This maybe cliché, but November was an interesting month as an AFC Bournemouth fan. It began with despair after the loss to Sunderland, before moving onto a hugely important win at at Stoke City. It was all rounded off with an admirable defeat at Arsenal.
What have we learnt about the team across the month, though? And specifically, which players have shone and which have work to do?
The stand out man in November
He’s played just two games in November - but there were only three matches in the month anyway. On loan from Chelsea, Nathan Aké has been a minor revelation since he’s come into the first eleven. He has shown great awareness and intelligence in terms of positioning himself in the right place at the right time.
This was amply demonstrated by the fact he made no less than 14 blocks in the game against Arsenal. Whenever he has shown a little too much youthful exuberance and been found a little out of position, he almost always has the pace to make up for it too.
It’s almost surprising how he had not got into the team up to that point in all honesty, especially considering that he’s clearly one of the best defenders the club have on their books. He’s taken his chance with both hands though - and Eddie Howe would be a very brave man indeed to drop him now.
Who was also worthy of praise?
Adam Federici stepped up reasonably well to the plate in November when Artur Boruc became injured - retaining the confidence that the Pole has enjoyed between the sticks.
Jack Wilshere is increasingly becoming a vital part of the team too, with his composure in the final third a huge asset. He was sorely missed when the Cherries played Arsenal, with Callum Wilson making some great runs - but no-one was able to thread him in with a killer pass.
Josh King has also done well playing both on the wing and up front alongside Callum Wilson. Dan Gosling has also put in some energetic displays in the middle of the park since Andrew Surman's injury at Middlesbrough.
Who needs to do better?
Jordan Ibe continues to flatter to deceive, and after a recent knock has been dropped to the bench. Given the solid showings of the wingers at present it's hard to see him forcing an immediate return to the starting side, but becoming an effective sub off the bench could help to boost his clearly flagging confidence anyway.
Benik Afobe desperately needs a goal. He’s struggling for form and confidence, and although he does appear to be trying it’s just not happening for him right now.