Solid start amidst a slew of departures - Interview
Thursday, 15th Oct 2020 16:01 by Clive Whittingham
Bournemouth, least fancied of the three relegated clubs, have coped with a string of big money, high profile departures to post three wins and a draw at the start of their season. We spoke with @RobMatLee (this week) and @OllyMayFootball (pre-season) about their prospects.
Why did it go wrong last season?
RML: Injuries, to an extent, were the problem last season but I think Eddie Howe lost the dressing room, and the players didn't want to play for him anymore. They all seemed entirely broken of confidence, and every time we conceded that was it.
Olly: I think it was the injuries that cost us ultimately, but something was wrong in the camp. It almost seemed the players didn’t have any self belief, or that they thought they would inevitably end up picking up points/ Either way it was just a little too late when we did start to fight.
Would you have liked Howe to stay on?
RML: I think it was the right time for him to go, anyone else would have gone by Christmas.
Olly: Honestly I’m not sure about Howe’s departure. I don’t know what Tindall will achieve, but you always had trust and assurance with Eddie. I think it was time for a change but it’s too early to know if the manager was the change that was needed. Would I have Eddie Howe back at the club if things don’t go to plan? Absolutely.
What do you make of the replacement? Would you have preferred a clean break and somebody from outside?
RML: I would have preferred an external replacement, but I think it’s good for transition, anyone stepping into Howe’s shoes was going to be on a shocker.
Olly: I’m pleased we didn’t rush into a ‘big name’ manager who has been there and done it. Keeping it raw and promoting Jason Tindall will keep the key aspects of Bournemouth’s recent success through playing positive and confident counter-attacking football. If we had opted for the completely new option, I fear some of the core beliefs of the club would have been lost on and off the field.
What summer business has been done?
RML: The summer so far has been what we need – we have a large wage bill. Ake was gone regardless, he’s too good. Ramsdale was disappointing, but an excellent bit of profit. Wilson and King too are high earners and at their peak, they won't get a big deal again.
We've signed a winger from Atletico Madrid. Rodrigo Riquelme. Apparently comes with good pedigree and we beat Reading to him, yet to see him but by all accounts he could be exciting. Waiting on moves for Friday, still expecting to lose Josh King. I’d hope for one more centre back and a striker. Allegedly we’re monitoring your Bright Osayi-Samuel.
Olly: The summer has been heart-breaking but expected. We had one of the best squads in the bottom half of the league, if you get relegated, expect half of those players to be staying in the top flight. Ramsdale and Akè were never going to play Championship football - I don’t see Wilson, King, Lerma or Brooks playing for Bournemouth this season either. Going forward we have enough to bounce back up, keeping the ball out of our own net is the issue. It’s very much going to be a ‘we’ll score more than you’ type of season I think, which isn’t assuring. We need to strengthen at the back now that Aké has departed, if we can keep hold of Lloyd Kelly, that will be what we will build our backbone around.
Ins >>> Rodrigo Riquelme, 20, RW, Atletico Madrid, Loan
Outs >>> Nathan Ake, 25, CB, Man City, £40m >>> Callum Wilson, 28, CF, Newcastle, £20m >>> Aaron Ramsdale, 22, GK, Sheff Utd, £18.45m >>> Harry Arter, 30, CM, Forest, Undisclosed >>> Jermain Defoe, 37, CF, Rangers, Free >>> Artur Boruc, 40, GK, Legia Warsaw, Free >>> Matt Burcher, 23, CM, Accrington, Undisclosed >>> Ryan Fraser, 26, LW, Newcastle, Free >>> Jordan Ibe, 24, RW, Derby, Free >>> Charlie Daniels, 33, LB, Released >>> Simon Francis, 35, RB, Released >>> Andrew Surman, 33, CM, Released >>> Brad Smith, 26, LB, Seattle Sounders, Free
How have you started?
RML: We've been okay, I don’t think we have been as good as we can be so far. But being poor and winning against a Blackburn side scoring for fun, and being crap and wasteful away to Boro and getting a point (both perhaps undeserved) is a good sign going forward. We’ve also had to fight and we're showing more spirit than last season.
What has Tindall changed?
RML: Tindall is mixing tactics up, and he seems more willing to trust different personnel. He seems more happy with getting the results and the goals than necessarily the perfect move which Howe was sometimes criticised for.
Bournemouth league results so far…
How will you do?
RML: I originally said top three with Solanke as top scorer. I still think we’ll at least make the play-offs.
Olly: It’s too early to tell, right now, I’d hope we would be within the top six. We need to be within the fight when it comes down to the business end of the season. I just hope we can be one of the teams pushing for automatics. It heavily relies on this bumper summer transfer window in my opinion.
The Twitter @loftforwords, @RobMatLee, @OllyMayFootball
Pictures – Action Images
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