Thursday, 9 July 2020

Have Bournemouth got any hope against Spurs?

The game against Spurs could well seal Bournemouth's fate. It won't be mathematically impossible to claw out of trouble if Bournemouth lose the game, but we will just be waiting for the 'fat lady to sing' as they say. But could a shock be on the cards?
Bournemouth try again tonight o get a home win at Dean Court
Tottenham's form has been sporadic. They did the job against West Ham, even if they didn't look fully in charge, and they were well beaten by a Sheffield United side who themselves were searching for form. Even the win against Everton was only a 1-0 victory. The swagger of Spurs seems to be a long time in returning, but they will believe that with Son and Kane back on the pitch they can rip Bournemouth apart.

Bournemouth need to frustrated and do all they can to repel and annoy Spurs. If Spurs can't get an early breakthrough, Bournemouth will grow in confidence. But let's face it, Bournemouth haven't been good at doing that. The players will know that another defeat now though pretty much puts them out of contention being four points from safety.

They have to just concentrate on the game they have. Bournemouth need to try and win it and move on to the next one looking to win that. If they think too hard about what the table is at the moment, they will be beaten before they even go onto the field. We could of course find that now they know they are in a terrible position they unlock the shackles and play without fear. We can only hope they play like they can and give the fans something to smile about after some wretched performances since the restart.


Cherry Chimes answers questions from Leicester Til I Die ahead of AFCB v Leicester City.

Possible AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Francis, A Smith, L Cook, Gosling,  H Wilson,
Danjuma, Solanke, Surridge.
Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Howe still has hope

AFCB Home Form

Tottenham Away Form


Eddie Howe still has hope

The pre-match interview of Eddie Howe for the Spurs match was a difficult watch. I felt for him as he is clearly dumfounded why he hasn't managed to turn things round already and yet he still believes he can save the club from relegation. The bit that got me was his love of the club and the fact that he always believes he has more to give. But his belief just hasn't transmitted to the players well enough yet.
Eddie still believes, but do the players?
If we had 11 Eddie Howe's on the pitch, AFCB wouldn't just be in the Premier League they'd be storming it. He has an unbelievable drive and his single football desire is for the Cherries to reach an elevated level in the football world. Time and opportunities are running out, but Eddie still thinks a single win could change the Cherries' season.


If Watford and Aston Villa don't pick up points this week, following West Ham's defeat to Burnley, and Bournemouth beat Tottenham, the odds would still be against Eddie Howe keeping the Cherries up. Yet, Eddie won't throw in the towel, and he finds it hard to get the words out that the players haven't been able to score when going behind in games. 

The first goal in the match against Tottenham will be vital again for confidence and yet Bournemouth also have to find a way of defending better than they did against Man United if they do get the lead. It is difficult to find positives and Eddie is hanging on the fact that the team did score two goals in their last game. Eddie knows he can only try and win the games to come, and won't waste time or energy thinking about anything else. It is hard to be that focussed. Eddie is special if he can do that.

Being in the Premier League means everything for Eddie and doing it with AFC Bournemouth clearly means more to him than anything. Now he is facing not being there next season and even this season he will remember games in this league. It shouldn't be a sad season, it is about taking on the best. Eddie expects the season to be reignited, but we have been waiting for it since the restart, and it is hard to see what has changed for AFC Bournemouth to get them over the line in games.

If the Cherries did beat Tottenham though, fans would begin to wonder if the impossible is possible. Good luck AFCB and Eddie. We want you to win, even if are faith has been shaken. UTCIAD!

Cherry Chimes answers questions from Leicester Til I Die ahead of AFCB v Leicester City.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - AFCB give a performance but still need a result

AFCBTV match preview

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

AFCB give a performance but still need a result

Bournemouth have probably got the the level of performance now that they needed to find when they began the restart. They have been sleepwalking towards relegation and it may well be too late now to wake from their sleep. The annoying feeling is that it has been a missed opportunity to try and stay in the division. After the home win over Brighton, the crowd really felt that the club was together and going to give the last few games a real go,. But we have seen a flat AFC Bournemouth since the restart and it is likely to cost them their Premier League status.
It's time for a clear out.
The defeat to Manchester United could have been a very different result if the penalty had not given Man United a way into the game and even at 3-2 Bournemouth could have drawn level at 3-3. The belief was not really there from this team though, and it was not a big surprise to see Man Utd claw their way back and start to extend their lead.

Bournemouth are a team that have gone on a win less run for nine games in the league which is relegation form by anyone's book. Four clean sheets all season are simply not enough, and while we have now seen a performance, it is wins that we needed. For a while the other teams around Bournemouth have given them a chance by not picking up points, but now Bournemouth look consolidated in 19th place.


Picking the club up is going to be a big project before next season. The board needs to get the players out quickly that they are going to sell, and to bring in some good young layers that are ambitious. Bournemouth need players that have the same hinger and desire as we saw back in 2014-15 and it may take a while to find that calibre of player. My worry is that many of those players were not actually bought by Eddie Howe, but in the Paul Groves era. So, Howe still has to show that he can buy better than he has in recent seasons.


Better defending still needed for the Cherries

Junior Stanislas admitted that the team as a whole needed to defend better in his post-match interview after the Man Utd game. He did well at sowing up most of the left side, although Rico still found himself tested occasionally. It was the right side that was real problem area for Bournemouth against Man United, and I do think switching Adam Smith back to right back has not really worked.
Adam Smith has been run ragged.
Adam Smith was unlucky with his handball I suppose, but you have to be careful in the penalty box, and he did rush in. On the plus side he did make the cross that led to Bournemouth's goal in the opening few minutes of the game. But you have to look at Adam Smith again for the first goal that Greenwood scored and the goal just on half-time, when he didn't get anywhere near Martial when he cracked in his goal. Adam Smith certainly had a torrid game, but he didn't get a lot of help.

Bournemouth don't seem able to react in a game when they are being overrun on one side. They need to sense danger better and look to make themselves harder to beat, as Stanislas says. The work rate was better against Man United, but not enough of the players wanted to do the dirty work of tracking back and helping the defence. It was all a bit hopeful that someone would win the ball so they could go straight on the attack.

The problem this season is that Bournemouth haven't got the balance right. They have left themselves too open and haven't forced enough shots when they do go forward. They don't look capable of a clean sheet, and if you haven't got that in your locker than the team is always going to be on the back foot. 


Howe can change the players and try different formations, but ultimately it is down to the players to work hard for each other and to be more determined not to get beat. Bournemouth have had a soft under belly this season and even West Ham and Watford are showing that when it comes to the death, their players are going to fight tooth and nail even for a point. I just don't see that in AFCB's players, but I hope I am wrong and that they can up their game against the best sides in the last five games.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Does Brooks need a rest?

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Does Brooks need a rest?

Against Manchester United, Bournemouth didn't have the same threat that they have been carrying on the right side as they have in previous games since the restart. David Brooks was forced to defend and he hardly had any influence on the game which is unusual for him.
David Brooks has played in all the matches since the restart. Can he keep going?
It did make me think is Brooks shattered after his previous good performances, when the team was not playing well. He put everything into those games and was the best player on occasion. He was subbed early in the second half against Manchester United and I had no doubt that it was the right call, because he couldn't make an impact.

It will be interesting to see what Howe does in the next match against Tottenham on the right side. Harry Wilson hasn't exactly been pulling up trees either and yet if Brooks is feeling it a bit after his run of starts then Howe may be forced to change things. That would be a shame as Brooks is one of the most exciting players Bournemouth have, but we also can't afford him to breakdown.


Son Heung-Min could well be the player that Bournemouth have to look out for on Tottenham's left side in the next game, and he is one of the best talents in the Premier League. While It is possible that Stanislas could be switched to add more defensive might on the right, he had such a strong game against Manchester United on the left that it would be hard to move him. But I also felt Danjuma did well when he came on so Danjuma could be worth a start on the left and Harry Wilson and David Brooks could be held back as subs. It would be unusual for Eddie to hold Brooks back, but he might just be compelled to do so if Brooks is not quite 100 per cent at the moment.


Is Kelly more suited as a centre-half?

Watching Lloyd Kelly play his second starting game for Bournemouth was not so much a surprise, but nobody expected him to play at centre-half. While the left back position is what he is recognised for, he showed that he is more than capable of becoming a permanent centre-half, and it may well be his best position on the long term.
Official AFC photo.

Eddie Howe tends to look at defenders who initially play as wing backs, and sees if the are more suited to becoming centre-halves. He did it with Tyrone Mings and then Nathan AkΓ© and even though we have only seen Kelly for a few games, I already believe he could become the best centre-half for Bournemouth.


It is vital that the club holds on to players like Kelly if they do get relegated. He has the stature of a player that finds the Premier League very much to his suiting, but in the Championship he would probably be well above the standard of many others. I became a bit nervous when I an Wright was saying what a god prospect he was on Match of the Day. Anymore strong performances like he had against Man United and the scouts will come circling for him.

Bournemouth have had a lot of problems at left-back and Rico found Greenwood a little too hot to handle at times. But Kelly got right in the groove at centre-half and read many of the through balls to Anthony Martial very well. He got blocks in and wasn't afraid to make strong challenges. One of those did lead to the free kick from which Fernandes scored, but on the whole it was an impressive performance and leaves Howe with a decision to make when Steve Cook is available again.

Kelly was probably asked to fill in next to AkΓ© as a favour rather than what Howe would have done if Cook had been available. He'll probably be shifted to left-back next match, but it might well not be his best position. He has the height and intelligence to play at centre-back, and if there is a fire sale before next season gets underway, it could be a massive bonus to have Kelly playing at centre-half next season.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Strong start to second half proves AFCB's fight is back

Monday, 6 July 2020

Strong start to second half proves AFCB's fight is back

The way Bournemouth came out for the second half against Man United was the best start to a second half for the Cherries in a long time. It was a shame that Solanke didn't score when he tried to capitalise on a mistake by Harry MacGuire, but he at least caused havoc in the United defence and Lewis Cook hit his drive extremely hard, which De Gea did extremely well to keep out. Danjuma will also count himself unlucky to have hit the post.
Bournemouth are at least getting fired up for games, but they are running out fast.
At the time, Bournemouth were 3-1 down and the game was looking over for them. Still they came out and fought hard to get back in the match, and it is something we haven't seen hardly at all this calendar year. For once their was a bit of gritted teeth and energy to the side. Had Danjuma made it 3-3 when the Cherries had got some momentum going, it could have been a nervy last 30 minutes for Man United.

As it was Man United were able to extend their lead to 4-2 which released the pressure Bournemouth had created from their strong start to the second half. That was the absolute killer goal, and by adding another goal United were may be a little flattered with the scoreline. Most of their goals were from strong shots from over 18 yards out and Ramsdale may be annoyed he didn't keep some of them out, even if Kris Temple thinks Ramsdale had no chance with any of them.
Bournemouth still carry their defensive woes, but they ate least had something at the other end to trouble a team. That was the main positive to take from the Man United result. United had had two clean sheets in their previous two Premier League games, so Bournemouth at least showed they had teeth in attack and that was without Callum Wilson, who will surely be back for the next match.


Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Bournemouth have started to create chances again