Saturday, 13 August 2016

How should AFCB go about their second Premier League season?

It is the second year syndrome that AFCB fans have reason to worry about in 2016/17. But what should AFCB do to ensure they can win more than the 11 wins and nine draw that they accumulated points for last season? Eddie has said that he will keep playing in the same way, but will a few tweaks in personnel change the end result in close fought games? It is making more of those draws into wins that Eddie Howe wants to see and above all an improved home record.

You can pick up lots of team and player stats on the Premier League website that indicates the Cherries were far from having it their own way in games last season. By conceding an average of 1.76 goals a game it was asking a lot for the team to score two goals every game and they came up a bit short on that at 1.18. What is encouraging is the pass accuracy for the Cherries which was right up at 80 per cent. They also fought well in tackles with a 73 per cent success rate. The knowledge that the other teams now have about AFCB will be building though. The Cherries need a few more clever routines at corners and free kicks to get an advantage and the biggest lesson to be learnt from last season was arguably defending from set plays.

Where the Cherries must feel they can improve is in the area of creating goals chances Matt Ritchie was the highest assist player with six and yet it is surprising to know that second was Simon Francis on five - there is room for improvement here from central midfielders, forwards and wingers.

The Cherries will not find a need to be overwhelmed by this coming season though. They know what it takes to survive and are arguably in a stronger position than they were last August when they first took up such a challenge. Whether youth is more important than experience is what Eddie Howe is starting look at now. While Distin and Glenn Murray had lots of experience, the team is likely to go into the new season with most of the players just having one year under their belt - Boruc and Surman being the main exceptions - we have to hope that makes them eager and hungry for success. UTCIAD!

Warren Cummings Testimonial
Warren Cummings has been a fantastic servant for AFCB and he is being given a testimonial game against AC Milan on 3 September.

Transfer News
Shaun MacDonald has completed a move to Wigan Athletic on a two-year contract for an undisclosed fee. We wish Shaun all the best and than him for his many seasons at AFCB.

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