Wednesday, 20 March 2019

King's back on form

I had been a bit down on Josh King after the Huddersfield game where he had missed a few chances and didn't quite seem himself. He certainly bounced back against Newcastle with a brace of goals, and he is still the player most trusted to take the spot kicks, which could end up making him the highest scorer for AFCB this season.
Is King on target to be AFCB's top scorer.
While the personal battle between Wilson and King for top goalscorer is likely to go to the last game, I sense that the competition is good for both players. Neither wants to finish behind the other and they both have 11 Premier League goals and will want to get past 15 I'd suspect before the season finishes.

When King stepped up to take the penalty against Newcastle, having seen Aké brought down, I didn't really expect anything but for King to score. He has missed penalties this season, but has never missed two consecutively and I don't expect hm to put another one on to the post.

His second goal in open play is what we really love to see more of. He arrived like a train and simply passed the ball into the net for Bournemouth's second goal, and the ease at which he made the goal look was what made it a stand out moment. True, Solanke had done much of the work for him, but King held his nerve and knew exactly where to put his shot giving the keeper no chance.

I imagine this week there will be some banter before the end of the season with Wilson as to who is going to finish top in the goal scoring stakes. Wilson may be the striker who usually gets the headlines, but King is equally as determined to be the top striker and I'm not sure who will win this season.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

We want Ibe to keep tackling back

It was disappointing that Jordan Ibe was booked after tracking back to stop the run of Almirón in the match against Newcastle last weekend. I know that many of the fans around by me don't even think he fouled the Newcastle player.
Ibe seems damned if he does and damned if he doesn't do something these days.
While I have been a critic of Ibe at times, he is doing the kind of jobs that Eddie Howe wants him to do. He is trying to help the defence out when the opposition come down the right side, and while he didn't quite get his tackle right against Almirón, I'm sure Howe would rather he make a challenge then just leave his defender exposed.

The fact that Solomón Rondón hit a great free kick and scored should not put Ibe off from making such challenges in future. We don't want AFCB to concede free kicks around the box, but we need players to put pressure on the opposition and prevent them having strikes when cover is thin. The Premier League does have many free kick experts who can test keepers from outside the box, but at least a team gets the chance to organise themselves if they do concede a free kick.

Whether Mike Dean was correct or not, he gave the free kick and it was a harsh reaction for AFCB to be 0-1 down at half-time. Ibe was perhaps not in Howe's good books as he was the first and only substitution and Howe felt that both Newcastle goals could have been prevented. Still I want Ibe to develop into an all round player who can defend as well as attack and this latest episode will hopefully not hold him back.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Ritchie wanted the last word

Rather than curse and shout after Ritchie's last minute equaliser, I just smiled while applauding the genius of the man. Yes, it was annoying that he should stop Bournemouth from getting to 40 points, but there was something inside me that remembered the cheeky Matt Ritchie who used to do that sort of thing for Bournemouth.
Matt Ritchie is still a player who can conjure magical finishes.
I'd have liked to have beaten Newcastle, especially as they had got one over us earlier on the season. Before the match though, I felt that it could be a 1-1 draw and I was really pleased on entering added time seeing AFCB 2-1 up. The game should have been won I suppose but I didn't see a great many mistakes in the run up to Newcastle's equaliser. Yes, players could have got closer to Yedlin who had pulled out wide, but when you are past 90 minutes into a game the legs can't always do what the mind wants them to do.

Who would have thought that Ritchie would be waiting on the other end of the cross and would instinctively shape to try and hit a wonder goal. He hadn't given Boruc any worries, but for a few crosses during the previous 90 minutes and he was having to create his own space with Clyne and King in close attendance. But he watched the ball fall perfectly on to his left foot and the finish was so sharp, I can't blame Boruc for not getting anywhere near it.


The frustration of the incident really got to Clyne who we could see hammering his fist repeatedly on the ground knowing that the three points had gone. It was interesting to see that it mattered to him so much as a player on loan. Surely he has bought into the Bournemouth life now and perhaps he can see a future on the south coast beyond the next seven games.

As for Ritchie. Take a bow son. I commend him for the restrained celebrations. That must have been hard for him, because he knows it was an absolute screamer and I can understand why he wanted to raise his arms and say how about that to the Newcastle fans as they need the points as well. Newcastle contributed to a great game.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Ricthie's last minute robbery at Dean Court 2-2

Match Report
AFCB 2 v 2 Newcastle Utd
16 March 2019
Attendance: 10,625
AFCB and Newcastle set up another belter.
Don't you just love old players returning to play against your club! Matt Ricthie's name was belted out at Dean Court game after game a few years ago and we loved him. We always knew he was quality and it was a shame for the Cherries that he saved one of his few goals of the season to snatch two points off of AFCB right at the death of this game with a spectacular finish. Solomon Rondon had given Newcastle the lead right on half-time with a thunderous free-kick and Nathan Aké's tumble in the box enabled Josh King to square things up moments after half-time from the spot. Bournemouth then really started to get on top of Newcastle and the weather and Dominic Solanke produced a bit of magic to find King running on to the ball to make it 2-1 on 81 minutes. The game looked won and Boruc had been a spectator, but the finish from Ritchie just at the end of injury time was a bullet of a hit. I'm still scratching my head how we left with only a point.

Bournemouth dropped Andrew Surman and Adam Smith from the starting line up and inn came Nathaniel Clyne and Joran Ibe.

Pre-kick off huddle
An early mistake by Lerma saw Peréz get a pass on to Rondón who had to be shielded from goal by Aké. Boruc had to then make a save from Hayden on 2 minutes, down to his left.

Bournemouth's first attack was made by Ibe who's cross was caught by Dubrravka.  Diame's ball over the top almost got Rondón in but Mepham kept him out before Boruc came to claim the ball.

Peréz was booked for fouling Fraser and the wee-man got quite a battering early on in this game. Fraser then went close with a shot that came off the far post.

Daniels was getting the tackles in and put in crushing one on Yedlin. Diame then saw his shot deflected for a corner.

Fraser and Ibe linked up on 15 minutes before Ibe lost the ball and Peréz forced a save from Boruc. Lerma was booked around the centre circle for a late tackle.

Fraser was receiving attention again on 23 minutes before Mepham had trouble misdirecting a header in his own box. He made up for it moments later with a strong tackle on Almirón.

Ryan Fraser was starting to run at Newcastle's defence and Wilson took it on but shot over on 41 minutes.

The game then took a backward step for the Cherries when Ibe, running back from a Bournemouth corner, fouled Almirón and was booked. Rondón took the free kick and put it over the five-man wall and right in the top left corner to give Newcastle a 0-1 lead at half-time.

Second half
Ryan Fraser won a corner at the start of the second half after a strong run from Ibe. Aké went up for a header but was bundled over by Fernande's arm around his neck and a penalty was awarded. Josh King slipped the ball past Dubravka to make it 1-1.

Bournemouth poured forward with their confidence up and Mepham went close with a header that dropped inches wide of the left post.

Newcastle broke and a shot from Hayden outside the box went wide. Newcastle kept up the pressure with a corner an a shot from Rondón was blocked. Dummett then skied a long range shot following another corner.

Wilson found himself blocked off by Lejeune. Lerma was getting forward and headed wide just before the hour. He then had another try with a shot following a corner that went just wide of the left post on 65 minutes.

Wilson came even closer following a Fraser corner that the keeper punched. Clyne chipped the ball up and Wilson headed it back towards goal. Somehow Dummett managed to put a foot out and clear it, just as it was about the cross the goal line.

Peréz was subbed on 72 minutes and Atsu came on. Bournemouth took off Ibe and replaced him with Solanke on 75 minutes. Hayden was then booked.

Solanke got tackled by Dummett before King won a corner, but Lerma shot wide with a dipping effort narrowly going past the post.

Bournemouth hadn't created much up to this point but King darted forward and Solanke took over from Wilson's touch and took the ball into the box where he managed to keep hold of it, before releasing it to the oncoming King who stroked it beautifully onto the net -2-1 on 81 minutes.

Newcastle subbed Almirón and put on Muto. Daniels then got booked and Shelvey replaced Diamé.

There was a big Benike Afobe cry as Ritchie messed up a free kick. Daniels then went close with a powerful shot that rose over the bar.

Boruc was quick to come out and head the ball away after a poor goal kick as we entered 90 minutes. Three minutes were to be added.

Some four minutes into added time, Yedlin crossed form the right and the ball went all the way over to the left side of the box where Ritchie hit his sensational volley past Boruc to make it 2-2.

A rare draw at Dean Court.
It might have felt like a defeat but Bournemouth did as much as they could against a Newcastle side that never gave up. The conditions didn't help either team play great football. Newcastle's goals were both sensational and so Bournemouth shouldn't be too hard on themselves for only picking up a draw. It was good to see Solanke do well when he came on and Bournemouth have been cutting out individual errors at the back. There is work to do in midfield in keeping the ball better and in creating chances, but a point is another point earned.

AFCB Line up
AFCB Subs: Begovic, Rico, Simpson, Taylor, Surridge, Mousset, Solanke

AFCB ratings
Boruc 6, Clyne 5, Mephan 5, Aké 6, Daniels 7, Ibe 6, Lerma 7, Brooks 6, Fraser 7, King 8, Wilson 7 

Cherry Chimes MoM: Josh King

Ref Watch - Mike Dean: 5/10. I was not as incensed as some about Mike Dean. He rarely has a great game a Dean Court and I was pleased he at least gave AFCB a penalty even if the foul for Newcastle's first goal was rather soft.

Newcastle Utd
12Dubravka, 22Yedlin, 20Lejeune, 18Fernandez, 3Dummett, 11Ritchie, 17Pérez (Atsu),
10Diamé (Shelvey), 14Hayden, 24Almirón (Muto), 9Rondón

Newcastle Subs
26Darlow, 2Clark, 8Shelvey, 13Muto, 15Kenedy, 19Manquillo, 30Atsu

Cherry Chimes' T-Shirt winner  @jimellis123

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Newcastle are right on AFCB's heels

It won't have escaped too many AFCB fans' attention that a defeat against Newcastle this weekend would see the Magpies overtake Bournemouth in the table. So, it is a massive game for both teams who want a top half finish.
Team spirit needs to be high now.

Rafa Benitiz has done exceptionally well after the slow start Newcastle made to the season. Now they are finding some form and on the road, since the New Year have draw with Wolves and had a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Spurs and 2-1 at Chelsea, while their home form has been very solid having got a 2-1 over Man City and a sensational 3-2 comeback last weekend against Everton.

I am not sure if the Everton game makes it a good time to play Newcastle or not. They will believe they can win from any position and AFCB have to be careful, even if they get a lead against Newcastle. Newcastle may have only scored 29 goals, averaging just under one a game, but they have managed nine clean sheets.

While AFCB fans will welcome back Matt Ritchie, he has had a pretty lean season by his own standards scoring just the one goal and making four assists. The man AFCB certainly have to deal better with than they did at St James' Park is Solomón Rondón. Rondón has eight goals and five assists and he's working up a very good partnership with Ayoze Perez who has six Premier League goals.
This will be a close game with perhaps only a goal either way deciding the outcome if the stats are worth following. AFCB have to make the most of their home games and this one could push them back into the top 10, which would change the mood around Dean Court.

Possible AFCB line up
AFCB subs: Begovic, Simpson, Rico, Ibe, Solanke, Mousset, Surridge

Friday, 15 March 2019

Will AFCB run out of steam or accelerate to the end of the season?

Bournemouth may have pushed on this season but the only way we can really rate them is if they can improve their points score from previous seasons, and record more wins and a better defensive record. The club has spent in both the summer and January windows and the  would expect to make progress with its capital outlay, but any improvement may still be marginal on previous seasons.
Everything to play for.
There are eight games to go and everything is in the balance we keep hearing for a best ever-season in the Premier League. Bournemouth need to get up to 47 points or better to start posting new records and 10 or 11 points from eight games looks feasible, although many of the teams AFCB have to play are fighting to escape those in the relegation zone and they won't be easy games.

The home games are arguably not where AFCB are likely to pick up most points though in the remaining games. That may seem crazy to say knowing AFCB's current away form, but with Spurs and Burnley as well as Newcastle visiting Dean Court, it would not be a massive surprise to pick up relatively few points from those games. Fulham could well be down by the time AFCB play them in April and I'd hope that AFCB have accumulated more than 40 points by then.
The away games are very winnable and yet fraught with possible hiccups. Two south coast games and matches against usual draw merchants Leicester and hard to beat Burnley and Palace could probably all go either way. So, if we took six points from the away games and five from the home matches, I suppose Howe could say he has pushed the team on. But even this would leave the club two points shy of the 50 point mark, which would be my dream of target for AFCB.

AFCB Home Form

Newcastle Utd Away Form

Ritchie is no longer missed at AFCB

The return of Mat Ritchie to the south coast will be as popular as ever. He was a remarkable player for the Cherries and I don't think the club would have been able to climb the leagues as quickly without the efforts of Matt Ritchie. He always seemed to be a level above the players he was playing against, but now Bournemouth have found a replacement who is already the outstanding player of AFCB's season.
Matt Ritchie deserves our applause on Saturday. 
Matt Ritchie has a few years on David Brooks and he has some similar attributes, but I know which player Bournemouth fans would rather have in their team today. Ritchie was a very good player for the Cherries, and when he left after the first season of Bournemouth's Premier League adventure it was hard to take. He had fought so hard to get to the Premier League and to drop down a division would be difficult for many players, but not Matt Ritchie. He made a another massive contribution to Newcastle's rise out of the Championship and he remains a strong part of their team.

The signing of Jordan Ibe was meant to be the signing that helped Bournemouth cope without Ritchie. He was the record signing for the club at the time. Little did we know that Ricthie was going to be so hard to replace. He scored goals and made assists and it has taken until this season and the arrival of David Brooks to really have a player in the side that can do the unusual and unexpected again.

Hopefully, Brooks will play against Newcastle and Ritchie this weekend. He has been in training and so has hopefully overcome what caused him to walk off against Huddersfield in the last game. It will be great to see the two players do their thing on the ball and to contrast styles. Though Ritchie is still much loved at Dean Court, I believe the biggest cheers will go to David Brooks if he can get the winner for AFCB on the day.

Score predictions
Send in your score predictions for AFCB v Newcastle Utd to @CherryChimes. We will pick a winner from the correct entries to win a Cherry Chimes' T-shirt.