Saturday, 16 May 2015

How do you improve a side that has just won the Championship?

Now that the joyous celebrations have started to give way to a realisation that AFCB must plan to tackle the Premier League teams that have pedigree and quality in abundance, it is time to find and select the players that will make this Cherries side a tougher proposition for teams to face next season. Improving on a team that scored 98 league goals in the Championship is perhaps not the worst base to start from and Eddie Howe has been very clear in that he wants to buy players that are British, that are keen to be coached and to learn and yet Howe also needs a balance and wants to be loyal to his core group of players.
AFCB have to find some way of getting even better.
The Premier League is a different league from the Championship with several tiers within its mould of 20 clubs. The experience that Burnley, QPR and Leicester have had this season has demonstrated that it is now very difficult for a newly promoted team to breeze in and establish itself among the mega rich teams in the Premier League. Plucking players from the Championship that have had strong seasons is the most likely route that I see AFCB taking to bolster their squad. Perhaps a big striker is something that the club still has room for and while foreign strikers have been already linked with the Cherries, Eddie Howe is most likely to go with a choice of player that has played in Britain already. His foreign shopping brought in Tokelo Rantie and Mohamed Coulibaly to the club some two years ago and while TK has not created the headlines hoped for for a club record signing, Coulibaly has been released.

Callum Wilson has delivered and has proved that there is talent in the lower leagues that can step up to at least the Championship level. Whether the Premier League can also be as fruitful for him we will soon find out. Big former Premier League strikers like Dimitri Berbatov and Kenwyne Jones come with big wages and while Eddie has added some older players to AFCB the profile of the squad has been a good mixture with youth not being overlooked in the case of Ryan Fraser and Baily Cargill.

While I am sure that more new wingers are at the top of the most wanted list - Eddie always likes a winger, it is the defence that probably is most in need of freshening up. You won't stay up if the team is conceding 60 plus goals in the Premier League and in the Championship AFCB let in 45 goals. Few fans get excited about signing centre backs or full backs but if the Cherries go up with a Championship defence and don't improve on it there will be no hiding place.

The Championship Run-In reports on Boro too strong for the Bees.

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