Thursday, 10 May 2018

Have Bournemouth really beaten the odds to stay up?

Eddie Howe says it is a fantastic result for AFCB to have retained its Premier League status for a fourth consecutive season, but I doubt the fans feel quite as sure that AFCB fully delivered what they were capable of in 2017/18. It's not that staying up is insignificant for a club that has spent most of its history in leagues One and Two, but when the team can go on an unbeaten run that was only bettered by the top four after Christmas, there is a question mark over the consistency of this team.

Is it enough just to stay up?
Going on a winning run in the Premier League is difficult at any time but the Cherries do know how to get on a roll and when they do they the points start to flow. This team is better than the players in 2016/17, according to Howe who feels the club has progressed even if the points total is not as big and the league position has slipped to below ninth. I would say that injuries have again scuppered some of the chances the team would have had to pick up more points, but it is in the lap of the goads to get a season with few injuries and a regular starting eleven.

For me there was more change and lack of consistency this past season than in any of the other Premier League campaigns for Bournemouth. It made it a real struggle in the end and I'd have to say every season at this level has been a struggle. Whether the club can move away from having that prospect of battling just to stay up is when I'd say AFCB are an established side in the division.

When established teams like Stoke City, WBA and Swansea City are relegated though perhaps AFCB do seem to be hitting above their weight for a club that has gates of 10,000 -12,000. It does make me wonder what is special about AFCB rather than say Rotherham, Walsall or Peterborough? Town teams don't often make the Premier League but Burnley, Brighton and Huddersfield like AFCB have created a special spirit of togetherness that I believe is a major part of the success of some smaller teams to challenge the biggest clubs in the land. How long that can continue for is anyone's guess but I feel privileged that my club is one of those that has been able to offer its fans a fantastic time over the last decade, and I hope we don't start taking Premier League survival as a poor season, because every season at this level should be special for AFCB fans when they consider our overall history.

AFCB are beating the odds to stay up all the time and while the spending budget is very different from what it used to be, the risks are also much greater. Keeping the club on an upward trajectory is going to be a massive problem for Eddie Howe, but he is wiling to take the challenge on and that should endear him and the players to AFCB supporters, because many have tried to do as well and have failed long term - Blackpool, particularly, spring to mind.

Premier Talk - All done and dusted


  1. What is special about Bournemouth is that Eddie Howe is a football thinker - which is still, unfortunately, something of a rarity among British managers (Hughton and Houghton excepted). The Bournemouth football philosophy can probably be linked back to Mel Machin, whom I still regard as one of the best and most stylish right backs I have ever seen.

  2. I think all the teams you listed have managers that lead according to their football philosophies and find players that match that philosophy. I think the teams being relegated lost their way and tried playing a style that didn't match the personnel or gave into the fans cries for a change because of the coaches philosophy- like Pulis. I think this years relegation team should make all the bottom 10-12 teams see what happens if you lose your way for one season. Not to say you cannot have some bad luck and injuries, but I don't think that is the case this year.