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Bournemouth 2022/23 Season review: O’Neil ensures another bite at the Cherry with top-flight stay

Bournemouth 2022/23 Season review

Bournemouth were one of the Premier League new boys touted for a swift return to the Championship despite their climactic run to top-flight promotion.

However, the Cherries have defied the odds to extend their stay in the Premier League by at least another term following a topsy-turvy campaign.

The Premier League managerial merry-go-round was unkind to some teams that were forced into a change in the dugout this season.

Meanwhile, for Bournemouth, it marked the turning point in their campaign, with the Cherries showing stern resilience to cope with top-flight promotion under Gary O’Neil’s stewardship.

Here’s Bournemouth’s 2022/23 season review.

Player of the Year: Dominic Solanke

It comes as no surprise that Dominic Solanke was the driving force behind Bournemouth’s impressive campaign. The striker was a standout performer last season and hasn’t looked back since.

The 25-year-old’s six-goal haul this term is only bettered by Phillip Billing’s seven. He also tops the club’s assist chart after teeing up seven strikes while creating a club-high six big chances.

His 13-goal contributions are four more than summer signing Marcus Tavernier (9), who was a key player for the Cherries, proving good value for money.

Performance of the season

Some huge results helped Bournemouth’s cause but none more than the 1-0 victory over Liverpool in March that sparked an impressive run of form.

The Cherries had won just one of their ten games before hosting the Reds, including consecutive defeats to title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal.

Hosting Liverpool, who had just thrashed Manchester United with ease, was a one-way ticket to defeat on paper, especially with their record against the Reds. But they upset the odds to earn a hard-fought victory.

Disappointment of the season

Bournemouth can have no regrets about how their campaign turned out, considering they were expected to crumble under the weight of the Premier League upon promotion.

They have survived a swift return to the Championship and by some distance, so plotting another coup to lengthen their top-flight status should be the club’s priority.

What do the stats say?

Bournemouth have defied expectations finishing the season in 15th place in the Premier League table with 39 points in the bag – five above the bottom three.

Their 37-goal haul is not easy on the eye, but they cannot be faulted for converting opportunities when they arrived, considering they created just 35 big chances (1.3 per match).

Scoring goals proved problematic for the Cherries but what will worry O’Neil more is his side’s appalling defensive record.

Mark Travers’ heroics in goal spurred Bournemouth to promotion, but they brought in the more experienced Neto to help navigate the top-flight campaign.

The Brazilian proved a canny acquisition and was one of the standout performers in a Bournemouth shirt this season – his 7.0 average rating proves as much.

He kept six clean sheets, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Cherries from conceding 71 goals – the worst defensive record in their top-flight history and the third worst in the division this term.

They shipped in an average of 1.94 goals per match, and that ratio would need to be reduced significantly to bolster their chances of retaining their Premier League status next term.

Verdict

Bournemouth can consider this campaign successful, given the cards they were dealt at the start of the season.

They achieved promotion with a squad desperately lacking top-flight experience and a manager with a woeful Premier League record, having been relegated twice.

Scott Parker’s Premier League reign did not last long as he was sacked a month into the season, with O’Neil named a temporary successor.

The 40-year-old impressed enough to earn a permanent seat in the dugout and has repaid the club’s faith by steering them away from danger.

The task ahead would be to establish themselves as a top-flight regular, and O’Neil may just be the man to lead them into a new era.

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