Wednesday, 29 June 2016

What are the lessons from the Tomlin debacle?

AFCB's transfer history has been mixed in recent seasons. While Eddie Howe returned to the club in 2012 with a new squad fairly freshly assembled, by Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks, it has been piecemeal additions to the squad since then with some excellent signatures like Callum Wilson, Josh King, Ryan Fraser, Adam Smith and Max Gradel, but also some less successful additions like Tokelo Rantie, Juan Iturbe and yes Lee Tomlin.
Lee had high hopes when he joined AFCB of being a top Premier League player.
The Tomlin signing should have been a reasonably safe squad signing. He played extremely well in 2014-15 for Middlesbrough and was instrumental in that sides fourth round FA Cup win against the stellar stars of Man City. But as soon as he signed for AFCB it was an up hill battle for him to recover his fitness and form, while it looked even harder for him to find a real bond with the team. His lack of games was ultimately unsettling for him and then his frustration came out.
Lee Tomlin is now set to join Bristol City if he agrees terms.
But what can AFCB take from the experience of Lee Tomlin's period at the club. It is easy to say very little, but picking players with the desire and ability to take on some of the feelings that AFCB is no ordinary club is not simple to get across to players that have come from bigger clubs. It is a warning that could well repeat itself more often in the future as AFCB are now in the market for signing players from Europe's elite, and even further afield. The pillars that are important to Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall, which are the roots of AFCB, have to be bought into if a player is going to succeed at Bournemouth. It has been a feature of the side that there are no real stars. No one gets above their station or has a right to feel that they are more important than anyone else in the team, and that is really some of the defining elements that have given AFCB that feeling of togetherness. Moreover, that success is better when it is experienced by everyone as a group.

There will be more Lee Tomlins and I only hope that fans recognise that there are no guarantees that everyone is a good fit for their club no matter how good a player they may be. Hopefully Bristol City is a better fit for Lee. 

Not sure who AFCB should sign this summer? Have a go at making your own player - see side bar for Qzzr player maker, then tweet or Facebook your created player.

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