After what seems like an eternity, Premiership football is back on the menu at Stamford Bridge, with Porstmouth their first guests in what the 42,000 crowd on Saturday will hope is a feast of entertainment.
To get the Pompey view for the season opener, I caught up with a mate of mine, and a top bloke to boot (apart from his Pompey leanings) for a nice up of tea and biscuits, and asked….
Dan, cutting straight to the chase, what do you think of your chances this season?
First year in Europe may mean we drop off from our 8th place last year, in much the same way that focusing on the FA Cup dropped us from 6th. I’d be happy with mid table and a decent showing in the cups again.
What areas of your squad need strengthening?
After losing Muntari, we need to add some steel to centre midfield, and we really need a right winger. Little can fill in on the right as can Utaka but need a real line hugger. Any chance of SWP on loan?!
Who’s your star player? Who do we need to look out for?
Well, you know him well – Lassana Diarra. With Jose gone, he might not have as much to prove, but the lad is world class.
What do you think of Chelsea, as if we needed to ask?
I have to say, anyone who breaks the Manchester United dominance is alright with me.
What are your thoughts on Scolari, do you think hell give Abramovich the football he craves whilst winning the League?
Scolari isn’t afraid of winning ugly, but he has made Portugal into a team of winners (almost) with flair and the Brazil sides he coached did mix flair with a winning mentality, so maybe! As a tactician he’s great, so I’m looking forward to seeing him up against Wenger and the like.
Which of our current squad do you most admire?
He’s gone now, but I thought Makelele was a great professional and probably the best proponent of the holding role in the world. In the current squad, I will say Carvalho. He’s simply a brilliant defender.
We’ve built a bit of a fortress at the Bridge. Think well actually get a game out of you?
I think we will be a bit negative as we tend to be away from home. Crouch has done well pre-season and may nick us a few away from home. As long as it doesn’t make us a long ball team, I’m okay.
How will you deal with Chelsea? Do you stuff the midfield, or will we see a more adventurous line-up?
As above, I think we will start negatively with Defoe as the lone striker at the top of a 4-5-1, then have Crouch come on at the end.
Where will you finish this season?
Heart says top six, head says mid table.
What about Chelsea?
Premier league winners.
Give us a score prediction.
Dan, thanks for your time mate. Next round is on me.