Sport

“Van Gaal’s Got That Football Arrogance”

ShortList asks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher the burning questions ahead of the Premier League kick-off...

Who do you think are the best and worst new signings?

Chelsea have done well, signing Filipe Luis, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. Mourinho knows Costa from his time in Portugal, and though he didn’t have the best World Cup, he scores goals. Worst? You can’t write someone off before they’ve even played.

How will the newly promoted teams fare?

Our first game on Monday Night Football is Burnley vs Chelsea, a dream game. Watching Sean Dyche up against Jose Mourinho? I can’t wait. You have to expect one or two new teams to go down. QPR are favourites to survive as they’ve brought Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker in at the back.

How will Louis van Gaal do?

He’s got that football arrogance, so he’ll be a great addition to the Premier League. We’ll see a much better Manchester United this season, playing in a different formation. They won’t win the league, but they’ll be back in the top four. Because they’re not in Europe, those players will be concentrating on one game a week – a huge advantage.

Have Liverpool blown their chance at the title, or can they do it this year?

Last year was a surprise to a lot of people – myself included. But with Champions League games to play, and no Luis Suarez, people will write them off. It all depends on how the new players fit in, but if they can perform anywhere near as well as they did last season, they’ve got a chance.

Can they replace Suarez?

You can’t replace Suarez with one player. They will go about it in a different way – using the money to make the squad bigger. Liverpool’s bench will be a lot stronger this season, and that’s what let them down last year.

Can Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino bring the Champions League and attractive football to White Hart Lane?

Why not? He’s a top coach. I don’t think they’re going to buy too many players this season as they bought a lot last summer, and [chairman Daniel] Levy probably brought Pochettino in as he knows he’s a great coach and hopes he can get the best out of the players they have. A lot of them have to do a lot more than they did last season.

What will become of crisis-hit Southampton?

At one point I thought they could qualify for Europe, but now they’re looking at a relegation battle. New manager Ronald Koeman has seen a lot of players leave, which means that when they do buy new players, the price will be that much higher.

Sky Sports will show games from the Premier League, Uefa Champions League, Euro 2016 qualifiers, La Liga and Eredivisie on Sky Sports 5

[Images: Sky Sports, Rex]