Life in the Premier League is not easy, as perfectly demonstrated by Man City’s ruthless demolition of AFC Bournemouth back in mid-September.
On those sort of days you need the opposition to be poor and the Cherries to be right at the top of their game. This helps even out the disparity between the two teams. But lesser teams cannot rely on this happening and simply have to do the best they can. No team goes out to lose, but sometimes the odds are simply stacked against them.
Man City can afford to buy the best players out there (John Stones – £47m) and pay them the wages they think they deserve. Add in the best (or one of the best) manager on the planet and you have an almost unbeatable combination. How do teams compete with this? Some spend, spend, spend, others constantly change their managers, others make the best of the resources they have to hand.
The Premier League is very much a three-tier league. There are the usual suspects at the top of the league – Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs. While this is not set in stone (we haven’t forgotten Leicester), rarely does the status quo change. Then there are the teams looking to break into the top 6 – Everton, Southampton and those looking at mid-table. Is this where AFC Bournemouth are aiming this season? Then there are the perennial strugglers, Sunderland along with the newly promoted teams who are immediately doomed to relegation according to most ‘experts’.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
Success isn’t all about the money – AFC Bournemouth, Leicester – but it’s a major factor in the destination of players coming to the best league in the world. Look at the teams in the top six and the money they spend. We have already mentioned John Stones at £47m – a sum that most clubs – especially teams in the lower echelons of the league – can only dream of spending.
AFC Bournemouth and teams like us have to look at value and potential before they spend. This got us thinking how much did the AFC Bournemouth first XI cost? And, how much are they worth now.
AFC BOURNEMOUTH – HOW MUCH?
ARTUR BORUC – Cost: FREE | Current value: £850k
STEVE COOK – Cost: £150K | Current value: £4.25m
ADAM SMITH – Cost: £255K | Current value: £1.7m
SIMON FRANCIS – Cost: FREE | Current value: £2.1m
CHARLIE DANIELS – Cost: £190K | Current value: £2.1m
HARRY ARTER – Cost: £4K | Current value: £1.7m
ANDREW SURMAN – Cost: £535K | Current value: £1.7m
JORDON IBE – Cost: £15m | Current value: £8.5m
JUNIOR STANISLAS – Cost: FREE | Current value: £3.4m
JOSH KING – Cost: £1m | Current value: £3.4m
CALLUM WILSON – Cost: £3m | Current value: £7.65m
TOTAL COST – £20m – TOTAL WORTH – £29m
HARRY ARTER – BARGAIN OF THE DECADE
A quick look at the prices quoted on transfermarkt.co.uk and there are a few figures that grab the attention. First, Jordon Ibe, apparently we have already lost £6.5m. So, it seems that Eddie Howe did pay over the odds for him. What Eddie paid for was potential, potential that has yet to be fully realised, but the signs are good. In two years time when Liverpool decide that they want him back and find out they have to pay £25m, then we will see how right Howe was.
It’s no secret that Harry Arter cost AFC Bournemouth next to nothing, but he is undoubtedly a top class midfield performer, but seems his value doesn’t match his performances. We think that most teams would snap Howe’s hand off if they could get Arter for £1.7m. It would be a tidy profit, but he is without doubt worth at least double figures (with no decimal point). Against Everton Arter showed Ross Barkley how it’s done and how much is he worth? According to transfermarkt.co.uk Barkley is worth £17m more than Arter. Even Tom CLeverley is worth £6m more than Arter. I know who I’d rather have.
Elsewhere, Artur Boruc for 850K, again a tidy profit, but seriously the man is on fire and that’s all is he worth. Who else can you get for £850K? Jakob Haugaard. Who? Exactly, Stoke City’s substitute keeper. Jordan Pickford from Sunderland. We wouldn’t swap him for any of these. But, it does make you wonder who the f**k decides the market value. It seems if you play for a bigger club you are worth more money. It all makes sense now.