Thursday, 1 November 2018

Should Howe be taking cup competitions more seriously?

There was a storming debate on TalkSport on Tuesday night about AFCB and remarks were made by Andy Goldstein that Eddie Howe has got to win a cup competition to be considered a top manager that could manage one of the top six Premier League teams. I totally disagree with Andy's comments, because I think Howe can build AFCB into a side that challenges at the very top itself.

Will Premier League take precedence over Carabao Cup Quarter-Final with team selection?
Why else do I disagree with the TalkSport presenter? Well, name me how many clubs outside the top six have won the league cup and FA cup in the last 10 seasons? I bet we can all remember Wigan, who were also relegated that season, but after that you'll struggle. Not even Spurs and Liverpool who are considered top six sides have had a sniff at the two domestic cups for a few years now. So for Bournemouth to win a cup they not only have to do better than Spurs and Liverpool, but they are probably also going to have to beat Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City or Arsenal to win a trophy and in the Carabao Cup they have to win over two legs to get to the final. "Got to win a cup!" Get real. It is possible and it would be a fantastic achievement for Howe and Bournemouth, but there is no 'got to' about it.

Progression is something that AFCB and Howe want to see. Getting to the Quarter-Final is not progress and Norwich really should have taken their chances to knock the Cherries out. But AFCB are still in the competition and could get further than they have before. I was pleased that Howe has started to show signs that he is treating the Capital One Cup with more respect in the Fourth Round than he has in previous seasons. Howe did change the defence for the game to first team players and this showed a bit more commitment to trying to get further in the Carabao Cup.

Bringing on Fraser and Wilson was another indication that Howe wanted to get through the tie. But what should Howe do in the Quarter-Final? Should he discard the rotation policy and play the regular first team starters?  I think it depends on how fresh the players feel heading into December which is the toughest month.

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Trying to win every competition though would test his squad, and as we have seen against Norwich some of the players are not at the same level. If these squad players don't play, how are they going to improve? Or do we just ship them out and spend more money on the next batch hoping they will train and perform better? Instant success just doesn't happen in football today. You are only as good as your last performance and AFCB have plenty of work to do to increase their odds of realising Goldstein's vision of what Eddie Howe has to achieve this season.

Howe may believe that his side can break into the top six in the Premier League. A cup would be history for AFCB but so would a top six finish. Of curse, the more games that the team wins, the more links our players and manager are getting to other teams and jobs. Eddie Howe may be sought after, but how many managers have built a team that can ruffle the top six? Claudio Ranieri is in a league of his own, but I'd like to see Howe join him in someways. But it would be even more spectacular if Howe can do that and wanted to stay and try and make Bournemouth a perennial top six team - how good would that be? Cup success may even follow regulalrly in that scenario.

AFCB have drawn Chelsea away in the Carabao Cup Quarter-Final in a repeat of last season's tie at this stage of the competition. Keep 18 or 19th December free!

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Cherry Chimes' November Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. It's out today with special story - Honesty and clarity is what fans deserve on stadium plans.

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