Last week, Bournemouth’s flailing Premier League bid saw them earn a bit of praise from critics. Their triumph over the previous season’s division giants, Chelsea, was well deserved, but also a really great one to notch to lift their dubious campaign.
Bournemouth Go From Strength to Strength
The weekend just gone saw Bournemouth’s hope of the last game week flourish into yet another win, this time against Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United. The Mancunian side are notoriously tenacious and often seize a multitude of victories, both against embryonic sides and utter heavyweights, so the Cherries managing to beat the historic club was no small effort at all.
Unsurprisingly, Bournemouth manager, Eddie Howe, was thrilled; his team’s recent form has been largely encouraging, especially as their talisman, Callum Wilson, has been ruled out of play due to injury. This man was almost solely responsible for their rise to glory last season, which awarded them a spot in the prestigious heights of the Premier League.
Although Bournemouth’s previous two fixtures have both resulted in the full three points for the south coast side, Fox News online allude to the winning among underdogs being very much the current trend this season. For instance, Chelsea have dramatically plummeted, forfeiting all bragging rights, whilst Leicester City have been leading the pack for the majority of the opening few months. Currently, Arsenal and Manchester City have managed to exceed Claudio Ranieri’s chaps, but the difference is almost negligible (the table presently reads: Arsenal: 33 points; Man City: 32; Leicester: 32 also). So, although Bournemouth have really pushed themselves and earned their stripes (their wins have boosted their table spot – they now sit 14th), it seems there really is something in the air for the lesser achievers. Perhaps it isn’t just the fortune and doggedness of the Cherries – perhaps it is also combined with the lagging prowess of the bigger teams?
Regardless, within two minutes of match action, Junior Stanislas’ reluctance to let the ball stray from the United net eventually led him to a stellar opportunity to whip one in, grabbing his team a very early goal. 22 minutes passed before United equalised, with Marouane Fellaini scoring, but it was in the second half that saw Bournemouth officially snatch the win and remain buoyant until the 90-minute whistle blew. Joshua King, a former United man, delivered a clean ball into the box after a decent corner, with his strike making the score sit 2-1 for the rest of the fixture. King has been a player ready to get his boots dirty most of this season, but often just hasn’t possessed the sort of pizzazz to get things consistently going.
The Telegraph ripped into Manchester United’s so called “delinquent defence” following the match, and further claimed that Bournemouth will retain the ability to beat opponents if they successfully sign a striker during the January transfer window. These points I’d certainly agree with, but the latter is definitely more pressing. Although the Cherries have some glimmers of talent within their line of attackers, they need one very solid, very consistent striker at the helm of their front force. They must, ideally, find a player without a history of injuries and ailments, who is perhaps young, but creative, persistent and of devilish pace to ensure they can keep testing whatever opposing teams they face week-upon-week.
It’s time to keep fingers (and toes) crossed that this is the end of Bournemouth’s shabby run of form, and that the past two weeks can act as benchmarks for what is expected to come. January will be extraordinarily important for Howe’s side, and, therefore, an opportunity to sniff out a good deal and make a strategic, informed signing, and not squander that chance.