Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Brilliance of Bournemouth

Well since my match got cancelled today due to what seems to be the opening scenes to ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ I just felt I’d write a blog post about the little fish swimming in the big pond...and let’s be honest, who saw them doing this well at this stage?

Yes Bournemouth, another club who were playing against tiny clubs like Sheffield United in League One not so long ago are currently 14th in the Prem, 11 points from relegation and rubbing shoulders with some of the more established clubs in the league. Now I’m not going to talk about how The Cherries got to the Premier League but instead talk about aspects of their squad, manager and club that has made them one of the more loved teams in the league.

I’ll start by saying how shocked I am at what they have achieved. Not because it's their first season in the top flight, not because of  their relatively small fan base and lack of spending power over rival teams. No the reason I’m so shocked is because if any other newly promoted club had the same amount of luck Bournemouth had, they’d have more or less relegated by December.
~ Apologies to any Bournemouth fans who might be offended by these comments. I was praying for you guys to stay up this season but was certain you’d be down. Shame on me ~

How could Bournemouth, a newly promoted team, lose their star man and some of their big money signings at the start of the season and still be safe at this stage? Tyrone Mings was injured for between 9 and 12 months after playing six minutes for The Cherries, Max Gradel had a witch's curse put on him (seriously Google it) and of course their star strike Callum Wilson was injured after scoring 5 goals in 6 games.

You look at previous promoted clubs and would have to say they would not have faired as well in the same situation. If Blackpool didn’t have Charlie Adam they’d have been down very early doors, if QPR didn’t have Austin last season they’d have been down very early doors and of course if Leicester lost Vardy and Cambiasso last season, well they would probably be top of the Championship instead of the Premier League right now.

Next I wanna talk about the man who really made this dream a reality, Eddie Howe. For me he is the most underrated manager in the league. One of my favourite games this season was watching these lads beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the last few minute and simply because they followed the plan that Howe set out perfectly. Magical night which will live long in the memory for Bournemouth and managerial magician Eddie ‘Howedini’ Howe.

With a nice style of passing football combined with a squad of hard workers, Howe looks to have created a sturdy base to build upon. A few additions next season and The Cherries could be taking that next step into becoming a mid table side and establish themselves for the long run. Which takes me onto my next Bournemouth talking point.

After promotion last season Howe has kept hold of a lot of players that got them there, Surman, Gosling, Stanislas, etc. But he has also brought in some solid free agents for newly promoted sides in Josh King who has fitted in well with the hard working ethic Howe likes, Sylvain Distin who has a wealth of experience at this level and Artur Boruc who they had last season and for me has paid the club back ten fold for some of his performances this season.

Add in the big money signings such as Max Gradel who has done well since his return from injury and Benik Afobe who has taken it upon himself to be that goalscoring threat Bournemouth have needed since Wilson’s injury. All in all, Bournemouth look to be making intelligent decisions in the transfer market. Which is something that can’t really be said for other clubs around them.

It seems that Howe looked at his squad and said “ I need a goalscorer” and looked at Afobe and saw a young player with a good goalscoring record and signed him. I don’t understand why others don’t do this?

For example, Aston Villa needed a goalscorer after losing Benteke in the Summer, they went for Rudy Gestede who hasn’t really been a goalscorer at every club he’s been at, when sat right next to him is Jordan Rhodes who has scored closed to 20 goals a season for like the last 5 year. The same goes for Palace, they needed a goalscorer and let Charlie Austin slip through their fingers.
~ Side note: I’m not saying Villa would have stayed up with Rhodes, just that they needed a goalscorer and didn’t really go for one ~

Another example would be Manchester United the other year failing to replace Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra. Three quarters of possibly the best defence of the Ferguson era and you don’t bother replacing them? Probably Van Gaal’s biggest mistake…

But anyway back to Bournemouth. I know that some people, probably some Bournemouth fans themselves, will say that they are not safe yet. To those people I say “piss off, this is my blog I’ll say what I like.” But I would also like to add that I can’t see another win coming for the three teams currently in the relegation places.

The Cherries for me could lose every game for the rest of the season 10-0 and still finish 11 points away from the relegation zone simply because the teams that are down there just don’t have the quality or the style to stay in the top flight. Not in the same way that The Boscombe do.
Fingers crossed as well that they do a Leicester and end up Champions next actually could happen haha.

~ Anyone who enjoyed this please follow me on Twitter @ThePenaltyKing1 or like me on Facebook at ~

Cheers for reading.

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