Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Ninth is something to be celebrated

There are few indications at the start of the season to really gauge where your team is going to finish if you are not a regular tip four team. AFCB stated their last campaign with the simple intention of improving on their first Premier League season and they managed that with a degree of comfort in the end.
AFCB's best ever league position was won through hard
work and real desire to beat all previous club records. 
It is not just the number of 9th that will please the owners and Eddie Howe, it is the team that finished below them – the Stokes, West Brom's and West Ham's who are seen as established sides in the division who could not match what the Cherries did in the end. While AFCB are not seen as a big club, there will be a few regular columnists who will see AFC in a different light now. They have finished in the top half and there are only a few positions now between the middle placed teams and the European competitions. It seems strange that Simon Francis should even be talking about Europe in the same sentence as AFCB but the Cherries will now see that as a realistic possibility of they can sign the right players over the summer and kick on again.


While AFC are seen as an attacking team it is important to note that they let in 57 goals, exactly the same as last season while scoring 10 more goals than in 2015/16. That meant a finish of seven places higher, but how many places could the Cherries grab if they cut the goals against by 10 goals? That is where it is that Eddie Howe should be looking but to replace the likes of Daniels. Cook, Francis and Adam Smith would loose something of the power of the team going forward.

We all want to see new attackers at the club, but to progress to the next level it is most likely that the defence is where Eddie Howe needs to strengthen his options and yet it is an area where he has been least willing to reinforce the squad. Perhaps that might change with the coming weeks as the stats point to this clearly as the barrier that is stopping AFCB from climbing even higher in the league.

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