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- AFC BOURNEMOUTH: Dear Eddie. We are here to help. A letter from The South End
Its hard to believe but the Cherries first season back in the Championship is already over. It only seems like yesterday we were basking in the August sun and victory as we got our season off to a flyer with a 2-1 win over Charlton.
After a stuttering first half of the season the Cherries slowly adapted to the pace of the Championship game. The team as a whole has slowly grown and learnt what is exactly expected of them. We all knew that we needed a striker who could hold up the ball and get on the end of crosses and as soon as Kermorgant arrived looked what happened, goals galore.
As Eddie Howe pointed out we have now become free-scoring, the only real issue with our performances, especially in the first half of the season. What does this mean for the season ahead. Will we get second season syndrome? Will the opposition have worked us out?
We reckon we will only go from strength to strength, a few more players and we will be ready for a top six finish. With Eddie in charge and Maxim, ready to invest, the future is only going to get better and better. The future is ours, the future is red and black.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON: Steve Cook
A difficult decision to make as there have been a host of players who have been outstanding. Simon Francis and Lewis Grabban have already won awards and deservedly so but its defender Mr Cook for us.
For us Steve Cook ranks alongside any of the candidates that anyone can suggest. He may not have been quite as consistent as Simon Francis, or as headline-grabbing as Lewis Grabban, but he has been outstanding all season. Early on in the season when others were playing quite so well he was the player putting in MOTM performances game after game. As others have improved to reach new heights Steve Cook was already there.
PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON: Reading (H) 3-1
Another very difficult decision as there are so many outstanding performances. The comeback against Millwall, the win over FA Cup holders Wigan, the thrashing of Leeds United and Doncaster and victory over QPR. But, the game against Reading was simply sublime
The first half performance against the play-off contenders was perhaps the best half of football in living memory. The Cherries started off at a blistering pace and never let up for the 45 minutes. The sheer attacking intent of AFC Bournemouth simply blew the Royals away, they didn’t stand a chance. This is how football should be played and we could watch the highlights over and over. So here they are…
GOAL OF THE SEASON: Tokelo Rantie – Burnley (A) 1-1
There have been plenty to choose from and we know this won’t be everyone’s favourite, but it is still a sensational goal.
Tokelo Rantie was a big money signing for the Cherries and a lot was expected of him. He struggled to adapt to the English game and was finding it difficult to put the ball in the back of the net. However, when he did he did it in spectacular style. He turned the defender and struck a thunderbolt straight into the top corner. An unstoppable shot that gave the Cherries a valuable point.
MISS OF THE SEASON: Lewis Grabban – Barnsley (H) 1-0
It’s difficult to criticise after such a spectacular season back in the Championship. But, there are a few times when even the mighty Cherries could have done better
Coming off the back of a home defeat to the Blackpool, the Cherries needed to get back on track against lowly Barnsley. The Cherries were looking to get another three points against a team that had had a slow start to the season. Mark Pugh scored the winner in the 78th minute, but Lewis Grabban had the chance to open the scoring earlier. Brett Pitman squared the ball to Grabban who was in acres of space, sent the keeper the wrong way… and missed.
PLAYER TO WATCH 2014/15: Tokelo Rantie
Watch out for the South African international. He will prove to be a top act
Tokelo Rantie has struggled with life in the Championship, but things are about to change. Well, we say this more in hope than expectation, but there is not doubt that Rantie is a good player, its just finding his place in the team. With a full pre-season and some wise and words from the manager, and probably a few of the players, he will prove to the AFCB faithfull how good he can be.