Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Bournemouth 2016/17 Season Preview: Can The Cherries Avoid The Second Season Syndrome?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Bournemouth wrote its own history in bold letters when it secured a promotion to the top division last season. The club then defied all odds by staying up and their young manager Eddie Howe felt that it was the greatest achievement in the history of the club. Bournemouth have done brilliantly in the transfer market so far. The Cherries signed young and exciting talents like Jordan IbeLewis CookLys MoussetBrad Smith and Emerson Hyndman while securing a loan deal for Chelsea youngster Nathan Ake. The team needed to bring in some players as they had quite a few leaving Dean Court in the summer.

While the attack looks formidable, the defence remains a big cause of concern. Last season, only Aston Villa conceded more goals than the Cherries which is a worrying stat. It is a bit surprising that Howe hasn’t invested in the defensive area which looks like a big gamble.  The transfer deals so far have clearly indicated youth is to be given the priority next season with a host of exciting young talents signed to be given extensive playing time to showcase their talents. Along with the youth, the experience is also a very important thing to have in your squad, especially at the back. The second half of the season would warrant some of that experience and leadership abilities which the players brought in, having an average age of 21.5 years, cannot provide.

Eddie Howe is one of the best young managers around and he certainly knows his way around his team so there can still be a defensive recruit before the transfer window closes. Those who missed out large portions last year with injuries, Calum Wilson and Tyrone Mings, will have some unfinished business, this time, around as they would be out to prove a point.  Bournemouth had a fantastic pre-season, winning against Minnesota, Cardiff and Angers while drawing with the likes of Portsmouth, Reading and Valencia.

This season is going to be the biggest challenge of all for the Cherries. They would be hoping that the second season syndrome doesn’t affect them. With the league being even more competitive than what it was, they would be fighting for their survival this term, needing to dig deep for results. After a period of uncertainty, regarding the links of him being considered for the England job, Eddie Howe is more focused than ever on Bournemouth as he leads them into the new season. Last season they exceeded expectations, if they can secure survival this season then undoubtedly it would be an unbelievable achievement for the club and the manager. Whatever the future holds, Dean Court would be an exciting place to be next season that’s for sure.

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