The second in TheChelseaBlog’s series of pre-season interviews gets a Birmingham perspective from Joys&Sorrows.
TCB: Have any of the transfers surprised you over the summer?
J&S:To be honest there haven’t been that many but the one that surprised me the most was Kris Boyd signing for Middlesborough. It says a lot for Scottish football if the top SPL striker leaves to play in the English 2nd tier.
TCB: Are there any players you’d have fancied signing?
J&S: David Villa would have been nice but in our own price bracket possibly Stephen Hunt who Wolves picked up on the cheap from Hull.
TCB: Which club are you looking forward to playing most? And least?
J&S: I’m mostly looking forward to playing West Brom as we haven’t played them for a while. As for least I’d have to say Stoke. Our games against them last season were as dull as dishwater.
TCB: Who can you see finishing in the top four and who’ll be possible relegation fodder?
J&S: Top four will be Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City and Arsenal. Probably not in that order. This season I could see Wigan going down along with West Brom and Blackpool. There will be a few other sides who’ll need to look out as well, including us.
TCB: Which club could be the Premier League’s dark horse?
J&S: I think Everton will do better than last year but the top six will stay the same as last year.
TCB: How do you think you did last season and what are you hoping for this time round?
J&S: Last season was well beyond what we could have hoped for. To finish ninth in our first season was amazing. This year another mid table finish would be fine. We have to avoid doing a Reading and instead set the foundation for a long stay in the top flight.
TCB: Which manager impresses you most?
J&S: Roy Hodgson and our very own Alex McLeish. Both are good managers but also refuse to whinge and moan on camera like a lot of other managers do.
TCB: If you could have any of our players in your squad, who would you go for and why?
J&S: Assuming he stayed fit, Michael Essien. He could play in any position in our midfield and would run the show.
TCB: Which player do you think will stand out for you?
J&S: Nikola Zigic. He’s 6 foot 9 so he couldn’t fail to stand out.
TCB: How do you think you’ll do when you play us?
J&S: Lose away and draw at home like most seasons. Losing only two or three nil at Stamford Bridge is considered a good result nowadays.
Thanks to J&S for that.