Tuesday, 21 August 2018

A totally different feeling for AFCB

Steve Cook put his thoughts onto video after the West Ham match and managed to capture the excitement and pleasure in Bournemouth's performance. He has been with the team for many years now and as he says 'the atmosphere in the group is very different from last year'.
Steve Cook scores to put AFCB in new territory - two wins in two games.

I was very intrigued to hear him say that. The players at Bournemouth have come together much more over the summer it appears and have really embraced the Premier League this time as if they have unfinished work after last season. The fresh face of David Brooks and the determination of some players to keep their place in the starting 11 has had a very positive impact on how the team has been playing. The signing of Brooks already looks like it is a master signing, and with a new player doing well it has lifted the games of others.

For once we are not talking about sloppy defensive mistakes abut are looking positively at how many AFCB can score and whether they could have slotted away more goals as they have been creating the chances. That was particularly abundant at West Ham in an away game which makes me wonder what can Bournemouth do in a home game if they hit the game with as much positivity as we saw against Olympic Marseilles a month ago?
The club has not seen such a good start for a few seasons now and yet Eddie Howe seems to know that when his team get on a roll they can be unplayable. The balance of the team might just be getting to the point where we are seeing a side that can fight back from adversity and also win games from being on the front foot from the off. If Bournemouth are always in games then we can expect the points to accumulate quite fast.

It is surprising how things can snowball when they are going well and in previous seasons AFCB have always had spells when they have shown they can live with the best teams in the division. Yet, self doubt has always led to dips in form against teams when the players have not really shown up.

This season has started well and the buzz going around AFCB may help the players keep the wins coming and, if that happens, it will be great to see all the players just enjoying playing for AFCB without worrying about how other teams are doing or how close to the bottom three the team is. This is starting to shape up like it could be a very different kind of season for AFCB and that excites me.

Bournemouth's penalty dramas

I expect fans of every team believe they get a raw deal when it comes to penalties for their team. Bournemouth certainly could have done with a bit more luck against West Ham, not for the penalty they conceded, but for Ryan Fraser's run that was checked by Noble just after half time in the box.
Ryan Fraser was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty against West Ham.
Some will also point to the first half when Bournemouth got behind West Ham's defence and a cross from the right from David Brooks hit the arm of Balbuena. I felt that Balbuena's arm was down by his side and it would have been very hard for a penalty to be given, but Eddie Howe felt that he moved his arm towards the ball, if we are to go by the pictures and commentary on Match of the Day.

The incident in the second half with Ryan Fraser looked much more a penalty call for me. Noble just didn't get the right side of Fraser and the Scot went face down into the ground. My only defence for Stuart Attwell is that he had already given a penalty for West Ham and was guessing that Bournemouth were just trying to hope they got one themselves by going down easy. But this was a foul and West Ham got away with it.

The same might be true of Wilson's run in the last few minutes that saw Ogbonna come charging across and send the Bournemouth forward tumbling on the edge of the penalty box. Ogbinna made no attempt to play the ball just the man and it was surprising that Stuart Attwell didn't award a free kick let alone a penalty.

The penalty that West Ham were given I have no problems with. Aké was a bit over anxious to get to Chicarito and by going to ground he had already left himself in a vulnerable position. The foot certainly made contact with Chicerito and his balance was affected. I was less impressed wit Begovic touching the bar before the penalty kick several time which left him a bit slow to get down when the spot kick was taken by Arnautovic. Arnautovic hit the ball really well, but Begovic was never getting down quick enough to make a save.

Well, two games and two penalties in those Bournemouth games. One for and one against. On balance it has not been a bad thing to have had penalties so early in the season as Bournemouth have won both games, but with these situations happening frequently, I hope the Cherries are practising penalties a lot.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Wilson scores an unbelievable goal against the Hammers

Those who travelled to the London stadium might have hoped for another strong performance by the Cherries and to see another win was so exciting. But the Cherries had played for 45 minutes without scoring and Fabianski was playing well in goal having already made an excellent save from Callum Wilson's run that looked destined to find the net when David Brooks had found him centrally closing in on goal.
Power, pace, touch - Callum's Wilson's goal had everything.
This season we have seen Wilson have plenty of attempts at goal and while he has been unlucky not to score a few more goals, he has made it two goals in two games and both from open play. The goal he got against West Ham in the second half though was something special. It reminded me of the Brett Pitman goal against Fulham when, as Bournemouth fans, we just didn't know a striker had that in his game.

Wilson just kept his head when he was surrounded with West Ham defenders. He surged and concentrated so well at keeping the ball close to him, while West Ham defenders dived in one after another. Noble had for once run out of steam tracking Wilson's run. Wilson was not direct in his running, but kept Balbuena and then Zabeletta guessing before he touched the ball away from them and found himself drifting to the left and shot just in time to prevent the despairing Ogbonna from getting a block in. Fabianski had narrowed goal, but Wilson's accurate shot nutmegged the keeper and handstand Fabianski ended up doing made him look like he had been tied up in knots.

I doubt Wilson will score a better goal this season or perhaps a more important goal. It not only brightened up the day but it got Bournemouth's players believing that they could win the game having seen very little before go for them. The moment of brilliance was inspiring. Wilson only scores tap ins I thought to myself, but now this was something very different from him. The control and balance he showed were that of a top-draw striker and Howe will want to see more powerful running from his number 13 like that now. It was the kind of goal I would have put Josh King down for if anyone in the AFCB team, but to see Wilson do it was a big surprise.

All I can say is he really enjoyed the moment as much as the fans and he'll be thinking he can score against anyone after this latest goal, which put a broad smile on his face. Callum will enjoy training this next week.

Howe sitting pretty near the top of the table

Two games gone and two wins for the Cherries. Be honest how many of you dared to think that might happen? Last season I thought the team did have a great chance of doing that against WBA and Watford, but I've learnt my lesson and didn't want to be overly confident when the Cherries had Cardiff and West Ham in their first two games this season.
Eddie Howe has reason to smile.
While the goal difference will shoot Bournemouth down a few places, they have as many points as any team after two matches and I didn't expect to be saying that. I have found the approach to the season very refreshing and I've been trying to figure out why Bournemouth have made such a good start.

Eddie Howe points to the training and the strong pre-season. I believe the way the team started last season had a lasting effect on the team and players were determined to start better this campaign. But still, it is one thing wanting to do well and another to put it into action. What I have seen is a high level of play from the 11 players on the pitch and concentration for the full 90 minutes, which has not always been the case with the Cherries in the past.
The pleasing thing, which is strange, is that I don't even think some of the players have been at their very best yet. We have seen excellent performances from Brooks, Fraser and Wilson and yet from an attacking perspective we may yet see more from King. The running power of Gosling has been noticeable in midfield and the defence has been playing a high line that has only been beaten once, with Aké just getting caught out for the first time against West Ham.

Other than that, Bournemouth you'd have to say are in a very strong position with the likes of Jefferson Lerma and Diego Rico likely to have their work cut out to feature in the team. We'd also usually have seen Howe turn to his other strikers like Mousset and Defoe for more game time, but there has been no need to so far. With back-to-back wins the season takes on a new look about it, and without getting carried away, Bournemouth have raised their game so far when they have met a test.

The confidence will be flowing high and for the next home game it is going to be a pleasure to be able to be in an atmosphere that is full of positivity and noise for the visit of Everton, who AFCB will also now look to upset to keep their unbeaten record.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Flying Cherries beat West Ham 1-2 to make it two wins from two!

Match Description
West Ham Utd 1 v 2 AFCB
17 August 2018
Attendance: 56,888
Bournemouth come from behind for another win.
Bournemouth made it two wins from two and kept themselves near the top of the table after this comeback win at the London stadium. The game was full of free kicks and niggly challenges, but the foul that hurt Bournemouth in the first half was Aké's challenge on Chicarito in the box, just after the half hour. Arnautovic put the penalty to Begovic's right after the assistant referee had awarded the spot kick. A revitalised Bournemouth came out firing in the second half with Brooks close to getting them back on terms before a marvellous solo goal from Callum Wilson rocked the Hammers. Within six minutes a free kick from Fraser was headed in by Steve Cook to complete the comeback win for Eddie Howe's men who could now celebrate their first away win of the season.

Bournemouth named an unchanged team with Andrew Surman captain for the match which meant no Jefferson Lerma in the squad and Simon Francis still on the bench. AFCB  arrived at the London Stadium resplendent  their white shirts and blue shorts.

West Ham dropped Fredericks, Rice and Antonio from their starting line up last week. Snodgrass came in along with Chicharito and Zabaletta.

Match Description West Ham had the kick off with Chicarito saying a prayer n the centre circle. He made need a bit of Devine help if West Ham defend like they did last week. Bournemouth win an early throw in the West Ham end.

Wilson goes down in the box but nothing is given. Bournemouth then get the first corner. Fabianski kicks the ball straight out from his goal kick. King on the break has a shot blocked. Bournemouth are passing the ball well. West Ham are slow in their pressing.

Adam Smith is straight in on Anderson and wins a free kick. Brooks now wins a free kick. A poor pass from Steve Cook drifts out of play, eight minutes gone.

Snodgrass now has a free kick. Not much flow to the game yet. And Brooks has a free kick - Masuaka the culprit. Gosling has taken Snodgrass down. Anderson takes on Steve Cook but Adam Smith puts the ball out. Gosling has caught Noble and he's lucky not to get booked for that one, very late.

Aké makes a strong headed clearance. Fraser wastes the ball though. Gosling has taken Wilshere down and gets the yellow card this time on 16 minutes. West Ham are looking more settled in possession now.

Chicarito has a deflected shot that goes out for a corner. Taken short, Bournemouth clear with Surman. Another corner for the Hammers now. Pressure building up here.

Aké puts a flying header in to clear. Surman has lost the ball and Anderson runs into Adam Smith and asks about a penalty - nothing given. Wilson should put Fraser through, but puts the ball behind the winger.  Arnautovic flicks it wide to Chicarito and Begovic makes a save low to his right. Corner.

Brooks plays through Wilson in the middle and Fabianski makes a great save with his right hand at full stretch, 27 minutes gone. Bournemouth won't find many better chances than that!

Anderson and Wilshere, Chicarito turns and goes down in the box and it's a penalty. Aké made the challenge. The assistant referee has given it. A good turn by Chicarito and Aké just caught him with his following foot. Arnautovic to take bottom left corner, 1-0 to West Ham on 33 minutes. Begovic went the right way but didn't get down quickly enough.

West Ham are on the ball. Brooks then has a shot from distance which is high. King goes forward. Steve Cook is going to take a long throw. It doesn't break for the Cherries.

Noble has been booked for a foul on Fraser on 38 minutes. Brooks has a deflected shot and it's a corner. Fabianski punches. Cook with another long throw. Brooks misses a header! Great ball in by Surman I think, but Brooks fails to connect when he was clean through. Arnautovic has a shot that is held by Begovic.

Daniels and Wilson King on the turn it's blocked. Brooks crosses possible hand ball, Wilson goes down, but not given. It's 1-0 at half time.

Second half
King and Brooks is tackled. Brooks again from Surman's pass. He turns but doesn't hit the shot hard enough, Fabianski saves to his right. Bournemouth unlucky not to be all square here. Daniels is fouled. Free kick to the Cherries.

The keeper wins a free kick. West Ham get another free kick. Steve Cook is down with Arnautovic landing a boot on him. 

West Ham have the ball. Zabeletta, off Fraser for a corner. A scramble with Aké heading back at goal and Fraser clears with an offside flag going up. 

Brooks and Fraser shoots but it's deflected and the keeper saves. King now and Fraser is chopped by Noble and no penalty given! 55 minutes gone. Wilshere fouls Surman and Bournemouth do of course get a free kick outside the box. Why no yellow card?

Brooks has it but he is tackled by Arnautovic. King fouls Balbuena and has a yellow card, 58 minutes gone. Brooks and King, he's lost the ball. Wilson on his own he's past two and finished nutmeg! 1-1 on 60 minutes. Wilson stepped inside Balbuena and then beat Zabeletta who slid in, before slotting through the legs of Fabianski. A fabulous individual goal by Wilson.

Gosling and Brooks, Bournemouth are pushing forward. Chicarito fires a shot from 30 yards out which Begovic holds well.

Aké and Fraser. Fraser puts Brooks on the wing and he is tripped by Ogbonna who is booked. Free kick on the byline and the edge of the box. Steve Cook throws himself at the ball and heads down and into the goal 1-2 to Bournemouth on 66 minutes. Fraser took the free kick and header from Steve Cook was a brave one.

West Ham have subbed Chicarito and Yarmolenko comes on. Gosling makes a good clearance to stop Arnautovsc. West Ham have a corner off Daniels.

Gosling and Brooks wide to King on the right. Adam Smith hits a high shot wide, shame he did not see Wilson to his left. Snodgrass gets a corner off Daniels. Aké heads away.

Arnautovic on the left and Anderson who has lost it. Adam Smith starts another attack. Gosling to King and across to Wilson who is blocked. Brooks crosses and Bournemouth have a corner.

West Ham clear. Bournemouth hurry back and Daniels makes a high scissor kick clearance. Fraser on half way. Bournemouth are retaining possession really well. Daniels and Wilson no corner given. Fraser now and he is clipped by Wilshere who is booked on 76 minutes.

Subs for West ham Snodgrass and Noble are off and C Sanchez and Perez come on for the Hammers.

Brooks is subbed for Francis to come on who takes the captain's armband on 78 minutes.

Francis and Adam Smith runs out of room and is holding his right thigh. 12 minutes to go. Francis comes forward. Wilson is beaten by Ogbonaa on the edge of the box and goes over.  West Ham come forward and the ball flashes right across Bournemouth's six yard box from Perez.

Anderson hits a poor pass right through to Begovic.  West Ham have the ball with AFCB bringing everyone back behind the ball. 

Steve Cook heads away. Arnautovic stretches for a shot but it's well over the goal.  West Ham are looking for an opening. Wilshere has a shot from 20 yards but Begovic gets down to save to his right.

Anderson kicks King and it's a free kick to the Cherries. Josh King is subbed and Lewis Cook comes on after 89 minutes.

Four minutes of added time. Zabeletta's cross is too strong and it's a yellow card for Zabeletta for fouling Fraser - head clash. Surman does some cool defending in the box. Yarmolenko is booked.

Bournemouth are defending deep. Gosling and Fraser, Wilson does not quite get to it.  Anderson on the left and it's out for a goal kick. Adam Smith is clipped and Tyrone Mings is getting ready to replace him. Full time.

League table immediately after the match.
Bournemouth had a big circle cuddle at the end of this match. It was Eddie Howe's 150th win as a league manager. It was a game that was full of fouls and I think that is what West Ham tried to make the game into, but the penalty on Chicarito was fair enough. Aké clipped him even if it was very slight. Bournemouth didn't sit back and it was Wilson's individual brilliance that gave them the confidence to believe they could win the game. That takes nothing away from Brooks who will surely be a goalscorer in future games. Steve Cook does what he often does in putting his head in where he might get kicked. At set-pieces Bournemouth are keeping their strong record from last season going. A memorable win and it gives real hope for the coming season.

Cherry Chimes MOM Callum Wilson for his individual goal taking on and beating five West Ham players and the keeper.

Ref Watch: 4/10 Stuart Attwell - not sure about the penalty Bournemouth could have had for Fraser being taken out. Atkinson didn't seem to want to give the Cherries decisions in the box. He could have booked more players as well, it was that kind of game.

Begovic, A Smith, S Cook, Aké, Daniels, Brooks (Francis 78), Gosling, Surman, Fraser, King
(L Cook 90), Wilson 

Boruc, Mings, Francis, Ibe, L Cook, Mousset, Defoe

AFCB Ratings
Begovic 7, A Smith 6, S Cook 8, Aké 7, Daniels 7, Brooks 8, Gosling 7, Surman 6, Fraser 7, King 7, Wilson 8

West Ham Utd
Fabianski, Zabaletta, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Masuaku, Noble (Perez 77), Wilshere, Snodgrass (C Sanchez 77), Anderson, Arnautovic, Chicarito/Hernandes (Yarmolenk 67)

West Ham Subs
Adrian, Diop, Creswell, Obiang, Sanchez, Yarmolenko, Perez

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Does Howe need to make changes for West Ham game?

There were a couple of surprising omissions from the starting line up against Cardiff and I am sure many fans will hope that Lewis Cook makes an impact on the pitch sooner rather than later. Simon Francis will also want to be the captain flicking the coin at the start of the game. But Howe knows that the balance of a winning team can soon be disrupted if he makes changes for the sake of change.
Today we might get an indication of whether AFCB will have
another season of fighting off relegation or a season
when they might be able to stay up with the front runners.
The partnerships all over the pitch worked well enough for the manager last Saturday. He will be eager though to get Jefferson Lerma integrated into the squad, and while Jefferson says he will be ready to play, Jefferson will have done well if he can manage to persuade Howe to get him on to the sub's bench this quickly. Maybe, just maybe Tyrone Mings could make way to enable Jefferson on to the bench.

The formation was a steady 4-4-1-1 against Cardiff and it is likely to remain the same. West Ham had problems in keeping Liverpool's midfielders getting in between their own midfield and defenders last week and Bournemouth will surely look to exploit similar opportunities on a wide pitch. That makes Ryan Fraser and David Brooks critical players for this game if, as expected, they start. Josh King may also hang back a bit off of Callum Wilson to make sure he finds the gaps in front of the Hammer's defence.

When your team keeps a clean sheet, there is no reason to tinker with it unless a player on the opposition side needs special attention and Steve Cook and Nathan Aké will be familiar with the darting runs of Arnautovic and Hernandes. Bournemouth don't need to change anything but Pellegrini might. Bournemouth can't be too reactive to what West Ham might do though and should try and cause the home side difficulties. Simon Francis made a great assist against Cardiff which may make Howe think about bringing his captain in, but I don't expect Howe to change the back four.

The only chance I feel for those who were kept out of the side last week to step in is if there have been any injuries in training. But if things are going wrong by half-time, Howe will change things and in which case I'll be watching closely to see who he thinks can make the biggest impact as a sub whether it be Ibe, Defoe, Lewis Cook, Mousset or even Lerma, if he is in the squad. Leaving Lerma out though for another week or two would probably increase the player'd desire to have a storming game when he gets his opportunity, so I have no problem with Eddie Howe keeping Lerma up his sleeve for another day. The same goes for Diego Rico after he serves his suspension - he shouldn't just walk into the team if Daniels is playing well. UTCIAD! Enjoy today's game!

Possible AFCB starting line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Francis, Lerma, Ibe, L Cook. Defoe, Mousset
Cherry Chimes replies to West Ham Til I Die. with a question and answer session.  

Friday, 17 August 2018

Will big spending Hammers be easy to take down?

Liverpool might not have done AFCB the best of favours having beaten the Hammers 4-0 on the opening day of West Ham's season. Still, the Cherries have to try and quell the extra adrenaline that the West Ham players will have playing in front of their own crowd and try and to profit from any extra frustration the Irons may start to have if they can't build any significant chances against AFCB.
Bournemouth will look to add three more points to
their total at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Lucas Perez, 29, was a deadline day signing from Arsenal for a price of £4m - not a bad price to pay for an experienced Premier League striker. He never did much at Arsenal, but he has another opportunity to prove himself in the capital. He didn't play in the opening match against Liverpool but could well play against AFCB. The biggest fee was paid for Felipe Anderson for £35m from Lazio. The Brazilian adds real quality to the Irons' midfield but it may take him a little while to get to the pace of the Premier League and he was subbed in the match against Liverpool.

Another eye-catching price was the £21.9m paid for Toulose defender Issa Diop, 20. He was an unused sub last game and may be given a go at a home match. Andriy Yarmolenko, 28, was signed from Borussia Dortmund for 17.5m - a left footed striker who had 23 minute against Liverpool as a sub. Jack Wilshere we know all about and he fits immediately into the Hammer's starting 11 so it should be good for Bournemouth's players to meet up with him again. Then there is keeper Lukasz Fabianski who has signed from Swansea City for £7m.
Other signings include Ryan Fredericks from Fulham, Carlos Sanchez from Florentina, Fabian Balbuena from Corinthians and Xande Silva from Vitoria de Guimaraes.

So, it is a very strong squad. Bournemouth will also have a tactical battle with Pellegrini in West Ham's hot seat this season. West Ham will see AFCB as a great chance to get their season up and running and while Bournemouth have to be wary of the oppositions strengths I'm interested to see if Bournemouth can impose their game on the home team and really establish their position in the top six of the Premier League with a second win.