Friday 13 August 2021 7:00 am

Premier League 2021-22 season preview: Fans of London clubs name their best and worst case scenarios and their players to watch

For even the most jaded of football supporters, the start of a Premier League season is a special time.

The arrival of new managers and players promises to transform fortunes, while last year’s disappointments have faded sufficiently to allow optimism to break out again, at least until the first round of games.

So ahead of the top flight’s big kick-off this weekend City A.M. canvassed fans from the six London clubs in the Premier League on their hopes and fears for 2021-22.

Arsenal fan’s view by Andrew Mangan of Arseblog

What do you think is the best-case scenario for Arsenal this season? 

As it stands, I think a top-six Premier League finish is as good as it can get for this Arsenal team. They haven’t done enough in the market to transform their fortunes any further, and there are still too many issues in the squad to sort out.

What is the worst-case scenario? 

Another mid-table finish beckons unless Mikel Arteta can get his team scoring more goals.

Who is your Arsenal player to watch this year?

Emile Smith Rowe. He had such a positive impact last season, he’s got a new contract and the No10 shirt which shows there’s real faith in his talent, and if he stays injury free, he’s got the quality to score goals and provide some of the creativity the side really needs. 

https://arseblog.com/

Arsenal have handed Emile Smith Rowe the No10 shirt in recognition of his importance to the team
Arsenal have handed Emile Smith Rowe the No10 shirt in recognition of his importance to the team (Getty Images)

Brentford fan’s view by Jon Restall of Beesotted

What do you think is the best-case scenario for Brentford this season?

Continuing to develop our fluid football on a higher stage, surprising a few established Premier League clubs along the way and not flirting with relegation. We will continue to develop our young squad and polish some emerging gems whatever happens. Oh and a win against Arsenal on Friday would put us top, overnight at least!

What is the worst-case scenario?

Gambling everything in a break from the model that got us where we are now – which we won’t do. Our owner will back us to stay up, but if we don’t we will already have laid foundations for a return, and will get good money to build again from those who seek to poach our best talent.

Who is your Brentford player to watch this year?

Bees fans are excited about the impact that the dynamic Frank “the tank” Onyeka will have in midfield. Left-back Rico Henry is quite brilliant too, while the spine of Ivan Toney, Christian Norgaard and Ethan Pinnock have the ability and mentality to impress

https://beesotted.com/ Follow Jon on Twitter @thecondorman 

Brentford fans are excited to see what impact Frank Onyeka can make in the Premier League
Brentford fans are excited to see what impact Frank Onyeka can make in the Premier League (Getty Images)

Chelsea fan’s view by Tim Rolls, author of three books on the club

What do you think is the best-case scenario for Chelsea this season?

Thomas Tuchel is an extremely astute coach and man-manager, we are very lucky to have him. If everyone plays to their potential, and maybe we make a signing or two (including a top striker), then a top-two Premier League place is certainly possible, though Manchester City might be hard to beat. Last season proved that we can face any European side with confidence, so another very decent Champions League run should be on the cards. 

And what is the worst-case scenario?

If we sign nobody, the likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech continue to under-achieve, Timo Werner continues to mis-fire and the defence creaks then finishing outside the Champions League places would be feasible and a domestic cup run our only hope of silverware. If that happened, though, then on past form Tuchel may well have been sent on his way. 

Who is your Chelsea player to watch this year?

Hardly an unknown, as a Champions League winner, but I think Kai Havertz could show this season what an absolutely top-class player he is. 

Follow Tim on Twitter @tim_rolls 

Thomas Tuchel has proven his managerial talent in just a few months in charge of Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel has proven his managerial talent in just a few months in charge of Chelsea (Getty Images)

Crystal Palace fan’s view by Jay Crame of The Eagle’s Beak

What do you think is the best-case scenario for Crystal Palace this season?

A top 10 finish. The highest we have finished is 10th in this current stint in the Premier League so anything higher would be a real achievement considering the upheavals this summer. It has been a real summer of transition which is set to continue, the biggest that the club has seen for some time.

What is the worst-case scenario?

Clearly the dreaded drop, as this major change at the club from manager all the way through to playing staff could see us fall flat on our faces. You have to remember Patrick Vieira is in his first Premier League job but the staff recruited around him cannot be underestimated. It has a very different feel to the failed Frank de Boer experiment but time is needed.

Who is your Palace player to watch this year?

With so many new additions already this summer, that is a hugely difficult question to answer. Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen and Michael Olise are all exciting additions, as is Conor Gallagher [on loan], but you have to say Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze will remain the ones to look out for this season.

https://theeaglesbeak.com/

Wilfried Zaha is likely to be Crystal Palace's chief threat again this season
Wilfried Zaha is likely to be Crystal Palace’s chief threat again this season (Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur fan’s view by Alan Fisher of Tottenham On My Mind

What do you think is the best-case scenario for Tottenham this season?

[New manager] Nuno Espirito Santo supplants defensive shortcomings through organisation and improved fitness. Hugo Lloris, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Cristian Romero are the spine, Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Dele Alli flourish in a fluent, cohesive midfield. Transfer maestro Fabio Paratici works wonders, while the potential of Oliver Skipp, Joe Rodon, Ryan Sessegnon and Steven Bergwijn is realised. Spurs challenge for top six in the Premier League and the cups. Nuno creates a warm relationship between club and supporters, in tatters after last season.

What is the worst-case scenario?

Spurs never recover from a slow start because transfer business was only concluded on deadline day, unsatisfactorily at that; our unbalanced squad plays neat football without protecting a vulnerable defence; and we have little up front. Fans vent their anger at the board. Nuno cannot overcome the legacy of bitterness and recrimination left by our previous manager. Ticketing is digital, so fans cannot tear up our season tickets in frustration at yet another season of underachievement. 

Who is your Spurs player to watch this year?

Optimism surrounds highly promising midfielder Skipp’s return from a successful loan at Norwich, but real progress will come if Dele reinvents himself as a central midfielder. Spurs cannot afford to waste his talent for another year.

https://tottenhamonmymind.com/

Alan Fisher is co-author of A People’s History of Tottenham Hotspur http://amzn.to/2auQmyD

Tottenham will be looking for an improved season from midfielder Dele Alli under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo
Tottenham will be looking for an improved season from midfielder Dele Alli under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo (Getty Images)

West Ham fan’s view by Graeme Howlett, editor of Knees Up Mother Brown

What do you think is the best-case scenario for West Ham this season?

Unless the board manage to provide David Moyes with additional, much-needed reinforcements West Ham United may struggle facing both domestic and European competition – as has been the case for several clubs of a similar stature in recent years. We can but hope David Sullivan manages to pull a couple of irons out of the fire before the transfer window closes – if so, we could be looking at the top eight of the Premier League again and a decent run in the Europa League.

What is the worst-case scenario?

If the club go into the 2021-22 campaign with the current squad we’re just a hamstring away from being left with no forwards or having to play an aging Mark Noble as a central midfielder in two games per week. If either of those scenarios occurs we could be struggling to secure a top-half Premier League finish – and facing Tottenham in the Europa Conference League…

Who is your West Ham player to watch this year?

Barring the obvious shout of England Euro 2020 finalist Declan Rice, who has matured into a fine player at the age of just 22, I have a feeling this is the season Said Benrahma will light up the Premier League. A £25m+ signing from Brentford last year, this will be his first full season at West Ham and if all goes well we may not miss Jesse Lingard at all. Pablo Fornals is also good enough to break into the Spanish national squad this season if he continues to impress.

https://www.kumb.com

West Ham fans are hoping to see the best of Said Benrahma in his second season at the club
West Ham fans are hoping to see the best of Said Benrahma in his second season at the club (Getty Images)
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