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What you need to stay in the top flight is top quality players. Does the AFC Bournemouth have enough talent in its current squad? We take a look at the current line-up (including the latest additions) and give our opinion on who should stay and who should go.
Here we take a look at the current selection of defenders. It’s Premier League for those who can make the grade and Championship for those who can’t.
STEVE COOK – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
TOMMY ELPHICK – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
CHARLIE DANIELS – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
SIMON FRANCIS – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
ADAM SMITH – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
ELLIOT WARD – Premier League / CHAMPIONSHIP
BAILY CARGIL – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
The back four that were almost ever-present in the Championship-winning season all need to be given a chance. The critics pointed out that our defence would struggle in the Championship and they did in the first part of the 2013/14 season. Remember being beaten by Watford and Huddersfield by the odd goal or two? But, this was a lesson learnt and one that the defence took on-board very quickly.
Steve Cook, Tommy Elphick, Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels all stepped up to the plate in 2014/15 and proved to more than up to the task. They raised their game and proved that they could compete against some of the best strikers in the Championship. Will they be able to step up against Premier League strikers? Again, it will undoubtedly be a steep learning curve, and one that we think that the whole defence will struggle with. However, they will only get Premier League experience by playing in the Premier League.
Outside of the top four we have Elliot Ward, Adam Smith and Baily Cargil. We at TFTSE are not sure that Elliot Ward is going to be good enough, but with such a shortage of defenders he will need to stay (currently) otherwise we could be in big trouble. A couple of injuries and we will be down to the barebones. It has been pointed out that he has Premiership experience, but looking at his record this has been very limited. He made 14 appearances over two seasons, this says it all.
On the other hand we think Adam Smith is ready for the task and will only get better and the same applies to Baily Cargill. He needs games but he has the potential to be a top class Premier League defender.
The worry is that we dont have enough strength in depth in the defensive department and this is something that Eddie Howe needs to sort, and quick.