Bournemouth

This time last year: Bournemouth

Bournemouth fans must feel pretty happy at the moment. Currently in sixth place in the Premier League, Eddie Howe’s men have made a brilliant start to the season. 

However, you only need to look at the Premier League table this time last year to see a very different picture indeed.

The Cherries had just lost to Tottenham at Wembley, leaving them in 19th place in the league, only one point ahead of rock bottom Crystal Palace. They had looked impressive at times against Spurs, but couldn’t prevent Christian Eriksen scoring the only goal of the game.

The greatest lesson that the club can learn from this how remarkably similar the team from last season was to this current crop of players. There were some injuries, with star men Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser in absentia, while other current players such as revelation David Brooks had not yet emerged, but the spine of both teams is more or less identical.

Moreover, the four teams that were next to Bournemouth in the table at this point last season, Crystal Palace below, Leicester and Everton above, all lost their manager during last campaign. On the other hand, Bournemouth kept hold of theirs.

The current success that The Cherries are experiencing could be testament to the faith that the board at the club showed, not only in their manager, but in their players. This is a lesson that many struggling clubs could look at, including south coast rivals Southampton, that the knee jerk reaction of sacking a manager does not always pay off in the long run. Yes, a team may get short term success that season, but the club will not be building towards anything.

By keeping hold of Howe, it may have raised a few eyebrows last season amongst some fans and pundits, but it is well and truly paying off.

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