Saturday, 7 January 2017

What could lifting the FA Cup do for AFCB?

It is hard to believe that AFC Bournemouth could ever consider themselves as among the favourites to win silverware. but the FA Cup offers an excellent chance for the club to do exactly that. Getting into the Premier League was a huge achievement and while European football could be a future goal, there is a real pathway to a Wembley appearance if the side plays well in these early rounds and gets some fortune with some home draws. There are currently only eight teams ranked higher than the Cherries in the competition if you base form on the Premier League table and the FA Cup is something the club can attack looking at its league position now.
Steve Cook is hoping for a big cup run.
The thought of seeing the team run out at Wembley sends a tingle down my spine. Even a semi-final appearance would be extremely well supported by AFCB fans, and I think it would mean an awful lot to the fans and the town if the club could get a bit of luck and have a real go at getting the club's name on the cup. AFCB are always accused of being Little Bournemouth but it will take something like winning the FA Cup to change peoples' perception of the club.

When you consider Crystal Palace reached Wembley last season you may not wish AFCB to get there this time, but I am sure it would lift the club to a new level. We have seen how AFCB have taken points off the top six this season and it will be down to Eddie Howe's team selection as to how far he wants to have a push at winning the FA Cup. I expect it will be a side of non-regular's today that turn out in AFCB colours at Millwall, but in the fourth and fifth round I would hope that stronger sides start to emerge from Eddie Howe's notes. That would be treating the competition with more respect than last season when AFCB had a home tie against Everton, but rested several of the club's top players. 

It may come down to considering whether the directors want the extra money of finishing eighth, ninth, tenth or if they would countenance a slip down to 12th or 13th in the league and yet get an appearance at Wembley. Of course I am greedy and want a top 10 finish and a Wembley appearance, but Eddie Howe must be mindful of what happened this season in the League Cup - an early exit would be a huge disappointment.

The Saints have won the cup once in 1976, wouldn't it be great to equal that and give them another reason to start looking up to AFCB some more?

Possible AFCB team
4-4-2 Federici, Lee, M Wilson, Mings, B Smith, Ibe, Hyndman, L Cook, Grabban, Mousset, Afobe

Allsop, O'Connell, A Smith, Gosling, Surridge, Pugh, Ndjoli

Other news
Jordan Holmes is said to be joining Eastbourne Borough on loan for the remainder of the season

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