Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Lerma's quality imprinted itself on Bournemouth's season

It was pleasing to see Jefferson Lerma go up to get his prize trophy, having scored AFCB's goal of the season. I might have preferred the team goals that Dan Gosling got on the end of against Crystal Palace, but I don't underestimate the importance of Lerma's contribution on AFCB's season.
A big first season at AFCB for Lerma.
For the first season in the Premier League, Bournemouth really had a central midfield player that could be as good as some of the central midfield players in the top six teams. It is not that Lerma found it easy to start off with either. He should be a much stronger player next season and the language barrier will be getting easier all the time.

One of the pieces in the puzzle for Eddie Howe to solve though is getting the very best out of Lerma. He has to have a fellow central midfielder who reads the game as well as he does. It may be that Lewis Cook will fulfil that function when he is fit, but the level that Lerma is at is probably two or three grades up from any of AFCB's other central midfielders at present. He is not the record signing for nothing and Bournemouth need to make sure they are getting the very best out of him.

I can't imagine AFCB playing games with Lerma not being available. While he did get suspended for his 10 yellow cards, Bournemouth didn't have the same power and energy in midfield when he was absent. He gives the other players confidence just by being in the team, and if it is going to need a similar transfer fee to bring in another midfielder with his kind of quality, AFCB might be searching high and low for a while to find their man.

It is strange when there is all the transfer talk about some of AFCB's star players that Lerma's name never comes up. But it would not be a surprise to me if some of the clubs finishing above AFCB would start to have a look at our Colombian rock, who is just beginning to show us what he can deliver in the Premier League.

In other news, Liverpool are reported to be interested in Ryan Fraser.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Fraser 'it's all good what's happening'

The mood of Ryan Fraser after the defeat at Crystal Palace was clearly down and was honest in that he felt the team had under achieved. The question Fraser will have to ask himself is whether he wants to keep playing in a team that should challenge for the top 10 or if he is capable of taking the step up himself now?
Ryan Fraser has some thinking to do.
Always his harshest critic, Fraser says he will go away and look at his season and what he could do better himself. Fraser has developed with the Howe philosophy of working hard on your game to improve. The worry for AFCB fans is that Fraser may feel that some other players who have been at AFCB, at least as long as him, have not managed to turn potential into becoming developed, excellent players.

If Bournemouth had a team of players that wanted to be as good as Ryan Fraser the team would be in a much better place. But Fraser is dedicated to getting better and he could not have done much more in my opinion this season. He will no doubt look at what AFCB plans are for next season and make a decision based on that and what he could do elsewhere.

Bournemouth may get one more season out of the Wee-man but they would then be letting him go with his contract having run-out. So both sides, player and club, have to discuss what they both want and how the land lies in the next few days. There is something uneasy about no new contract being signed, and Fraser needs to be clear in his mind what he wants and whether he has more to offer at AFCB or not.

Ryan says everything that is happening is good. He is in a good place if you like, he wins either way, whether he stays or goes. But AFCB can't have player power driving Dean Court and they must take precautions in case the Wee-man does take flight this summer.

Daily Telegraph End of Season Review

AFCB are said to be making a swoop for Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Bournemouth sign England U21 defender

AFCB have made their first new signing this summer as defender Lloyd Kelly of Bristol City has joined the club for a reports £13m having played two seasons in the Championship and a nine appearance for the England U20s and three for the U21s, respectively.

Photo posted on Lloyd Kelly Twitter feed:
AFCB make their first summer signing - Lloyd Kelly of Bristol City
Bournemouth have moved very quickly moved for the England U21 defender and Bristol City report that the signing was made for a record fee for them. Kelly will give new competition to AFCB's problem position of left-back. While Kelly has only played 48 appearances in all competitions for Bristol City over the last two seasons, he has clearly impressed Bournemouth's scouting team. The defender joined Bristol City form the age of 12 and is a product of the Bristol City Academy.

Lloyd only made his first team debut for Bristol City in a Carabao Cup match against Plymouth in 2017. He has since scored twice in the Championship and was awarded Championship Player of the week on 19 March 2018 for week 38 of the 2017/18 season.

Lloyd says, "The move has come around quickly, but I'm happy to be here and can't wait to start playing."


Eddie Howe was equally as enthusiastic about the signing saying, "Kelly is athletic, versatile, physically excellent with a very bright future ahead of him." To sign another England U21 player is a further indication that AFCB are targeting home-nation top young professionals and that they see this strategy as one of the main pillars of the club's long-term plans to grow in the Premier League.

Lloyd will be competing with Diego Rico and Charlie Daniels for the left back position while Brad Smith is still making appearances for Seattle Sounders in the MLS.

AFCB have a full story on the new signing. Twitter followers can keep tabs on Lloyd @lloydkelly4

In other news, AFCB are reported to be preparing a bid for Burnley keeper Nick Pope, reports the Daily Mail.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

The mid-table finish is a clear indication of AFCB's position

While we may have thought that Bournemouth would be challenging for European places after the fist couple of months of last season, the reality is that the payers came up short of what they and perhaps supporters felt was possible. There are reasons for the drop off in performances, but how far are Bournemouth away from being a side that could finish seventh or eight in the Premier League?
Are AFCB headed in the right direction?
I believe AFCB are still three or more players off of a team that could challenge for an outside European place like Wolves, Watford and Everton were fighting for last season. Bournemouth have a strong first team when everyone is fit, but we soon saw how the team can fail to register any wins when there were two or three injuries to key players. Bournemouth have to strengthen this summer in several key positions in my opinion, but Howe is set on gradual regeneration rather than revolution which could mean the signing of just two or three players, while more could leave the club.

The size of the job that AFCB's recruitment staff will have over the summer will become clear in the next few weeks, when we see who is being released and how much of the squad is staying put. Bringing in players to push AFCB into a higher league position is far from simple. AFCB have tried big names like Defoe and Begovic and AFCB have also gambled on relatively unproven players like David Brooks and Chris Mepham. Bournemouth's budget is not as big as we'd like to think, and it highlights where we are in terms of recruitment and league standing when Bournemouth are linked with Ademola Lookman, who couldn't get much of a game at Everton, a team that AFCB are trying to catch up with.


So the finish of 14th in the league was a fair reflection of where AFCB are in my opinion. AFCB will have better seasons with fewer injuries that would get them a better finish, but Eddie Howe needs more depth in his squad to cover for the injury crisis the team seems to have most seasons. 

Friday, 17 May 2019

Fighting qualities are not enough for AFCB

Bournemouth have made a name for themselves in previous seasons as fightback merchants. They almost did it again against Crystal Palace. Had the game run out a 4-4 draw, the Cherries would have finished a place higher and had very little to be disappointed about despite the topsy-turvy game at Selhurst park. But Palace went on to win 5-3 and Bournemouth's top striker didn't get much of a sight of goal in the final game. Bournemouth were well-beaten by a side that wasn't going to let them have it all their own way.
Leaking five goals away from home to mid-table teams
is not a sign of confidence for next season.

While Bournemouth have often been beaten by the top six with large scores, it is now not unusual for mid-table rivals to find a good day against AFCB, when they can take their chances. Arguable AFCB are not as strong on defence as we have seen in the last couple of seasons. This time it was 70 goals going in against the team.

So while Bournemouth showed good fight when things started to go against them, they found it difficult to recover in games this last season. Too often they got away to slow starts and went a goal down and when AFCB don't get on the front foot they don't do what they do best which is going forward with pace. There are holes in Bournemouth's play and players finding themselves out of position is something AFCB have to work on.

Bouncing back as Ryan Fraser said is possible some days, but when the mistakes keep coming it soon becomes too much. 

In other news, Celtic could be looking to come in for Lys Mousset says Scottish Daily Mail.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Ibe gets Bournemouth's 200th Premier League goal

It's hard to know what Jordan Ibe is capable of. He may not have a troop of supporters singing his name as much as some of the other players for AFCB, but he has a talent and Eddie Howe believes he can succeed at the top level.
Jordan Ibe needs to get closer to the goal tallies of King and Wilson.
It hasn't been a landmark season for Ibe. He scored a couple of goals in the Carabao Cup and just couldn't compete as highly as David Brooks for the right wing role, although Junior Stanislas also found the young Welsh winger ahead of him. The first Premier League goal did come for Ibe against Crystal Palace in the last match, and it was Bournemouth's special 200th goal in the top league. In that way Ibe has been a part of AFCB's history and who knows what lies ahead for him?

There has been a link made with Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City. After all, Rodgers did sign the winger for Liverpool. Would Jordan see Leicester as a good move for him? I can't see Liverpool asking to see if they can take him back and the option of Leicester could entice Ibe, who has yet to make a starting spot his own at AFCB. Bournemouth may well want to let some players go this summer as well, and it is possible the club may need funds for a new left winger, with Pugh already leaving and doubts over Frasers future.

Ibe may not score that many goals, but he has only made 19 appearances in the Premier League and the majority have been as a sub. At 23, Ibe is still a young player and Eddie Howe wants to have a young squad so Ibe is probably a player that Howe would be reluctant to let go even for a good price. But what I think Ibe has to do is play in more positions and become adept at becoming a more powerful player. If he can further develop his game at AFCB under Eddie Howe, he still has time to make a bigger name for himself on the south coast.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Travers finds it no breeze at Selhurst park

Playing Mark Travers again at Crystal Palace after his debut was a no brainer. He won a lot of plaudits after his man of the match performance against Tottenham, and yet it was perhaps tempting fate that he could have another clean sheet in his second AFCB game.
Travers had a more comfortable match day at Dean Court than at Selhurst Park.
The afternoon turned out very differently on Sunday compared to the first Saturday in May for Mark Travers. Shipping five goals was no doubt a bigger experience than the clean sheet against Spurs, as he will come away from that game questioning every aspect of the five goals to see whether he could have done any better. I don't expect any of his team-mates will have a bad word to say about Mark's game, as it could have happened to any of AFCB's goal keepers. In truth, it was the team's inability to defend as a unit more than any goalkeeping mistakes that saw Palace put five goals past Travers.

The reaction is what Eddie Howe will want to see. While there are no more games now in an AFCB shirt until pre-season, it will be a summer of more tests for Travers in an international Republic of Ireland squad and his progress is going to be keenly scrutinised. Next season it is likely that Travers will be loaned out like Aaron Ramsdale was this season. If Ramsdale gets the number three keeper position and Asmir Begovic leaves, and a new keeper is added to the squad it's difficult to see how Travers will get any games at AFCB.

While the team has not covered itself in glory by keeping the goals against down as low as they might have been, the crop of young keepers that are at AFCB are likely to become the envy of other teams. Loaning them out is how they will get experience, but Travers should find it easier to play in pressured games at a lower level now having played at the very top. I'd love to see youth get more than one or two game sin a season, but i I don't expect Howe to give a young keeper like Travers more games next season than he has had in 2018-19.