View From The Opposition – Bournemouth, Brighton

Our series of articles looking ahead to the new season continues as we move to the South Coast to get the views from our Bournemouth and Brighton representatives.

AFC Bournemouth @CherryChimes

Q. What are the fan expectations?

It’s hard to tell, but remaining in the Premier League is the priority. With the new signings the club has made it is unlikely Bournemouth fans will expect anything better than what the club has achieved in the last two seasons

Q. Which position does your team desparately need to improve?

It looks like the club is keen to get a midfield enforcer. A strong and mobile central midfielder would give the team a more confident and powerful basis. Jefferson Lerma of Levante is the much reported target and as he has put in a transfer request we could see this move happen.

Q. Name a player from your club that will shine?

I expect Lewis Cook to be the player that progresses most this season. He did well last year but now he is not inexperienced at playing in the Premier League and will feel that he deserves his place in the team. Also look out for Lys Mousset who is a young French striker.

Q. Where will your team finish in the league and how will they do in the cups?

I don’t think it will be a great season for Bournemouth. The teams coming up are much stronger than some existing top flight teams and they are all spending big money. If we finish 14th, I’d be pleased with that.

Q. Predict the title winners, teams relegated and domestic cup winner.

  • Premier League – Manchester City
  • Relegation – Newcastle United, Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City
  • FA Cup – Liverpool
  • League Cup – Manchester United

Q. Your thoughts on Palace and how we will do this season?

Palace’s season could depend on whether they keep Wilfred Zaha. If he goes, you could really struggle, but I expect Palace to be around where Bournemouth are on the league which means a hard season.


Brighton & Hove Albion @wearebrighton

Q. What are the fan expectations?

Most Brighton fans are realistic enough to know that the second season can be even harder than the first. The division looks a tougher prospect this time around so survival will be the aim of the game once again. Our away form was pretty dire last time out, so hopefully we can win more than two games on the road and score more than ten goals.

Q. Which position does your team desparately need to improve?

Complaining about summer business is something that Brighton fans normally do better than most, but there has been very little to moan about this time around. We’ve addressed our striker shortage by signing two forwards although Percy Tau can’t play for a year due to work permit issues. Central midfield has been strengthened and the defence has also been boosted. The only question marks remain over the back up goalkeepers.

We’ve lost Tim Krul and Niki Maenpaa and replaced them with David Button who couldn’t get in the Fulham team last year and Jason Steele who Sunderland fans ranked as their worst ever goalkeeper for his performances last season. With Maty Ryan set to miss the whole of January when Australia defend their Asian Cup title, that means one of those will be in goal for up to seven games which looks a little frightening.

Q. Name a player from your club that will shine?

Brazilian left back Bernardo looks like he could be quite the capture. He has already scored one stunning goal in pre-season and will strengthen a defence that was arguably our best asset last season.

Q. Where will your team finish in the league and how will they do in the cups?

Another 15th place finish, but we’ll be a lot closer to the relegation zone than the seven points clear we were last season. As for the cups, the Carabao Cup will probably be an exit at the earliest possible opportunity as we’ve only been past the third round once in about 30 years. I’d be slightly more hopeful for the FA Cup. Staying in the Premier League was great last season, but reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup is something that hadn’t happened in a generation of Albion fans lifetimes and it created a real buzz around the club. We are told constantly that the competition is dying, but tell that to the 30,000 who turned up to watch us play Coventry City at the Amex. Another good run would be very welcome.

Q. Predict the title winners, teams relegated and domestic cup winner.

City to lift the title again although it won’t be the cakewalk it was last season. As for relegation, Huddersfield, Cardiff and Burnley. We’ve seen so many unfancied teams go into Europe and then struggle domestically that season – Swansea City, Southampton last season, even Leicester City in the Champions League a few years ago. Unless you’ve got the squad depth built for European football, it can be a huge hindrance and I can see them struggling with it.

Q. Your thoughts on Palace and how we will do this season?

It all depends on whether Wilfried Zaha stays. The dream scenario from a Brighton point of view is that someone bids for him in the final 48 hours of the transfer window, he leaves and it gives you no time to find a replacement! If he stays, it should be a comfortable mid-table season for Palace. If he goes, then Roy Hodgson might have his work cut out although as long as you’ve got him and his experience in the dugout, you’ll have a shot of avoiding the bottom three.





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