Written by Toronto John
Eight Premier League games played and an international break in the works seems like a good time to reflect on what we have seen so far this season.
Points: Looking at those eight games, I would have been satisfied with 11 points, delighted with 14. We have faced Manchester City, Arsenal, perennial top ten Everton, resurgent Leicester, newcomers Aston Villa and Sheffield United, rivals Southampton at St. Mary’s, and “always a good match” West Ham. So, 11 seems fine, 1.375 points per game, on a pace for 52 points.
Goal Differential: We are even, scoring and giving up goals at just over 1.5 per game. With one Manchester City match in the rear-view mirror …. that’s OK.
Table: It’s a different world this year. We are in 10th, in a cluster which features seven points between third and the drop. Could have been better, but not bad.
Entertainment Value: Slow start in the first few games, which was worrying as it was reminiscent of the latter stages of last season. But then a run of three games that saw five good halves out of six. Then, a very lethargic first half against Arsenal, followed by a good second half.
Consistent inconsistency is certainly a hallmark of the season so far. Not just AFC Bournemouth, but pretty much all except Liverpool. Just a little bit of improvement on this and we could be in a very good place. It felt so good to see us rediscover our energy and style of play against Everton and West Ham.
1) I won’t presume to allocate points to players, many of you do that very well. But, for my money, Aaron Ramsdale and Philip Billing have been the big stories, great finds with yet more upside to come. Also, with the exception of Charlie Daniels, whom we all feel for, we have avoided any really bad injuries while some of the earlier ones, or from last season, are on the mend.
2) Training Ground: It’s a story that I cannot really identify with, but I’m happy if you guys are, and if it makes us better and keeps Eddie Howe at AFC Bournemouth, thumbs up.
3) Nathan Ake: Game in, game out, the one player that we can least afford to lose. Partnership with Steve Cook is remarkable.
Low point: The League Cup. An opportunity missed, in my view.
Lower low point: VAR. What a crapfest.
No way to know how this will play out, and touch wood that we can avoid that injury bug. But with some of the Top Six below par, it feels like it could be a very interesting run to Christmas.
Think I am happy given that
1. we still have a hangover with injuries from last season so playing with a quarter of the team players not quite ready yet but really improving eg Jack Stacey, Diego Rico, Dominic Solanke, Aaron Ramsdale and Harry Wilson
2. Tough fixture list – only lost to 2nd, 3rd and 4th places teams with opening two games a real banana skin but with scope to pick up points over next few games
3. The shape of the team settled down after a few different formations and starting to cope with the absence of Ryan Fraser and David Brooks
4. We know we can get better and with more players returning to match fitness this month
5. We finally won at saints! – Join the conversation, click here.