For me, Bournemouth are not a team that will be struggling at the bottom end of the Premier League this season. However, Friday night’s 2-1 home win over Brighton ended a four-game losing run in the top-flight for Eddie Howe’s team this season.
At times, the Cherries struggled to break the Seagulls down and when Solly March headed Chris Hughton’s side into the lead in the second half it looked like that losing run could carry on.
However, a brilliant touch from substitute Jordon Ibe to find Andrew Surman for the equaliser completely changed the game. The winger then played in Jermain Defoe for the winning goal.
The introduction of the 21-year-old seemed to be an inspired move by Cherries boss Eddie Howe, who was reportedly majorly under pressure prior to the game.
Howe will be breathing a sigh of relief
Eddie Howe is a hero in Bournemouth. The relatively young boss is the man who took the Cherries from the brink of extinction to the Premier League. Howe is highly rated by many within footballing circles and is mooted as a possible England boss of the future.
However, Bournemouth’s poor start to the campaign had some speculating that the affable boss could be under pressure and could lose his job in the near future. The modern game is a brutal one and bosses lose their jobs very easily.
Surely, Howe has earned himself some time with where he has taken the club in the past few years. He seems to have a very good relationship with the clubs owners and I doubt they would be making any knee-jerk decisions over the boss’ future.
Howe must adapt his philosophy occasionally
Eddie Howe is a boss with a very set football philosophy. It has not worked out too badly for him in his managerial career at Bournemouth so far. The Cherries boss likes his team to play attractive, possession-based football, which should be great for the fans.
However, the problem that the Cherries have had in their Premier League years is that they are too open at the back. The summer signings of Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake were supposed to strengthen that Cherries defence.
The way the campaign has started, though, they have done very little to halt the number of goals the Cherries concede. On Friday night after such a terrible start to the campaign, Howe decided to go back to basics. Playing a 4-4-1-1 formation.
Despite conceding, his team had a better defensive shape and produced a better defensive display, albeit against a very unambitious Brighton attack. The decision to send on mercurial winger Ibe was either a masterstroke or just very lucky.
The former Liverpool youngster arrived on the south coast for a big fee last summer and his signing should have been an exciting one. The 21-year-old has struggled to nail down a starting place, though. He has not been able to have the impact he would have wanted for the Cherries.
Maybe Friday night’s game will be a turning point in Ibe’s Bournemouth career. The winger certainly has promise and if he can start performing on a regular basis then he could well fulfil his immense potential.
Bournemouth will not be in the relegation dogfight
Despite the atrocious start to their Premier League campaign, I am highly confident that the Cherries will not be in the relegation dogfight this season. Howe now has decent quality in his squad and that should shine through this season.
I certainly would not bet on the Cherries to suffer relegation at odds of 11/5. That would be throwing money away. In fact, I would go as far to say that once they hit form then they could still achieve a comfortable midtable finish this season.
Nobody at the south coast club will be resting on their laurels, though. They still have to win a couple more games until they can start looking up. However, the win over Brighton may just prove the turning point in the Cherries season.
Will Bournemouth be fighting for survival this season?
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