EPL Team Preview: AFC Bournemouth

Eddie Howe 2015Coach: Eddie Howe

2015/16 Finish: 16

2016/17 Preseason Ranking: 15

Sportify Rating: 1493

2015/16 Wagebill: £25M (among lowest in Premier League, lower than some Championship teams)

Stadium Capacity: 11,464 at Dean Court

Departures: Josh Carmichael (released); Harry Cornick (Leyton Orient); Sylvain Distin (released); Tommy Elphick (Aston Villa); Jon Muleba (released); Glenn Murray (Brighton); Joe Quigley (Gillingham); Matt Ritchie (Newcastle); Jayden Stockley (Aberdeen); Lee Tomlin (Bristol City); Josh Wakefield (released); Mason Walsh (released); Stephane Zubar (released)

Arrivals: Nathan Ake (Chelsea); Lewis Cook (Leeds); Emerson Hyndman (Fulham); Jordon Ibe (Liverpool); Lys Mousset (Le Havre); Brad Smith (Liverpool)

The good: Fearlessness

Bournemouth had a respectable 1.2 goals per 90 – well above a lot of teams in the bottom half of the table.
Bournemouth had a respectable 1.2 goals per 90 – well above a lot of teams in the bottom half of the table.

2015-16 was Bournemouth’s first top flight campaign ever, and the Cherries finished 16th with 42 points thanks in large part to two separate three-match winning streaks in December and March. Perhaps most interesting about Bournemouth’s season were their performances away from home; they were one of only three teams to collect a better points total on the road. Twenty-two points from 19 games was good for 12th in terms of away performances, highlights included wins at West Ham, Chelsea, and a Boxing Day draw at Leicester.

The bad: Defense

Bournemouth conceded 67 goals last season, T-2nd worst in the EPL. Their xG conceded numbers are a bit better – 56.0 was 5th worst but a whopping 62% of that xG was on target either requiring goalkeeper intervention or ending up in the back of the net. Bournemouth have been active in the summer transfer window, but their only defensive addition has been the loan signing of Nathan Ake from Chelsea who impressed last season with Watford.

Bournemouth need to move in the direction of the arrow – less xG conceded, and lesser still ending up at the back of the net.
Bournemouth need to move in the direction of the arrow – less xG conceded, and lesser still ending up at the back of the net.

Bottom line

While Howe’s commitment to attacking football is commendable, unless the defense and goalkeeping improve with the new arrivals, it will be tough to stave off relegation.