Ever wondered which Premier League player would win Ninja Warrior? Well we asked legendary former footballer, Michael Bridges, this and more in an exclusive interview ahead of the start of the 2017/18 Premier League season. Find out what he had to say about the upcoming action that kicks off at 04:45 AEST, Saturday 12 August.
In order, who are your top four?
1st - Man City
2nd – Spurs
3rd – Chelsea
4th - Liverpool
In order, which three teams are going to be relegated?
18th – Watford
19th – Huddersfield
20th - Brighton
Who’s going to be the top goal scorer?
Harry Kane from Spurs because he’ll continue his goal-scoring form from last season and stay injury free.
Who’s going to be the player of the season?
Paul Pogba of Man United. Pogba already has one season in the Premier League under his belt and I think he’ll start to feel more relaxed in his surroundings and with his teammates this season. This time around, there’s a lot less pressure compared to last season when he had a massive price tag hanging around his shoulders.
Who’s the new signing you’re most excited about seeing in the Premier League for the first time?
There are three players I’m particularly excited about. The first is Alexandre Lacazette who signed for Arsenal from Lyon; he’s a goal-scoring machine and has pace to burn. I think he’ll make an impact like Thierry Henry did when he moved to Arsenal. The second is Alvero Morata who signed for Chelsea from Real Madrid. Morata has an eye for the goal plus his movement and strength will suit the Premier League. My third is Bernardo Silva who signed for Man City from AS Monaco. He’s a Portuguese international midfielder who is only 22 and has everything to offer. He’s adept at passing, movement, goal scoring and breaking down his opponent’s attacks.
Which summer transfer will be the biggest flop?
Wayne Rooney to Everton. Players returning to their first clubs never seem to go to plan.
Which player could have a breakthrough year?
Forward Marcus Rashford will play a major part this season for Man United and with the departure of Zlatan and Rooney, he will be able to express himself even more. He’ll also be linking up with Lukaku and the two of them will be unstoppable. Also watch out for 17-year-old Brahim Díaz of Man City. Díaz is a Spanish attacking Midfielder who has an amazing left foot, very much like David Silva. He’s already scored a brilliant goal against Real Madrid in a pre-season match and I hope we get to see more of his brilliance this season.
Who’s your favourite player to watch?
Man City’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. Aged 26, he is coming of age and is a pleasure to watch week in week out because of his skilful ability on the ball and long and short passing ability. De Bruyne is a set-piece specialist in and around the goal area and has a solid work rate to win the ball back for his team. I would pay to watch him every week as he entertains the crowd with his skill.
First manager to be sacked?
This is always a horrible topic because I don’t like to see anyone get sacked but I will go with Rafa Benitez of Newcastle United. Not because of his management or style of play, my answer is based on his bad relationship with Newcastle Owner, Mike Ashley. Benitez was promised things and they have not been delivered so watch this space.
Which Premier League player would win The Bachelor?
That’s easy, Deli Alli of Spurs. He is a young, handsome man who my wife says has “a smile to die for”! The best thing about Alli is that he always plays football with that smile on his face. Plus off the field he looks like he’s having fun and is grounded so the fans - and the females - embrace him.
Which Premier League player would win Ninja Warrior?
Kyle Walker of Man City. He is fast, powerful and built like a machine - all the attributes you need to win Ninja Warrior. The only downside is his arse! Why I hear you say? Well because there are a few obstacles with water underneath and if you touch the water you are out, so he would have to be very careful, especially on the cargo net challenge because his arse might touch the water.