Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

The unanswered Premier League questions

The 2018-19 Premier League season starts on August 11. What can we expect in the months ahead?

It is only 89 days until the 2018-19 Premier League season kicks off on August 11.

Here Press Association Sport looks at some of the burning questions facing the 19 clubs that we know will be playing in the top flight next season.

Arsenal

Can the Gunners tempt Max Allegri?

A new dawn beckons at the Emirates after Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign. Allegri had been the early favourite after winning his fourth league and cup double at Juventus, but he has suggested he is set to remain in Italy and leave Arsenal to look elsewhere.

Bournemouth

Will Eddie Howe be targeted?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded236474202
Eddie Howe has worked wonders at the Vitality Stadium

Howe – now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League after Wenger’s departure – continues to work miracles with the Cherries having secured a fourth season of top-flight football. A bigger club has to come knocking one day, surely.

Burnley

Can the Clarets shine in Europe?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded236472403
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth – Premier League – Turf Moor

How Burnley fans plan to enjoy their ‘European tour’. It is 51 years since the Clarets last played in European competition, but it will be a tough ask for Sean Dyche’s squad balancing the demands of the Premier League and the Europa League.

Brighton

Can Seagulls take next step?

📝 Chris Hughton believes the competitive nature of the Premier League helped this season's promoted trio stay up... 💬 "...

Posted by Brighton & Hove Albion FC on Monday, May 14, 2018

Chris Hughton did a marvellous job leading Brighton to safety in their first Premier League season. But signing the extra quality he requires to take the Seagulls into the top half of the table will prove a difficult challenge.

Cardiff

Can Neil Warnock cut it in the top tier?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded236478239
Neil Warnock has proved himself a master at winning promotion

The self-styled Championship expert has had it tough in the Premier League at Crystal Palace, QPR and Sheffield United. It won’t be any easier this time but Cardiff’s uncompromising physical approach will unsettle a few, that’s for sure.

Chelsea

What does Roman Abramovich do next?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded236232723
Swansea City v Chelsea – Premier League – Liberty Stadium

After a season of uncertainty under Antonio Conte, we wait to see how Chelsea owner Abramovich reacts. Chelsea have the FA Cup final to look forward to, but the prospect of no Champions League football next season means another managerial change is more than likely.

Crystal Palace

Does Wilfried Zaha stay?

Former England manager Roy Hodgson galvanised a club and repaired his reputation as the Eagles soared from the bottom to an 11th-placed finish. But his greatest trick may yet be keeping star man Zaha at Selhurst Park – an absolute must.

Everton

Does Sam Allardyce play it again?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded236477585
Allardyce's Everton future is unclear

Everton are at a crossroads and must discover an identity quickly. The vast majority of fans do not want Allardyce as manager and owner Farhad Moshiri risks further unrest if he allows the former England boss to see out the final year of his contract.

Huddersfield

Where do the goals come from?

Huddersfield over-achieved by staying in the Premier League on the division’s lowest budget. But only 28 goals in 38 games (the joint-lowest total with relegated Swansea) suggests finding a striker or two is a top summer priority.

Leicester

Time for change again?

Claude Puel’s bounce effect spectacularly fizzled out with only one win in the final seven games leaving his job in jeopardy. Riyad Mahrez is likely to be on his way as the title-winning squad of two seasons ago continues to break up.

Liverpool

How will Naby Keita improve them?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded232226858
Naby Keita is Anfield-bound this summer

The Champions League final awaits – and now Liverpool are expected to challenge English champions Manchester City. The arrival of box-to-box RB Leipzig midfielder Keita will suit Jurgen Klopp’s high pressing style and add another dimension to Liverpool’s game.

Manchester City

Can they be as good?

One hundred points, 106 goals and 32 league wins is one hard act to follow. But Pep Guardiola has a thirst for titles and it is difficult to see anyone stopping them – so much so that this really could be one of the best teams English football has ever seen.

Manchester United

Will Paul Pogba stay?

United invested a then world record £89million when they re-signed the France midfielder in 2016. But poor form and an apparently strained relationship with manager Jose Mourinho has raised doubts over his Old Trafford future.

Newcastle

Will Rafa Benitez get money to spend?

No sooner had Newcastle finished 10th than owner Mike Ashley was promising transfer funds would be made available. But boss Benitez has heard these promises before and the danger is the Spaniard could be off if the cash is not forthcoming.

Southampton

Is Mark Hughes more than a fire-fighter?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded236477904
Southampton v Manchester City – Premier League – St Mary’s Stadium

Southampton were bound for the Championship until Hughes dragged them to safety. The experienced Welshman wants to stay on, but he lost his way at Stoke and has to prove that he can flourish again in the long term if he stays at St Mary’s.

Tottenham

Will the purse strings be relaxed?

We caught up with Mauricio during the lap of appreciation at Wembley to discuss 2017/18 and a crazy game to the end the season!

Posted by Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, May 13, 2018

A new stadium for Spurs, but will it be the same old story over financial constraints? Mauricio Pochettino has been making noises about “taking risks”, and the consequences of a growing divide between the manager and chairman Daniel Levy is unthinkable to Spurs fans.

Watford

Can change keep on working?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded236268401
Will Gracia go the way of his Watford predecessors this summer?

The Watford model is change your manager, survive, repeat formula. Javi Gracia – the Hornets’ fourth manager in three Premier League seasons – could be forgiven for thinking about his job security, while desperate end-of-season form would not have encouraged him either.

West Ham

Will peace break out at last?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded234549556
West Ham United v AFC Bournemouth – Premier League – London Stadium

Turmoil seems to constantly reign at the London Stadium with a massive disconnect between boardroom and supporters. Bridges must be built for the club to move forward and the future of manager David Moyes has to be addressed.

Wolves

Is a top-seven finish possible?

bpanews_6830d27c-5cfd-424e-85f8-f75d95b1dda5_embedded235417828
Jorge Mendes has helped bring some star names to Wolves

If spending is anything to do with it, then the answer is yes. With ambitious Chinese owners able to count on Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, Wolves will strengthen and fancy finishing above anyone outside the so-called ‘top six’ clubs.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph