Premier League 2019-20: Bournemouth need to get their act together to avoid the drop
- A side which was supposed to challenge for a top-six spot is now threatened with relegation.
- Manager Eddie Howe's season has gone horribly wrong. Here's how his players can help him.
AFC Bournemouth, managed by Eddie Howe, have had a very poor season in the Premier League thus far. They are languishing at the eighteenth position of the league table with a meagre 27 points from 29 games which consist of 7 wins, 6 draws and 16 losses. The team had done extremely well to finish ninth in the 2016-17 season, as well as to take the twelfth and fourteenth positions in 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons respectively but, somehow, they have not been up to the mark this time around.
In the Premier League this season, the Cherries have had a disappointing possession statistic of just 46 per cent. If a team cannot keep the ball with it for a long duration, then its ability to creating goal-scoring opportunities decreases. This is displayed immaculately by league leaders Liverpool, who have an average possession per cent of close to 60 in each game. Eddie Howe's side's inability to keep the ball with them has cost them dearly.
Bournemouth have completed 11,537 passes this season of which only 76 per cent have been accurate. They have always been good passers of the ball and move in a synchronised way but they have not created too many chances. Of the 297 shots they have hit this year, only 98 have been on target, which is undermined even further by the statistic that they have scored only 29 goals this season. In comparison, their defence has been extremely shaky as they have conceded 47 goals. The famed defence comprising of Nathan Ake, Steve Cook and Adam Smith, among others just has not clicked.
On the attacking front, Callum Wilson leads the goalscoring charts with eight goals, followed closely by Harry Wilson with seven. However, the others have not come to the party and although Ryan Fraser, Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King and contributed with assists here and there, Bournemouth's overall performance has disappointed their supporters who were buoyed at the start of the season hoping for a finish in the top half of the league table and maybe even in the top six. Now, there is a very realistic threat of them being relegated.
After the Premier League resumes, Bournemouth play Crystal Palace at home, Wolverhampton Wanderers away and Newcastle United at home before travelling to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. They need to make sure they take at least five points before going to Manchester. They need to make sure that they do not get beaten by mid-table and lower-table clubs and take as many points off them as possible to be safe when they play the clubs in the top six.
If there is anyone who can lead the club through these dark times and guide them then its manager Howe, followed by the club's leading goalscorers in the Premier League King and Wilson. They have 46 and 41 Premier League goals to their name and have shown in the past that they can bring their A-game to the fore when the going gets tough. They need to be helped in defence by the club's record appearance holder Cook along with Ake, Smith and Phillip Billing. Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been good enough this season and he needs to keep his form intact.
Bournemouth are on the brink and their players must turn up soon to prevent the club from being relegated to the first division. This will hurt their supporters badly.
Published 25 Mar 2020, 12:36 IST