What you need to stay in the top flight is top quality players. Does 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 midfielders. It’s Premier League for those who can make the grade and Championship for those who can’t.
MARCH PUGH – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
HARRY ARTER – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
ANDREW SURMAN – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
MATT RITCHIE – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
EUNAN O’KANE – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
DAN GOSLING – Premier League / CHAMPIONSHIP
SHAUN MACDONALD – PREMIER LEAGUE / Championship
RYAN FRASER – Premier League / CHAMPIONSHIP
JUNIOR STANISLAS – Premier League / CHAMPIONSHIP
The Cherries midfield four that finished the season so strongly, and consistently, Ritchie, Surman, Arter, Pugh, weren’t quite so settled at the beginning of the season. All were dropped on and off in favour of O’Kane, Stanislas, MacDonald, Gosling and Fraser. This was partly because of form and partly because of Howe’s tactics.
However, it was these four that eventually combined to provide a screen for the back four and the ammunition to power their way to nearly a century of goals. Andrew Surman had already played at a higher level and he quickly added a touch of guile that had been missing. He seems like the player most ready for the next level of the Premier League.
Harry Arter and Matt Richie have both been called up for international duty and both proven to be capable of competing at that level. Though the opposition has hardly been world class they will be ready for the Premier League. This leaves Marc Pugh, who has been written off every time we have got promoted. ‘He’s only got one trick’, but this has proved to be a very effective one. Write him off again at your peril.
This leaves Marc Pugh, ‘He’s only got one trick’, but this has proved to be a very effective one. Write him off again at your peril.
Of the remaining midfielders O’Kane and MacDonald are the only two we think would make the grade. Both would need games to grow into the role, something they are unlikely to get. On the edge this leaves Dan Gosling, Ryan Fraser and Junior Stanislas.
Dan Gosling came with Premier League pedigree but couldn’t dislodge the first choice four. When he did play he did score, but we think its time for him to move on. The wee man, Ryan Fraser, has plenty of potential, but he struggled to get in the side when in the Championship so seems unlikely his chances will improve. He should stay, but with a loan deal in mind (which just happened). Finally, we have seen nothing to convince us that Stanislas is anywhere near Premier league level. He promised much, on paper at least, but has failed to deliver. He needs to go to make space for a better proposition.
There is no doubt a few additions are needed, someone of the stature of Andrew Surman would be perfect. Understated, but experienced and ready for the task.
We wait with bated breath to see who Eddie has up his sleeve.