Under new ownership, and a bright, young manager in Eddie Howe, Bournemouth were able to stabilise after a tumultuous period and, in 2015, achieve their long-term goal of reaching the Premier League, winning the Championship by one point.
Their rise to the country’s top division has raised certain questions about their pedigree and whether they can compete at the top level, for which we will have to wait for that answer. The club has a freshness to it. A young manager supported by ambitious owners, investing in young, often home-grown talents. It's a structure that will make many clubs envious.
The changes and investments made by the likes of chairman, Jeff Mostyn, have undoubtedly had a great effect on the club. The signings of Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie in recent times have proved to be shrewd pieces of business, as well as the re-appointment of Howe in 2012.
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With the club continuing to make signings during this transfer window, and beginning the expanding of their stadium, things can only keep improving for AFC Bournemouth.
How will they fare?
Bournemouth have a very youthful, energetic style, with the addition of creativity and guile displayed from the likes of Ritchie and Marc Pugh typifying Howe’s qualities as their manager.
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The Cherries more than showed their pedigree in the Championship last season, blowing away the likes of Middlesborough, Birmingham and Fulham in high scoring victories. The south coast side scored an impressive 98 goals in the league last season, more than any league club, with 50 of them coming away from home.
Their performances often excited supporters and neutrals alike, with the impressive speed and guile with which they moved the ball creating an abundance of chances for the likes of Callum Wilson and Yann Kermorgant to finish, with the forwards scoring 23 and 17 goals respectively last season.
The Cherries also have goals from midfield in their ranks. Ritchie hit 15 last season, as well as assisting a handful. Long range strikes from Harry Arter and Pugh were also a regular occurrence last season.
Goals may be more difficult to come by this upcoming season because the quality of the defences will undoubtedly improve. However, if they do find a way of breaking down defences then they have the players to turn those chances into goals, which any team needs to survive in the top league.
On a less positive note, due to the attacking nature of Bournemouth’s performances last season they showed signs of naivety at the back, often conceding goals on the break. Improvements in their defence have seemed to be the main aim in this transfer window with defenders Tyrone Mings, Luke Garbutt and Sylvain Distin arriving from Ipswich and Everton respectively.
Mings and Garbutt will be challenging for the left-back position while Distin will add much needed Premier League experience to the squad. Adding these to experienced central defenders Steve Cook and Tommy Elphick could well be the perfect recipe for the south coast side.
If the Cherries are able to recreate some of the impressive attacking performances from their Championship winning season, and also manage to solidify an often leaky defence, then we could see the Premier League’s newest team become an established one.
Football fans, do you think Bournemouth will survive the Premier League? Will they be relegated straight away?
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