Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Ibe's moment has to be now

With Junior Stanislas and David Brooks fighting to get back to fitness, it's Jordan Ibe that has everyone's attention on the right of midfield. He may have some mixed signals though after his game at Liverpool the other week. He did some great things early on in the game and looked that he could be the player that could create something to unlock Liverpool's defence, but then he was the first to be subbed come the hour.
Is time running out for Ibe at AFCB?
Ibe has to put everything into his game right now. He won't get a better chance to make an impact on the team than this. He is one of the most frustrating players to watch as he shows signs that he could be something really specia,l and yet he'll often mess up the basics. I imagine that AFCB still have their fingers crossed that he can find some consistency in his performances, but he has been overtaken by David Brooks and time could be running out for him at AFCB.

Jordan be has been at AFCB long enough now that he is the one that has it in his hands to make an impact. There is nothing new for him or daunting I would think, having played for Liverpool. Yet, something seems to be holding Ibe back. I hope he can overcome whatever it is because I don't like hearing the crowd get on his back. He surely wants to play well for AFCB and if he is going to achieve that he needs our support.

I just feel that Ibe needs a bit of good fortune. If he could wipe the slate clean and just play on his instincts, I think AFCB would have a much better player. He may have one more starting place before Junior Stanislas is in contention, so Ibe is going to need to get himself in the mood for one of his best performances against Wolves. He has to take one of these opportunities. 

In other news, AFCB sign U21 keeper Rafal Danielsson from Fram Reykjvik FC

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

What's the long-term solution for AFCB's left-back position?

Bournemouth have been fortunate to have the services of Charlie Daniels for such a long time. He is a workaholic that has had a terrific engine and while AFCB have brought in Diego Rico last summer it is Adam Smith that is giving Daniels the most competition for the place.

For the rest of this season, it should be quite a battle between Adam Smith and Charlie Daniels for the left-back position. Adam has perhaps been the utility player that Howe is keen to keep in the side when he is fit, even though Nathaniel Clyne is probably the better right-back. If Daniels feels he can play to his best ability despite his family problems, it may be that he will play some more games at left-back this season. The versatility of Adam Smith does give Howe the option of playing him in midfield and with the amount of wingers already struggling we could well see that.

But I am sure Howe is currently doing most work with Diego Rico. Diego was surely seen as the long-term solution to AFCB's left side in defence and yet he has found it hard to grasp the full flow of AFCB's play. I do think it is coming though for him. He is starting to look more like a Bournemouth player and had a fairly strong game at Liverpool, when he had to mark Mo Salah of all players. If Rico can play well against Salah then he should be able to do well in the Premier League.

So far Rico has made eight appearances for AFCB, while Daniels has made 16 and Smith 17 this season. AFCB are certainly in flux in concern to the left-back role and I am not sure if the team is going to find goals more easy to cut-out against them until they solve the position, so that everyone knows who the number one is going to be for that spot.

Squawka Who is the player you would sell

Monday, 18 February 2019

Eddie should go after teenage Man City midfielder this summer

Bournemouth have already pushed the boat out in terms of transfers this winter signing three players, and while fans are likely to want to see Nathaniel Clyne convert his loan to a permanent deal, it may be that central midfield grabs the attention of recruitment in the summer. It's not that Bournemouth don't need to improve in all areas, but the lack of a scoring central midfielder is one reason why AFCB are not pushing closer for the top seven places.
Lerma is a great addition, but the central midfield area still lacks goals.
Andrew Surman, Dan Gosling, Lewis Cook and Jefferson Lerma have managed just one goal amongst themselves from 26 games. It is a stat that doesn't acknowledge the good performances that these players have had, but Bournemouth are really lacking in the scoring department from the centre of the field, and it has to be one of the areas where Howe has to develop the side if they are to challenge higher up in the league.

Howe has addressed the physical nature of central midfield with Lerma and Leiws Cook certainly has the vision for playing great assist. Surman is the player to keep passes flowing and Gosling has the energy to keep going all game, but Bournemouth don't have player with the intent to go at defences from central midfield and get shots on target.

Looking at the games this last weekend in the FA Cup one player stood out as a young England U21 international who would be perfect to bring to Dean Court. That man is Phil Foden, 18, at Man City. It may be too late to grab him now, because Man City are starting to see that they have another fabulous young player on their hands, but if Foden doesn't get into their first team, it has to be worth a try to prise him away from City. He would commend an high transfer fee probably more than AFCB's record of £25m, but what a player to have in your side.
What ticks the boxes about Foden is not only his fearless habit of going for goal, but his general movement and what he has already learnt at Man City. Eddie Howe could pick up quite a lot from bring in a player from Man City, and Foden is at a great age who would, I am sure, blend in well with David Brooks and could form the base around which Howe could fashion a more youthful side.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Have AFCB got the best keepers they can afford?

It's been an intriguing season in regards to the goalkeepers for AFCB. While Asmir Begovic looked nailed on for a 38 games season that has now been well and truly punctured by the appearances of Artur Boruc, who has done extremely well to displace the former Chelsea keeper and hold on to the number one spot.
Boruc and Begovic have let in 47 goals between them this season.
I suppose Artur Boruc was none to pleased at being made to deputise and similarly Asmir now has that same feeling. Competition for the goalkeeping shirt is great for the team and it's good to see that both players really want to be number one. I believe that Boruc should have that position at the moment and it just may have been that Begovic was getting used to seeing his name on the sheet, and wasn't pushing as hard as when he first came to the club.

It made me think though, have AFCB got the best keepers they could afford? We tend to believe that goalkeepers mature like a fine wine and that older keepers make less mistakes. But I wonder of Bournemouth could be more aggressive in their recruitment for keepers. There are some terrific performances being put in by Ben Foster, 26, at Watford and I ifnd it staggering that no Premier League team has not put a bid in for Jack Butland, 25, at Stoke City. The age of these two players is on their side and they already have a good number of Premier League starts under their belt. I think either one would challenge for a number one spot at AFCB.

But while Bournemouth have been keen to change the age profile of the team in other areas, there does seem to be a reluctance to pick a keeper in their mid-20s who could really rival Boruc or Begovic. Aaron Ramsdale and Mark Travers are the young pretenders but they are a long way behind in the experience stakes to the keepers that are fighting for Premier League starts. There has to come a point though when age is not on a keeper's side and while Begovic, 31, still has many years ahead of him, it will be interesting to see whether Eddie Howe feels Artur Boruc has impressed enough at the end of this season to give him more than a one-year contract, which is what he has received for the last couple of years. Boruc has impressed this season and if he can keep Asmir in the number two spot into next season, I don't see that Howe would be starting to look for a replacement,

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Away nightmare has to end for AFCB

The poor away run Bournemouth have been on may seem startling with eight defeats now lined up, but the teams Bournemouth have played in that run are mainly in the top half. If Bournemouth did slip up it was perhaps against Cardiff and Newcastle Utd, where they would have expected to be more in these games. Having not won away since Fulham on 27 October 2018, it is a problem that Eddie Howe has to find a solution to sooner rather than later.
The home dugout is a far more friendly place than the away ones for Eddie Howe.
Difficult afternoons are not unusual, but the opening goals in Bournemouth's away matches have come for the opposition. Bournemouth are not getting the fist hit if you like, and making comebacks is always hard in this league.

Individual mistakes are still very prevalent and it is hard to mitigate that. Bournemouth will be stronger when they get players back and while the team is not playing well away from home, Bournemouth have to make sure they don't start seeing that form affect their home matches.

Keeping in games for longer is what Bournemouth will be keen to achieve in these away matches. I thought they were doing perhaps too well against Liverpool in the opening 25 minutes. As soon as that confidence got up though, the killer goal for Liverpool came. Eddie Howe says it's not the away form that is really so much a cause for the concern though.
"It's difficult for us, because I don't think it's home form and away form. It's just inconsistencies and I know people will point to the away record, and quite rightly point out that that's not been very good. But I think we've had inconsistencies in our performance probably since we picked up our long-term injuries, and we've never quite managed to produce results and performances, week in and week out," said Howe. "Obviously, we know that is what we are trying to put right."

AFCB's post-match press conference for Liverpool 3 v 0 AFCB

Friday, 15 February 2019

Losing games and not doing jobs is AFCB's problem

Eddie Howe didn't hide from criticising his players when he talked about the continued losing run. The players were at fault for the second goal at Liverpool and not doing their jobs from a throw in, and it's clear that Eddie wants to make his players aware that they are making it harder for themselves at times.
The break might have come at a good time for AFCB.
The mood in the camp might not be overly high or low at the moment. The table shows Bournemouth are still sitting handily in mid-table and they have games to play to make this a good season. There is no distraction about cups or any further transfer windows. It's all about the Premier League and in this league you have to be at your best to stop the best teams.

Bournemouth were fortunate to come up against Chelsea when they were not at their best and unfortunate that they played Liverpool when they were on top form. The players need to feel annoyed though to work harder at their game and in training there will be a real desire to do better.
The games that have gone though have gone. It is disappointing that the team have not managed to build on the wins against West Ham and Chelsea, but they have to try and keep those games in mind rather than the last two matches to try and get a win against Wolves.

Bournemouth also have to look at getting their own game back on song in an attacking manner. They have not scored in the past two matches, and it's not just the defence that needs to sharpen up their act.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Howe still looking over his shoulder

Eddie Howe is not the only one looking over his shoulder at the table and AFCB's gap to the relegation zone. It may be that Bournemouth are only two wins away from safety but the gap to the chasing teams is narrowing and it would be awful for AFCB to get mixed up in a last minute scramble for points this season, having started the campaign so well.

Eddie knows his team are not safe yet.
While it may seem healthy to see Southampton and others finding it a challenge to get enough points, they are on 24 points and only three wins away from being on AFCB's heels. That can change very quickly. Managing the situation is what Bournemouth can do from their side, even just by picking up some draws. But of late that is looking a problem in itself.

Bournemouth are not alone in feeling that they are under a lot of pressure, Brighton haven't won a game this calendar year and Leicester and Crystal Palace have picked up less points than Bournemouth in their last five games. Of those teams above Bournemouth, it is Everton that might be a team that is finding the going hard having just one a single game in their last five.

Bournemouth have to go and get the points and can't expect other teams to fall away. Southampton have lost only 12 games whereas Bournemouth have lost 13. AFCB have got the wins though when their big players are available and they need to get two more wins now as quickly as possible.

By the way, it is interesting to hear Eddie has taken up meditation. In his postition I can certainly see why. It's something I've been trying in the last few weeks. Give it ago, it can really help people lose some of the stress and anxiety that every day life brings!