Boro’ have taken on their fair share of opponents down the years and some of those teams have simply been no more than passing acquaintances, while there are others that have become – well – annoyingly familiar. For all the many times we’ve faced teams like Woking, there have been rare match-ups too. So, we’re asking, where do AFC Bournemouth stand in the grand scheme of things?
AFC Bournemouth: Us And Them
It’s fairly obvious that Boro’ and AFC Bournemouth have followed very different paths over the last couple of years. Since the last of the four meetings between ourselves and the Cherries (now almost three years ago), we’ve tumbled in one direction and they’ve soared in the other. It’s weird to think that, too – our record against them is actually as even as Steven gets… whoever Steven is.
Bournemouth are, for now at least, considered among the equals of Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United; we have to make do with Crawley Town, Barnet and Morecambe. Where did all go wrong? It’s a far cry from the first time we rocked up at Dean Court – or whatever it’s called these days – and easily bagged our first away win in League One. That’s now four-and-a-half years ago!
Now in the Premier League as you might have noticed, Bournemouth are facing up to a fight for survival during the second half of the season. Newcastle and Sunderland are both within striking distance, with goal difference proving much of a muchness. It’ll be a tense run-in for the Cherries – not least because next up is a trip to the Stadium of Light for the proverbial relegation six-pointer.
Meanwhile, we’re dallying around at the wrong end of League Two. And there’s a definite difference in how we’re each able to deal with that. The Cherries, with the multi-million pound clout they now have thanks to sponsors Mansion, which owns Casino.com, have spent a fair whack on guys like Benik Afobe in the past week or so. Boro’, on the flip side, are having to scratch around the loan market.
Now, Eddie Howe’s men have a crucial run of games. Much like Boro’, actually. Bournemouth go to Sunderland next and, well, it’s fair to say a win will fix them up a right treat in this veritable six-pointer. We take on Barnet, followed by York away. Points are an absolute must for Teddy Sheringham’s outfit – at least the buffer between ourselves and extending the divide further is 10 points.
Bournemouth defied the odds to get to the Premier League and, perhaps, have to do the same to survive at the top table of English football. Are we going to add to our four meetings any time soon? It’s unlikely, especially if we don’t manage to get our Cup groove back on next season. At least we have a decent enough record to look back on: four games, one win and two draws. Not bad at all.
BoroGuide’s AFC Bournemouth club profile – for old time’s sake…