On numerous occasions in my editorials I have expressed my admiration for Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe. For me, he comes across as a very honest and knowledgeable young boss.
However, the Cherries are currently in the bottom three of the Premier League table. The south coast team’s recent form has been dire, as Howe’s charges have now failed to win in eight Premier League games.
A home game against a newly stubborn Everton on Saturday is unlikely to be an easy one to return to winning ways in either.
Bournemouth cannot defend
Considering that Eddie Howe was a defender during his playing career, his team cannot seem to defend. The Cherries were solid defensively in the lower leagues, but they were not facing the same class of opposition as they are in the top-flight.
Howe’s team have conceded at least two goals in their last four Premier League outings, which is a major concern for the Cherries.
At times, the Bournemouth defence gives the keystone cops a run for their money when it comes to incompetence. The team from the south coast have never been able to defend since their promotion, which has led to many high scoring games in the past few seasons.
Howe likes his team to play an attacking style of football. That attacking style sometimes means leaving holes at the back and leaving his team more open to conceding goals.
It does not matter who is in the defence, Bournemouth leak goals. The Cherries spent big on bringing in young Nathan Ake from Chelsea in the summer. However, the youngster’s presence in the team has not helped tighten up their backline.
Problems scoring goals
The Cherries have a problem this season in that their attacking play usually negates their lack of defensive solidity. This season Howe’s team have struggled for goals in the top-flight.
In fact, only Swansea, West Brom and Brighton have scored less than Bournemouth’s tally of 18 league goals this season. The Cherries brought in veteran England international Jermain Defoe in the summer to add more firepower to the team.
However, the former Sunderland star has scored just three league goals and is currently sidelined due to injury. The goals have dried up for last season’s top scorer Josh King too, as he has scored just two top-flight goals.
In short, the Cherries are just not scoring enough goals. To have scored just 18 goals in 20 league matches is just not good enough. That record looks like one of a team heading for the drop.
Bookmakers back Bournemouth to suffer relegation
The fight for top-flight survival could quite easily see ten teams scrapping to avoid the drop this season. However, at the minute the Cherries are one of the three favourites to suffer relegation this season at 9/2.
Things can change very quickly though. Last season Bournemouth went through a similar spell of form. However, they turned things around and survived in the top-flight quite comfortably.
There is still plenty of time for the team from the south coast to get out of trouble. The bottom of half of the table is very congested. A few wins could see them move into the top half of the table.
Bournemouth can still turn things around this season. A win against Everton on Saturday would most likely see the Cherries move up a few places in the league table.
Eddie Howe has not become a bad manager overnight and his team have not become a bad team overnight. However, I just hope that the Cherries survive this season, as it would be a massive shame for Bournemouth and Howe’s reputation if they were to go down.
Will Bournemouth suffer relegation this season?
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