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It’s all going wrong at Bournemouth this season

Sunday 10th September 2017
Bournemouth suffered a heavy defeat away to Arsenal on Saturday afternoon, extending their winless start to the new season and putting the manager under some early pressure to turn things around.

The Cherries next face newly-promoted outfit Brighton and a failure to pick up all three points might see the ‘relegation candidates' tag put upon them.

Failure to pick up where they left off last season

Eddie Howe's Bournemouth side are currently 19th in the Premier League table without a point to their name after four games. The Cherries lost their opener away to West Bromwich Albion, suffered defeat at home against Watford, narrowly lost at home to Manchester City and recently were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal.

Only one Premier League side have scored fewer goals than Bournemouth, while only one Premier League side have conceded more goals. Such a poor start to the new campaign sees the Cherries in the relegation zone and now three points adrift of safety.

After ending last season with three wins and two draws from their final five Premier League games, which also helped them to finish in the top-half of the division, supporters will have been hopeful for a brighter start to the new campaign.

It's far too soon to be talking about a crisis at the club, especially given Bournemouth have started campaigns slowly before, but they do need to stem the tide of defeats to ensure they don't lose too much ground on safety.

Cherries lacking in creativity and shutting out the opposition

Bournemouth's problems are obvious: they don't create enough chances to boost their goal tally, nor do they shut out sides well enough to keep clean sheets. This season, Eddie Howe's men have scored just one goal in four Premier League games, conceding eight at the other end. Only Swansea City (20.7) and Burnley (18.3) have conceded more shots-per-game than Bournemouth (17.8), while making the least amount of fouls-per-game (8) in the entire division – evidence the Cherries aren't fighting on the pitch to thwart the opposition?

In attack, only Swansea City (16) have taken less shots than Bournemouth (31), highlighting the main problem Howe has to deal with – his side aren't creating. The Telegraph's  post-mortem of Saturday's clash between Arsenal and Bournemouth highlighted exactly where the Cherries are going wrong: “They were too open, too easy to pass through and two nice to do the ugly things that can sometimes knock Wenger's teams out of their rhythm,” said Luke Edwards.

Bournemouth are notorious slow-starters

Bournemouth's slow start to the new season isn't anything new when looking at their record in recent years. It may give Howe hope of things picking up in the coming weeks, but they haven't had a start as bad as this for some time, however.
Bournemouth were poor against Arsenal and have looked like whipping boys in the Premier League so far, but there is plenty of time to turn things around.

Summer-signing Jermain Defoe scored 30 Premier League goals in the last two seasons but has yet to register for the Cherries. Josh King, who bagged 16 in the top-flight in 2016/17, is also yet to score. Ryan Fraser scored and created eight goals in 19 league starts, but has zero goals or assists this time out.

When Howe can get his strikers back among the goals and his creative players making clear-cut chances on a regular basis, the results should surely pick up. Bournemouth can't afford to wait too long, however, as they're currently three points adrift of safety.
Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.

Total articles: 318

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