Recently, Bournemouth hosted newly promoted side Hull City, and emerged victorious, claiming the three points. Yet, it was the manner in which they recorded the victory which seemed to claim the plaudits, as the 6-1 victory was Bournemouth’s largest ever win in the Premier League. Considering this is Bournemouth’s second season in the EPL, it may be suggested recording their biggest victory was inevitable, yet the fact they emerged victorious by such a significant margin, after successfully retaining their Premier League status, and achieving three promotions since 2010, seems to highlight their seemingly meteoric, and rapid, rise further.
Before the match, Bournemouth sat in 11th position, having recorded two wins from their opening seven fixtures. As such, it seemed their desire for a win had intensified, and three points had become a necessity ahead of the fixture versus the Championship play-off winners. Howe opted to utilise his traditional 4-2-3-1 formation, and seemed to start the match with a line-up to suit his quick-paced, intricate passing philosophy. Record signing Jordon Ibe, bought from Liverpool in the summer, started at right wing, whilst Arsenal loanee Jack Wilshere seemed to take the role of the midfield lynchpin, with the Cherries seemingly attempting to utilise his vision and long-range passing.
Howe’s tactics seemed to work, with wideman Junior Stanislas, constantly interchanging with Ibe on the wings, assisting Charlie Daniel’s opening goal and, whilst Hull did equalise through a deflected Ryan Mason shot, it seemed Bournemouth remained in control of the fixture. Captain Steve Cook restored the lead, before Stanislas scored on the stroke of half-time. Man of the match Stanislas then added another to the score line, before Eddie Howe’s seemingly venomous substitutions were rewarded, with Wilson and Gosling adding two late goals. Overall, the home side recorded 22 shots, competed 402 passes, 23 more than their opponents, and had more corners; thus, it seems their dominance was rewarded with their record win and, perhaps more pivotally, the three points.
The victory thus seems to have had a significant impact on their club, both in terms of the Premier League table and the history books. In the 2009/10 season, Bournemouth were competing in League Two, the fourth tier of English football, and the following year reached the playoffs in their debut season in League One. The resulting year saw a second promotion for the club, and after a seemingly respectable 10th place finish in their debut Championship campaign, they won the Championship to earn promotion to the EPL. With Premier League survival ensured in their first season, Bournemouth may now aim to bring European football to the Vitality Stadium, emphasising their status as one of England’s top clubs.
Bournemouth’s previously unprecedented rise from the football league has been masterminded by the same man: Eddie Howe, in the aforementioned 2009/10 season, was the manager of the club, and set a club record after winning eight of their opening nine games. He then, after a brief spell as manager of Burnley, returned to the coast to mastermind Bournemouth’s other two promotions, the latter to the Premier League, the first time the club has reached the top tier of English football. Howe’s longevity, and loyalty, to Bournemouth, seems to be credible, and perhaps he may now be considered amongst the candidates for the England job, as he seems to have consistently utilised a strong English contingent in his squad, and adapted his attacking philosophy throughout the different leagues to suit his players.
This victory may be pivotal for Bournemouth’s season, as every point counts towards ensuring Premier League survival, and thus the three points recorded may contribute to another season in the EPL in 2017. Ultimately, when it is considered they have recorded three promotions, and maintained their Premier League status, in the last six seasons, the result seems to have completed Bournemouth’s meteoric rise from the football league to the pinnacle of English football. This record may now enable them to achieve further accomplishments, perhaps allowing the club to establish themselves in the Premier League, and eventually amongst the most accomplished in history.
How may Eddie Howe continue to adapt his tactics in order to ensure Bournemouth maintain their Premier League status?