Football News: Bournemouth Season Review

 

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Bournemouth Season Review
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Bournemouth Season Review

Last season was another step forward for the Cherries, away from merely surviving, they finished 9th. However that does not tell the full story of their season, which saw them first reach 9th place midway through the season, following a 3-3 draw with Arsenal, only to slump afterwards. When they dropped to 16th, after a 4-0 spanking at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, it looked like there was only one way Bournemouth were going to go that season. They looked like a team resigned to the drop that day.

Eddie Howe was able to turn things round and finished the season with 3 wins and 2 draws in the last 5 games, to climb back up to 9th on the final day. A good achievement, though, with just goal difference separating them from fellow South Coast side Southampton, it is likely Howe will believe they should have gained 8th place. There were 16 defeats through the Premier League season, any one of those could have made a difference. One thing that was important was a slight tweak to the style of play, from an open, expansive passing style of play, Howe tightened up to leave less space behind when his team went forward. That played a big part in the revival.

The big problem for Bournemouth is how to move forward with such a small stadium massively limiting their income. Is there any way forward or is midtable Premier League finishes the height of their possible ambition?


Eddie Howe

It is difficult to know how to rate Howe after last season, though it is clear he is not (yet at least) the tactical genius the media were making him out to be in the early part of the season. Back then he was being touted as a replacement for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and a future England manager. That talk died off to a large part during the club's bad run, as it slid down the table to drop into the relegation battle for a short period.

Despite his resurrection of the team, to drag them back up the table at the end of the season, Howe's star does seem to have waned a little. Though I am not sure that should be the case, as he had proven nothing prior to this season. At least now he has shown an ability to tweak a system, tactics and formation to rescue a struggling team. For me he has finally proved he is more than just able to play pretty football.

Marks out of 10: 6


Artur Boruc

Boruc is like one of those old-fashioned keepers that were completely mad and could be incredible one minute and terrible the next. A simple shot can go straight through him, a pass back can roll over his foot or he can slice a clearance badly at any moment. On a good day he is a very good keeper, but there are so many off moments throughout the season that his teammates must be nervous every time he is called into action!

Marks out of 10: 2


Adam Federici

The Australian is the back up keeper to the 'Holy Goalie' Boruc, with his chances to impress mainly coming in the cups. Just 2 Premier League appearances, while Boruc was out and the cup games did little to impress, before his season was ended in January by a knee injury.

Marks out of 10: 0


Ryan Allsop

Very much the 3rd choice keeper, though he did get a run out for the final league game of the season.

Marks out of 10: 1


Tyrone Mings

The big defender has never really been able to show what he can do since joining from Ipswich Town. First a serious knee injury left him out for a year, his return this season was that of a player still struggling to get back to his best, before the incident with Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic left him suspended for 5 matches. That suspension saw him lose his place in the side and his chance to impress was gone.

Marks out of 10: 2


Nathan Ake

Despite being unable to get a game, until an injury crisis forced Howe to include the Chelsea loanee in his team, Ake was able to do enough to impress his parent club into recalling him in January. The Dutch left footer also impressed enough for Howe to return to Chelsea to sign him on a permanent deal in the summer.

Marks out of 10: 5.5


Steve Cook

A surprisingly decent ball playing centre half, who can look lumbering and awkward at times, but is actually fairly good on the ball. His main problem is the lack of protection provided by midfield, but he is not the greatest defender. However he does have a good partnership with Francis.

Marks out of 10: 4.5


Marc Wilson

He came in on loan from West Bromwich Albion for the first half of the season but, unlike Ake, he failed to impress and only got games in the cup. Wilson was sent back to the Baggies in the January window, despite the Cherries losing Ake too.

Marks out of 10: -7


Baily Cargill

Cargill got just one substitute appearance in the Premier League after coming back from a loan spell to Gillingham. However that one sub appearance was against Man Utd, as Howe tried to hang on to a point.

Marks out of 10: 1.5


Corey Jordan

A young centre back who made one substitute appearance in the EFL Cup.

Marks out of 10: 2


Charlie Daniels

Howe brought in a couple of players who could play left back last summer, but Daniels managed to keep his place in the team anyway. A very willing runner, always ready to get forward and support attacks, though he is not as often caught forward as many attacking full backs in the modern era. He is also productive when he does get forward, scoring 4 goals and picking up 3 assists over the course of the season.

Marks out of 10: 7


Brad Smith

The young, pacey, Australian left back was brought in from Liverpool to push/replace Daniels in the summer. 3 starts, a couple of sub appearances, in the Premier League and the cup games were all he managed to get. It was a disappointing season for him, as he failed to establish himself at all.

Marks out of 10: 1


Simon Francis

The veteran was better known as a right back before achieving promotion with the Cherries, since then he has been used more often in the centre of the defence. The club captain is decent on the ball, but does make errors at times with his positioning, probably due to his time as a right back, as it is usually him being caught too wide.

Marks out of 10: 5


Adam Smith

A very attacking full back, who can be caught upfield at times, but he is comfortable on the ball and suited to the way Howe likes his team to play. Like most of the Bournemouth side, he has good pace.

Marks out of 10: 5.5


Jordan Lee

The young right back started in the 3rd round FA Cup match against Millwall, only to be taken off at half-time. He was sent out on loan to National League side Torquay United after that.

Marks out of 10: -3


Matt Worthington

Came on as a sub in the final day fixture against Leicester City.

Marks out of 10: 2


Jack Wilshere

Arrived on a surprising season-long loan from Arsenal at the end of the summer transfer window and was a regular for Bournemouth right up until he suffered a fractured calfbone in April. However, he looked as much of a hindrance as he was a help to the team, he lacked mobility, ability and workrate. His constant injuries have clearly robbed him of confidence and he looked like a shadow flitting around the pitch but having little to no impact on games.

Marks out of 10: -3.5


Lewis Cook

The youngster arrived from Leeds United in the summer as a signing for the future. Struggled to break into the first team, though he was not helped by a lengthy injury which saw him miss a few months. When he finally got a run of games at the end of the season, his performances were showing genuine signs of real promise. A promise he took to the England U20s in the summer, to captain them to victory.

Marks out of 10: 3.5


Dan Gosling

Gosling is gradually being faded out of the team, as Howe looks to upgrade in the central midfield. While his workrate can never be faulted, his ability is not quite up to the mark in the Premier League.

Marks out of 10: 2


Andrew Surman

Injuries restricted him to just 23 appearances last season. A tidy player, comfortable on the ball and always looking to be ready for a return pass, but offers little in the way of creativity or vision. Surman is one of those players that is always happy to play in a passing team with possession of the ball, but lacks the extra needed to turn that passing around in midfield into something more. Lacks the surge of pace and skill to burst past an opponent to create space, does not have the vision nor passing range to suddenly change the play with a pass and does not have the power to just force his way through.

Marks out of 10: 5


Harry Arter

A passionate player with real desire to win, which can sometimes manifest itself in the wrong way, as he throws himself in to tackles, which are not always there to be won. While he picked up a lot of yellows anyway, there were times he was very lucky not to get worse punishment after some of his challenges were wild lunges.

Marks out of 10: 3


Emerson Hyndman

A young American midfielder who featured in the cup games for the Cherries before being sent out on loan in the January window to Scottish football to join Rangers.

Marks out of 10: 2


Max Gradel

His role at Bournemouth has been reduced to that of bench warmer, even when he is able to stay fit. Injuries have cost him chances to show he can be good enough for the Prem, now it looks like his time at this level is coming to an end.

Marks out of 10: 0.5


Junior Stanislas

Niggling injuries cost the winger chances to establish himself as the first choice winger, though he did manage to become first choice by the end of the season. 7 goals certainly helped his cause, for a team which struggles with goalscoring, that made him the second highest scorer at the south coast club.

Marks out of 10: 6


Marc Pugh

Certainly not the most skilled of wingers, but his hard graft and effort won him a place in the team. Not a winger to skin a man and put in a cross or bang in a shot, what he does is work hard on being in position to play the pass and move style Howe favours. However, Pugh does lack that little bit of quality.

Marks out of 10: 6


Ryan Fraser

Burst into the limelight after coming on as a sub against Liverpool and getting 1 goal and 2 assists. The busy winger struggled to make the same impression in other matches, though he did manage to pick up 6 more assists over the course of a seaason which saw him in and out of the side. Tended to have more effect as an impact sub, with his busy running and high intensity causing major problems for tired legs.

Marks out of 10: 5.5


Jordon Ibe

It was a really disappointing season for the young winger brought in from Liverpool as the big summer signing. Ibe was so poor he failed to complete a single Premier League game and was mostly relegated to the bench by the midway point of the season. It is all a long way from the 15 year old who burst onto the scene by forcing his way into the Wycombe Wanderers first team.

Marks out of 10: -5


Joshua King

Without a doubt the best season of King's career. Up until now the Norwegian striker was known for his blistering pace, possibly being the quickest player in English football, but that seemed to be all he offered. Last season saw him notch 16 goals in his 36 games, even though he sometimes played wide. Now the job for him is to prove he is not just a one-season wonder.

Marks out of 10: 8.5


Benik Afobe

The thing with watching Afobe play is that it always feels like there is more there than he shows. You never watch him and think 'well done lad, you have given it everything today'. Afobe has ability there, but it is just not being used to the full, the potential is going unfulfilled, which is why he ended the season with just 6 goals.

Marks out of 10: 2


Callum Wilson

With his power and pace, many were tipping Wilson to be the forward to play a starring role for Bournemouth last season, rather than King. Wilson is nearly as fast, much stronger, more powerful and had seemed more of a goalscorer than his teammate. However, Wilson was sadly ruled out with an ACL injury in January and King went on to light up the season. It will be a long road back for the former Coventry City forward.

Marks out of 10: 4


Lewis Grabban

Apart from cup games, all Grabban got, in terms of appearances, were 3 run outs as a sub in the first 3 Premier League games of the season, before he found his place in the squad taken by new arrivals. Grabban headed off to Reading on loan in the January transfer window.

Marks out of 10: 0


Lys Mousset

A young French forward who arrived from Le Havre, pretty much as an unknown quantity to most fans. It took him a while to adapt, but he did manage to get starts in the final 3 league games of the season, though to little real effect.

Marks out of 10: 2.5

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