Bournemouth are very strong at the top of the championship after FIFTEEN games unbeaten…
- Bournemouth remain unbeaten in the championship after beating Reading 2-0
- The Cherries are having their best start to the season and are close to more records
- Scott Parker doesn’t get carried away as his side tightens their hold on the lead
Scott Parker continues to insist that setting new records doesn’t really bother him, but there’s no denying that the numbers are rising nicely for Bournemouth.
A 15th undefeated game means this is now the club’s best ever opening to a league campaign, breaking a previous benchmark that had stood for 60 years. Liverpool are the only other undefeated side in England’s top four divisions and have played five games less.
Saturday night’s success in Reading means it’s 11 wins out of those 15, including wins in each of Bournemouth’s last five and nine of their last 10.
Bournemouth are five points clear of the championship after beating Ready on Saturday
Scott Parker’s side look setup for a dominant season, but the manager isn’t getting too excited
Throw in nine clean sheets too, no goals conceded in 672 minutes away from home in the league and just eight in total, and you begin to understand the Cherries’ five-point cushion at the top and nine-point buffer to third.
For Parker, things are bubbling up in an intriguing promotion battle with Fulham, the club he left in the summer after relegation from the Premier League to take on a new challenge on the south coast.
Perhaps his caution stems from an appreciation of history. In 1961-62, when the club was renamed Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic, that bright start translated into third place in the old third division, not good enough for promotion.
Dominic Solanke teamed up with Jamal Lowe on the cherries scoresheet in a 2-0 win
A more recent cautionary tale comes from Brighton, who went unbeaten for their first 21 games in 2015-16 before finishing third.
‘I don’t worry too much about records. This division is long,” Parker said. “But it’s no small feat to do what we’ve done. I am very proud.’
There’s a completeness and an efficiency on Parker’s side that suggests they won’t be let down in May. It was all plain to see in Reading, where they had to weather an early storm that should have seen them fall behind before gradually regaining control.
Dominic Solanke, with his 12th goal of the season, headed them into the lead just before half-time and Jamal Lowe sealed the points a few minutes after Parker brought him in.
Bournemouth are having their best season start of all time, breaking a 60-year record!
While Bournemouth bear all the hallmarks of a Parker squad – fast wingers and everyone comfortably in possession – this win was just as much due to the fortitude of their backline, which included 35-year-old Gary Cahill. Signed on a free of charge from Crystal Palace in the summer, he is formidable forging a partnership with Lloyd Kelly, 23.
“Gary Cahill brings big titles, the Champions League, he smelled it, he got the t-shirt,” Parker said. “He understands what you have to do in the course of a season. He’s huge for the guys with that voice, he’s lived and done it.
“When the opportunity arises to sign Cahill, there are certain ones that just aren’t crazy. Gary ticks all the boxes and he is a huge player for us.”