Three reasons why Bournemouth’s bright start isn’t a fluke
Richard Marsh | 30 August 2018
Eddie Howe’s men are unbeaten so far
What a difference a year makes. Bournemouth lost their opening four games of the season last term, but now they’ve collected seven points from a possible nine.
Eddie Howe’s Cherries have beaten Cardiff City and West Ham United, before coming from behind to draw with Everton last weekend.
It’s their best ever start to a Premier League campaign. This is the Cherries’ fourth season in the top tier, and they appear better prepared than ever before.
Howe knows his squad inside out
Amazingly, since Arsene Wenger’s departure from Arsenal in the summer, Eddie Howe is now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League.
In a world of increasingly trigger-happy chairman and revolving managerial doors, many of the Cherries’ Premier League mid-table rivals have wasted time, money and vital points by chopping and changing managers.
Howe has been in charge at Dean Court since 2012. He arguably knows his team better than any other Premier League manager and he’s been allowed to slowly build, tinker, and perfect his squad.
As a result, he needed to only make three signings this summer. Much of Howe’s squad is unchanged since the Cherries entered the top flight in 2015, but he’s been backed and allowed to improve it year-on-year.
And on the basis of their performances so far this season, Howe and Bournemouth’s commitment to each other is shining through on the pitch.
Cherries now have Premier League nous
When Bournemouth came up to the Premier League in 2015, few expected them to survive more than one season. Their rise from League One to the upper echelons of English football was surely too much, they said.
And though there were struggles early on (the Cherries won only two of their first 14 games that season) they survived – haven’t looked back since.
Despite the odd wobble, two mid-table finishes have followed, and Bournemouth have established themselves in the top-flight. They’re only one season short now of Nottingham Forest and Ipswich’s five years in the Premier League.
It means Howe can now call upon a squad with plenty of Premier League experience under their belt. With life outside the top-six so tightly contested, having that nous can be a crucial asset.
Never-say-die approach remains
One of Bournemouth’s greatest assets has been their work ethic. Other teams may have better quality players, but the Cherries will run themselves into the ground for a point or three.
That was readily evident last season. Howe’s men collected a whopping 21 points from losing positions – six more than any other side.
And it’s clear that Howe’s ethos remains this term. They went 1-0 down away at West Ham before winning 2-1, and Everton went 2-0 up on Saturday.
But in familiar fashion, Bournemouth scored twice in the final 15 minutes to grab a draw. They’ve already collected four points from losing positions this term.
The road ahead
Howe says he thinks the squad is ready to win trophies. It’s the latest indication that Bournemouth no longer think about avoiding relegation. They’re looking up and forwards.
The Cherries have backed their manager. The manager knows his squad, and the squad will give everything for the manager. That’s a formula for success right there.
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