Saturday, 13 February 2021

Cherry Chimes signing out!

Well, here we are. The final post on Cherry Chimes! I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed writing posts on AFC Bournemouth for the past eight years and it was a hard decision to stop. I have been able to consider departing, unlike Eddie Howe, who left quickly last August or Jason Tindall, who was quickly removed in February. My mind was really made up though when Eddie left the club, as the blog started with Eddie, which led to the Eddie Had A Dream book. I am lucky that I had the Disrupted Season (2019-20) book to promote in the last few months and that gave me a good reason to keep up to date with the happenings at AFCB, even though I didn't renew my season ticket this season.

I'm sure you'll still see me giving out the odd tweet about AFCB

My two boys have grown up and have either gone to University or started their career job and with them both having girlfriends, the weekends were looking very booked up for them. I still hope to make a visit to one or two away games next season, when COVID-19 has hopefully becomes more manageable.

I must give a huge thanks to the advertisers that have been on Cherry Chimes over the years. I couldn't have done as much without that financial support. So, a
 massive thanks to all of them who supported me. And of course a huge thanks to you the readers who have managed to read through my pieces and for many of the thank you emails I have received about Cherry Chimes stopping and how you feel you will miss it. I hope you don't miss it too much as my aim in starting the blog was to make AFC Bournemouth better known and to help the club see more coverage, and get more people wanting to be fans of the club. I think there are a good number of websites and podcasts now that really help to keep fans captivated on every bit of news about the club.

When we reached the Championship in 2013, the blog took a big step up and to reach the Premier League was amazing. It has been incredible to be writing on the Cherries during this period and I'll not forget the many enthusiastic comments when the club had great results in the past few years.

Now it is time for a new chapter. There will be a new manager again, after Jason Tindall, and I'll follow it all closely. We may even see AFCB get to a semi-final or final of a domestic cup competition, wouldn't that be something! I might have to come back for a day if the club did get to Wembley. My thoughts at the moment are just hoping that AFCB beat Nottingham Forest today.

I have my fingers-crossed that AFCB can still get promoted this season. It would be a great moment for the club to go back up. I think it would cement AFC Bournemouth as a real force in English football if it could then build a strong platform for the second time in the top tier. I am still hoping that one day there is a new stadium that I can get a season ticket for in my old age, but until then UTCIAD!

If you want to recap what Cherry Chimes has been all about, check out the Archive on the blog and pick your way through the posts from 2013. There are, of course, also two books for you to read from Cherry Chimes that are available on Amazon (see below). Fifty per cent of the author proceeds now go to Julia's House Children's Charity. And thank you for those who have already bought a copy of Eddie Had a Dream and/or the Disrupted Season (2019-20) – now £9.99 – a big thank you. You have helped give some children a much better life.

RED ARMY! RED ARMY! RED ARMY! RED ARMY! RED ARMY! RED ARMY! RED ARMY!

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
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Friday, 12 February 2021

Forest will be the hardest game Woodgate has had as AFCB manager

Bournemouth will have to look out for one or more former players trying to stop Jonathan Woodgate record his third win in a row when Nottingham Forest host the Cherries, just after mid-day on Saturday. Also equipped with a fairly new manager, in Chris Houghton, Nottingham Forest have been climbing the table with only one home defeat in their last five home games.

AFCB's players have to keep the pressure up on those above them in the table.

The Cherries' main problem could well be coming from Glenn Murray. He scored in Forest's last win against Wycombe Wanderers, while Lewis Grabban scored in their previous win against Coventry City. But if that wasn't enough former Cherries for you, then Forest's top goalscorer is Lye Taylor on five goals. Anthony Knockaert is also going to be a goal threat on the wing if he is fit and Sammy Ameobi is another string attacking player that could be used. Harry Arter has been out with a calf injury and there was strong interest for him from Bristol City during the transfer window, but he is still at Forest.

The consistency with which Woodgate has seen Bournemouth play should make this a good battle. We have seen the Cherries grow more of a spine in recent games and they'll need to be up for it to get anything out of this game. Forest are 13 points behind Bournemouth and they are down in 18th place, but a win could take them up to 15th.

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

I expect Wilshere to be selected in the starting line-up for this game as Bournemouth need to be at their creative best. Solanke could get the jump on the other strikers if he is fit, and Stanislas will surely be one of the first names on the team sheet. My only worry at the back of late has been Asmir Begovic. He has been in great form in the first half of the season, but has looked a bit fragile of late with only Will Dennis pushing for his place. Now we see that Mark Travers has been recalled from Swindon and I think it is a good move, with a bit of pressure now applied to Begovic to perform well.

Bournemouth's players also have to step up their game because they have a massive quarter-final game in the FA Cup at home to Southampton. The players will want to be in that game and it should push them on to be at their best if they want to be starting that game.

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AFCB Away Form
DLWLL

Nottingham Forest Home Form
WDWLD

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Momentum is more important than records for AFCB

In other news, it will be the last post on Chery Chimes tomorrow.


Thursday, 11 February 2021

Momentum is more important than records for AFCB

Jonathan Woodgate is right in saying that Bournemouth needed the win against Burnley for momentum. It is great that history has been made, and the team has made it through to the sixth round of the FA Cup, but it is the win that really mattered.

AFCB have to attack the league now.

Bournemouth have to go on a winning run in the league if they are to make up ground. They have to get used again to winning and the clean sheet against Burnley was well earned. Bournemouth were lucky at times with Begovic having to make some saves and Rodriguez really should have scored in the second half. I think Bournemouth had a bit of luck which Woodgate said they would need.

The positives include Ben Pearson, who looks like a fierce tackling machine, and he is a player that plays the simple ball rather than over-complicating things, which should help Bournemouth retain possession better in the middle of the park. When Lewis Cook came on, he stopped some of Burnley's forward runs and Billing had probably one of the best games he has had in a Bournemouth shirt against Burnley.

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It will be interesting to see if Surridge is given more time under Woodgate than he got under Tindall. Shane Long is available for the match against Nottingham Forest and Woodgate could play two up front, but the team has played one striker with two wide men for quite some time now. Surridge did so well against Burnley that it would be a bit harsh to drop him, while Long has more experience, so it will be a tough call for Woodgate. 

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At the end of the day, to progress in the cup is a great bonus but it's the league games that Bournemouth have to really concentrate on and Woodgate seems fully aware of that. if Bournemouth lose to Forest then a lot of the good work that has been done since Tindall left the club will be peeled back, which would be a shame. So, let's hope the focus that Woodgate has rubs off on the players which I think it will.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Bournemouth reach sixth round of FA Cup beating Burnley 0-2

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Bournemouth reach sixth round of FA Cup beating Burnley 0-2

Match Report
Burnley 0 v 2 AFCB
9 February 2021
FA CUP Fifth round

Billing excels in Bournemouth's 0-2 win away at Burnley


The Cherries reached the sixth round of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history (the first time was 1956-57, even I'm not old enough to have seen that game) with a 0-2 win at Turf Moor. Jonathan Woodgate had little to be disappointed about, as Bournemouth kept a clean sheet and forged ahead in the first half with a beautifully crafted move with an overlap from Stacey who found Sturridge for the finish. The Cherries had to soak up lots of pressure in the second half but Billing and Pearson were great at snuffing out Burnley's chances and when Stanislas was brought down with just a couple of minutes to go, Stanislas made sure from the spot that Bournemouth would progress t the quarter-finals in the FA Cup.

Bournemouth made lots of changes with Stacey replacing Adam Smith, Rico came in for Kelly, Pearson made his debut replacing Lewis Cook, Billing was picked ahead of Wilshere, while Stanislas came in for Danjuma and Surridge took Shane Long's starting spot. Long was cup-tied. There was also a debut on the bench for Christian Saydee.

Burnley made eight changes from their last game.
Match Description
Burnley played their usual 4-4-2, while Bournemouth set up in a 4-3-3 formation, that was a 4-5-1 when they didn't have the ball. Both teams had trouble keeping the ball early on. Vydra is caught offside.

Carter-Vickers is having to do some defending. Stanislas into Brooks, and Stanislas drives a shot wide of goal on nine minutes.

Burnley win a free kick on half-way. Stacey is looking dangerous on the overlap. Gudmundsson makes a pass back to Dale Stephens who shoots well over.

Bardsley shoots from rage but Lerm blocks it. Stanislas down the side to Surridge and Billing who has put it wide! 

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Chances at both ends. McNeil plays it into the area and Stephens shoots well wide. Rico goes long. Surridge in the area goes down from Long's challenge but there is nothing given. VAR is checking. It remains 0-0.

Billing puts it into Stanislas who turns and drifts the ball up to Brooks. He is away and Stacey overlaps and it's Surridge who puts it away 0-1 to Bournemouth just six yards out. 20 minutes gone. It's a slick and silky Bournemouth goal, great movement pulling Burnley apart.

Bournemouth are pushing forward. Pearson getting well involved. Options ahead of him. It's wide to Brooks and Stanislas back to Brooks, but he's lost it. Stanislas and Brooks are running the show.

McNeil wins a corner for Burnley off Pearson. Begovic punches away and the danger is cleared. 

Gudmundsson is the player Bournemouth need to look out for. Surridge again. Bournemouth look much better. Rico into the box but he loses out.

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The flag is up for Burnley who have a player offside. Long ball and Dale Stevens' header is almost an own goal but it's saved by Peacock-Farrell. Is it a penalty? Billing went down. No. Why not? Billing was flattened.

Gudmundsson crosses but Glennon is beaten by Rico. Burnley are pressing here. Steve Cook gets the ball away. A minute to be added on.

Benson comes forward. Dunne pumps it forward, Vydra and McNeil and Carte-Vickers gets in and Pearson is fouled.

AFCB Possession 46%, Shots 4, Shots on target 1, Corners 4
Burnley Possession 54%, Shots 4, Shots on target 0, Corners 1

Second half
Bournemouth are slow coming out for the second half. Mepham is on for Jack Stacey. Carter-Vickers has gone to right-back. An awful cross from Rico goes out of play. Vydra is away and gets a shot off, but Begovic turns it around the post for a corner. Benson heads over at the near post.

Billing has a free header and puts it over from 12 yards. Bournemouth found the ball breaking to Brooks, he shoots from teh edge of teh box but it's driven over.

McNeil shoots from distance and Begovic makes a great save to his left, corner. Rodriguez misses from six yards. Dunne gets down the left, Vydra misses the ball and Rodriguez got right underneath Burnley's best chance.

Carter-Vickers concedes a corner. Bardsley shoots just inches wide. Begovic looked beaten. Another Burnley corner, but Bournemouth clear. Lewis Cook replaces David Brooks on 63 minutes.
Westwood replaces Benson on 65 minutes. Cook runs well and Stanislas can't quite find Surridge. Pearson gets an important foot in. Lerma into Stanislas who chests it down but Surridge can't keep it down, corner. Carter-Vickers free header but puts it wide.

Billing concedes a free kick. Gudmundsson is off for Lowton,  Barnes is on for Rodrigiuz and Mumbongo is coming on for Vydra. Stanislas gets around Long and wins a corner.

Just 10 minutes to hold out. Surridge is offside. McNeil is booked for pushing Lewis Cook. The ball goes in for Billing who lets it roll of his back and Surridge edges down - penalty! Junior makes it 0-2 on 88 minutes.

Bardsley is booked for a late challenge on Pearson. Three minutes of added time. Lerma takes a booking.

Summary
Bournemouth have found their new manager. If Woodgate isn't announced by the weekend, I'd be shocked. The pleasing fact about the game for me is that the players were not daunted by the task in front of them and they handled Burnley at arm's length. Begovic had a very quiet night and Billing's newfound confidence was a pleasure to watch. We are in the hat for the next round which is all you can ask for, quarter-finalists. Bournemouth now need to carry this form into the league campaign. The only disappointment was to see Jack Stacey injured.

AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: 40 Dennis, 33 Zemura, 5 Kelly, 6 Mepham,
10 Danjuma, 16 L Cook, 26 Kilkenny, 32 Anthony, 65 Saydee.


Burnley
15 Peacock-Farrell, 26 Bardsley, 28 Long, 34 Dunne, 45 Glennon, 7 Gudmundsson (Lowton 74), 16 Stephens, 41 Benson (Westwood 65), 11 McNeil, 19 Rodriguez (Barnes 74), 27 Vydra (Mumbongo 74).  

Burnley subs
2 Lowton, 5 Tarkowski, 6 Mee, 10 Barnes, 18 Westwood, 25 Norris, 31 Nartey, 45 Driscoll-Glennon, 46 Mumbongo.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

If Woodgate beats Burnley, he deserves the job

I have been looking over Jonathan Woodgate's CV with a fine eye. I was one of the first to ask, is he up to taking the first-team coach job at AFCB? But I've been impressed by his interviews and the way he is trying to simply get the job done. That job is winning games. He may not want the job and may just be open to whatever happens, but he's got AFCB's interests at heart and if he could manage a win in the FA Cup against Burnley tonight, doesn't he deserve the job? And perhaps, if he doesn't win the game, he still could be best placed to turn things around for AFCB. Perhaps the Middlesbrough job was a test he didn't come through, but he will have learned from the experience and clearly wants to be a winner.

The FA Cup returns

With managers like Frank Lampard and Scott Parker at Fulham ruling themselves out in media reports, it is quite possible that Bournemouth won't be overly furnished with lots of applicants. They may well have the right man already at the club. Beating Birmingham City who have been at the foot of the Championship table might not be a passport to a new manager's job but beating a Premier League club away from home would be impressive enough. I'd really like to see Woodgate manage another league match before a decision is made, but time is never on the Board's side and they'll want to name a new manager asap.

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The players need to know where they stand and the club needs to move forward. If Woodgate keeps saying the right things and winning games, it's hard not to see him given the position if he does want it. Good luck to him if that is what happens. But Burnley are in good form having beaten Liverpool and dominated the game against Brighton. They will see Bournemouth as easy pickings, so it is going to need a Herculean effort to get Bournemouth playing well enough to beat Burnley. The return of Stanislas is a plus point, but Solanke still looks unlikely to make the squad. On the plus side, Woodgate has experience in Shane Long and he'll be better more settled than in his first game and more used to the players around him.

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Bournemouth have a bit of an up and down record against Burnley. The connection of a rivalry has been there even before Eddie Howe's time at the Lancashire club, and the physical nature of Burnley has never gone down that well, although Burnley have taken players like Ben Vokes who we were happy to have in the side while he was at Bournemouth. It's not about individuals though for Woodgate. He needs a team performance and if he gets a win against Burnley and gets through to another round of the cup, he will already sit higher in the fans' estimates.

Every manager has a honeymoon period. That is what I worry about. Will the results fall away as soon as Bournemouth appoint a new head coach? Two games is a short trial and yet if Woodgate seems right to the Board they will surely move quickly. A defeat in the cup would not be the end of the world, but Woodgate would have to choose his words well about the performance and be honest with what he thinks of the players from what he has seen both on and off the training pitch and match day performances. I think Woodgate will be honest and isn't afraid to say if somethings aren't right, like he did over the quiet dressing room. That kind of leadership might be what Tindall didn't raise enough with the players. I am open to be converted to a Woodgate supporter if he keeps getting results and keeps saying and doing sensible things.

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Previous post on Cherry Chimes - A win is a great win for Woodgate

Monday, 8 February 2021

A win is a great win for Woodgate

Jonathan Woodgate had sympathy for the players and what they have been through in the last week. He might have felt different if the team didn't win against Birmingham, but the players managed to perform and got that all-important win for the interim manager.

Are things on the up again for AFCB or are
there still many unsolved problems in reality?

It's hard to think how the club would have coped this week if it had been another defeat. So to beat Birmingham was like a tonic. It has set the ball rolling again and got the team looking forward again which was vital. The first half an hour wasn't great but after that, the players reacted well when they went behind and really gave their all.

The players could have put their heads down again when Birmingham City made the score to 2-2, but they took up the challenge and wouldn't be denied. We haven't seen enough of that in the recent past. Woodgate stressed that he needed to make this a team. There are good individuals at the club, but Woodgate wants to hear more voices of leadership and a better team vibe. 

Woodgate seemed keen to talk about Wilshere and Danjuma as the sparkling lights of the team in the weekend's performance, but he also needs to get David Brooks firing. Shane Long may need a few games to get into his stride, but the early signs are good with him getting shots off and hitting the bar on one occasion.

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It will be a difficult next game away at Burnley in the FA Cup and Bournemouth won't be favourites. Still, they have more of a puncher's chance now than they might have had. They are looking to grow and develop, and Woodgate has been saying the right things that seem to have been taken on by the players.

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Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Bournemouth come from behind to beat Birmingham City 3-2

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Bournemouth come from behind to beat Birmingham City 3-2

Match Report
AFCB 3 v 2 Birmingham City
6 February 2021 
Billing gets the decisive goal

A nervy win by Bournemouth and a strong second half performance got Woodgate's team over the line in a must-win game for confidence. But it was Birmingham who struck first after Hogan pounced on a loose ball that Begovic hadn't kept hold of.  Danjuma was back on target though to bring the scores level before half-time. It then needed Jack Wilshere to cap a great performance with his headed goal putting the Cherries in front, before Hogan squared it up with 22 minutes to go. A free kick then gave Billing the chance to win the game at the far post with his second goal of the season. It was the win that Bournemouth needed. Sure there were moments to forget in the game but the players pulled through and showed fighting spirit for once.

Bournemouth made four changes and started Adam Smith, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Arnaut Danjuma and Shane Long. The players that were dropped were Jack Stacey, Chris Mepham, Stanislas, and Solanke who was injured.

Bournemouth began well by winning free kicks and getting the ball in the Birmingham box. Steve Cook headed one cross across the box but Adam Smith couldn't get on it in time. 

Jack Wilshere was directing play just behind the forwards. Jeremie Bela had the first shot from distance which Begovic saved. Birmingham then won the first corner.


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Birmingham pressed well and Lewis Cook stumbled in his box allowing Bela to shoot at goal which Begovic pushed away only for Sanchez to shoot and have Steve Cook head off the line. Scott Hogan got the ball to Ivan Sunjic who then went close with a volley that Begovic pushed away.

Gardner then ran down the right-wing and put a cross in that Begovic dropped and Hogan made it 0-1 to the visitors on 27 minutes.

Bournemouth only have the flag to save them from being 0-2 down. A good ball from Gardner got to Pedersen who volleyed it into the goal, but the offside flag was up. Wilshere sets up a breakaway and Danjuma has found a finish in the bottom corner, it's 1-1 on 36 minutes.

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Brooks sends a cross in and Danjuma heds wide of the left post. George Friend misses following a corner with a header. Bournemouth end the half on the attack with a corner, but had only managed two shots all half.

The second half started well for Bournemouth with a corner and Shane Long headed wide. Meanwhile, Danjuma was getting caught offside.

Danjuma gets around one player and finds Brooks. Adam Smith overlaps and crosses and Wilshere's header loops in Bournemouth's second goal at the far post 2-1, on 61 minutes.

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Danjuma comes inside and gets the ball to Wilshere, it's on to Long and he fires towards goal and hits the bar. Harper is on for Sunjicc and Bela is subbed by Leko. Billing replaces Wilshere on 67 minutes.

Sanchez's cross is put away by Hogan with a flick header, it's 2-2. A suspicion of offside, but the goal stands. Danjuma takes a free kick and Billing somehow guides it in at the back stick. Bournemouth take the lead again 3-2 on 77 minutes.

Billing is yellow carded for a foul on Sanchez. Friend is booked for a foul on Lerma. Hogan and Colin are subbed for Valery and Jutkiewicz. Bournemouth sub Brooks with Stacey on 85 minutes.

Lerma puts in Danjuma from distance he shoots, but his shot is saved. Cosgrove replaces Sanchez on 88 minutes and Rico is on for Danjuma. There are four minutes of added time. Garder is booked.

Summary
Woodgate got the win he wanted. It was touch and go with Birmingham providing stiff resistance but Bournemouth found their better ears second half and started to shoot which was lacking in the first 45 minutes. Bournemouth are still a long way away from keeping a clean sheet but this win keeps them in the hunt and gives them time to sort out their weaknesses of which there are still many.
AFCB Line-up
AFCB Subs: 40 Dennis, 6 Mepham,14 Surridge, 17 Stacey, 19 Stanislas,
20 Riquelme, 21 Rico, 22 Pearson, 29 Billing

Birmingham City
30 Etheridge, 2 Colin (Jutkiewicz 85), 12 Dean, 5 Friend, 3 Pedersen, 19 San JosΓ©, 17 SΓ‘nchez (Cosgrove 88), 34 Sunjic (Harper 67), 20 Gardner, 11 Bela (Leko 67), 9 Hogan (Valery 85)

Birmingham Subs
1 Prieto, 6 Valery, 10 Jutkiewicz, 14 Leko, 15 Clarke-Salter, 16 Cosgrove, 18 McGree, 23 Toral, 24 Harper

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