Despite a terrible start to the league season that saw them in the relegation places after a run of nine games without a win, Andoni Iraola ‘s Bournemouth have managed to lift themselves out of the relegation zone thanks to two very creditable wins against Burnley and Newcastle.
This season looked promising for the ‘Cherries’ fans. The arrival of Andoni Iraola as first team coach filled the Vitality Stadium with hopes and dreams, as the Basque was coming off the back of a successful career with both Mirandés and his last adventure with Rayo Vallecano.
A change of mentality at AFC Bournemouth:
Iraola brought his coaching staff with him and together they devised a program for the future based on forming a young and competitive squad. In addition, they changed the team’s style of play completely.
The Spanish, from the first moment of his arrival, has tried to transmit to his players the verve and courage that has always characterised his teams.
His game is based on a bottom-up movement in waves, maintaining a high offensive level, trying to keep the ball in possession in the opposing area.
This vision of AFC Bournemouth’s game is very different to what the English team used to have in the First Division, which was based mainly on building an impassable defensive wall and taking advantage of the few chances they had per game to convert them into goals, most of them from set pieces and, in this way, to get a point or two.
A turbulent start with a hopeful end:
However, all these changes had no effect at the start of the season. The Basque coach’s period of adaptation to the English league cost him dearly. What’s more, he lost six and drew three of his first nine league games.
A very critical circumstance that put the Spanish coach under the spotlight. Although the management and the players placed a lot of trust in him, the team’s situation was untenable and the Basque was completely on the ropes.
It was at that moment that Iraola brought out the full potential of his players and in the end they achieved the long awaited first victory three matchdays ago, specifically against a direct rival like Burnley.
Recently in the last matchday they managed to beat a very strong team this season, Newcastle, by a convincing 2-0 that would have been even bigger if the rival goalkeeper, Nick Pope, hadn’t been so successful in stopping the shots of the ‘Cherries’ players.
There is still a lot of league to play for, but Iraola’s program seems to be taking off in the last few days. Semenyo, Kluivert or Solanke, remember all these names, because, in the next few seasons, they will be very well known players, both in Bournemouth and in the rest of England.
Iraola is here to stay and, although this first season they are struggling to stay in the Premier League, the program hopes to achieve great results in the future.
Translated by Marcos Rodríguez.
Main image: @AFCBournemouth.