Can this striking duo score the goals to keep Bournemouth in the Premier League?
With their main man Callum Wilson out injured for at least six months due to a cruciate ligament injury, the key question is where are Bournemouth’s goals going to come from? Josh King and Glenn Murray are their main striking options but can they lead the line for Bournemouth like Callum Wilson did up until his injury?
Josh King was signed from Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer and Glenn Murray was signed in the recent transfer window from Crystal Palace for approximately £4 million. Since Callum Wilson’s injury against Stoke in late September, Bournemouth have managed to score three goals.
Before then, Callum Wilson alone had scored five goals in six games. Bournemouth have played five Premier League games without Callum Wilson and they have lost all of them. Glenn Murray scored in two of those games and Josh King has not scored since his arrival at the Cherries. Bournemouth as a team have not scored since their 5-1 defeat to Tottenham on the 25th of October.
Bournemouth played against Newcastle recently and were frustrated for 90 minutes with Rob Elliot, the Newcastle stand in goalkeeper, having an absolutely sublime game. Newcastle should not have won the match at all. Bournemouth deserved all three points but Newcastle were clinical and therefore victorious at the end of the 90 minutes.
Bournemouth played such brilliant football, they were confident on the ball and they attacked Newcastle’s goal at every opportunity that came their way but they just didn’t have the end product. They had 16 corners in the match whilst Newcastle had none and their 20 shots were the most they have had in a Premier League game this season.
In addition to this they dominated possession with 67% to Newcastle’s 33%. But ultimately they didn’t score and Newcastle did. They scored with their only shot on target and left Bournemouth devastated. They couldn’t have given anymore to the game than they did and they have every right to feel disappointed but out of the 20 shots they had; only 25% of them were on target.
After the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle, Eddie Howe said “I can’t fault the quality of the performance; the only missing thing was the goals on top of it.” This is not the first time Howe has mentioned the lack of goals in his team so maybe this is an issue he will seek to resolve in January.
Glenn Murray is 32 and even though he scored 31 goals during the 2012/13 season when Crystal Palace were promoted, he is now more a player that can chip in with a few goals, rather than a player to be depended on to provide the majority of the goals for a team.
Josh King on the other hand is 23, the same age as Callum Wilson and was signed by Bournemouth because they saw potential in him. He did very well for Blackburn Rovers last season and with Callum Wilson being injured for at least six months, he has a huge opportunity to make the striking role at Bournemouth his.
Whether he can do that or not remains to be seen. So far in his Bournemouth career, he has made four appearances for the club. Only one of these has been a start and the others have been substitute appearances. Whilst he has shown promise, like the rest of the Bournemouth squad, the main thing that is missing from his game is goals.
However he probably would have scored on Saturday if it weren’t for Newcastle goalkeeper and man of the match Rob Elliot. King was denied twice by Elliot who managed to maintain his clean sheet.
When Bournemouth lost 2-0 to Southampton, Glenn Murray was replaced by Josh King at half time but neither managed to make an impact in the game. When interviewed after the game, the Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe that the team were much better in the second half and “all that was missing were goals.”
Bournemouth’s fairy-tale promotion to the Premier League seems to be hanging by a thread and it does not seem likely that Glenn Murray and Josh King are capable of salvaging it. The sooner Callum Wilson recovers the better for Bournemouth and the stronger their chances of staying in the Premier League. I thoroughly enjoyed watching them play against Newcastle and I wanted them to win the match, but luck was not on their side. Bournemouth have earned their right to be in the Premier League but they are in danger of fading away without making their mark.
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