With the new season about to commence I thought the best way to preview every Premier League teams chances this season was to see what the people that follow them think. With a collection of passionate fans, journalists, podcasters, youtubers and even me giving their view on their respective teams chances, we have a very diverse and honest representation of how people think the league is going to unravel.
There has been a bit of controversy regarding Wenger’s stay, would you like a new man through the door?
“The fact that Wenger has revolutionized not just Arsenal FC, but English football in general over the past two decades can’t be questioned any further. Having taken the club from the stereotypical 4th place to a 3rd and even a 2nd place in the last two seasons, betting firms might be tempted to tout them for a summit finish in the upcoming season. That said, he is due to celebrate 20 years come October, and post the marketing gimmick the event brings, we should allow him to evaluate his stay and call it a day. That’s the least he deserves for all those years of transition through the Emirates days.”
Are you happy with the transfer business done so far and who else would you like to see through the door?
“Yes, and No. Getting in Xhaka early should address a grey area for the past few years – that of a holding midfielder. Our inability to sign a forward to compliment Giroud and a defender to stand alongside Koscielny could prove costly as we deeply lack resources in those two key departments.”
Do you feel that with the influx of top managers Arsenal have what it takes to win the title?
“While it is true it takes new players and managers time to settle in a new league – and does hold true for Conte and Guardiola – the likes of Mourinho and Klopp have enough know-how to hurt the others, specially the former. If we can get a top forward and a solid defender, we should augur well this term.”
Who do you see as your pivotal player this season?
“I am looking forward to seeing one of the Ox or Theo cementing that place down the right flank for good. We could do with some serious injection of pace and finishing, and both are well capable of the same.”
What one thing would you like them to improve on from last seasons showing?
“The desire to keep fighting till the final whistle is blown, because that’s what fans love to see the most!”
Thanks to Tejaswi (@trulytazz)
What one thing do you need to improve on from last season to improve in this?
“In my opinion we need to improve our defence as we struggle to hold out against some of the big teams and at times last season we looked a little vulnerable. “
Who would you consider to be the key player going into the new season?
“Going into the new season I see Francis to play a big role. Reasoning behind this is that after Tommy Elphick (former captain) left he needs to unite the team and bring the courage and motivation that Tommy brought to the squad.”
The transfer window isn’t shut yet, who would you like to see come through the door before the window shuts?
“The transfer window has been one of the best the club has ever has ever had bringing in the likes of Jordan Ibe, Lewis Cook and Brad Smith all promising young talents, but I feel we could benefit from another centre back as cover.”
Where do you see Bournemouth finishing this season?
“I predict Bournemouth to finish 10th as last season we played some fantastic football and now with Arter, Wilson and Mings all back hopefully for the full season, plus our new signings, I can see Eddie Howe impressing again to another highest finish in the clubs history.”
Thanks to Olly (@OLPMFifa and www.youtube.com/channel/UCgVfMLCB40wQtj8AejZwWlg)
Andre Gray had an amazing season for Burnley scoring 23 goals. He has been compared to Jamie Vardy due to his rise up through the leagues and his terrific form. Has he got what it takes to become the next Jamie Vardy?
“I’ve made the Vardy comparison myself funnily enough. They’re not exactly the same type of player, Gray has more physical power I think, but he certainly has the raw pace that will unsettle a lot of defenders.
The service Gray gets will be absolutely pivotal. Even last season, he scored a lot of goals but there were plenty of games we didn’t play the right balls to him. Hit him early with balls over the top and into the channels and he will absolutely destroy teams, I have every confidence in that. But I’m worried we’re going to get stuck in our own box in a lot of games and don’t have the Danny Drinkwater-type midfield player to play those fast, accurate, direct long balls.
He’s hit nine goals in six pre-season games so he’s in fine form and since we have five of our first seven games at home, including matches against Swansea and Hull, the fixture list couldn’t really be more kind to Gray. I reckon he’ll do pretty well, which would be 12+ PL goals. 15 would be an outstanding return and 10 has to be the minimum expectation given he’ll win himself a few penalties.”
What do you think Burnley need to do to survive this time round?
“Score more goals and win more games than last time, obviously. Sean Dyche’s tactical approach was too limited for me in our last visit to the Premier League and particularly away from home the 4-4-2 just didn’t cut it. We struggled to get out of our own half, but the pace of Gray at least gives us more of a threat on the break, as he’ll sit on the last man.
Set pieces are going to be key. Last time we conceded some really sloppy goals from corners in particular and we need to cut those out. With players like Ben Mee and Michael Keane we should also be looking for 10+ goals of our own from attacking set pieces. I don’t think we’ve made the most of those at all.
We also needed to invest more heavily in the playing squad, but given we’ve spent £3.5 million and there’s less than a week to go before the season starts that boat has already sailed.”
Who do you see as the key player in instigating their survival?
“Gray. You need a regular goalscorer to stay up and he’s got to be ours. What I really like about Gray is that he doesn’t seem to be affected when he misses chances. I was a huge fan of Danny Ings, who was our star man in our last Premier League season, but he had a tendency to get frustrated when it wasn’t going his way. He’d start trying too hard and snatching at his chances and you’d even see him beating the pitch when he got a shot wrong.
When Gray misses a chance – and like all strikers he will miss chances – he’s straight back up and ready to go again, it doesn’t seem to hit his confidence at all. Whether it’s a different story in the Premier League where he might only get one chance a game remains to be seen, but he’s very resilient from what I’ve seen and that should see him succeed.”
You haven’t really been able to bring in any Premier league quality as yet, which is what everyone says you need to survive in the Premier League nowadays, who would you like to see added to the squad?
“Anyone at this stage! It’s incredible that – with Joey Barton leaving for Rangers – our team on the first day will actually be weaker than our team on the last day of last season. I know Hull have it worse, but that’s absolutely unacceptable.
Dale Stephens from Brighton seems a solid target and I’d be happy if we can pull that one off and I’d ask about Jack Cork at Swansea City. He seems to be on the fringes there and he had a very successful 18 months at the Turf on loan previously. We also need another option in attack, maybe someone like James Wilson on loan from United.”
Thanks to Jamie Smith (@nonaynevernet and nonaynever.net)
Fist off are you pleased with the appointment of Antonio Conte?
“Yes, Antonio Conte looks promising and was keen to solve the main issues the team had during last season. He quickly established himself as a manager and this pre-season has been quite impressive ”
You have purchased one of the best if not the best player in the league last season, what do you think he will bring to the team?
“N’Golo Kante was an excellent buy. Without a doubt will perform at his best for Chelsea as he looks hungry for more success after Leicester’s fairytale title triumph.”
You have also signed a very promising Belgium in the shape of Michy Batshuayi, do you think he has what it takes to adapt to the league?
“He looks very promising. He’s already being called the ‘next Drogba’ which is a big statement to make and of course to live up to. I have been happy with the way he’s been playing with Chelsea during pre-season. But hopefully he impresses in the Premier League. “
This season is surely going to be better than the last but do you think you’ll get top four and win any silverware?
“I think Chelsea may win some silverware next season but I won’t be surprised if we don’t, we just need to improve on last terms display. I would expect a top four finish for Chelsea.”
What one improvement do you think Chelsea need to make to improve upon last seasons performance?
“Chelsea need to improve in all aspects but mainly on the defensive end. The team conceded too many goals last season and that was the main issue of our poor season. Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill and Azpilicueta need to get back to the form they were in during the season before last. “
Thanks to Shamoon Saeed (@shamoon_saeed and shamoonsaeed.wordpress.com)
With the Bolasie to Everton transfer edging ever closer, will Crystal Palace miss him and will they have enough up top to get into the top half next season?
“Yes to a certain extent we will miss Bolasie because he’s a player that can turn on the style at the flick of a switch so to speak. However, the addition of Andros Townsend suggests we’ve replaced Bolasie with someone who has proven flair and in my opinion, more of an end product.
Unpredictability isn’t something Palace need, as a mid table Premier League side however exciting it is to watch. We need more consistency and I think that step has been taken.”
What one improvement do Palace need to make to improve on last seasons performance?
“Goalscoring from the striker position. This was an obvious issue for us last season particularly as our main striker, Connor Wickham, had three spells out injured and one suspended.”
Who do you see as the key player for Palace this season?
“Picking one key player for me is very difficult. I believe Townsend, Cabaye and Dann will all be influential this season with it being a team game. Townsend has looked very impressive in pre-season and seems to have settled in quickly. Cabaye didn’t have quite the impact Palace fans would have hoped for last season so this time around, having had one year to settle in the country again, he’ll be even more of an asset to our midfield. Also, the fact that the Euro’s have ended means the pressure of getting in the squad won’t be an issue. Finally Scott Dann, being given the captain’s armband while our original captain is still at the club just shows what Pardew thinks of him and how important he is to the side.”
Benteke has been linked with Palace for some time now, would you like to see him at the club?
“Benteke would be an amazing signing for Palace, he’s that last bit of the puzzle we need to succeed. I don’t believe Liverpool play the right system for him, hence his poor campaign at Anfield and I think with the ability of our wingers at Palace it will suit him and his style of play hands down. At the end of the day, Benteke is the goalscorer we desperately need for the upcoming season especially with the departure of Dwight Gayle.”
Where do you see Palace finishing this season?
“If we sign Benteke, Berahino, Bony or any of the strikers we have been linked with I really think we can push for a top ten finish. Avoiding the awful injuries we had last season will also be important and add to our finish so realistically, I hope to see us finish on or around 9th place.”
Thank you to Dan (@dcrame14 and www.theeaglesbeak.com)