Which team will finish higher this season? Who will win a trophy first? Is finishing in the top three or avoiding relegation the bigger achievement?
The concept is simple – every week we’ll pick some talking points, our fan community will argue their case and then you get to vote for who you think won the discussion.
The fixtures up for debate this week are:
- Bournemouth v Arsenal
- Manchester United v Liverpool
- Tottenham v Wolves
- West Ham v Brighton
What would be the bigger achievement, Bournemouth avoiding the bottom three or Arsenal finishing in the top three?
Bournemouth: Tom Jordan, Back of the Net
Avoiding the bottom three would be a far bigger achievement than Arsenal making the top three. Undoubtedly the Cherries are the smallest side to have competed in the top flight, in terms of stadium size, fanbase and history. Being promoted to the Premier League for just the second time in the club’s history underlines that survival will always remain a monumental achievement at this level.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have won the league countless times and continue to add to their already talented and expensive squad. Their summer activity demonstrates this. Whilst they bring in Jesus, Zinchenko and Vieira totalling comfortably over £100m, Bournemouth on the other hand are competing in a different market transfer wise, making five signings where the fees don’t even total up to half of the cost of Jesus. Despite the money the Premier League brings, Bournemouth operate in a very hand-to-mouth way – frugality is key.
For the majority of neutral fans, Arsenal’s expectation is minimum top four, with third place a more than realistic target. Bournemouth’s expectation however, is to finish bottom of the pack. There is no world in which Arsenal finishing third is a greater achievement than Bournemouth avoiding relegation. It’s not even close.
Arsenal: Charlene Smith, AFTV
The bigger achievement this season will be Arsenal finishing in the top three and my prediction is that we will take third place.
Last season was turbulent and we narrowly missed fourth spot. The squad has improved with the new additions and the clear out of previous players. We are playing Mikel’s style of football, we are showing that we can score goals and our defence is looking shored up. Arsenal’s achievements this season seem to be of high interest and the expectation is higher. We have been spending in the transfer window and we also have an insight into the club with the ‘All or Nothing’ documentary.
Following Bournemouth’s automatic promotion back to the Premier League, Scott Parker and his team will work hard to retain their place in the top-flight but all the attention and speculation will be on how Arteta delivers this season.
I personally feel that there is much more interest in where Arsenal finish than Bournemouth avoiding relegation. Parker is great a manager and has won promotion to the Premier League with both teams that he has managed. I think he will avoid relegation this season too.
Which was the better team, Manchester United in 1998-99 or Liverpool in 2021-22?
Manchester United: Sam Peoples, The Peoples Person
It staggers me that this is even a question, and I say that without any red-tinted spectacles on.
One team became the only ever English side to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Uefa Champions League in one season.
The other lost the Champions League final, finished second in the Premier League and ended the season as FA Cup winners. Wigan Athletic ended a season as FA Cup winners too in 2013.
The measure of any team in the history books is the silverware they win, so to try and compare United’s unrivalled 1998-99 treble winning side with a Liverpool team that, simply put, failed at the final hurdle, is truly outrageous.
It is easy to be swept up in the moment and there’s no doubt this Liverpool team is an incredible side but, please, let’s not forget what happened previously and be realistic. Until a team manages repeat the treble, trying to compare any side to United in 1998-99 is a feeble argument and a waste of time.
Liverpool: Josh Sexton, The Anfield Wrap
Every question to this effect contains a lot of nuance, which tends to get lost in subsequent answers. So here goes…
The 2021-22 edition of Liverpool would beat the 1998-99 Manchester United side, because of how much the game has developed over the past 20-plus years – with sports science improvements and the general quality of the footballers now operating at the top level in England.
Manchester United won the league that year with 22 wins, 13 draws and three losses, totalling 79 points while scoring 80 goals and conceding 37. Liverpool last season won 28, drew eight and lost just two, totalling 92 points with 94 goals scored and just 26 conceded.
The opposition have only got fitter and more tactically astute since those days, while the quality of coaches and the information they have available has only increased too – there’s no chippy orders and cans on the coach home these days.
Ultimately though, Manchester United won the two things Liverpool wish they could have got their hands on last season. The two ultimate prizes in English club football. For that, history will remember them more kindly.
But that still wouldn’t save Denis Irwin from getting legged by Mo Salah, I’m afraid.
Taking into account the history of both clubs, should Wolves be considered as big as Tottenham?
Tottenham: Anna Howells, Spurs XY
Wolves were one of the founding members of the football league and won the league three times in the 1950s with manger Stan Cullis.
Then, in the 1960s it was Spurs under Bill Nicholson who took the limelight.
So, some historical similarities.
Later there were a couple of memorable meetings. Spurs won the inaugural Uefa Cup final in 1972 with Martin Chivers’ two goals at Molineux, and the Alan Mullery winner at White Hart Lane.
Then there was the 1981 FA Cup semi-final with a late penalty wrongly awarded to Wolves for a tackle by Glenn Hoddle. The tackle was outside the penalty area and Hoddle won the ball cleanly. Spurs won the replay held just down the road, taking Spurs (and Ossie) to the 100th Wembley cup final.
Wolves meanwhile suffered with ownership changes and receiverships, and dropped into the Fourth Division in 1986. To their credit they have recovered on and off the field and, since 2018, have been back in the Premier League, where I am sure their fans feel they belong.
Overall, both clubs have proud histories, but I think currently, given our Champions League final exploits, stadium and more, it is tough to see Wolves considered quite as big as Spurs.
Wolves: Dazzling Dave, Always Wolves Fan TV
Some may think that Wolves are minnows compared to Tottenham with their stadium and all the trappings of a ‘top six club’ but we played an important part in making football the game it is today.
Wolves were founder members of the English Football League back before the existence of Spurs and have won the top division three times to be champions of England. We have won 17 major trophies including four FA Cups and two League cups.
Our heyday was undoubtedly the 1950s. In 1953-54 Wolves played a number of floodlit friendlies against top European sides. Most famously Wolves beat Honved, whose team largely consisted of the Hungarian national side who had just beaten England twice. This result meant Wolves were proclaimed ‘champions of the world’ – a title never bestowed on Spurs.
This series of European friendly matches was the catalyst for the formation of the European Cup, now known as Champions League, so all things considered the football world have big reasons to thank Wolves.
Wolves are the only team to have won all four divisions in the football league. They’re back on the up and are now ranked in the top 20 of the world’s biggest football brands. However, I think it best not to compare Spurs and Wolves and just consider them two big teams. But Wolves will always be the biggest in my eyes.
Who’ll finish higher in the Premier League this season?
West Ham: Mia Claydon, Green Street Hammers
Although I believe Brighton will beat (or gain some points against) West Ham, I think the Hammers will rank higher in the final standings.
David Moyes’ squad have struggled to get their campaign off the ground, with a recent hard-to-swallow defeat against Nottingham Forest. Brighton are a ‘bogey’ team for West Ham – the Seagulls almost always come away with points.
Graham Potter’s team have come away with four points in their first two games and aspire to hit the top half of the table. Losing Marc Cucurella and Yves Bissouma in the same transfer window is a tough one to take, but Brighton show yearly why they deserve to be in the Premier League – with or without superstars.
With European football secured for the past two seasons, I can’t help but think any lower than seventh will be a failed season for the Hammers. The transfer window hasn’t finished, and transfers are still likely for both teams, but I think the quality of West Ham’s squad cannot be questioned.
I don’t believe Brighton have the squad to make the European places, but Potter has instilled a fantastic philosophy that is worrying to teams across the league.
Brighton: Stuart Matthews, Proud Seagulls
What a starter question!
After a brilliant finish to last season and an amazing start to this season it can only be Brighton.
Graham Potter wants to create long-lasting memories for all fans. If we build on finishing ninth last season then anything is possible. Don’t get me wrong if we finished inside the top six it would be amazing and also nerve-racking as we’d play in Europe and experience all that such a journey entails.
I think we have every chance of finishing higher than West Ham and we’ve made a habit of staying up when others put us down.
We can and do out-play a lot of our opposition. Last season we had a lot of draws and if we can convert them to three points, well watch this space.
Over the summer we didn’t make many signings, in fact we lost a few good players. So for our first game I was expecting us to lose having never won at Old Trafford. But we won and helped them by scoring for them.
I can’t see West Ham doing better than last season although they have been consistent in being in the top 10.
So Brighton to finish seventh or eighth and West Ham eighth or ninth.