Why Bournemouth can fight for a Europa League place this season
Bournemouth have made a fantastic start to the season, winning six of the opening 10 league games this season. It leaves them with 20 points on the board after the completion of a quarter of the campaign.
They are currently sixth in the table, two points behind fourth place Arsenal and three points ahead of 8th-placed Manchester United.
Eddie Howe’s men are playing football of high quality and are scoring goals in huge numbers. The Cherries have already netted 19 in 10 games, at a rate of 1.9 per match. Last season though, they only scored 45 goals throughout the league campaign.
Hence, it is not beyond human reality to think that the Vitality club can fight for a top-seven finish this year. Other teams who can grapple for that spot are Everton, Watford, Wolves and possibly Leicester City. But none of those teams have what Bournemouth possess to go places – a settled side and a manager working with them since 2012.
The manager’s influence can make the difference
This is Marco Silva’s first season at Everton, while Claude Puel and Javi Gracia are in their first full season in charge of Leicester and Watford respectively. Wolves are new to the Premier League this year and may still find themselves a bit short as there are plenty of games still left to play.
In this respect, Howe and his men have an advantage. The Englishman has been in charge of Bournemouth since 2012, and this is his second stint. (He managed the Cherries from 2008-2011 as well).
The majority of the squad players have been together since their promotion and know the manager’s style of play. It helps in situations when the going gets tough because the team has an idea of how to get out of the tight spot.
Furthermore, this is the Cherries’ fourth consecutive year in top-flight football, hence, the experience and the know-how of dealing with attrition is well-known.
That being said, the style of football that Howe likes to play is pretty attractive and attack-minded. It helps the team create more goal-scoring chances.
In contradiction, generally, most of the bottom clubs in the league struggle for goals. That pushes them to a relegation fight rather than the top-half fight.
Bournemouth, on the other hand, create chances, score goals and now have the experience of how to go about the business in the Premier League.
Therefore, there’s every chance of them finishing seventh, or maybe even sixth this year.