I’m excited about the new season. I’m sober and drinking orange and lemonade, so I hope to enjoy the campaign!
Clubs have spent a lot of money. The team I fancy is Liverpool. I like the look of the young left-back Robertson. He’s a good attacker. Wingers used to hate playing against me! I tried to attack as much as I possibly could.
We were experienced, my teammates knew I’d be there. That’s why understanding between players is very important. It’s fantastic, not just for individuals, but for the group. A bit like when Fabregas started at Arsenal, if Liverpool can bring in their youngsters they’ll do very well.
The top four could definitely be Liverpool and Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. It’s hard to choose though, because of Tottenham and United! I don’t think Wembley will lose Tottenham their edge. They’ll do alright, but I can’t see it being a full house.
Their fans will be so important this season. They’ll need some atmosphere behind them. Fans play a massive part. Like I’ve said before, I like how Conte comes onto the pitch too, with Chelsea, much like Wenger used to at Arsenal.
Manchester United have to create more chances. They need to get the ball into the box more. Against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, they struggled. Teams get watched by scouts and you must have something else up your sleeve. Whoever wins the league will have to change things a little, every four or five games, to keep opponents guessing. All the teams must have a Plan B.
I hope Arsenal don’t sell Sanchez who, along with Olivier Giroud should start every game for me. I like Lacazette. I’d like Arsenal to play two up front. The start of the Community Shield was gung-ho! The first 15-20 minutes was awesome! Arsenal went for it.
I like to see teams go at it, you can force mistakes. George Graham used to work the defence really hard, every Thursday. If Arsenal work on their defending, they can definitely be in this title race.
I was at Palace on Saturday for the friendly against Schalke. Ruben Loftus-Cheek looked good, but Palace didn’t get the ball forward enough. There was too much passing around the back. De Boer will need to play two strikers for me, to help get in behind, even if Benteke isn’t that fast. Me and Rixy had a great understanding at Arsenal. Palace will have to step up against Huddersfield and I’m very much looking forward to being at the game.
At the bottom, Chris Hughton is a bright manager. He could come up with ways to earn the odd point for Brighton. I think they’ll be okay. Dwight Gayle and Mitrovic can be strong for Newcastle and Benitez is a fantastic manager. I know Newcastle fans very well, their fans would die for that club! Stoke could be at risk. Losing Arnautovic and Walters is hard. Stoke could struggle. Huddersfield will struggle. Burnley have lost a good player in Andre Gray. They’ll have to replace him, or they’ll be in trouble too.
Understanding and talking amongst a team is huge. Players must open their mouths, especially the captain. Fans aren’t silly, they can see if things are going wrong. You need players talking to each other. That is an important route to success, both to win the Premier League and to stay in it!
Kenny Sansom was talking to Simon Rose