Thursday, 11 June 2015

What should AFCB's ambitions be in the Premier League?

It is a priority for AFCB to stay up in its first season in the Premier League, but what should the club be aiming for above that? We have seen how difficult it is for new clubs to come in and really take it to the biggest clubs in the league, but would 17th place in the Premier League be a much better achievement than winning promotion to this league in the first place?
Is there a carefully planned strategy for next season?
When you consider that finishing one place above the relegation places would mean AFCB would only need to beat the equivalent of two teams that have come up and one other such progress might seem small, especially if it also meant a budget spend well in excess of previous seasons. I am not for one moment expecting Norwich and Watford to be two of the teams that finish in the bottom three next season either, as I believe all three promoted sides will cause problems for other teams next season. It will be important for AFCB's players to respect the opposition but not buckle just because it is Man Utd or Chelsea in front of them on the pitch. Just like when AFCB got to the Championship they have earned the right to be there.

Some fans will expect Bournemouth to do the impossible even in their first season at this level and that kind of support could have a positive effect on the team. I am more worried about AFCB fans who give the team no hope and start saying as much if the team gets off to a bad start. Everyone needs to pull together. I am not saying that AFCB could do as well as teams like Southampton, but look at what the Saints have achieved in just a few years - they are now in the Europa League! Nobody expected that at the start of last season with a group of new players and a new manager. Organise a side well though, add belief and not a small amount of quality and not to mention a huge amount of transfer cash, and the reward Southampton received will surely have delighted their fans.

AFCB are going to aim to do something similar in a few seasons time, but while the Cherries have not got the budget or experience of sides like Southampton it doesn't mean they can beat such sides in the course of a season. There will be good days and bad ones for every team at this level and I hope Eddie Howe sets his sights far higher than on attempting to finish 17th next season.

In the meantime, I expect Eddie Howe has already been studying the release list from Premier League clubs this summer. Can you spot any players that are worth picking up?

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