Written by Westbourne Cherry
There was a time, of when not if, AFC Bournemouth management duo Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall would be off to manage a top 6 club. Their ‘togetherness teamwork’, ‘anything is possible’ mentality and freshness to the Premier League with an exciting attacking style of play was lauded by the media and fans up and down the country. But you are only as good as your last match.
The assessment from the media and football pundits criticised their defensive record. They replied with a noticeable change midway through last season by changing our style to stop the number of goals conceded. It hasn’t worked!
Our full-backs stopped attacking and when they reached the halfway line they stopped and went backwards. They passed back to our centre backs who switched play across to the other centre back and then to the other full-back. This together with a midfield player coming deep to collect the ball enabled pressure from the opposition forwards. It has also left our midfield exposed.
The whole team stopped trying to beat a player but pass back to another teammate. The style of play and the entertainment value became similar to the Groves/Brooks period with similar success.
Calum Wilson signed a new contract last summer and like Harry Arter when he signed a new long term contract went completely off the boil and has not been the same player since. Ryan Fraser who worked so well with Calum has been poor and has admitted to his efforts were sub-standard. Why did the club particularly Calum Wilson who relied on his service for goals not address this early on?
The high profile loan signing of Harry Wilson could be a major reason why we have been so poor this season. Coming to Bournemouth from Liverpool via Derby with a yet to be proved big-time reputation. Similar to many loan players in the past such as Iturbe, and Dalla Valle who all failed to deliver. Harry Wilson struggles to run, defend, or show much excitement on the field. He reminds me of the suffering we had many years ago when we had Begovic on loan from Portsmouth and he let goal after goal in with Kevin Bond saying he will be a top player one day. Maybe he was, but not in a Bournemouth shirt!
Wolves v AFCB
So with 8 games left this season and Bournemouth sat in a relegation spot you would be forgiven for thinking by the mood coming from the club and management that we are actually in a mid-table position and plans were being made for an end of season jolly.
How will the team line up? Which players are going to rattle the opposition? It’s all too predictable.
Eddie and Jason look like they have run out of ideas to change the play, where is plan B? Where is the arm around a player to point out what is going wrong? As we have evolved we appear to have forgotten the basics that got us here.
Our Management team have lost their mojo. They need it back fast if we are to survive this season.