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Porous Bournemouth displaying relegation form

Tuesday 7th February 2017
AFC Bournemouth suffered a 6-3 defeat away to Everton on Saturday afternoon, their third Premier League loss in 2017, and now Eddie Howe's men are looking over their shoulders following a woeful run of form.

The Cherries have been short of wins in recent weeks and have been opened up on a regular basis which is costing them results. With Bournemouth picking up two points from a possible 15, could relegation still be a possibility?

December the turning point for Bournemouth's season

Bournemouth were in fantastic shape in mid-December, sitting pretty in 8th place after 16 games with 21 points to their name. The Cherries had recently beaten defending champions Leicester City in the Premier League nine days after a famous comeback victory against Liverpool and the prospect of relegation wasn't discussed. But eight games later and their situation is now looking precarious.

Bournemouth have picked up just five points since mid-December, suffering five defeats and conceding a staggering 22 goals. Eddie Howe's men looked on course for survival and a lofty finish in the Premier League just weeks ago, but now they're wondering when their next win will be. Bournemouth have gone five without victory, and given a lot of the sides below them in the table are enjoying a resurgence, it's the worst time for the Cherries to be enduring a slump.

Defence has capitulated

Conceding 22 goals in their last eight Premier League games is the most damning statistic when looking at what has gone wrong for Bournemouth of late. Howe's side have kept only one clean sheet in the division since December 13 and shipped two or more goals in all but one of the games that have followed. Their 6-3 loss to Everton is sure to yield a response in the dressing room and in their next game, but recent form shows it has been coming.

Bournemouth's last eight Premier League games

(18/12/16) Bournemouth 1-3 Southampton

(26/12/16) Chelsea 3-0 Bournemouth

(31/12/16) Swansea City 0-3 Bournemouth

(3/1/17) Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal

(14/1/17) Hull City 3-1 Bournemouth

(21/1/17) Bournemouth 2-2 Watford

(31/1/17) Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace

(4/2/17) Everton 6-3 Bournemouth

Their latest form doesn't make for good reading and given Bournemouth now have the second-worst defence in the Premier League, their objectives shift towards consolidation in any form. Supporters would arguably settle for a 17th place finish now despite being in the top-half earlier in the season as their current form reflects that of a club on course for relegation.

Their expansive and attacking style has meant they've had little problem scoring goals themselves, but their defence are being exposed all too often, especially to sides they should be beating. Against Everton on the weekend, Bournemouth found themselves behind after 30 seconds.

Eddie Howe's men were 3-0 down inside of half an hour, completely ruining any gameplan the manager would have had before the game. While he remains convinced his side can stay up and stick to their attacking principles, Bournemouth need to become a much more solid outfit if they are going to turn the defeats and draws into wins.
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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