Many thanks to Grant for the insight into the season ahead for Sociedad. You can follow him on Twitter @GACunningham.
1) What are Sociedad's expectations heading into the year?
I would say Sociedad would be looking to challenge for a top 6/7 place which usually leads to European football, they will need to find goal scoring form though, last year would be conceded as a pretty poor one, but still finished above mid table.
2) How would you summarise your team’s tactics?
Sociedad always have produced young talent and like to see their players develop into first team footballers. They don't tend to sell, unless someone pays a player’s release clause, but can also be Sociedad's downfall as they don't take any chance in the transfer market leading to always having a small squad. Sociedad's greatest attribute used to be the speed they possessed on the break, I assume they will stick with that, and playing from the back.
3) Who are your most influential players?
After Griezmann left no player really took on the mantle piece. Carlos Vela performances have been declining ever since, and he hasn't looked interested. One spark is top prospect Oyarzabal and he was really the only limelight last season. If he and Vela can create a good partnership that's where the threat will come from.
4) How has summer transfer business gone for Sociedad?
As per Real Sociedad have had the same old transfer window: heavily linked with a dozen players but never bold enough to actually push for them. Biggest plus was Rulli, he has the potential to possibly be the most sought after GK in the world I believe, great talent. Willian Jose is another question mark, in 3 years Real Sociedad have signed the same old striker, similar to the 9 they have at the moment. Finbogasson, Seferovic then Jonathas, all the same style all never last past 1 season, I can't see this being a different case with Jose. Juanmi’s record is pretty poor to say the least at Southampton, I'm hoping his pace could bring something to Sociedad's attack.
5) Make one bold prediction for Sociedad for the coming season
Predictions? Honestly I think Sociedad won't be lurking around relegation for so long this season, but unless we sign a true goal scorer I think we'll miss out on European positions again.