Six games into the 2018/19 Premier League campaign and AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has made few changes to his side.
The Cherries ended pre-season with an impressive performance against French side Marseille and due to this, Howe opted to stick with that same side as AFC Bournemouth began their fourth season in the top flight of English football.
Going into the weekend’s games, the Cherries form had been so impressive that they sat fifth in the table, ahead of many of top sides in the division including Manchester United and Arsenal.
So when Howe named his side to face Burnley, it wasn’t a surprise that 7 of the starting 11 would be kicking off their sixth consecutive Premier League appearance.
Charlie Daniels had recently dropped out of the side for Diego Rico due to injury and Dan Gosling also dropped out for this game due to injury.
The only other deviance from that Marseille side has been a slight rotation of midfield personnel with Jefferson Lerma easing into the side after his World Cup exploits with Colombia and David Brooks a victim of a formation change away to Chelsea.
One ever-present so far this season has been Adam Smith, who has now featured as a fullback, wing back and winger thus far this campaign.
His versatility has helped him become a key player for the side with 489 minutes under his belt already this season, a little over 300 minutes less than the tally he accumulated throughout the entire campaign during the Cherries promotion season.
But Smith does not believe he place in the side is ever safe.
Smith told the Daily Echo…
“In the Championship, I didn’t play as many games as I would have liked and I had to work hard and be patient.
“The gaffer has put trust in me and, hopefully, I can stay in the team.
“I wouldn’t say it’s nailed down. Every week, I know I have to perform and if I don’t, I will probably come out of the side.
“That’s the same for every other player. The gaffer has good quality players to take your place.
The mention of Adam Smith scoring on his 100th Premier League appearance against Leicester City reminded me of the Derby County fans saying the day their 2013/14 season turned around was when they cancelled Smith’s loan and got Andrew Wisdom in on loan instead who they felt was an infinitely better player.
As Smith was then available, two months later we signed him from Spurs and his progress since then has been incredible. Meanwhile, Wisdom’s career seems to have stalled. He’s back at Derby on a permanent basis but has only made 28 appearances since the start of last season. No idea if that’s due to form or injury.
Well done to Adam, well deserved and here’s hoping for several more hundred Premier League appearances for us. – Join the conversation, click here.