Sunday, 12 July 2015

Cherry Bite Analysis of AFC Bournemouth (Guest Post)

Since Bournemouth have just been promoted to the Premier League for the first time, they will be an unknown quantity to many of us FPL managers. That said, they are more than worth taking notice of! Eddie Howe's side were dominant in attack outscoring every other team in their division with 98 goals and they only conceded 45 goals in 46 games (2nd best defensive record). Obviously, with goal scoring and clean sheet potential, BOU players could prove to be decisive differentials.

Worth a bite?
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Opening Fixtures:

August:

Aston Villa (H)

Liverpool (A)

West Ham (A)

Leicester (H)

Norwich (A)

September:

Sunderland (H)

Stoke (A)

Watford (H)

On paper, The Cherries' fixtures seem promising. None of the teams they face in their opening 8 games have formidable defences and their home games especially provide decent attacking potential.

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Goalkeepers

Artur Boruc (4.5)
Boruc arrived at Goldsands Stadium on an emergency loan from Southampton in September 2014 on an emergency loan having lost his first team spot to Fraser Forster. He played so well that the loan was extended to the end of the season. He played 39 Championship matches keeping a convincing 16 clean sheets. It appears to me that the new BPS system will favour keepers from promoted clubs whose goals will be peppered by more shots than usual, so Boruc looks appealing in this respects. At 35 years young, Boruc's experience will be important.

Adam Federici (4.5)
Just joined Bournemouth on a free from Reading. His record was not as good as Boruc's last season (13 CS in 43P. Every media source predicts Boruc will be first choice so Federici is only worth considering if Boruc goes AWOL.

Verdict: Boruc.

Defenders

Tyrone Mings (4.5)
Bournemouth beat off strong competition to sign the 6ft 5in for a club record fee of £8M. You can be guaranteed he will begin the season starting at LB given his price tag. He got a solid 7 assists in the Championship last season for Ipswich.

Simon Francis (4.5)
Was in the Championship team of the season. He got a solid 8 assists and a goal. Unfortunately, he has a bit of a habit of getting carded so he is a doubled edged sword (8Y 1R in 42P). Nailed on to start.

Sylvain Distin (4.5)
Since arriving at the club, Howe has been talking up Distin's athleticism and experience. However, at 37 years of age, it's very difficult to be 100% whether Distin will start. 

Steve Cook (4.5)
Started almost every game last season, Had a fantastic attacking return for a CB (5G 1Ass). Picked up 10 yellow cards too though. 

Tommy Elphick (4.5)
Like Cook, Elphick started nearly every match last season. In FPL terms, he is far less appealing as he lacks attacking prowess (1G 2Ass).

Daniels/Smith:
Both these lads appear to be consigned to the bench. Select them at your peril. At 4M, Smith could be a useful cheap buy to fill space at the lowest price possible.

Verdict: Mings appears to be the best of the bunch. His discipline doesn't hold him back like Francis' does, He's also nailed on to start. The big conundrum is which two CBs will start. Cook and Elphick have an established partnership but Distin oozes experience. If I was to pick anyone from this DEF it would be Mings, but Boruc will probably accrue more BPs from saves.

Midfielders

Matt Ritchie (6.0)
One of the stand out performers in the Championship last season. Finished the season with 15 goals and 17 assists from Midfield. He is clearly a fantastic player but 6.0M is a hefty price nonetheless. Worth a gamble?

Christian Atsu (5.5)
This man is immensely talented. He was voted African Cup of Nations player of the tournament last season. He has had limited PL play time at both Chelsea and Everton. His price is too high for me anyhow, I wouldn't even be sure he is a guaranteed starter.

Harry Arter (5.0)
Started near enough every league match last season for the Cherries. He managed to get an impressive 9 Goals and 4 Assists. I've seen him playing for Ireland against decent teams and I didn't see too much FPL potential sadly. 13 yellow cards last season is another worry. Personally, I'll leave Arter find his feet in the PL before I consider investing.

Joshua King (5.0)
King is an OOP striker. That's about as much as he has going for him in FPL terms. He wasn't a regular starter for Blackburn last season in the Championship and presumably won't be for BOU either. I'd hold off for guaranteed playing time before letting King have a throne in my midfield (sorry not sorry).

Marc Pugh (5.0)
Pugh is a solid, disciplined player. He started almost every match last season getting 9 goals and 6 assists in the process. Unless Howe signs a replacement, Pugh appears to have a starting position nailed down.

Andrew Surman (4.5)
Surman is a viable option purely because he started last season. For 4.5M, that's a tempting prospect. However, his attacking returns from last season reflect his price. He only managed to get 3 goals and 4 Assists.

Dan Gosling (4.5)
Gosling's career has yet to reach the heights many hoped they would. You'd be better off reflecting on THAT 118th minute FA Cup goal for Everton against Liverpool that ITV botched in live coverage than putting him in your FPL squad! In all seriousness though, he doesn't merit a place.

O'Kane/McDonald/Stanislas:
None of these lads got enough game time last season to give them much consideration for the start of this season. Not even worth picking as gap fillers for the beginning of the season.

Verdict: If Ritchie plays as well as he did last season, he could be a tremendous FPL pick. I wouldn't jump on him for GW1 though. I think Pugh is the other player worth a place in a GW1 squad. He has the attacking ability,discipline and cheap price. Atsu could be incredible but I don't have the cojones to back him without more proof first.

Forwards

Callum Wilson (5.5)
Had a fantastic season last term. He notched up 20 goals and 13 assists at only 22/23 years of age. Can only improve as he matures and grows into the league. Right now he looks a bit like Danny Ings did to me at the beginning of last season. Would be a differential choice and a nailed on starter unless Howe swoops for a replacement.

Yann Kermorgant (5.0)
The veteran French man isn't getting any younger at 33. That said, he had an impressive haul last season with 15 goals and 11 assists. With no PL experience, Kermo would be a major gamble for a GW 1 slot. If Howe plays a more defensive formation with more MIDs or DEFs, I believe he would be sacrificed. 

Tokelo Rantie (4.5)
As a general rule, I'm allergic to bargain basement strikers, In 41 league games last season, Rantie got 5 goals and 5 assists. I'd be very surprised if he starts next term and even more surprised if he was effective. I'll pass thanks.

Verdict: Wilson looks tasty. He's young, clinical and fairly cheap. The others are too risky for my liking.

Overall Summary

Boruc seems like the best way to rack up DEF points in the Bournemouth back 5. At a push, Mings could be a good candidate for a defensive position. The CB slots are just too uncertain to make a call. In midfield, Ritchie is the stand out performer. His price tag does cause me hesitation though. A cheaper alternative into the midfield would be Pugh. Wilson looks like a strong choice for the 3rd striker spot on any team, he has the potential, he just needs to reach it. Some strikers totally fail in the step up while others flourish (contrast Dave Nugent and Charlie Austin!).

Thanks for reading!