Much has been made of long term injuires to Callum Wilson, Max Gradel, Tommy Elphick, Harry Arter and Tyrone Mings. The experts have been circling and happily pointing out with so many key players out one-season wonders AFC Bournemouth won’t be gracing the screens of MOTD for 2016/17.
In reality the biggest loss is undoutedly Callum Wilson. No-one is a one-man team, but your top striker is key to survival. If he scores goals a very difficult task becomes just that little bit easier. When a team is struggling for goals, it needs to look to the opposite endof the field and look at conceding as few goals as possible. Artur Boruc take note. It’s difficult enough keeping Harry Kane under control when your keeper is in top form.
The return of Harry Arter is a very welcome addition to the Cherries midfield. Stand-ins Dan Gosling, Eunan O’Kane and Shaun MacDonald, have all contributed to the cause but in reality none have been a match for a fully fit Harry Arter. He will compliment Surman perfectly, shoring up the defence when called into action and driving forward to support the forward players.
While shoring up defence is key to getting points you still need to find a striker to replace your top striker. This is a very difficult task and the aquistion of Glenn Murray has helped to soften the blow. He is not a direct replacement but has can score goals in the Premier League as his record shows. But what the Cherries still lack is a quality forward player with pace. We have plenty of players in the number 10 role but few with out and out pace. Josh King has been the current choice but has struggled to make a real impression.
The alternative lies in the squad. What about Atsu? What about Stanislas? Of these two Stanislas has shown to be the most likely to break into the first team squad. After his performance against Liverpool, surely now is the time to give him a chance. Here’s how we see the Cherries lining up against Southampton. Finally, our prediction, a 2-1 loss is what our head says. A 2-1 win is what out heart says. Come On You Reds.