre defender – rightly so, it’s never been his job. When he is tasked to control a whole flank, it needs to become his job, quickly.

Does Pep return Jack Grealish to the fold? Is there another solution? Because Gvardiol is often left too exposed and too vulnerable, and City are paying for it. 

There is no doubt Guardiola will figure out a way to shore up his left edge; he always does. With the pack around him going from strength to strength, he will need to do it sooner rather than later.

Jeremy Doku image
Belgian winger, Jeremy Doku, is frightening in attack but must improve his defensive capabilities

Manchester United

Everything!

I mean, need I say more? Manchester United have needed wholesale changes for over a decade and they’ve not once got them. They’ve had bandaids thrown over deep gashes as opposed to surgery and stitches. 

In their current state, United need a lot of work. There are so far adrift of the title hunters that it’s remarkable. There is no coherence, their should-be-stars like Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane are practically out the door, Marcus Rashford is out of form, and Scott McTominay is their top scorer. 

Right across the board, from the pitch to the boardroom, there is no coherence. It is a scattergun approach of stop-gap solutions with the hope of an occasional trophy rather than a plan for sustained success. 

Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival could bring the necessary changes. But then again, if United have delivered anything since Fergie’s departure it’s been empty promises.

erik ten hag, manchester united
Manchester United’s Erik Ten Hag

Newcastle Utd

Keep everyone on the park

Seems a bit remiss to make a point about injuries here but truthfully this is the one thing holding Newcastle back from being the side we thought they could become in the 2022-23 season. 

A half-fit Newcastle side is a frightening proposition for any Premier League side. Can you imagine a fully fit one? Pwoah! 

Iron sharpens iron and one silver lining of all their absences has been the emergence or re-emergence of guys like Jamal Lascelles, Lewis Miley and Valentino Livramento who can continue pushing for a starting berth once everyone’s back. 

Nottingham Forest

Back Nuno

Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis made good on a year-long promise when he sacked the beloved Steve Cooper in December 2023 with his side too close to relegation for comfort. 

In Nuno Espirito Santo he has a manager who might be an upgrade but might not be, time will tell. If Nuno is any hope of emulating the seventh-place finishes he achieved at Wolves he needs adequately considered backing from the club’s hierarchy. 

Replace the current gunslinging, incoherent transfer policy with a more deliberate, well-thought-out strategy that aligns with the manager’s needs, not the ownership’s wants. 

Sheffield United

Prepare for and start well in the C’Ship

Reality check; Sheffield United are more than likely returning to the Championship. That’s not exactly the knock it once was when you consider the hundreds of millions sides fork out to finish mid-table.

With parachute payments and other financial kickbacks that come with relegation, Sheffield United have a chance to go down, regroup, grow, and push for a return. It took Fulham a few years of bouncing around before asserting themselves as a Premier League staple.

Chris Wilder is at the helm now and might be the perfect man for the job given his previous history of winning promotion and guiding the side to a top-half finish. There is no shame in relegation but every shame in failing to build from it. 

Tottenham Hotspur

Keep the fans happy

There is a famous line from Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic, Gladiator, that goes; ‘Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.’ This rings true for Ange Postecoglou. Keeping Spurs fans happy gifts him the freedom to do what he does, and allows any low points to be quickly washed away.

The Australian has shown what he can do with a fully fit Spurs side. Even when his side was depleted he stuck to his guns, some labelled it arrogant, others admirable. What was evident was the Spurs fans backing him, unlike anything we’ve seen in North London since Poch was still there.

If he, and Spurs, have any chance of re-writing their history and becoming an outfit synonymous with winning Postecoglou must do everything in his power to avoid the visceral ire of the fans like it’s the eye of a cyclone. Winning will help him do this, as will being himself and enforcing a strict, beautiful playstyle.

West Ham

Find a suitable striker

They went down the continental path of Gianluca Scamacca and Sebastian Haller and all it did was lead them back to Michail Antonio, a proper British grafter of a centre forward. Antonio’s 33 and finished 2023 pained by a knee injury, he can’t and won’t play forever.

In his absence, Jarrod Bowen has deputised worthily as a makeshift centre forward but whether he can sustain that role long-term is dubious. Surely a West Ham configuration with Bowen and Mohammed Kudus on the wings and Lucas Paqueta in attacking midfield is their best?

Dipping their toes into the transfer market for a striker who is both ready-now and future-proof is the best step forward to ensuring their progression is sustained.

Jarrod Bowen image
Another striker would allow Jarrod Bowen to continue doing Jarrod Bowen things

Wolves

Continue the good momentum

For the first time in a long time, there is optimism flooding the Molineux. In Pedro Neto and Hwang Hee-Chan Wolves have two of the division’s most exciting wingers, one a chief creator, the other an expert finisher. 

Gary O’Neil is working wonders in Wolverhampton. The aim for 2024 should be to keep the good times rolling. Build on the platform they’ve built over the opening of the 2023-24 season and hope their future is littered with European pushes more often than not. 

Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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