Monday, 18 November 2019

Ramsdale keeps his sensational form going

While most of Bournemouth's players are finding consistency very difficult to get from their performances, Aaron Ramsdale just keeps getting better. He had a great game against Newcastle United and followed it up with a clean sheet against Albania for England's U21s.
Aaron Ramsdale is getting a reputation at a top stopper.
The form of Aaron has just been off the scale since he took the number one jersey at AFCB. While Gareth Southgate has given Nick Pope a trial in the full England team, he might be well advised to take more of an interest in Aron Ramsdale for next summer if he feels Jordan Pickford is a potential weak link in his side.



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There is not much more Aaron can do than keep playing at his next level. Some of the saves against Newcastle United were just exceptional, like taking the ball off Allan Saint-Maximan's toes when he was clean through on goal. Ramsdale just becomes a wall when he is second favourite to come out on top and his positioning in goal is what makes him such a hard keeper to beat I feel.

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Whether other clubs will start looking at Ramsdale is something I am beginning to wonder about. While Manchester United are strengthening their team by looking for a centre-forward, they may also be on the look out for a younger understudy to David de Gea, while Spurs have lost Hugo Lloris this season at Spurs so there are potential vacancies starting to appear in the goal keeper sector for top clubs, which has been quite rare in recent times. At least AFCB have good back up options in Boruc and Mark Travers at the moment, but so far this season it is hard to look beyond Aaron Ramsdale as Bournemouth's most influential player for the first few months of the season. Keep it up Aaron!

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Is Harry Wilson making the grade yet?

Harry Wilson was again on the international stage playing for Wales this weekend against Azerbaijan and was instrumental in helping Wales get their group E win. Harry took the corner for the 10th minute goal headed in by Keiffer Moore. Then he was the quickest to react to Dan James' spectacular shot off the left wing that bounced out from the frame of the goal and Wilson headed Wales into a 0-2 away lead. As an international game, it couldn't have gone much better for Harry Wilson and team-mate Chris Mepham.
Harry Wilson warms up before taking on Man Utd this season.
What Liverpool see as Harry Wilson's ling term future has not been made obvious yet. Having allowed him to step up from Derby County in the Championship to Bournemouth in the Premier League is a solid career progression. But what happens when Harry's time is up at Bournemouth? Can Liverpool offer him a starting place and will Harry be satisfied to perhaps be a sub at Anfield rather than a starter?

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I ams sure Harry will want to play and he may have to decide himself if he is going to get the break he needs at Liverpool. In a recent interview he said Jurgen Klopp does look at his games and remarks on them as he did when Harry scored that great free kick against Man City. The free kick striking that Harry has shown has been fantastic and he seems confident of making keeper's work.
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Harry was unlucky not to get on the score sheet again in the Azerbaijan match in the second half after some 56 minutes when he cut on from the left and then stepped back on to his left foot to his a sharp low shot across goal that Balayev in the Azerbaijan goal only just kept out with a super one handed save to his left. Scoring regularly is starting to come to Harry's game though and Bournemouth are in a great position to benefit from that this season. Whether AFCB would like to hold on to him though is not clear. I think he is a great talent and yet he has more to do to win some fans over both at Liverpool and AFCB. The Welsh fans may already feel that he is a great addition to their squad for many years to come.

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Eddie Had a Dream eBook version -available now!
If you have a spare hour or two today, come along to Ashley Heath Car Boot sale today on Homeland Farm, where I'll have lots of copies of Eddie Had A Dream on sale for just £10!


Saturday, 16 November 2019

A missed opportunity at Newcastle to push on

Bournemouth's defence couldn't hold out against Newcastle United, and both goals will be frowned upon by Eddie Howe as AFCB did not  exactly show text book defending. The first goal was particularly frustrating, as it looked to the fans that it might be offside. But the run was well-timed and the defence was non-existent in the end, while the second goal from the corner saw Bournemouth switch off, for an instant, which is never a luxury you can take.
Bournemouth have to try and push on in the crunch games.
For Howe it was the failure to push on after the win against Manchester United that was the frustrating thing. Back-to-back wins have been in short supply, and a win at Newcastle would have pushed Bournemouth well into the higher reaches of the top 10. Now they see other teams lining up just behind them as the points close up again.

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Newcastle United were not miles better than Bournemouth, but they kept focused and didn't lose sight of what they needed to do. Bournemouth seemed to lack a game plan that could find weak points in Newcastle's set-up. As soon as Steve Bruce had the lead, he closed the door and looked to hold out, by getting everyone behind the ball. The forwards are still not that confident in front of goal, and testing the keeper is something that Eddie Howe needs to find a solution to. But when King, Wilson and Solanke are not firing, who do you turn to?
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It was a narrow win against Manchester United and a narrow defeat against Newcastle United. The table shows it is a tight league and very little defines the teams after 12 games. Bournemouth know that games like the Newcastle one will be important, as they are games that could have gone either way, and they need to start creating more chances against teams that are still looking over their shoulder. 


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In other news, Aaron Ramsdale played in England U21s 0-3 win over Ablania last night.

I will be at the Ashley Heath Car Boot sale tomorrow with copies of Eddie Had A Dream. There will be a special price drop tomorrow for the book if you come along as it will be on sale for £10 if you come along. I look forward to seeing some of you. UTCIAD!

Friday, 15 November 2019

No clean sheet record for the Cherries

Four games with no goals against was beyond AFCB in the end. The run came to a shuddering halt at Newcastle United and every time Bournemouth look like they could really make an impression on the top places in the league, they come a cropper.
Aaron Ramsdale couldn't keep the shots out this time, but still had a great match.
Steve Cook has had some marvellous games for the Cherries in recent weeks, but he was all at sea for crucial moments of the match at Newcastle. He almost saw Allan Saint-Maximan go past him and score with only the crossbar saving Cook's blushes and for the second Newcastle goal, Cook lost his man. Sadly, Southgate was no doubt watching these errors somewhere and he'll feel justified in not picking Steve for England yet.

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Adam Smith also had a game where he seemed to be bouncing off Newcastle players more than anything else. The solid nature of the defence which looked so good for 20 minutes, just gradually lost confidence as Newcastle got stronger. While Ramsdale stood firm and AkΓ© put in another brave performance, there were too many silly errors to give Bournemouth a firmer hold of this game.

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Eddie Howe was right that Bournemouth lost their way. Far from looking in control with much of the possession. The ball became an object that just wouldn't run right for the Cherries. But the players have to make the ball work for them better by getting into good positions and stretching the opposition better, while keeping Ramsdale with little but long range shots.

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In other news, the Sun has linked AFCB and Burnley with a possible £9m January bid for Peterborough striker Ivan Toney. Meanwhile, Callum Wilson was an unused sub in England's 7-0 win over Montenegro last night.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Searching for a winner Bournemouth lacked calm heads

The Newcastle match was one that might have gone either way. On balance Bournemouth could perhaps feel unlucky that they didn't get a draw, but Newcastle had plenty of chances to win by a bigger margin. While Eddie Howe chose to go three at the back to give more impetus to the team in the second half, Bournemouth never looked like troubling Dubravka.

Bournemouth are still not getting it right in attack.
There is something not quite clicking with Bournemouth's front players this season. Callum Wilson hardly had a kick up at St James' park and Bournemouth lacked fire power. The Cherries have score twice now in four games and it's just not enough to win many games.



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Harry Wilson seems to have a gift for getting goals out of nothing but apart from that how much was Dubravka troubled? Perhaps Diego Rico's early shot in the first half and Ryan Fraser's charge round the keeper which didn't end with an accurate final shot. But Newcastle gained confidence from their goals and Bournemouth were relying on either a super pass from Lewis Cook to get Wilson in, or some more accurate crossing from Danjuma when he came on. Creatively, there is a hole at the moment and while Lerma was missed, it was at both ends of the pitch where Bournemouth lost this game against Newcastle. It wasn't good enough in either box.

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Fraser was busy first half, but isn't finding it easy to link with Callum Wilson anymore, while King has been running into blind alleys. Bournemouth need more work rate from Harry Wilson as well. I am not sure how Eddie can revitalise things. It is Stanislas and Brooks that he needs to bring in, but are either of them going to be ready by mid-November?

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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Do AFCB always freeze in games that could take them into the top six?

The Cherries have already had some high-pressured games this season when a win could propel them to the top six positions. But we have seen time and again that they have fallen short in most of these games. It happened when the Cherries drew with West Ham in September and then against against Arsenal at the start of October. Bournemouth have since worked their way back up the table, but when they had the chance to go fifth or six they came unstuck against against Newcastle United.
AFCB need to stop freezing in the big games.
If Bournemouth aspire to be a top club then they will have to start getting over the line in these games when the league position can change dramatically. It marks out the best teams from the also runs and at the moment the crunch games are not going Bournemouth's way. Hopefully, someone is looking at the mental side of these results and trying to see how Bournemouth can do better when they next get an opportunity to climb into the top six.
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It seems that AFCB are much more adept at finding a result after a disappointing spell. The players almost need to have some poor performances to stir them into bringing their A game. Why that A game goes missing in the key matches that would start to underline Bournemouth as a top club, I am not sure. But it is almost as if the players think they are not yet ready to be seen as contenders for the European places.


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In a way that would seem strange to me for most of the first team now are international players that will be going away this next week to represent their countries at the top level. The sum of all their experience means that Bournemouth has the quality to do better and it is the players starting to believe that it can come true that we now need to have a sustained attack on those top six places.

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ryan Fraser and Harry Wilson swap on for January?

The national press are all over the news that Ryan Fraser is in advance talks with Liverpool for a January move. This really shouldn't be a big surprise for AFCB supporters, although Arsenal had always been seen as the front runners. Arsenal may not be willing to pay a fee for the winger though and Liverpool would appreciate the extra attacking legs of Fraser for the title run-in. As Liverpool have not won the Premier League, Klopp is looking to ensure they don't run out of steam this time. Bournemouth fans also seem keen on a swap deal for Harry Wilson going the other way, but local press have been pouring cold water on suggestions that AFCB will sell in January.
Is Fraser set to be Liverpool's new Dalglish?
Ryan has been a bit of a shadow of the player that created so many goals for Callum Wilson last season. While he did get on the score sheet against Everton, he'll be annoyed that he hasn't netted since. With the rumours now out that his advisers have been talking to Liverpool, it opens him up to further scrutiny of his performances in a red and black shirt and perhaps explains that he has been finding it hard to concentrate on his game, when such a big move is in the offing for him. 

I am sure Andrew Robertson at Liverpool has been telling Ryan that he should come and join them and Liverpool have always had a strong bond with Scottish players in the past. Who wouldn't want to follow in the footsteps of Graham Souness and Kenny Dalglish?

It won't be easy for Ryan to push into the starting 11, but I don't think that will bother him too much at Anfield. He'll have everything he needs around him to make him an even better player and Jurgen Klopp will be rubbing his hands to get hold of a player that has shown that he has great Premier League ability.
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Where does it leave AFCB? Well, if Ryan goes in January they may get a small transfer fee which is better than nothing in the summer. The space created will look enticing to Arnaud Danjuma, but I suspect that Jordan Ibe could also be leaving in January and Bournemouth could move themselves for another winger to replace Fraser. They'll be plenty of Cherries fans wanting Harry Wilson, but I am not sure Liverpool will want to part with their young Welshman.

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I will wish Ryan Fraser all the best if he does go. What he has achieved at AFCB is as good as any player under Howe's reign and it is great to see our players in demand by the top clubs.
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Here is what the media, AFCB and Liverpool fans were saying on Ryan Fraser last night.






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