Who’s the better Bruno? It’s up for debate

The concept is simple – every week we’ll pick some talking points, our fan community will argue their case and then you get to vote for who you think won the debate.

  • Who is the better Bruno – Fernandes or Guimaraes?
  • Manchester City will finish 20 points or more clear of Liverpool
  • Richarlison should have stayed at Everton and become a club legend
  • Bournemouth will finish higher than Fulham
  • Which Spain keeper would you rather have – Raya or Sanchez?

Who is the better Bruno – Fernandes or Guimaraes?

Manchester United: Alex Turk, Stretford Paddockexternal-link

Granted, Bruno Guimaraes has made a commendable start to life at Newcastle United, but suggestions that he’s the best Bruno in the Premier League are as far-fetched as they are premature.

Bruno Fernandes wasn’t at his best last season, which is to be expected while at the core of a team that struggled as much as United. However, he was still the Champions League’s top assister, despite exiting in the last 16.

Fernandes provides even when not at the peak of his powers. That’s the sign of a top-class player. His numbers since arriving in 2020 speak for themselves, and he has gone down as one of the most impactful signings in the club’s history.

If I had the choice between who I’d want starting for United at Old Trafford on Sunday, Fernandes would be my pick without a stutter.

Newcastle: Pete Davey, LoadedMag NUFCexternal-link

Shall we talk about Bruno? Although they play different positions, there are similarities. Supremely gifted technically, both took the Premier League by storm when they arrived and both are crucial to how their teams play.

Fernandes had tongues wagging after his start at Old Trafford, almost singlehandedly carrying Manchester United for two years with his goals and assists through the Covid period. He really is a talented player.

On the other hand, I admire Bruno G so much for leaving European football for a relegation battle. He wanted to be a part of the project and in doing so he has turned this club on its head. The city of Newcastle believes again!

He demands the best on the pitch, oozes class, has an infectious personality and, captain-like, leads from the front. He is already showing himself to be one of the best in the league in his position – he is magic!

Manchester City will finish 20 points or more clear of Liverpool

Liverpool: Harriet Prior, The Anfield Wrapexternal-link

Be honest, how many of you really believed Liverpool were still in the title race last January? Not me.

Some 14 points separated them from a Manchester City side that rarely faltered – and then, gradually the gap closed and The Reds took it to the final day.

I’m reluctant to talk up a title race, but 20 points behind is harsh. Granted, Liverpool are experiencing a multitude of problems. Injuries are creeping in, confidence is low, and players look panicked in and out of possession.

They’ve been here before, though. A run of six successive home defeats in 2021 was followed by an unbeaten run of 21 games in the Premier League.

This is a team and a manager capable of turning things around and going on a run. We should still believe they can sort things out, and quickly, and not let Manchester City run away with it.

Man City: Ger Deegan, Maine Road Rambleexternal-link

Despite Liverpool’s relatively poor start, it would be tempting faith and perhaps a little ludicrous of me to suggest they are going to finish 20 or more points behind City in the title race.

They have been City’s biggest rivals for the last five or so years and we’ve seen this exact scenario play out on more than one occasion where both teams have shown capabilities to hunt down big leads.

More often than not we have gone on to lift the title in our close battles with Jurgen Klopp’s men but they’ve been right on our tails, finishing only one point worse off on a couple of occasions.

Liverpool may seem a long way from their peak at the moment, sitting 13 points behind, but I believe they have built up enough credit in the bank to not be dismissed so early into a Premier League season.

Richarlison should have stayed at Everton and become a club legend

Tottenham: Anna Howells, Spurs XYexternal-link

In some respects, Richarlison was already achieving legendary status at Everton. After all, he had the first line of a chant for him tattooed on his neck. His work rate and goals basically kept Everton in the Premier League last season and the easy option might have been to stay.

Perhaps, however, he wanted more than that.

Like most Brazilians, playing for his country is hugely important. With the World Cup on the horizon he wanted to be playing at the highest level, hence his motivation to join a Champions League club.

On the pitch he shows endless running, total commitment and a hatred of losing – perfect for Antonio Conte. Off the pitch, he is ever conscious of his roots, and according to Joao Castelo, ESPN Brazil’s correspondent in the UK, is “the most socially conscious high-profile player from Brazil”.

We may not be talking of “legend status” but Richarlison is an unbelievably passionate guy with a lot to offer.

Everton: Briony Bragg, This Fan Girlexternal-link

As a player, the Toffees ask a lot of you. ‘Nil satis nisi optimum’ after all. But they can forgive you as well, as long as you fight, work, and show the determination and spirit that echoes around the Old Lady.

I’ve been a season ticket holder for several years now and Richarlison never stopped working. You knew exactly why opposition fans disliked him. You understood that if he was yours, you loved him. If he wasn’t, he was an absolute nuisance.

Should he have stayed and become a club legend? Well (bar pulling any daft celebrations against us wearing another club’s shirt) I think he already is. That’s because if there’s anything you can do as an Everton player, it’s play for the name on the front of the shirt, and they’ll remember the name on the back.

Richarlison knew that, and that’s exactly what he did.

Bournemouth will finish higher than Fulham this season

Fulham: Dan Crawford, Hammy Endexternal-link

Back in August, everyone anticipated this game would be a seriously spicy affair, with ex-Fulham boss Scott Parker in the opposition dugout. Now though, even the most loyal Parker fan at Bournemouth would have to concede that both clubs have seen better days once they dispensed with his services. Gary O’Neil has delivered an upturn in both performances and results leaving the Cherries upwardly mobile.

Fulham’s early optimism has dissipated following a senseless Nathaniel Chalobah tackle and all those VAR controversies at West Ham. But Marco Silva has made the Whites more competitive in the Premier League than expected and, if Fulham can count on Joao Palhinha and Aleksandar Mitrovic, they can match most at this level.

Their adventurous approach means Fulham’s matches are watchable and I’d back the boys to finish above Saturday’s opposition at the end of the season.

Bournemouth: Tom Jordan, Back of the Netexternal-link

It’s early days, but Bournemouth are currently above Fulham after nine games, having had arguably tougher fixtures.

Most neutrals would anticipate our clubs will end up relatively close, albeit lower than our current lofty heights. We’ve had equally impressive starts, but both would happily take 17th for a first season back in the top flight.

Due to the contrasting ways each club relies on their ‘main man’, I believe it will be Bournemouth that will end up higher come May.

An injury to Mitrovic could derail Fulham’s season. I’m not convinced they have an adequate replacement to suit their style, whereas Bournemouth have less reliance on Dominic Solanke, with Kieffer Moore showing he can lead the line well.

Mitrovic has six goals so far, Solanke has one, yet Bournemouth sit higher in the table. This could be a defining factor for me, I think Bournemouth will edge it… just!

Which Spain keeper would you rather have – Raya or Sanchez?

Brentford: Ian Westbrook, Beesottedexternal-link

David Raya is an exceptional goalkeeper with his best years ahead of him and the potential to become Spain’s first-choice for many years to come.

His value to Brentford is huge.

The Bees only lost nine times in the Premier League in the 24 games Raya played last season, but lost nine of the 14 matches he missed with injury in the middle of the campaign.

Raya also kept eight of the nine clean sheets Brentford achieved in the league.

As well as being a great shot-stopper and having command of his defence, his other strength is quickly starting attacks.

After the Bees’ 3-3 draw with Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp said Raya “could wear the number 10 shirt. He sent several incredible balls”.

He is also a leader in the dressing room and with more than 250 senior games behind him, including one for Spain, Raya is ready to stake his long-term international claim.

Brighton: Stuart Matthews, Proud Seagullsexternal-link

Robert Sanchez and not just because I’m a Brighton supporter. Just look at the incredible saves he has made time and time again.

He came into the first team, almost as an unknown when we had Mathew Ryan as number one and Jason Steele as number two.

When Ryan left most thought Steele would jump up but instead we promoted Sanchez, who’d been in the academy since he was 15 and gone on loan to get playing time and experience.

Every season he gets better and better and his form has greatly improved since his early Premier League games, even if he’s made the odd mistake that leads to a goal.

Since stepping up to number one, he has commanded the goal area and helped us have a better all-round defence than Brentford.

Both Sanchez and David Raya play for the Spain national team, but that’s where the similarities end.

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