If there’s doing things right in League football – it’s doing things the Bournemouth way. Cherries forward Callum Wilson spoke last week of aiming for the Premier League and fans on the South Coast would be right to embrace such optimism.
After an impressive campaign over the 2012/13 season, which helped the Cherries to automatic promotion from League One to the Championship, many critics predicted that it’d be a step too far and they would struggle the following season. Over twelve months later and Bournemouth can count themselves unlucky not have at least made the play-offs to the Premier League last year, after finishing in an unexpectedly high position of 10th – six points off of 6th.
There was always the lingering possibility of the so-called ‘second season syndrome’ coming in to play but Bournemouth seem to be shaking that off as they currently sit in 11th and can look forward to a tasty Capital One Cup 4th round tie against Premier League side West Bromwich Albion.
Callum Wilson, signed from Norwich as part of an exchange with Lewis Grabban, told the League Paper, “Every footballer wants to play in the top-flight and has ambitions to get there and that’s one of the reasons I came to Bournemouth. That’s the direction they want to take the club and it matches my ambitions, so I thought it was a good fit.
“These are really exciting times at the club and if we can turn the draws we’ve had in recent weeks into wins then we shouldn’t be too far off come the end of the season.”
Season so far
The Cherries began the season in fine form with a 4-0 thumping at Huddersfield, which lead to the then Terriers boss Mark Robins resigning a day later. They followed that with a 2-0 win at Exeter in the first round of the League Cup. followed by a narrow victory against Brentford. Since then they have dipped in and out of form, but it appears to have picked up, having won three of their last four in all competitions. Boss Eddie Howe celebrated his second anniversary of charge of the club for a second time with a win at troubled Bolton, which in turn led to Trotters’ boss Dougie Freedman resigning – it would seem a few managers out of work have a bone to pick with the promotion hopefuls.
The South Coast side are proving to be one of the best units for attacking football in the country at the moment and have an entire squad capable of scoring or at least being involved in goals. Incredibly, only two of their outfield side which played against Bolton had not scored a goal in the league in the first eleven games. Having a wide array of goalscoring talent shows promotion credentials, but they do need to tighten up at the back if they are to be serious contenders.
Although Bournemouth posted a reported debt of £15.3 Million for the 2012/13 season (that figure is set to decrease when the new figures are released in December), they are in no major financial trouble and with financial fair play entering the frame, on and off the field, life has never been more promising.
Chairman Jeff Mostyn said back in April, “Debt is debt but we don’t owe anyone outside of the football club any money. That has got to be the first time in this club’s history.
“What we have is an ambitious owner who has a desire to take this club as far forward as he possibly can.”
Club Owner Maxim Demin invested to co-own the club with Eddie Mitchell in 2011 and Mostyn was quick to defend the Russian millionaire’s reliance, claiming, “We are all supporting him as much as we can by maximising our income commercially but with a stadium (Dean Court) that holds 11,700, it is always going to be difficult.
“But what is wrong with having an owner who is determined to put his own money into a football club and take it as far as he can?
“This club has never been in better hands and I am confident we will one day get into the promised land and that money can be repaid.”
With lots of clubs with fairly big reputations in the Championship – such as Bolton, Blackpool, Leeds, Fulham and Birmingham – struggling to get up ahead of steam in the league, the teams who weren’t given much of a chance by premature criticisms, including Bournemouth themselves, have proved a few of their doubters wrong.
Bournemouth, along with Ipswich, Charlton, Rotherham and Brentford, have all started promisingly and it would seem that we’re going to see a fair few shocks in the Championship this season.