Sunday, 13 October 2019

Seven years on since Eddie and JT's return

Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall could celebrate an amazing seven years since their return to AFC Bournemouth on 12 October 2012, when the Cherries sat 21st in League One, and were about to watch as AFCB took on Leyton Orient, on 13 October 2012, under Dennis Rofe's stewardship. How things have moved on. These may be distant memories to some hard core fans when compared to the dizzy heights of the Premier League. Yet, AFCB's roots are very precious to fans and the manager who himself feels privileged just to be the Cherries manager.
Eddie Howe has had an amazing last seven years,
but what do the next seven years hold for him and AFCB?
Reading the article on the Bournemouth Echo yesterday, I was pleased to hear that Eddie also mentioned that he would not want fans to forget that he spent some 20 months at Burnley and that that period was so important for him to be where he is today. It is what I felt when writing 'Eddie Had A Dream', which by the way is published as an ebook on Monday! The chapter I wrote entitled 'Dressed in Claret' highlights the challenges Eddie had as a young manager in the Championship for the first time saddled with a club that had been in the Premier League but was in need of rebuilding. The period did not go so well for Eddie, but when he returned to Bournemouth, he had so much more knowledge of how a strong Championship team would need to operate. Working with players that had been in the Premier League will have given him more idea of the qualities he needed to find in players going forward.
The return to the Cherries worked like a dream and the players at Dean Court were a good mixture of newly signed players and some of the old guard, who had knowledge of how Eddie and Jason worked before, during the Minus 17 season and the promotion to League One. Players like Marc Pugh and Harry Arter would be the heartbeat of a new AFC Bournemouth that would now include Steve Cook, Tommy Elphick and Charlie Daniels. A team that would take League One by storm to finish second, behind Doncaster Rovers in 2013, and win promotion to the Championship for only the second time in the club's history.

Here is a short extract from 'Eddie Had A Dream' on the events of 12 October 2012.

'Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall strode out onto the pitch at Dean Court in their immaculate suits and thin black and navy-blue ties to rapturous applause. It must have been strange for the Leyton Orient away supporters looking on at the scenes. My feelings were just full of delight to see the managerial team smiling and waving in the sunshine, knowing that they would do their best for the club. It was a new beginning. I also believed that the players that were still at the club from when Howe and JT first managed at Bournemouth would be telling the newer players that they could achieve something special. Winning games was not guaranteed but everyone was in it together. The mood felt good and work would be fun, if hard for the players. But as fans we knew what we were getting – a man who would do everything he could to get some wins.'
Those memories seem like yesterday, but time has moved on so fast. I am one of those who like to remember every detail in trying to understand how Eddie Howe managed to build this club into the Premier League force that it has become today. It wasn't at all easy and there were some big defeats as well as wins, but the homecoming was like a whirlwind and it seems unbelievable that it happened. But happen it did, and while similar stories may be recounted by fans at AFC Wimbledon, Watford, Blackpool and Wigan, there are only a handful of clubs that have had a similar rise up the leagues. We should feel very proud of our management team for what they have achieved and celebrate with them what has been a fantastic last seven years.

To recall more of these memories and moments form the last 25 years, make sure you either an ebook copy of 'Eddie Had A Dream' which will be yours to keep from Monday 14 October, or wait until 21 October when the paperback version is released also on Amazon/Kindle.

To find the paperback book next week, just type Eddie Had A Dream into the search field on Amazon.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Eddie has little need to get stuck with Toffees

While some Everton fans are keen on Eddie Howe in their current situation with Marco Silva failing to keep their team out of the bottom three, there are also others that don't want to try and entice Eddie Howe to Goodison. The latter is certainly good news to hear for AFCB fans. Whenever there is a job in and around teams in the top 10, it's no surprise that Eddie's name is mentioned as the media have a big drive to try and get English managers at the top clubs.
Eddie may be rather more red and black then Blue these days.
Eddie of course has made no secret for his love of Everton when he was growing up, but these days I am not sure he is as much a Blue as some Everton fans would like to think. Weighing up the potential for a move for Eddie Howe is going to come around again at some point but now might not be the right time to jump ship to a club that has been unstable and spending heavily for a while. They had a good manager under Koeman in my opinion and since then I kind of think they lost they way having panicked in bring in Sam Allardyce and then trying their luck with Marco Silva.


It takes time to do well at a new club and being settled should not be seen as a lack of desire for Eddie Howe. He can achieve much of what he needs at AFCB having not yet won a cup competition or featured higher than ninth in the Premier League. It's not that AFCB aren't capable of doing better even if it is great to see what they are already achieving, and with great projects like the new training complex, and some exciting young signings, AFCB are not in a bad position. We are already feeling good about the 3-1 win earlier this season against Everton. Bournemouth's season really got going with the home win over the Toffees last month, when the Cherries caused Marco Silva a lot of problems.

Eddie has had tremendous success at AFCB but the club is still growing and there are probably a lot of challenges that Eddie still wants to achieve while he is on the south coast. I kind of hope that he does not leave the club until one day the phone goes and he is asked if he would become the England manager. At that point I think AFCB could lose their favourite son.  

Friday, 11 October 2019

Jekyll and Hyde AFCB

Eddie Howe referred to AFCB's performance at the Emirates as being 'Jekyll and Hyde'. The real baffling thing was to work out why the team were on the back foot from the start and not fully doing their jobs when Arsenal scored. Eddie will also question why at half-time the team cold get itself together and come out and play so well in the second half. Do Bournemouth need a shock to the system to start performing?
Fraser didn't get much pitch time against Arsenal,
but he made the most of it creating chances.
Eddie Howe felt that in the second half he had seen on of Bournemouth's best ever performances at Arsenal. I am not sure I could go that far, as the team failed to score, but it certainly created plenty of opportunities to score. Eddie kind of indicated that the team gave Arsenal too much respect and having only beaten Arsenal once, I still wonder if the players have a bit of an inferiority complex against the traditional top six teams. It is something they have to try and conquer.


Callum Wilson said that the team try and go out and just play the players in front of them without thinking what team it is that they are playing. But in their heads they still have the thought that this is a team that usually beats them and perhaps this is not the way to think about a game if you are trying to win it. Going to a stadium where you have never one should be a challenge not something to fear.

AFCB are all about beating records and if they want to take that on they need to start believing they can beat teams like Arsenal. It is a huge mental leap and in terms of finances and crowd support Arsenal are far ahead of AFCB. So, are we expecting to much of the team? Perhaps we are, but what is hard to understand is how the team can put in a Jekyll and Hyde performance against such big teams when they so easily could have got something out of the game.

In other news, Ryan Fraser ran for 68 minutes for Scotland before being subbed in the 4-0 defeat to Russia, while Harry Wilson had to wait until the 66th minute to get on for Wales in a 1-1 draw against Slovakia. Aké was an unused sub as expected for Holland against Northern Ireland which the Dutch won 3-1.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Did Howe make wrong call to put Francis on and not Lewis Cook?

The last period of the game against Arsenal could have gone better. Bournemouth made changes with Danjuma and Simon Francis coming on as the final throw of the dice, but it was baffling to some fans why Lewis Cook was not put on.
We all want to see Lewis Cook but his game time
is certainly being managed by Eddie Howe.
What I don't know is if Jack Stacey felt he had run out of steam or was injured. Putting on a right back made sense, if Howe didn't feel safe going to a back three late on. Danjuma was an attacking move, but Simon Francis will have looked a negative sub to many. You have to wonder if Lewis Cook was fully fit, as it wasn't Billings' best game and Lewis may have given the Cherries a bit more going forward from midfield. Lewis has had a major injury though and AFCB can't afford for him to have a relapse, so managing his game time now is no doubt very sensible for the long term, even if it might be frustrating for Lewis Cook and the fans.
Jefferson Lerma was also prepared to shoot, but it was aimless and hurried on most occasions. The centre midfield is not creating quite enough for me at the moment and whether Howe made a mistake in his subs second half or not, AFCB didn't give Leno enough shots to really look like scoring. There were half chances, but not enough clear cut chances to get the breakthrough.


After the international break, AFCB may be in a better position in terms of team selection choices. Eddie Howe will need that as one or two are not looking quite on their game at the moment and if the goals are drying up, AFCB will need some faces on the bench who might be able to turn games like the Arsenal match around.

Premier Talk - Manchester woes could rebound on Cherries

In other news, Wales play Slovakia tonight in the UEFA Euro Qualifiers. Harry Wilson could be in action.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

AFCB struggled to get the ball running their way at Arsenal

It was a strange game at the Emirates. Arsenal looked much the better in the first half, but when the game turned more in Bournemouth's favour, the Cherris could not find a finish. Eddie Howe might have been pleased to see Ryan Fraser make an impact when he came on, but there was not enough fight about the team in the first half and when Bournemouth did start to work harder, nothing really came off for their front men.
Are Billing's performances a bit too variable?
The best chances of the game, apart from when Arsenal scored, probably all fell to Bournemouth. So why did they have so much difficulty in finding the net. The most glaring opportunity probably fell to Callum Wilson when he beat two players on the edge of the box, rounded Leno but run out of an angle looking for Josh King just three yards out.


If that was frustrating and deserved a goal there was also Dominic Solanke's headed miss in the first half when Rico put in a superb ball for him to head wide unchallenged. Callum Wilson had a half-chance right at the death as well but could only shoot right at Leno. It was that kind of day. The ball just didn't run for Bournemouth in this game.

What was clear is that Ryan Fraser still makes things happen and he added energy and  purpose to Bournemouth's game when he came on. I didn't see enough of that from Harry Wilson, and at times Philip Billing looks like he'd rather be somewhere else than playing football. Perhaps Ryan and Lewis Cook will replace these two players in the next game and give AFCB more fight going forward.

Eddie Had a Dream eBook version - pre-order for 14 October release

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

An early goal kills AFCB at Arsenal again

Eddie Howe said it through gritted teeth I think. Bournemouth let a soft goal in during the first 10 minutes, because he mentioned that they could not afford a start like that before the game. He was right, it took all of the first half to recover from that. It was a huge step back in conceding the first goal and the Cherries didn't react well enough early on in the game.
Eddie Howe knew an early goal against AFCB would be trouble.
The corner itself was driven towards the near post and if Bournemouth were zonal marking they didn't get tight enough to David Luiz who seamed to get away from Callum Wilson and had a clear header to pass Ramsdale unopposed. The clean sheet just doesn't seem to be coming and yet AFCB didn't look like conceding a second goal all game.


That is the Premier League. One mistake and it cost AFCB three points. The more worrying part of the first half for me was that AFCB were second to every ball and they never really found it easy during the first half to win tackles.


Bournemouth were closer to Arsenal in the second half and could have got something from the game, but there was no confidence in the finishing. It sometimes takes a defeat like this to get the players up for the next game and AFCB's players will have a fortnight to reflect on a missed opportunity to get their first win at Arsenal.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Bournemouth fall short against at Arsenal 1-0

Outside the Emirates.
Match Report
Arsenal 1 v 0 AFCB
6 October 2019
Attendance: 60,326
Bournemouth had a bad record at Emirates and they did not help themselves going 1-0 down in nine minutes with a headed goal from David Luiz and Arsenal's third corner. The first half sped by with Arsenal bullying Bournemouth in every challenge. Apart from a headed chance for Solanke, there was nothing of much to not in Bournemouth's first half. The second half was a different matter with Bournemouth finding their game and chasing lost causes. Rico's crossing was exceptionally good, but there was no finish for the likes of Callum Wilson or Josh King.

Bournemouth kept an unchanged team at Arsenal. However, Lloyd Kelly returned to the bench. It was the second team in a row that AFCB had named an unchanged team.

Match Description
Bournemouth got straight into possession before Steve Cook had to make a clearance. Rico also makes a strong header up field.

Solanke and Callum Wilson were pressing early. Pepe and Guendouzi get into the box but Aké wins a goal kick. Saka is blocked by Stacey for a corner to Arsenal on four minutes. Aubameyang wins a second corner off Aké and Billing wins the header to clear.

The ball goes out wide to Aubameyang who cuts inside and shoots from 25 yards just wide of Ramsdale's left post on five minutes. Chambers wins another corner off Aké's sliced clearance. David Luiz has headed the ball at the near post into Bournemouth's goal inside the far post on nine minutes, Callum Wilson lost his man. It's 1-0 to Arsenal.

Bournemouth try to play out from the back but Ramsdale has to clear the ball with Aubameyang chasing him down. A yellow card is handed out for Billing for a late tackle on Guendouzi.

Good ball form Lerma into Solanke and Rico has the corner off Guendouzi on 14 minutes. Josh King heads too strongly at the far post.

Callum Wilson wins a free kick form Ceballos. Not a lot of attacking play from Bournemouth yet, but this is a chance. Rico crosses it and Solanke heads wide from eight yards. A great ball from Rico.

Pepe wins another corner off of Rico. Bournemouth clear this time. Guendouzi is almost caught by Billing. Pepe curls a shot just over the left side of Bournemouth's goal on 19 minutes. Billing has put another cross out from Kolasinac for a corner. Lerma clears with a header and Rico puts it out again for another Arsenal corner. A shot from Aubameyang is cleared by Billing in front of Ramsdale.

Rico makes a challenge on Pepe is it a penalty? VAR is being employed. Rico kicks the ball at Pepe no penalty. A corner is given and Lerma puts it out at eh back for another corner. It's relentless Arsenal pressure. Lerma and Luiz are arguing. Bournemouth manage to get he ball away.

Bournemouth just can't get going. Ramsdale takes a cross from Chambers calmly. King makes a foul on Ceballos. Harry Wilson is now fouled by Xhaka. Lerma had played a great ball out of defence to find Harry Wilson.

Stacey is now carded for pulling down Kolasinac. Why wasn't Xhaka carded? Ramsdale is injured going for a high ball. It's his right knee. Aubameyang and Steve Cook were right underneath him. But Ramsdale has recovered.

Xhaka fouls again but no card. Billing makes a mistake and gives the ball away. Guendouzi has as hot and Steve Cook blocks and Kolasinac fouls Lerma. Callum Wilson goes down and Saka is now free down the left, but Ramsdale saves at the near post on 35 minutes.

Chambers gets a foot to a high cross but it's well wide of the goal. Bournemouth are just being bullied off the ball all over the pitch. Solanke and Callum Wilson just don't keep possession outside the box when King could have been released.

King on the left central to Lerma, but he's got right underneath it and it's well over from 25 yards. Bournemouth showing signs that they are starting to play on 39 minutes. They are checking a collision with Pepe and Rico but VAR is not giving a penalty.

Callum is fouled by Xhaka again, still no card for the Arsenal captain. It's 1-0 at half-time.

BBC stats at half-time
AFCB possession 41 %, shots 3, no shot on target, 1 corner two fouls
Arsenal possession 59%, shots 8, 2 shots on target, 8 corners, 7 fouls
AFCB were simply not at it first half.
Second Half
King in the box pulls back to Solanke but he's taken too long over it and lost the ball. Callum is away and looks for Solanke but it's blocked. Aubamenyang on the break and Stacey tackles him.

Solanke and Callum bursts through. Wilson goes round Leono and just doesn't have the angle to make it 1-1. Chambers just beats King to the ball and clears. Unbelievable. Rico crosses and Callum Wilson can't quite get to it at the far post. Bournemouth on top here.

Guendouzi wins a corner, and a other corner on 54 minutes. Bournemouth have turned up this half.  We have a game on. Callum Wilson wins the ball and harry Wilson to Stacey and the ball is just pushed over the bar. Corner to AFCB. There is an Arsenal fan on the pitch.

Rico takes the corner but it is a throw now. Billing does well. Solanke and Billing tries a shot but wide. An hour gone.  Maitland-Niles is getting ready to come on. Wee-man is also ready for AFCB.

Billing stops an Arsenal attack.  Martinelli replaces Pepé and Fraser come son for Solanke on 62 minutes. Chambers volley's over.

King moves to the forward position and Fraser goes over to the left wing. King puts a ball in with Fraser coming in it's over for a corner. Ceballos wins a free kick.

Fraser is stopped on the edge of the box. Bournemouth have a corner. A high cross again to the far post where Leno grabs it. David Luiz is down, hurt by one of his team-mates.

Aké gets back to head out for a corner. Goal kick now. Arsenal have been playing the time-wasting card. Still 20 minutes to go. harry Wilson is fouled and Martinelli is booked on 71 minutes.

Wilson and Fraser link and Wilson is bundled over but no foul. Bournemouth are just not getting the decisions. Willock replaces Ceballos on 74 minutes.

Steve Cook slips and his back pass goes out for a corner. Akee wins the header. Lerma steadies himself for a big hit but its's well over. Rico plays King up the line but Harry Wilson loses control in the box.

Danjuma replaces Harry Wilson on 78 minutes and Simon Francis  replaces Jack Stacey. Fraser is late on Kolasinac, no card this time. Bournemouth can't get the ball away. Francis is doing some sterling defending.

Martinelli has a go but shoots over. Saka is replaced by  Torreira on 82 minutes. A Bournemouth break. King and Danjuma - what was he doing? King didn't keep running.

Wilson and King to Fraser, Danjuma and the clearance is high. Back in and Danjuma goes for a volley but it's wide. Arsenal have a corner with two minutes left. Danjuma gets down the line and King is there but Guendouzi gets a foot in. Steve Cook got up but headed over.

Five minutes of added time. Fraser yo Wilson and the keeper falls on the cross.  Bournemouth have to defend and concede a corner. An attack form Arsenal to Chambers, Aubameyang and Ramsdale saves perhaps it hit the post as well.

Callum Wilson in the box turns and it's right at Leno. Lerma and Fraser crosses, but Arsenal escape. Steve Cook stops Aubameyang. That's it 1-0.

What happened first half? Bournemouth just didn't get going and they slipped behind to a corner kick header. It was frustrating as the side showed in the second half that they could more than compete. The gamesmanship got Arsenal home, but Bournemouth just didn't get enough possession in and around Arsenal's box and Leno had few saves to make. A draw might have been a fairer result but it was not to be. I hope to see Fraser start next game and Harry Wilson put back to the bench.

AFCB's line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Francis, Surman, Danjuma, L Cook, Fraser, Kelly
AFCB Ratings: Ramsdale 5, Rico 8, S Cook 5, Aké 6, Stacey 5, H Wilson 4,  Lerma 6, Billing 6, King 6, Solanke 5, C Wilson 6

Cherry Chimes MoM: Diego Rico

Referee Watch: Martin Atkinson 0/10 Two fouls by Bournemouth layers first half and two yellow cards. Arsenal seven fouls first half no cards! That about sums it up - favouring the big teams.

1 Leno, 21 Chambers, 5 Papastathopoulos, 23 David Luiz, 31 Kolasinac, 
8 Ceballos (Willock 74), 34 Xhaka, 29 Guendouzi, 19 Pépé (Maitland-Niles 62), 14 Aubameyang, 77 Saka (Torreira 82)

Arsenal Substitutes
35 Martinelli. 3 Tierney, 11 Torreira, 15 Maitland-Niles, 16 Holding, 26 Martínez, 28 Willock,