With the 2015-16 Premier League starting at the weekend, RoM has spoken to rival fans about the season ahead. Tales From The South End look forward to their first season in the Premier League. Follow @tftse on Twitter.
Scott: How excited are you to be in the Premier League?
Tales From The South End: Very, very, very, very, very, very, very excited.
Us getting into the Premier League is like Man United winning the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and beating Real Madrid 10-0 in the Champions League final, all in the same season.
Being in the top tier of English football for the very first time in our history is an amazing, if still unreal, feeling. The fact that once European champions Aston Villa are the first visitors to Dean Court this season, quickly followed by a trip to the hallowed turf of Anfield helps put everything in to focus. However, even now it still doesn’t seem real. Only when I walk up to Dean Court, take my seat in the August sunshine and cheer the Cherries onto victory will I really believe we are Premier League. If that doesn’t convince me, sitting down to watch Match of the Day and getting the third degree from Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer will make me realise that it’s not all a dream.
Scott: How did Bournemouth do in 2014-15?
TFTSE: Finished top of the Championship in the dying minutes of the season thanks to Sheffield Wednesday. Being at Charlton the day we confirmed promotion to the Premier League was very, very special (and we played them off the park in a 3-0 win.) Winning the title made a great day even better.
Scott: How do you expect them to do in 2015-16?
TFTSE: Walking in the footsteps of the many ‘experts’ out there I am going to make a pretty rash and out there prediction. I reckon we will finish 16th. All newly promoted teams get written off before a ball is even kicked. If you don’t believe you can stay in the Premier League, then there is hardly any point playing. As AFC Bournemouth central defender Steve Cook said in a recent interview “We will surprise a lot of people”.
Scott: Who do you think will be your best player?
TFTSE: It is difficult to single out one player, but based on last season, Matt Ritchie looks set to scare a few Premier League defenders. Striker Callum Wilson and defender Tyrone Mings make up a trio of young exciting British talent to watch out for.
Scott: How highly do you rate your manager?
TFTSE: 11/10. Eddie Howe is one of our own and has worked wonders. He was there when we were shit and to prove what a great job he has done you only need to look at the managers who were in charge when he got lost and ended up up North. Lee Bradbury was half successful and Paul Groves was a flop and both had money to spend. Eddie Howe came back when were in the League One relegation zone and got us promoted. Enough said.
Scott: Are you happy with your team’s business in the transfer window?
TFTSE: Yes. The additions to an otherwise talented squad have only strengthened the team. Goalkeepers Artur Boruc and Adam Fedrici and defender Slyvain Distin all have Premier League experience. The big money (£8m) has been spent on left-back Tyrone Mings. A very talented 6′ 5″ defender who is going to be a future England player. Completing the defensive line-up is 20-year old loanee Filippo Costa, an Italy U-21 international. Going forward we have Atsu (on loan from Chelsea) and Josh King (from Blackburn), both young, quick and keen to impress with talent to match.
A very useful collection of players, but Eddie Howe has said he still wants to make more additions before the deadline closes. This would/should be another defender, midfielder and striker. As I write, rumours are that two of these positions are to be filled by St. Etienne winger (scored 17 goals) Max Gradel and Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray. Whatever happens we reckon we’ve got plenty of goals in the team, just need to learn to defend better against top-quality opponents.
Scott: Where do you think United will finish this season?
TFTSE: If United are to finish as champions, runners-up or even in the Champions League places I hope they don’t need three points in their last game of the season. I cannot see them winning the title. I reckon Arsenal and Chelsea will finish above them, so I reckon third, one place above Man City.
Scott: Who do you think will win the league?
TFTSE: I think it will be either Chelsea or Arsenal, but in reality I think it will be Chelsea. But I hope they fuck up and Arsenal get their act together and then I can take the piss out of my Chelsea loving mate.