Thursday, 19 July 2018

If Defoe hits early form the Cherries can fly

Jermain Defoe did not have the best of seasons last time out, so it is not that surprising that he has been a name that has been linked with possible loan spells elsewhere. Bournemouth have paid a high price though for his services every week and they need to see some return on the player who remains in my mind one of the sharpest and best Premier League strikers of his generation.
Bournemouth need to see the best of Defoe.

While Jermain, 35, is not getting any younger, he is in superb condition and looks after himself very well. He has personal targets that he wants to get nearer to as one of the top Premier League strikers, and while he has a great previous record at AFCB he will want to improve on what he could do last season.

I notice there have been no mentions from Jermain promising goals of late, like when he quipped on signing for the Cherries. He thought that was a mistake to say at the time and these things have a habit of biting you back. But Jermain only made 24 appearances last season and he has the capability of starting the season and going all the way through with a bit of luck. A good start for Jermain would see the Cherries have a good start and while Eddie Howe needs to get what he can from the younger players, it is the experienced players that will set the tone that everyone else works too.

Eddie Howe needs to get his arm around some of the experienced players and get them to be anxious to perform well. Jermain is hard to stop if he is on fire in front of goal, and this pre-season he is one of the players that should find it easier to make more of an impact in the coming season, because he has done it all before. He is a player that will just want to be playing as many games as he can, knowing that he is coming to the latter part of his career. Defoe has done the big transfers and loan moves. His aim has to be to stand out in an AFCB shirt this season. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

AFCB ready to splash the cash for Uruguayan

Bournemouth have been linked with Geona's left-back, Diego Laxit. While Everton are also believed to be interested in the player, the Sun claims Bournemouth are ready to play £25m for the defender as well as £32m for Levant's Jefferson Lerma.
Charlie Daniels' position is expected to come under
threat this summer with Bournemouth looking to recruit left-sided defenders.
Laxit is 25 years-old and has played for Geonoa for the last couple of seasons having originally joined on loan from from Inter Milan in 2015. He can play in midfield as well as at left-back, and Howe would probably see him as a wing-back in his 3-5-2 system. He has played 10 times for Uruguay and made the provisional 26-man Uruguayan squad for the World Cup in Russia.

The news that Bournemouth are in a position to spend big to capture these two players may be a sign of the times that clubs who have players that the Cherries are interested in, are willing to haggle the price upwards to astronomical levels, knowing their are big bucks to be made from Premier League clubs. But for Bournemouth to spend about half of the Premier League coffers on just two players would appear staggering considering that last summer their total outlay on three players was around £35m. The price quoted for Jefferson Lerma is quite incredible, considering Bournemouth were previously looking at an £18m bid. I don't see how a few World Cup appearances have doubled his value in the last few weeks.

The Cherries are clearly nervous about getting the players they want, but paying over the top would harm the club for a long time to come. While international players are commending big fees, the price for relatively unheard of players on these shores is a risk that AFCB may have to take to feel they can attract the players to improve the squad. Take a deep breathe in, it looks like AFCB are attempting to spend really big.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Mings is desperate to play

Tyrone Mings has had too much of his football career sitting on the injury table, so it is no surprise that when he got his chance to show what he could do against Sevilla FC he got a bit heated when decisions went against him. What makes me pleased though is that Tyrone cares and he is so desperate to play, and play well, that even a friendly meant everything to him.
Tyrone is eager to impress.
What I saw was a player that wants to try his very best to get straight into the team. But for me, Tyrone is a better player when he strokes the ball around, is calm in possession, uses his size to ease people off the ball and thinks about the game rather than try to wrestle and force things, as I felt he did at times against Sevilla. Mings is a better player than one who wants to get into a scrap, and he knows that he has can play with discipline and that he is a better player when he does just concentrate on his football.


But it must be a great sense of frustration to him that he has not played hardly any Premier League games in three seasons and he is seeing years when he would have developed as a player drift away. Tyrone has to acknowledge that he can't get that time back but that he can still become the player he wants to be. He still has all the great attributes that Eddie Howe liked when he wanted to sign him from Ipswich Town, and the test for Mings is really about now. He has to make an impression, but in the right way. Keeping your cool is an important aspect of being a player as when you lose it the whole team suffers.

Tyrone has a month now to show us where he is really as a player. I want to see him tested and I know he might not get it right every time he plays, but Tyrone is a player that has been at AFCB long enough to know all the plays and take on all the advice that Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall have drilled into him over that period. We just want to see him bring some of that out on the pitch.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Arter is back!

For Bournemouth fans who thought Harry Arter might have lost his edge and fight, those thoughts were quickly dispelled with 45 minutes at La Manga in a pre-season friendly against Sevilla. He ran the second half and it was so enjoyable to see him chase down everything on the pitch again.
Harry Arter shows good early pre-season friend.
Harry has not had a good time of things since January and to see him giving his all in a Bournemouth shirt again is a reminder of what a good player he is and how Eddie Howe must find a way to get him playing games with Lewis Cook to see if they can forge a strong partnership. The strength and courage Arter showed against Sevilla picked up the whole Bournemouth team and his work rate rubbed off on the other players in the second half.

Yes, Arter himself was a bit over hyped perhaps for a friendly, but he wanted to win and he wanted to play well and be a major player in the game. Arter rattles players and he gets on the back of the referees too. A yellow card was something that he seemed likely to pick up and he didn't hold back on disputing decisions. But Arter gives 100 per cent and that is what makes him so loveable to a Bournemouth fan. He is the loveable rogue and that player has been at the club through thick and thin. Even if AFCB do bring in Jefferson Lerma or Chris Mepham, I don't want to see Arter flogged off as he is part of the crown jewels for AFCB.

A fully-fit Arter playing for Bournemouth is like having two central midfield rottweilers snapping at the opposition's heels and giving them no time to think. Bournemouth have not had that kind of drive and energy for much of the last year, but if Arter is back, as I believe he is with this kind of performance, the heart of Bournemouth's team will be running on super premium unleaded next season.

AFCB are linked with Genoa's left-back, Diego Laxalt, according to the Sun.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Bournemouth fight back to draw against Sevilla FC 1-1

Match description
Sevilla FC 1 v 1 AFCB
14 July 2018

Bournemouth had to make a second half recovery after Sevilla FC went ahead through a breakaway goal scored by Ben Yedder on 23 minutes. The Cherries on the back foot in the first half despite new signing David Brooks seeing a lot of the ball and chances falling to Wilson and Hyndman. There was much more intent about the Cherries in the second half with Arter and Mings driving the Cherries forward. Defoe was unlucky not to be given a penalty when he was held back, but Jordan Ibe slipped in an equaliser on 68 minutes. The game got a bit heated as it went on with yellow cards, but there was plenty to be pleased about in the performances of Fraser, Arter and Brooks and the stronger second half from the Cherries.

Eddie Howe gave David Brooks his debut against Sevilla while Steve Cook was given the captaincy in the first half. Jack Simpson and Emerson Hyndman also made starts for the Cherries. The game would also have VAR available and made a complete team change at half time with Simon Francis taking back the captaincy.
Jordan Ibe scores AFCB's first pre-season goal.

First half

Bournemouth soon found Sevilla quick on the break with Aké having to concede the first corner on three minutes when Sevilla's 24 broke through. Steve Cook had to make another block from 24 a few moments later. Sevilla started to dictate in the first seven minutes with varied passing. Brooks mis-controlled his first ball, but showed he was good at passing players on the right wing. Lewis Cook's shot from distance fell wide of the right post.

Sevilla were at ease with their passing even when under pressure. An offside stopped a promising Sevilla attack on 13 minutes. Lewis Cook was looking powerful in midfield, but AFCB were resorting to Begovic kicking long. Sevilla's number eight forced a third corner on 17 minutes. Steve Cook had to clear a shot from Sevilla's 6. A good run up the left from King saw Brooks then get a shot blocked for an AFCB corner. Brooks had switched to the left but was finding he had no time on the ball.

Amadou showed his strength against Adam Smith who went flying. Sevilla were neat with their triangles and looked the more dangerous team with 20 minutes gone. A blocked shot from Brooks saw break Ben Yedder against Simpson, and the striker created space on his right foot to beat Begovic to make it 1-0 on 23 minutes.

Adam Smith put in a good cross for Aké who knocked it down for Brooks who shot wide on 28 minutes. Hyndman did well to make space in the box, once Brooks had found him, and Hynsman's shot on 31 minutes needed to be saved at the near post.

Bournemouth were good at getting their shape back quickly and started to get a bit more possession. Brooks and Hyndman were linking well and Adam Smith drove a cross in that rebounded off a Sevilla defender to Wilson who span, but shot wide on 38 minutes.

Lewis Cook slides in well on the edge of Bournemouth's box. Sevilla were back in control though. Begovic having to race out quickly. King beat his man to find Wilson centrally, who finished well, but he was a good yard offside on 43 minutes. Bournemouth had not created enough in the last third of the pitch and it stayed 1-0 at half time. Wilson was probably guilty of missing the best chance on 38 minutes.

Second half
AFCB subbed 11 players at half time and Sevilla did likewise. Arter began like a mad hare dashing all over the place in closing down. Surman, Francis and Mings were playing as centre-backs. Arter, Gosling Pugh, Ibe and Fraser were the midfield five. Bournemouth's high work rate was giving Sevilla more problems this half. Mings got in behind and forced an early corner. Pugh tried a curler that the keeper held well enough.

Arter should have made it 1-1 when shooting centrally but he blasted wide on 53 minutes. Defoe was then fed in by Fraser and was held back by 25 when shooting, but it was deemed not enough for a penalty. Boruc has to make a good save at his near post.

Bournemouth are pushing Sevilla back at every opportunity. Gosling takes out 16 and gets booked and Arter says something to the referee which gets him a yellow card as well. Arter is well rattled. He takes a free kick against a Sevilla player who won't retreat.

Ibe's been quiet. Fraser is taking the tumbles today and is getting a bit roughed up. Sevilla's number three is booked. 22 brings another good save from Boruc. Ibe makes a good clean tackle in the box after Francis was beaten. Francis gets a good block in and Mings tidies up after Sevilla have a good breakaway on 67 minutes.

Ibe is in acres of space on the right. He's going all the way and makes it 1-1 on 68 minutes shooting between the keeper's legs. Mousset wins a corner.  Sevilla break, but Francis covers well.

Mings takes a booking for kicking the ball away. It's a friendly ,with a bit of needle. Boruc makes a clean catch off a Sevilla header from a corner. Fraser takes a nasty challenge by 12 who is booked. Arter did well at getting the press going.

Last eight minutes. Francis puts a good low ball in but Defoe can't keep hold of it. Gosling does well to make a block and punt a long ball up to Defoe and the keeper comes out to get something in the way. Fraser is fouled on the byline by Sevilla's number 2 who is booked. Gosling's shot s blocked. Fraser is now booked for tripping 16. Full time.

The team that took to the field in the second half for AFCB had far more fire in their bellies and were determined that they would not lose the game. Surman looked at ease as a make-do centre-back and Arter was back to his old self, running operations in the middle of the park. It was also pleasing to see Ibe score as he needs to add that to his game more often this season. My man of the match though is Harry Arter who carried the fight for the Cherries.

Begovic (Boruc), A Smith (Fraser), S Cook (Francis), J Simpson (Mings), Aké (Surman), Daniels (Arter), Hyndman (Pugh), L Cook (Gosling), Brooks (Ibe), King (Mousset), Wilson (Defoe)

Boruc, Francis, Mings, Surman, Arter, Gosling, Ibe, Pugh, Fraser, Mousset, Defoe, Mahoney, Ramsdale, Travis, plus a couple more U21 players

Sevilla FC
1 Sergio Rico, Carriço, 5 Amadou, Pareja, Correa, Escudero, Roque Mesa, Borja Lasso, Nolito, Pejiño, 9 Ben Yedder.

Referee Jamiee Latree

In other news, AFCB have been linked again to Brentford's Ollie Watkins an are thought to be battling fir his signature with Crystal Palace, reports West London Sports.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

The Cherries take on Sevilla FC who have plenty of quality

Bournemouth have a particularly difficult game today taking on Sevilla FC. The Spanish team finished seventh in La Liga in 2017-18 with 17 wins from their 38 matches. They qualified for the Europa League, so it is a step up in quality for the Cherries in pre-season.
AFCB will take on Sevilla FC at La Manga on Saturday.
The history of Sevilla FC is very impressive having been formed in 1890 like the Cherries, Sevilla have amassed five Spanish cup wins, five UEFA Europa League trophies and one Super Cup, a Spanish Super Cup, one league championship and 18 Andalusian Cups. The impressive factor to me is that three of the UEFA Europa League trophies have come in the last five years.

New signings this summer for Sevilla include Roque Mesa who signed from for Sevilla this summer having been on loan from Swansea City. He had already had half of last season at the Nervionense as they are nicknamed. 

Ibraham Amadou is a new defensive midfielder that can also play centre-back. He signed from Losc Lille, this summer, having played 102 matches for them.

Thomas Vaclik, 29-year old, is the only Czech international player at the club and was the third signing this summer having left FC Basel.

One of the more well-known players for Sevilla is Miguel Layun who is a Mexican international and he played in this summer's World Cup. Steven Nzonzi has been in the French squad, so won't be back in time with the World Cup Final on Sunday. Ever Banega, 30, is a Sevilla midfielder that is an Argentinian international and Gabriel Mercado, 31, is another Argentinian defender that plays for Sevilla. Simon Kjaer, 29, was in Denmark's World Cup squad, Luis Muriel is a Sevilla forward that came on in the second half for Colombia against England in the quarter-final at the World Cup - he successfully scored Colombia's third penalty in the shoot-out. 

Sevilla's coach, Carlos Marchena, was also called up for the Spanish national team at the World Cup following the dismissal of Lopetgui. We probably won't see the players that have been at the World Cup as they will no doubt have extra leave time, but the strength of the Sevilla squad will be a big test for AFCB.

You can enjoy the match today by tuning in to AFCBTV at 7pm.

Friday, 13 July 2018

What kind of shape are the Cherries in?

While the Cherries are away in La Manga getting fit and building their friendships on and off the pitch the work for new players goes on. The news from the club has been pretty slow about what is going right and where they are having problems, but news of the departure of Operations Manager John Yems, after five and a half years with the club, is not something that AFCB were able to keep quiet, thanks to the Daily Mirror.
It's down to business for the players.
Eddie Howe's focus is going to be solely on the players at the moment and getting them in better shape for the start of the season than in 2017/18. Andrew Surman probably has every right to think that this summer is going to be tougher for all concerned and reading between the lines, I think its likely that a few old friendships have been tested in recent months.

Getting a positive vibe going though is crucial now. We have seen it with the England national tam and the Cherries could take note of how the preparation and relaxed nature around that squad brought results. When there is unease and tension about things it doesn't create the conditions for winning games and I'm keen to see how the players find their way through the friendlies.

We know there is a need to bring in new players and not to over spend. But while we might be sweating over what signings AFCB may or may not make it is clear that a lot of Premier League clubs are in a similar position looking at the ins and outs of SkySports' Premier League transfer list.

AFCB need to get on and prepare as best they can with what they have at the moment and I want to see Eddie Howe working the players hard as the players at the club, I believe can improve further if they are incentivised to want to be the best. I see the newly promoted teams as having that excitement and desire to do well and AFCB need to find that kind of excitement again that got them into the Premier League. With a month to go to kick off, AFCB are keen to sell tickets but I'm more concerned about how the club is going to go forward with the new ground, pulling in better signings and whether the players on the pitch are showing early pre-season form.

I've no doubt that how well AFCB get things in order in the next four or five weeks will have a huge impact on how well the 2018/19 season goes. We'll get a first view of the players at least in tomorrow's match against Sevilla.