Everything looked positive last May when we finished off the season with an excellent 3-0 win against Chelsea at home to finish the season in 10th place – and for that, we got £123M from the Premier league for the TV rights.
We thought that while last year we had just been promoted and had little money to spend this year we were back into the big time so Rafa would get a decent amount to spend on new players.
He didn’t, although we did bring in seven good players who are older and more experienced than some of the players we already had.
And we’ve made a so-so start to the season playing well and losing 2-1 at home to Tottenham in the first game.
We didn’t play particularly well last week but still managed to miss a penalty in the very last minute at Cardiff City which could (should) have given us our first win.
Jamaal Lascelles – in training – lots of competition for places in defense
Our next game on Sunday will be a tough one at home to Chelsea and this is what captain Jamaal Lascelles has said about the game;
“These games have tended to bring out the best in us, especially in the last couple of years.”
“Also, in the last couple of seasons, how we’ve reacted to disappointment has been really impressive as well.”
“Chelsea at home, we’ll fancy ourselves. We beat them 3-0 at home last year.”
“That’s in the past, but we know what they’re about, our fans will be right behind us, and we’re raring to go.”
“Hopefully, we’ll get some more points on the board.”
“We all know each other and play with each other a lot.” “Me and Ciaran have always had a good partnership, and obviously Dummy (Paul Dummett) is a really good left-back.”
“Martin [Dubravka] is unbelievable in goal, and Javier slotted in at right-back for Yedlin at the weekend really well (that’s stretching it a bit).”
“We’ve got the two new lads still to come in, so there’s a lot of competition in the defensive areas.”
“You can’t take your place for granted, although I think it would be difficult for anyone to take our places at the moment, especially after a clean sheet and a good defensive display.”
“We were under a lot of pressure, but we coped well.”
The central defenders we brought in over the summer – Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar – are two experienced players and we expect at least one of those to be a regular in defense this season, while Florian Lejeune is out injured.
So Jamaal is right – you cannot take your place for granted these days.
However, there’s nowhere near enough competition at the full-back positions which is why Rafa will try to bring in at least a left-back in January.