The waiting is almost over, with the 2015-16 season upon us. This year, we welcome A.F.C. Bournemouth to the promised land of the Premier League, which is quite remarkable given that the south coast club was minutes away from liquidation in 2008 and almost dropped out of the Football League the following year.
As the Villans prepared to hit the road on day one of the 2015-16 season, I spoke to Neil Meldrum, who is the acting deputy editor of ‘The Bournemouth Daily Echo’.
1) It has been a mad summer for transfers at Bournemouth. Which is the most exciting one?
For me, Max Gradel’s return is the club’s biggest statement of intent. He was wanted by several other Premier League clubs and has come on leaps and bounds since his loan spell at A.F.C. Bournemouth many years ago.
Lee Tomlin could also be a dark horse to claim the crown of Howe’s best new signing once the season is under way.
2) Describe Eddie Howe in three words.
Inspiring, ruthless, winner.
3) What are your thoughts on Tim Sherwood?
I actually think he’ll turn out to be a superb young manager. Tottenham was the wrong job for him, at the wrong time, but at Villa he has the opportunity to build things in his own way. He has a lot of the same characteristics as Eddie Howe in that he is intelligent, ambitious and boasts an unshakable will to win.
4) Who is the Villan Bournemouth fans will be watching out for on Saturday?
Micah Richards should add some much-needed steel to the Villa back line.
5) Harry Redknapp has suggested that Harry Arter is the Bournemouth player to look out for. Who would you say is the one to look out for?
Well, Arter could miss out through injury so Christian Atsu, if he makes his debut, will be one to watch on the wing.”
6) Who would you take from the Villa team and put in the Bournemouth side?
7) How can you see your season panning out?
I would predict a sixteenth-place finish – but there will be many ups and downs!
8) What is your match prediction?
Bournemouth will win 3-1.
9) Football Manager or Fifa?
Neither: I hate computer games.
10) Orange juice or apple juice?
Coffee for me.
Thanks to Neil for participating in this edition of the opposition view. I am sure the invading claret and blue army will make the Cherries’ first taste of the Premier League a memorable experience.