Finish of Season Report Card for the Cherries
Ah, Bournemouth. After a valiant five-year keep within the Premier League, they’ve lastly dropped again all the way down to the second tier in one of many oddest seasons in English soccer historical past.
Relegation additionally brings the tip of Eddie Howe’s tenure on the membership, with the 42-year-old leaving the Cherries after eight years in his second spell on the Vitality Stadium.
Having over-achieved for thus lengthy, the unhappy actuality is that this was all the time on the playing cards for a membership who, not too way back, had been preventing to remain within the Soccer League. Even then although, Bournemouth’s limp efficiency this season – after years of battle and keenness – will likely be bitterly disappointing.
Here is a glance again over Bournemouth’s marketing campaign.
A valiant effort at Goodison Park wasn’t sufficient to save lots of the Cherries, as Aston Villa’s draw in opposition to West Ham ensured their survival on the south coasters’ expense.
The aggressive, fast-paced model of soccer they have been synonymous with over current years disappeared this season – changed by a string of sluggish, drained performances utterly devoid of ardour or penetration.
Bournemouth have all the time had a shaky defence. Howe loves an overlapping full-back, and commits to successful video games by taking the battle to the opponent – a tactic that has confirmed profitable. These defensive frailties had all the time been offset by that attacking menace, however this 12 months the targets dried up.
After scoring 14 targets and offering ten assists in 2018/19, Callum Wilson might solely muster eight targets and three assists this time period. Equally, Ryan Fraser, one of many league’s standout performers final season, noticed a staggering decline in output.
With their forwards firing blanks, Bournemouth repeatedly got here up quick. A string of embarrassing defeats after Christmas to Brighton, West Ham, Watford and Norwich highlighted how far off the tempo they had been..
Outcomes scarcely improved and Bournemouth managed simply 4 wins in 2020 – two of these coming within the remaining weeks of the season as a late rally gave them some hope.
FA Cup: Fourth Spherical
Bournemouth recorded their largest successful margin of the season as they brushed apart Championship newcomers Luton City within the FA Cup third spherical, the Cherries successful the match 4-0.
They performed Arsenal within the subsequent spherical and regardless of going through a youthful Gunners staff, Howe’s facet struggled to realize management of the match. Two targets earlier than half time from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka ought to have been a wake-up name for Bournemouth, however their lacklustre efficiency continued within the second half.
They got here alive within the dying seconds when Sam Surridge pulled one again however, very similar to their late league resurgence, it was too little too late. A disappointing efficiency – one which typified their season.
Carabao Cup: Third Spherical
Bournemouth scraped previous League Two facet Forest Inexperienced after younger keeper Mark Travers saved three penalties in a penalty shootout following a goalless draw.
Howe would have demanded a greater efficiency from his facet within the following spherical in opposition to one other decrease league facet, League One’s Burton Albion. He was left annoyed once more because the Cherries had been totally outplayed on the Pirelli Stadium, the house facet successful 2-0. Bournemouth might solely muster one shot heading in the right direction in a dismal efficiency in opposition to a facet two leagues beneath them.
You dread to assume the place Bournemouth would have ended up with out Nathan Ake this 12 months. The Dutchman was a stage above his teammates this season, his performances not deserving of a facet whimpering in the direction of relegation.
Far too good for the Championship, Bournemouth followers can don’t have any ill-feeling about his impending departure, particularly as the numerous switch payment paid by Manchester Metropolis could also be important in getting the Cherries again to the highest flight.
A standout season final 12 months noticed Ryan Fraser linked with a number of prime groups. After no transfer materialised final summer season, his supervisor would have hoped the winger would apply himself this season, guaranteeing himself a transfer to a prime membership when his contract expired.
It is truthful to say that did not occur. The Scot produced only one objective and 4 assists all season and barely seemed bothered at instances, admitting that the summer season’s hypothesis has contributed to his downturn in kind. He burned all bridges with Bournemouth followers when he refused to signal a brief time period deal after the restart because the membership had been battling relegation.
Now and not using a membership, he is gone from being linked with Arsenal and Tottenham to Crystal Palace and Fulham. Issues might have been very completely different for Bournemouth and Fraser if he’d really stored his thoughts clear this 12 months.
It is troublesome to be too vital of Howe given the improbable job he is accomplished in the previous few years, however he simply appeared to expire of steam this 12 months.
He hasn’t been helped by the board, thoughts – Arnaut Danjuma the most recent in a collection of attacking flops signed by the Cherries.
The followers could have hoped he’d stick round and attempt to get the staff again into the Premier League, however Howe left the membership shortly after the season completed.
A season no Bournemouth fan will wish to bear in mind in a rush. A disappointing finish to an in any other case good story.
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