Saturday, 20 October 2018

Bournemouth's creative power could overrun Saints

AFCB have to be fired up for Southampton. The Saints have had a rotten start to the season and they will try and use all that to get a result against Bournemouth. In the past the Saints have been able to bully their near neighbours most of the time, but the Cherries have an opportunity to really stamp their dominance on the south coast with another home win this Saturday.
16th in the table is a really poor start for Southampton. They are under pressure already.
While the table puts a huge 11 points between the two clubs, there is three points up for grabs and Bournemouth have often yielded in the past like at the end of last season when Southampton needed the points to stay in the division. There is no Dusan Tadic this time though. Southampton are finding it hard to score goals as well with just six so far from their eight games, even though they have had 117 shots with 36 on target. Bournemouth have made 99 shots and have had 37 on target.

The stats point towards the Saints not creating enough and not taking their chances with seven big chances made in their eight games, less than one a match. Meanwhile, Bournemouth have created 20 good chances to score in their eight games, two and a half a game. Will Southampton be able to cope with the running power of King, Wilson, Fraser, Brooks or Stanislas? Bournemouth's creative players have been cutting teams open at Dean Court and I fancy a similar in this match.

Many of the Saint's other stats are not that dissimilar to Bournemouth's. They average 409 passes a game, exactly the same as Bournemouth and have conceded 14 goals compared to the Cherries seeing 12 shots beat Begovic. Both teams have two clean sheets. Where Bournemouth have been less under pressure though is at the back. Bournemouth have seen Begovic make 19 saves compared to 30 saves made by Southampton's keeper. Southampton have only made 201 clearances while Bournemouth have made 234.

Southampton have made 104 interceptions which is also high compared to Bournemouth's 63. It is perhaps showing that Bournemouth are still a high-possession team. But the Saints have put in 144 crosses compared to Bournemouth's 121.

Southampton might have good strikers in Shane Long, Charlie Austin and Danny Ings but if they don't have the creative players to get them in on goal it could be another day when Eddie Howe exacts some punishment on Marl Hughes. AFCB have only beaten the Saints once in the Premier League in six attempts - let's start putting that right. Be loud today. UTCIAD!

Southampton Away Form

AFCB Home Form
Possible AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Francis, Gosling, Surman, Brooks, Ibe, Mousset.
CBTV match preview.

Finally, look out for Cherry Chimes answering questions on AFCB v Southampton on That's Liquid Football.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Does it mean more to beat the Saints anymore?

Playing Southampton is something I look forward to. It's a game where there hasn't been much history and yet it's a game I desperately want AFCB to always win. Southampton have traditionally always been favourites and the bigger club. There's not a lot you can do about that in a short period of time, but I feel a bit different coming into this derby game - Bournemouth are probably favourites for once!
Southampton couldn't have picked a much harder ground to visit this Saturday.
Does it mean more though to beat Southampton than any other team? A few years a go when Bournemouth were struggling to get anywhere near Southampton I would have said yes. Now, I don't have that inner feeling that beating Southampton is better than winning, for example, against Man City, Arsenal or Spurs. For one, we haven't seen AFCB beat Spurs  or Man City in the Premier League yet, and when the team has had amazing wins against Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea, it has been a really uplifting experience as a fan. These are the games that now put the biggest smile on my face when AFCB get the win. Southampton have dropped down the rankings.

That doesn't mean to say that beating Southampton is important? Losing to them last season at St Mary's was hard to take, knowing that they were really desperate to win the game with their Premier League existence hanging by a thread. Bournemouth didn't have the killer instinct that day and Dusan Tadic ran the game, much to Saints' fans relief. This year they don't have Tadic, but they have got Danny Ings who will be looking to hurt his former team-mates at AFCB by playing out of his skin. So I'm keen that AFCB can show Ings that the Cherries are still a great club and the best one to play for on the south coast.

I'll clap Danny Ings, like everyone else hopefully does in the stadium, because he played some fantastic football for the Cherries, and I really loved his enthusiasm for the game when he got his chance at Dean Court. But now its AFCB v the Saints - yeah, it still matters - I want to win! UTCIAD!

Premier League AFCB v Saints preview In other news, look out for the SkySports and BT Sports channels tonight for a preview of the AFC Bournemouth v Southampton game. I appear on the video along with Sam Davis, I'm told, off of the Back of the Net podcast and Kris Temple of BBC Radio Solent. It should be on one of these channels sometime after 6pm on Friday night.

Competition - Cherry Chimes' T-Shirts are back!
Send in your score predictions for AFCB v Southampton. Tweet your score prediction to @CherryChimes before Saturday 12pm to be in with a chance of winning a Cherry Chimes' T-Shirt.

We will pick a winner from the correct entries if there is more than one fan who correctly guesses the right score.

Finally, look out for Cherry Chimes answering questions on AFCB v Southampton on That's Liquid Football.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Lerma and Cook are as good as any midfield pairing

I was especially impressed with Jefferson Lerma's game the other weekend, which was to break up Watford's passing and play the ball simply to the white shirts to start off AFCB moves. He tackles with force and is persistent which was annoying to Watford's players. He is also calm and plays the percentages, not trying to overplay. He has added great strength to the middle of the park and Bournemouth just look a much more solid team with him. Jefferson has done brilliantly since he has come in, and it is particularly good that he has played well when with Gosling, Surman or Lewis Cook. Lewis in his post-match Watford interview almost went as far as saying it is basically a privilege to play with Jefferson, such is the respect. 
Lerma has started better than anyone could have hoped in Bournemouth's midfield.
While there is competition within the team for every spot, I believe Howe always wanted Lewis Cook and Jefferson Lerma to be the main duo in midfield. Only, he also wanted to ensure that Lewis Cook did not suffer burnout, after playing over the summer and having had his most successful Premier League season. Lewis just has to compliment Lerma and see if he can be as positive in his forward passing as we have seen last season. Lewis will not get a great deal of rest playing for the England U21s, so it is only Eddie Howe who can protect him from playing too many games and by holding him back at the start of the season it may actually be of benefit to Lewis.

I'm sure that the strength of the central midfield players is one of the reasons why Bournemouth are having a better season. In the past, I've felt that the team has been short of leadership in the middle at times. While Lerma and Cook might not be senior players they are being leaders simply in the way they are playing on the field and not letting opposition teams over power them.
Lewis looks set now to have another big season at AFCB.
The next step for these two players is to see if they can get forward at times to add to the attacks and even slot a few goals in for themselves. Lewis Cook was a regular goal scorer when he played for Leeds United and I think he has it in his game.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Are injuries the only worry for AFCB

Bournemouth are eight games into the season and we are already seeing that one or two players have pulled up with slight niggles. This has meant a bit of reorganisation with Adam Smith moving to left back, but the Cherries have still performed well. Does Eddie Howe need a season with no injuries to really challenge at the top end of the table though?
The squad has been reduced a bit down to some 26 players, although whether Kyle Taylor and Jack Simpson are going to get time in the Premier League is perhaps doubtful. So Eddie has about two players for each outfield position, and that is okay, as long as we don't get too many double injuries for the same place in the team, as happened with Diego Rico and Charlie Daniels.
Josh King may not play the whole game against Southampton
if his ankle shows any further reaction.
The positions where I think injuries would be most acute though are up front. Wilson and King are a powerful combination and they are instrumental to the way AFCB play. Losing either of them for a lengthy time would again make it difficult for AFCB. The Bournemouth Echo also reported yesterday that Josh King has picked up an ankle on Norway international duty. However, King was picked to start against Bulgaria last night and played the full 90 minutes in their 1-0 win. Let's hope he's fit for Saturday.

I know any lengthy period out for Wilson or King could see the making of Lys Mousset. Jermain Defoe would also certainly like to play more games. But if Bournemouth are going to be competitive with the very best then they will need the first 11 to remain relatively intact.

The area where I believe Bournemouth are best equipped is in midfield. As well as the multitude of wingers we have seen that central midfield is also much stronger than in previous seasons with all the main contenders for spaces having played minutes already this season.

The recruitment has been good though this summer and signings like Brooks may take some pressure off of needing Junior Stanislas for too may games, which is helpful when he often gets injured. Lerma is more likely to miss out through suspension than anything else, while if Diego Rico can give Charlie Daniels a few games rest then it can only be a big help, as Charlie has been probably overplayed too often in the past. It's the excellent recruitment that has helped AFCB get to the top six, and even while there will be injuries, I'm hoping that there won't be so many as in previous Premier League seasons so that AFCB can achieve the highest of ambitions.

In other news, David Brooks played 87 minutes in Wales 1-0 win over Republic of Ireland whose team included Harry Arter.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Win a copy of The Ted MacDougall Story - MacDouGoal!

Sponsored Article

Being an AFC Bournemouth supporter used to mean little history didn't it? Well, no. The Cherries have always had their stars and big named strikers and they didn't come any bigger that Ted MacDougall in the 1970s. Not so many of Bournemouth's players went on to play for teams like Man United and Bournemouth fans still talk about Ted's FA Cup exploits against Margate, as if they were as fresh in the memory as happening yesterday. 

Of course, not all of us are old enough or were lucky enough to see Ted MacDougall set many of the modern records for the Cherries, but AFC Bournemouth's historian and club secretary, Neil Vacher can take you back to Ted's glory days at Dean Court and help relive those epic goals that made MacDougall one of the most feared strikers in the lower divisions.

Ted is over for the game on Saturday between Bournemouth and Southampton and this coincides with Neil Vacher's Ted MacDougoal book being re-released in a paperback edition by Pitch Publishing.

With recollections from the man himself, including exploits with the likes of Alan Ball, George Best, Mick Channon, Bobby Moore and Peter Osgood, MacDouGoal! traces Ted MacDougall's rise from his roots in Inverness, through his playing and coaching career, to the present day. 

Neil Vacher goes on to recall the big-money move to Manchester United, then a fiery spell at West Ham and a controversial end to his Scotland career. Super Mac even spent a season with Detroit Express, and he explains his decision to relocate across the Atlantic, where he formed his own club. Never short of an opinion, MacDougall also has plenty to say about the modern game.

When reading the MacDouGoal you'll discover all this:

· What happened the time Ted was asked to take over in goal
· How he broke a 42-year-old goalscoring record at Bournemouth
· His personal misery when caught in the cross-fire at Old Trafford
· What caused a dressing room punch-up at West Ham
· How much of Ted's success was down to the guiding influence of John Bond
· The remark made to a local reporter which effectively ended his international career
· How Ted proved all his doubters wrong by becoming the First Division's leading goalscorer
· The inside story of his 'telepathic' striking partnership with Phil Boyer at four different clubs
· The day when Ted called 'time' on his First Division career
· The part he played in trying to secure the future of AFC Bournemouth
· How Ted's latest role is helping to revolutionise the administration of grassroots football.

Free to enter Competition
So what do you have to do to win the free copy of this book from Pitch Publishing? Simply, email: what you think Ted's first professional football club was in England?

(A) West Ham
(B) Liverpool
(C) Bournemouth

We have three books to give away. Three correct answers from the hat will win the prize - Answers must be in by 12pm on Saturday 20 October 2018. Good Luck!

Thanks to Pitch Publishing for sponsoring this competition on Cherry Chimes. Pitch publishing would appreciate it if winners and other fans that have read the book can post a review on the Amazon page for the publication.

Howe's drive to win games is a good illness

There was a very good piece in the Bournemouth Echo last weekend that talked about Eddie Howe's desire to win games. AFCB's manager has one of the most driven personalities that I've ever known, and it's hard for some of us to see how he keeps so motivated after all his amazing achievements. Butt he finds it within himself to look for the next improvement all the time.

Eddie Howe is never going to accept doing well when a team can do better.
Eddie highlighted that he didn't win much as a child, coming second of third in the 100m on school sport's day - well, we've all been there, or even further behind. But having negative experiences only seems to spur Eddie Howe on. That could even be a problem this season if AFCB don't have many bad experiences, as Howe might not get his fix of disappointment to really drive his players on more. But such a need for Howe could be seen as like having an illness. It's maybe not that healthy to beat yourself up over not winning a football game.

I was asked recently what flaws Eddie Howe had and, to be honest, I couldn't think of any other than he never seems to switch off from his job, or at least finds it very hard to do. He is very lucky of course in one respect in that he is doing what he loves to do in improving players and trying to achieve through them what he was so cruelly denied as a player. Without the disadvantages of injuries and being small (maybe Ryan Fraser apart), his players have the attributes to be leading sportsman, and to get them there they need someone who is perhaps a little extraordinary in what he can deliver in terms of motivation and drive.

Eddie Howe was a good professional player, but he has been a remarkable manager. I don't think there are very many managers that compare in finding set-backs so motivating. When Eddie is given a cruel hand though, he doesn't let it win, but gets up and fights even harder against the odds. If we all just take a bit of inspiration from that then we'll all be better people tomorrow.

Cherry Chimes judged AFCB's start to the season for the Observer and Guardian last Sunday - you can see all the Premier League write ups here.

In other news, Chelsea have first say on any Aké move reports the Daily Telegraph and they are not thought to be looking to bring the player back to Stamford Bridge.

Monday, 15 October 2018

King and Wilson partnership grows

I've been waiting to see the Josh King and Callum Wilson partnership flourish. It has been the last thing to click in the Bournemouth team, but I always felt that when they started to score Bournemouth would look a far more serious prospect for winning away games.
How quickly can King and Wilson get their goal tallies into double figures? 
I credit Eddie Howe for being unswayed by opinions to change the front two at the start of the season and to play them into form. Callum Wilson is still probably missing more chances than he is taking, but you could see the delight in Callum's face when he got his goal against Watford. He has been contributing as well in the build up play and had a great assist for Josh King's goal in open play.

The movement of Wilson is certainly becoming more noticeable in the way he pulls out wide to leave space in the middle. Both he and King have the pace to beat full-backs and can run-in on goal, as well as produce crosses and King's penalty came from the sheer pace and aggression King had to out-strip Kabasele.

Both King and Wilson have now caught Ryan Fraser in the goal charts on four goals. While a number of King's goals have been from the penalty spot, it is the quick forwards that are making the opportunities. Eddie Howe has said how much speed is necessary in the Premier League and both King and Wilson look very quick at the moment.

What I don't know is how well Defoe and Mousset will do when they are called in as back-up. It will be great if Wilson and King can go the whole season without any injuries, but if the Cherries are in a good position in January and pushing for Europe, then Howe may feel he needs to buy in an additional striker. We are a little away from needing to worry about that and Junior Stanislas, Jordan Ibe and David Brooks can no doubt play in the number 10 position if required at some stage. At the moment though, it's all about the confidence that King and Wilson can build in front of goal and seeing their partnership grow.

In other news, Nathan Aké has distanced himself from Man Utd and Spurs saying that transfer speculation is just Internet rumours.