Ti­tle odds 2016-17 1000-1

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE -

Star man Si­mon Fran­cis

Has played as full-back, cen­tre­back and cap­tain this sea­son, thriv­ing in ev­ery role. At 31, and af­ter a ca­reer spent pre­vi­ously in the Foot­ball League, his per­for­mances are both an in­spi­ra­tion to other pro­fes­sion­als and an il­lus­tra­tion of the club’s su­perb coach­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

What went right?

Bournemouth stayed true to their pass­ing style of foot­ball and were totally vin­di­cated by ef­fec­tively clinch­ing safety with fully two months of the sea­son re­main­ing. Ed­die Howe rates this as the best of all his many achieve­ments at the club.

What went wrong?

Three se­ri­ous knee in­juries to key play­ers and a slump in form through Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber that, at one stage, ap­peared ir­re­versible. Howe is also likely to be ir­ri­tated by the re­cent slip in re­sults once safety was se­cure.

Lame duck Juan Iturbe

Bournemouth beat off com­pe­ti­tion from Wat­ford to bring him into the Premier League in Jan­uary but he played only four games af­ter ap­pear­ing to strug­gle phys­i­cally with English foot­ball and is now likely to re­turn to Roma.

What’s the ver­dict on Ed­die Howe?

Un­less Howe was pre­sented with an op­por­tu­nity that he felt fit­ted with his phi­los­o­phy and fam­ily life. Ever­ton could have an emo­tional pull – he sup­ported them as a child – but Howe is revered in Bournemouth and would not leave eas­ily.

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