Sunday, 15 September 2019

Imagine what a clean sheet would do for Ramsdale

There is no doubt that Aaron Ramsdale is a confident fellow. He strides out to his goal feeling that he is the best player to keep the opposition out and he has made some amazing saves already for the Cherries, but the clean sheet has eluded him so far. What would it do for him to get that clean sheet though against Everton?
Aaron will hope it is fifth time lucky for a clean sheet.

In a week that we have sen Mark Travers win his first senior cap for the Republic of Ireland squad the focus on AFCB's keepers is as high as ever. The competition for top spot hasn't slowed, despite the departure of Asmir Begovic. At the moment it is Mark Travers that has  played in the Carabao cup as the Cherries current number two, but Artur Boruc will still want games and may get the FA Cup games. I don't think it is incorrect to say that any of the three keepers could make a Premier League appearance at some stage this season.

Aaron Ramsdale hasn't been marked out for any glaring mistakes that have led to goals, but Eddie will know that the Cherries are conceding two goals a game on average and he has to find ways to get that down. He may feel that the team as a whole has to defend better and a change in keeper just isn't beneficial, unless Aaron's confidence slips. I don't think the fans want to see a keeper change yet, but Aaron needs to get a clean sheet as soon as possible, because he hasn't done it yet and we know that Artur Boruc is capable of 10 clean sheets in a season. 
If Ramsdale can get that clean sheet against Everton, then I expect he will go from strength to strength. It seems hard that Travers hasn't been given more of a go following his Tottenham clean sheet, but Eddie Howe might have wanted to protect him after the five goals that went in against him at Crystal Palace in the final game last season. For now the three keepers don't have much between them in my opinion and yet all of them will want to see AFCB start to get some clean sheets as soon as possible. Everton are a team that struggle away from home, so we could just see Ramsdale get his wish and that could send his confidence soaring even higher to help AFCB start getting back up this league.

Enjoy the game today! UTCIAD!

PremierTalk - Canaries bring Premier League to life

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Bournemouth to beat Everton despite soft centre?

Mark Lawrenson doesn't often like to give AFCB a winning prediction, but I see he can't help give the Everton fans a kick in the teeth as a former Liverpool player - you have to laugh! Despite Bournemouth's soft-centre, he has gone for a Cherries 2-1 victory over the Toffees on Sunday, and while Lawro likes to hammer AFCB for their defensive frailties, he might just be right that there will be a few goals in this game. I'll take his prediction anyway, because he won't expect AFCB to win many times this season.

The Cherries have had some great battles with Everton at Dean Court.
Everton have not found it easy to play away from home and they tend to concede on the road, while Bournemouth have to look back to their 1-0 win against Tottenham last May for their last clean sheet. It's hard to see why Everton don't play as well away from home. Certainly Pickford has not looked the most accomplished keeper in the division and like Ramsdale he is prone to make the odd mistake when trying to play out for the back, so there is a good chance that one of the keepers could give away a goal in this game.

Penalties also come along fairly frequently in Bournemouth matches and at the moment Josh King has put away the only penalty that AFCB have had  against Aston Villa. Josh has not scored in open play and would probably be more than happy to get another opportunity from 12 yards.

Scoring goals is not normally a big problem for AFCB, but with five goals from their four games, they are not quite firing on all cylinders yet. So perhaps Lawro is being a bit ambitious in predicting a couple of goals for the Cherries. He may be thinking more of Everton's defence which has seen six goals conceded in the new season. Whether you think Lawro is going to be right or not, send in your score predictions for AFCB v Everton to Cherry Chimes on Twitter. We will pick a winner from the correct entries to win a Cherry Chimes T-Shirt.

Look out for my answers to Royal Blue Mersey in a preview to the AFCB v Everton match

AFCB TV preview

Friday, 13 September 2019

Everton are not so hot away from home

Everton might be favourites to beat Bournemouth but they are not going to be that confident coming to Dean Court, having only one away on the League Cup so far this season. In fact Everton have not scored in their two Premier League matches at Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
AFCB need Everton to continue their poor away form.
The Toffees' strike rate is averaging one goal a match and three of their four league goals came in their last home match against Wolves. Richarlison is their top scorer on two and new signing Iwobi from Arsenal has a goal, along with Bernard. Richarlison will try and forget about the last time he was at Dean Court and was sent off when he had been in hot form. AFCB know he has a short fuse and may well try and rattle him again.

Michael Kean has had a busy week and made a bit of a clanger against Kosovo when playing for England, so hopefully Bournemouth's attackers will press him when he is in possession. But he will be a threat at corners as we saw in mid-week. Everton's big signing over the summer was Fabien Delph who has fallen out of favour with Southgate's selection for England. Delph may be finding that games are not so easy to win being without his ex-Man City team-mates.

The player that still unlocks doors for Everton though is Gylfi Sigurdsson. He has had a quiet first few games this season, but has that quality from dead ball situations to hurt any team in the Premier League. So Everton have their star players and Bournemouth will really need to show a lot more control and organisation than they did up at Leicester City a couple of weeks ago, but home advantage could mean a lot in this game. Bournemouth really need the points if they are not to find themselves in the bottom three come next weekend!

Everton Form

AFCB Home Form


Thursday, 12 September 2019

Surman might have a part to play against Everton

While Andrew Surman is not seen as a match winner these days, he still has plenty to offer and could be part of the solution that Eddie Howe calls upon to try and get a result against Everton. This week we have seen that Lewis Cook is taking part in training and getting close to match fitness, but the bench is probably the closest he can get to playing at the weekend.
Andrew Surman still has some big games left in him and Sunday could be one of them.
That puts the focus on Philip Billing and Jefferson Lerma. Are they strong enough to stop Everton in their tracks? I think Billing is still finding his feet in this team and is a bit of a follower rather than a leader at the moment. Billing and Lerma have only won the one game at Aston Villa, and Surman played in the second 45 minutes of that game when Billing lost his control and almost got sent off.

What we know about Surman is that he has a tremendous amount of experience. He will do a job if Eddie Howe asks him to play a role that keeps AFCB ticking and hinders Everton. Bournemouth's pass completions are not particularly high (15th highest at the moment) and Surman has the ability to move the ball confidently in possession, even if it is renowned for being sideways in the main.

Bournemouth have not had a clean sheet yet and have not won at home, so they need to re-establish themselves against Everton, and get a result that would push them back into the higher placings. If that means Howe needs to look at stopping teams and being a bit more cautious now, rather than being open and too attack-minded then buckle yourself in for a tense game at the weekend. Three central midfielders, could be Howe's thinking against a team that is already three points better off than the Cherries. The friendly against QPR in mid-week would also suggest that Howe is contemplating this as he played Billing, Surman and Lewis Cook in that match.

Possible AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Rico, Stacey, Kilkenny, L Cook, Ibe, Solanke
In other news, Cherry Chimes is going to be fed on to a website called Football-addict for French readers. Check out the site to see all its Premier League news and more.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

How does Eddie solve his defensive shambles?

Looking back at the Leicester City game had quite a few of us holding our head in our hands at the shambles that continued to play out at the back. If the first goal was an amazing finish from Vardy, it was just as much a positioning tragedy for Chris Mepham and Steve Cook. The second goal saw Vardy embarrass Steve Cook again before driving the ball across the six yard box for a simple tap in and the ping-pong failure to clear by Mepham for the third goal had everyone ready to call it a day.
Simpson and AkΓ© would be my pick for AFCB's central defenders.
But Eddie Howe hasn't got that luxury. He has to find a way to make Bournemouth defend better against Everton. What hasn't helped is hearing that Chris Mepham has picked up an injury when playing for Wales. A straight replacement is Jack Simpson if Howe wants to continue his three at the back experiment, but let's face it - Bournemouth's players look ill at ease when they are not playing 4-4-1-1.

But for Howe to select Diego Rico and Jack Stacey to start is tantamount to Brexit getting through the Commons! I might be wrong and Eddie may decide to go that way, but if these players were not good enough in the opening four fixtures with two newly promoted sides, it does make me wonder how Everton's players will feel, if they see them starting - lots of hand rubbing I expect!

That makes me think that Howe has to find a way of getting three centre-back working and Jack Simpson is probably one of the best out and out defenders he has, so it perhaps makes sense to play him, at least until Lloyd Kelly and Adam Smith can play again. I am assuming Smith is not going to be ready for the Everton game, looking at the way he pulled up in the Leicester match. Meanwhile, Simon Francis doesn't seem to be anywhere near training with the squad yet. Defensive options are limited and with AkΓ© away on international duty it doesn't give him long to get a new back three working well, but he seems reluctant to drop Steve Cook, which means the only way Simpson might play is if Howe does put three centre-back on the pitch. Mepham deserves to be dropped after his performance at Leicester, whether he regains fitness in time or not for the Everton match.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Is being involved with England enough for Wilson?

Callum Wilson will be in Gareth Southgate's squad tonight but it is another matter whether he can add to his number of England starts. At the weekend he sat through the 90 minutes against Bulgaria on the bench, while Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling took the plaudits for a stunning England show of forward power, which Southgate described as World class.
Callum hopes to get off the sidelines for England.
So where does that leave Callum Wilson? He has done nothing wrong and everything right in the appearances he has played for England. He does not play for a big club and has perhaps scored as many goals as he would have liked since the start of the season, but his desire to play for his country is clearly important for him. How many opportunities he'll get is something he might not be able to control.

While Southgate could choose to rest players that have put England on the brink of qualification for the European Championships, it is hard to see Southgate taking his foot off the gas now and giving the likes of Wilson and former AFC Bournemouth defender, Tyrone Mings a start. Perhaps if England are 5-0 up by half-time against Kossovo he could give some players an outing. But Kossovo are by no means push overs and are lying second in the group on eight points, one behind England have played one more game.
As well as form, star players and the group situation being against the inclusion of Wilson, the Bournemouth forward may be thinking that he really needs to get some minutes, because of the form of others like James Maddison, Jadon Sancho, Callum-Hudson Odoi and Tammy Abraham, who are all ready to stake places as attacking players. Of course, Wilson would like to thought of Southgate's first substitute if he can't start, but even that is by no means a certainty with such a crop of young talent coming through. Callum may just have to start banging in a lot more goals for Bournemouth before he pushes himself up the rankings in Gareth Southgate's mind.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Fraser is going nowhere at this rate

The form of Ryan Fraser was always going to come under maximum scrutiny after this summer and his links with Arsenal. On the performances the winger has had in the first four league matches, his place in the team could well come under threat, if one or two players can get back to full fitness soon.
Fraser is struggling for form.
Ryan has been a great servant for AFCB. His wish not to sign a new contract and to play out his story with the media over the summer with the possibility of a big move has perhaps back fired on the Wee-man. He had an exceptional season in 2018-19 and perhaps he felt that by progressing each season, it would not be hard to turn on the style in this new season, if he remained at AFCB. But players do get affected by paper talk and now he has to get back to the bread and butter of his game to try and give himself a chance of having a move.

In hindsight, he may find he is better to sign a new contract with AFCB come next January when speculation starts to mount again about his future. On his current form you can't see any of the top six clubs looking twice at him, even if he were to be available on a free transfer. It may be that Fraser feels he just needs a change of scenery and a different voice to take his game on further, which he could well benefit from. But at the moment he is still at AFCB and he hasn't sparkled in the four Premier League games he has had.

To be fair there are several players who we can say have not performed. But Ryan is a 100 per cent trier and he will be most distraught that he hasn't played particularly well this season. All these unsettling things will be making to hard for the team as a whole to do well, so we may well see that Arnaut Danjuma is one player that Eddie Howe is most keen to see back on the pitch, as Howe can surely see that Wee-man is still not quite on his game yet.