Prior to the Cherries promotion to the top flight of English football, AFC Bournemouth under manager Eddie Howe was widely known for their attacking philosophy and attractive football.
That has been taken into the Premier League from the opening day of the 2015/16 campaign and now into a fifth consecutive season in the Premier League.
Scoring goals has rarely been a problem for AFC Bournemouth and last season, from 38 league games the Cherries bagged 56 goals.
No team outside of the top six scored as many goals as AFC Bournemouth.
40 of those goals came via the established front four of Callum Wilson, Joshua King, David Brooks and Ryan Fraser with the partnership of Wilson and Fraser breaking Premier League records.
Here's to a successful 2019/20 ???? pic.twitter.com/pqKziHytAK
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) July 24, 2019
However, the flip side of boasting an attacking team is that it will invariably take risks and will concede more goals.
Last season the goals against column read 70 goals, the third-worst in the top flight and AFC Bournemouth defender Steve Cook is keen to see that improved during the upcoming season.
One of the reasons behind that statistic was AFC Bournemouth’s injury record. Adam Smith, Steve Cook, Charlie Daniels, Diego Rico, Tyrone Mings and Simon Francis all spent prolonged periods of time on the sidelines.
AFC Bournemouth defender Steve Cook told the Daily Echo…
“I can’t remember us having a settled back four or back five for too many games.
“It is very difficult when you are not getting gelled partnerships. In previous seasons where we did well, we had a settled back four, back five or whatever we play.”
“As a front four and as an attacking team, it is one of the best in the league.
“We scored a lot of goals considering we finished 14th and now it is all about improving, conceding fewer goals and, hopefully, finishing better than 14th.”
Neil Dawson wrote…
In any business people look, normally, to be successful through a balance of promoting people from within that grew up with the philosophy and blending them with new ideas from outside, particularly when entering new fields. I think we have done all the former and none of the latter.
If you were recruiting a senior exec team for a rapidly growing organisation and the chief exec said I want every single one of them to have come from the days we were a small company or be a relative you wouldn’t say ‘yes that’s advisable’ you’d say ‘it’s your call and that’s good as a guiding philosophy but have you thought about maybe mixing in a few with big company experience as you enter that world’
Look at our main figureheads, Eddie Howe, Jason Tindall, Stephen Purches, Simon Weatherstone (met at Burnley) and Steve Fletcher coaching, Richard Hughes and Andy Howe recruiting. Fitness, forget his name but same guy since League 1. All of them together for five years.
It’s been successful, only an idiot would argue otherwise but it has become strained as the older players struggle and if we want to look at areas of improvement and moving on I would say the balance isn’t there of Premier League background people, particularly to work on the defensive record. – Join the conversation, click here.