After the abject defeat to Millwall in the FA Cup Eddie Howe has been given plenty to ponder.
Much has been made of the defeat to Millwall. It has been described as a ‘giant –killing’, which it would have been had we had the first XI out. But, a team put together from those who can’t get in the matchday squad and have never played together, apart from on the training ground, is a little excessive.
But, a group of talented footballers should still be able to serve up a performance worthy of the name AFC Bournemouth. Eddie Howe may have to take a portion of the blame. Making wholesale changes rarely works, and if he really wanted to win the game as he eluded to then don’t put out the B team. Note how most of the winning Premier League teams put out a mixture of youth and experience.
”Eddie Howe may have to take a portion of the blame. Making wholesale changes rarely works”
What the game against Millwall did tell us is that players need competitive first team experience to get better. If a player isn’t good enough sell them and if you want to keep them, loan then out so they can get game time. Nathan Ake is a perfect example of what can happen.
So where do we start. Hyndman has already gone out on loan to Rangers with a manager who will develop him in a way that Howe will like. So that’s one down. Federici, we need a back-up keeper and that’s what he is. That’s two down.
WHO SHOULD GO ON LOAN?
Lets’ start with the defence, Jordan Lee, Marc Wilson, Tyrone Mings and Brad Smith. We don’t know much about Jordan Lee, but he is one for the future, so a loan spell in League One (perhaps he should go to Millwall) will do him good.
Marc Wilson is a player with plenty of experience and we would say a reasonably good defender. One who should be pushing Cook and Francis for a spot in the team. He was injured for a long time before he signed and injured not long after he signed. He needs games to get fit. Send him out on a month long loan to a Championship team where he will get a game.
For us Mings is the perfect back-up and needs to stay, it won’t be long before he gets his chance. He just needs to take it. This leaves Brad Smith. Not sure what to think. He’s better than Wiggins.
The midfield was a mixture and whatever certain people say about Surman, still a first-teamer just needs to get fully fit. Pugh is very much the same. Hyndman has gone on loan, which leaves us with Ibe. Over-rated and over-priced, but Howe needs to think about how to get the best out of him. He needs consistency and a will and desire to succeed at a Premier League club. How about a month-long loan? Over to you Eddie.
This leaves us with the one moaning Frenchman. He didn’t come to sit on the bench and he didn’t come to miss sitters. He needs to sharpen up his act and say less off the pitch and more on it. So, this means he needs to be loaned out for a month and hopefully come back and show us how good he can be. Finally, good to see Lewis Cook back in action. We like Cook, but again he needs to get fully fit before he will start to shine again.
WHO SHOULD WE SELL?
We were thinking of including Jordon Ibe in this section, but it would be such a loss that he has to stay. How much is he worth? Around £8m apparently, so we would instantly lose £7m pounds. Plus, he is only 21 and has a long career ahead and plenty of time to reach full potential.
Another obvious candidate, who did play against Millwall, is Lewis Grabban. He once again showed he was never good enough for the Premier League, not sure he is even good enough for the Championship. We will say he is so we can get a few more quid for him. Again it will be a big loss. Surely we won’t get any more than £3m for him, but he has to go. The other candidate has to be Gradel. He started with a flourish, but got injured and has never looked settled ever since he got back in the team. At least if we sell him we should get a decent fee and sign someone decent. The latest rumour as we write is John Terry, lets see how that one evolves.