Bournemouth – Going into AFC Bournemouth’s clash with Barnsley, the squad’s future was shrouded in doubt. The Boscombe-based side, although undefeated, had drawn with West Brom, Blackpool, and Hull City. If they were to get promoted, they would need to beat all of these sides consistently.
Additionally, they were blown out by Norwich City in the EFL Cup 6-0. Their second-round exit came after they routed MK Dons 5-0. Norwich City has since lost every match in the Premier League, including a 5-0 defeat against Manchester City.
All of these results worried Cherries fans. To make matters worse, one of the hottest prospects in the game left their squad for Spanish giants Villarreal.
But there were reasons for optimism too. The Championship table was still wide open. If Bournemouth played their cards right and knocked off the top teams, they could secure a spot in the playoffs. They could even earn automatic promotion. However, Barnsley would stand in Bournemouth’s way. After Barnsley made the cross-country trip, play started. Although skipper Steve Cook didn’t win a starting spot, Bournemouth had a good start.
Academy product Jordan Zemura rebounded his blocked shot for a score in the eighth minute to give the Cherries the lead. David Brooks came close to scoring multiple times, but he couldn’t score. Dominic Solanke also created big chances, but he couldn’t give his team a more comfortable lead. The half ended with Bournemouth ahead one.
Bournemouth had yet another explosive start to the game. Solanke, one of the best players in the Championship, gave his squad a two-goal lead with his off-the-post score merely seconds from the start of the second half.
Finally, to close out the Cherries’ romp, Zemura scored his second-ever goal in the Championship. The goal was magnificent. Relatively unknown, Zemura wowed scouts and fans alike with his shot-creating. He then showcased his critical finishing with a cold-blooded dagger to the back of the net.
New signings Ryan Christie and Jamal Lowe were given their Bournemouth debut in the closing minutes of the romp.
Final score: Bournemouth 3 Barnsley 0
Bournemouth’s Potent Attack Wows: Discussing Bournemouth’s Young Talent
Although AFC Bournemouth’s frontline may be young, they are good. Really good. Dominic Solanke, 23, is the leader of the attack. A skilled and critical striker, Solanke is an asset to the Southern English club. He’s scored four goals in the Championship and will score more if he retains his good form.
Welsh winger David Brooks and Danish midfielder Philip Billing are also good additions. Their pace and explosiveness will help the Cherries dominate the play.
On the other end, Jefferson Lerma and Lloyd Kelly can strengthen the backline. The squad is loaded with prospects. Sometimes, that can be a bad thing. Bigger teams can poach the young talent, leaving Bournemouth with an uncompetitive team. All eyes will be on the winter transfer window to see whether the Boscombe side can keep their talent.
Is Bournemouth Ready For The Prem?
Let’s say Bournemouth earn a promotion spot to the Premier League. Although the team didn’t return to England’s first-tier league due to a slump last season, Bournemouth can still secure promotion. In fact, they’re tipped to win promotion to the Prem. But if they do, can Bournemouth survive?
The short answer is no. Bournemouth’s team is too inexperienced. They are unprepared to handle stronger teams and will need to break open the bank to get a more competitive squad. But with teamwork like against Barnsley, good transfers like the cases of Christie and Lowe, and the right amount of luck, it can be done.