Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Was Bournemouth's defence good or Hammers attack toothless?

It is hard to get excited about defenders doing their job sometimes, while the goalscorers tend to get all the credit. Against West Ham Bournemouth did get a well-earned clean sheet and they reduced West ham to shooting from distance for most of the game, until Andy Carroll missed for one yard. So were West Ham's strikers just poor or did Bournemouth's defence play outstandingly well?
Nathan Aké with Nathaniel Clyne before the West Ham match.
I am more of a glass half full merchant, when it comes to Bournemouth's defence. I still believe the team is two or three defenders short of being a really polished unit, that could rank as well as some of the top 10 teams in the Premier League. Aké and Clyne have the quick decision-making and control to their games that will hopefully start to be picked up be one or two others. But Bournemouth play better in defence when they really come out with an attitude to not give the opposition a kick around their box.

It was interesting that Howe said that he asked his defenders to be more aggressive against West Ham. He perhaps felt that they had been too timid against Everton and then Brighton in the cup. That determination not to get pushed aside, I've always feel Bournemouth players have had as they have come up through the leagues. But the game is different in the Premier League, and it's quick thoughts, to get the right side of your man, and see where the danger is likely to be that makes a player stand out at this level.

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Personal battles have to be won and I did think Bournemouth did that against West Ham. Antonio and Anderson were kept in check, which was mainly down to Adam Smith and Nathaniel Clyne sticking to them like glue. It wasn't necessarily pretty at times but it did mean Boruc had little to do, but for a few punches in the second half late on. Had Arnautovic been available it may have been more of a test for Bournemouth's defenders. Carroll should have scored which tells me that Bournemouth still don't quite shot the door for 90 minutes and the defence is not yet bullet proof, so I'm keen to see if they can do it again against a Chelsea side that are themselves having problems in scoring.

Transfer news
Marc Pugh is expected to complete his loan transfer to Hull City today.
Brentford are said to have agreed a fee with AFCB for the signature of Chris Mepham.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Is Arter off to Watford?

There were reports on Sunday that Harry Arter could be recalled despite a season-long loan at Cardiff if there is a bid to buy him. That bid is expected to come from Watford, according to the Irish Independent.
Will Arter leave Bournemouth this January?
Watford are looking for a replacement for Abdoulaye Decouré and Harry Arter is said to fit the bill. I suppose Arter will have to make a decision on where he would rather play football. He has said he loves Cardiff and would like to stay there if they can stay up, but leaving them now would be like a desertion to leave them to their plight. Watford have also been one of the teams that Arter has probably got his metal up for the most to try and beat as often as possible. Whether he sees them as a band of warriors and a team that can achieve something special, is what he may have to weigh up. Can he turn his back on the battles he had as a Bournemouth player to join Watford?

It's all about what is best for Harry. He wants a fresh start and this would be Premier League football in a town not far out of London. I'd say that his style would fit in well with Watford, and he has deserved a move, seeing how he has played in Cardiff. Neil Warnock may have every reason to think that Bournemouth are out to wreck Cardiff's season what with the Clyne incident and now this possible recall. The game in a few weeks time between the two could just be a bit hot an spicy.

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Arter will of course not be available for that game being on loan from Bournemouth, but he might even be a Watford player by then. For Bournemouth it might be just good business, seeing as they have spent heavily in January and could recoup some funds from a sale. 

The latest report on the BBC says that AFCB are not going to activate the recall on Harry Arter's season loan at Cardiff.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Bournemouth's double joy over West Ham win

Match Report
19 January 2019
AFCB 2 v 0 West Ham United
Attendance: 10,495

Bournemouth sealed their first double-win over a team of the season by beating West Ham 2-0 at Dean Court. Nathan Aké thought he might have given the Cherries the lead early on from a header, but it was disallowed. In a tight game, it took a spectacular opening goal from Callum Wilson to make the breakthrough, eight minutes into the second half. Bournemouth had been creating chances with David Brooks in particular proving hard for the West Ham defence to deal with. Callum Wilson came extremely close to a second goal, when he hit the post. But it took until added time for Bournemouth to really open West Han up, and David Brooks unselfishly squared to Josh King for a tap-in to kill the game.

Boruc makes his first Premier League start of the season.
Few would have expected Artur Boruc to replace Asmir Begovic for this match, but the recall was certainly enjoyed by Artur. Junior Stanislas moved to the bench while Callum Wilson returned to the starting line up.

Bournemouth look to do the double over West Ham.
More pictures are on Mach Day Gallery

Steve Cook with Mark Noble.
Boruc stood out in his bright yellow kit. He was alert when Nasri was flagged offside in the first few minutes. Bournemouth got going with Fraser picking out Lerma, who hit a shot over.

Antonio got the better of Adam Smith, but couldn't find another West Ham player. Bournemouth's attack clicked into action again with Brooks making a smart turn to link with Clyne in West Ham's box. Wilson put in a good cross that Brooks got a head to, but it went wide on eight minutes.

Boruc and Steve Cook kept Antonio off the ball as West Ham went direct. King was working well with Brooks who was having fun beating West Ham defenders with his tricks. He slipped in Lerma, who was clean through, and put his shot wide and was surely grateful to see the offside flag go up.

Andy Carroll was putting himself about with an elbow on Steve Cook. Lerma had to make a clearance after Carroll's header fell to Antonio. Carroll got a booking when he took down Fraser on 19 minutes.

A Bournemouth corner almost led to the first goal with Fraser aiming for the far post and finding Aké who headed in ,only to see the flag raised. Bournemouth still had some issues at the back with Aké putting Boruc in a spot of bother.



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A spell of West Ham pressure saw Zabaletta cross to Carroll, and he held the ball up before Anderson had a shot blocked. Nasri then came inches away from the equaliser as his shot when narrowly past the left post.

Wilson was running out wide and put in a cross that Fabianski caught one handed. Adam Smith and Antonio continued their battle both going to ground, and Aké was there to clear. Steve Cook gave the ball away to Nasri on half way, but wasn't punished.

Adam Smith ventured forward with Brooks and Fraser and shot over on 38 minutes, Zabaltta then fouled Fraser, but Aké was caught offside from the free kick. West Ham had the last bit of pressure with Declan Rice shooting over from distance.

The team walk off at half-time 0-0.
Second half
Wilson won an early free kick. Bournemouth came close to scoring with Steve Cook making a header, while Aké was forced wide and chipped back just two high from Brooks and Fraser. Zabaletta then went close to scoring an own goal.

West Ham immediately attacked and And Carroll had a header that was blocked before missing a chance from one yard. Bournemouth headed up to the other box and from the corner Steve Cook saw his header blocked.

Nasri was getting on the ball and set up Antonio who shot over. Bournemouth broke fast with Fraser on the left  and he crossed with the ball deflecting off of the defender and straight into Wilson's path. Callum wasted not time, but shaped to hit a volley and powered it right into the top corner from 18 yards out - 1-0 Bournemouth!

West Ham won a corner soon after and Bournemouth broke again but King over hit his pass to Fraser who would have been one against one with the keeper. While Wilson lost the ball Bournemouth recovered well before Fraser's cross just evaded Wilson.

Josh King went on a great run driving from halfway, until he got into the box and tried to cutback, but fell under challenge. It was no penalty though with Noble annoyed at King going to ground.

Carroll headed over from a right wing cross before he was subbed and Hernandez came on. Nasri was also subbed on 66 minutes for Snodgrass to come on.

Bournemouth almost extended their lead when King and Fraser got down the left, and Brooks had a shot blocked just before the goal line with Lerma blast over from the follow up. If that was close, then Bournemouth fans were watching on agonisingly, as King fed Wilson and the striker hit his shot first time, and saw it bounce off the foot of West Ham's right post with Fabianski beaten.

Wilson was subbed a minute later on 73 minutes for Stanislas to replace him. Snodgrass fouled Gosling as play continued. He then fouled Lerma, but was not given a card or warning.

Bournemouth kept creating with Lera and Stanislas who passed on to Brooks who went down under challenge but didn't get a penalty verdict.

West Ham subbed Noble and brought on Diangana with 11 minutes to go. Boruc then made his first save, that is how well Bournemouth had been defending.

Boruc had to punch from a West Ham corner as the Hammers tried to get the equaliser. King was tackled by Diop on the break.

Diop fouled Fraser on 87 minutes but the free kick was taken too deep. Adam Smith played a ball back to Brouc which was not cleared well, but Hernandez couldn't get to the ball in time.

Three minutes of added time gave Bournemouth the breathing space they needed. A break saw Stanislas run at the defence before slipping the ball to Brooks, who went on one more to King, who had an easy finish to make it 2-0. Fraser was replaced by Daniels, while Brooks was then subbed to take the applause letting Lys Mousset on for the final minute.

Eddie gets excited at the win. It's been a long time in coming.
Summary
Few three points! Well, it didn't really matter how Bournemouth played in this game, it was the points that were crucial. and Eddie Howe let off a bit of the pressure he was under by punching the air in front of the Steve Fletcher Stand. He had Callum Wilson to thank for a sensational strike. With him in the team, the players are confident they can do things and win games. David Brooks is setting a very high standard as well and to have Artur Boruc hardly need to make a save, it was a great day at the office. Hopefully the tap-in that Josh King got right at the end will give him a pick me up as well.


Josh King was pleased for the final whistle.
AFCB Ratings
Boruc 6, Clyne, 6, S Cook 6, Aké 7, A Smith 6, Brooks 8, Lerma 7, Gosling 6, Fraser 8, King 6, Wilson 8

Cherry Chimes' MoM: David Brooks just edges it over Wilson and Fraser for me.

Ref Watch Simon Hopper: 5/10 Bournemouth got the majority of decisions, but he held firm on he penalty decisions. One card all game was probably a bit on the light side, but at least it meant Lerma racked up another match without a booking.

West Ham United
Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble (Diangana 79 ), Rice, Antonio, Nasri (Snodgrass 66), Anderson, Carroll (Hernández 66)

West Ham Subs
Adrián, Snodgrass, Masuaku, Diangana, Obiang, Costa Silva, Hernández

Saturday, 19 January 2019

West Ham are vying for a top half finish just like AFCB

The seasons of West Ham and Bournemouth have pretty much been like the reverse of each other. At this stage they both sit reasonably well-placed having both won nine and eight matches, respectively. But the wind is behind West Ham and Bournemouth have to step up their game in the second half of this season, if they are to get that top 10 finish.
AFCB have entertaining games with West Ham on a regular basis - 2-2 draw?
West Ham are one of those teams that really suffer when their confidence is down. But Pellegrini has got them playing and they are starting to get some really impressive results like the 1-0 win over Arsenal at the London Stadium in their last match. The signing of Nasri is also a sign that West Ham's owners are willing to back their manager in the transfer market.
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With goals flowing from Anderson's boot and Chicerito always nosing around for goals, their only worry is if they can keep hold of Arnautovic. On his day Arnautovic is unplayable, but he has not travelled with the West Ham squad for this game, due to his impending transfer it seems. One player that will be on the coach is Declan Rice, who is great at breaking up play and playing it simple. He was very impressive against Arsenal in West Ham's last match. Bournemouth have to hurry him into more mistakes and try and get to West Ham's defence.

Keeping pace with West Ham in the table really needs Bournemouth to get a win in this game. The form book suggests that Bournemouth could struggle, but Eddie Howe has to turnaround the form book at some point, and a home match against a team only four points ahead of AFCB is as good a time as any to get a win.

AFCB Home Form
LWLWD

West Ham Away Form
DWWLL

Question and Answers with West Ham Till I Die

Looking at training this week, I didn't see David Brooks, so perhaps he is ill and Eddie is keeping it quiet. Wilson may be a late fitness test but he was moving very well from what I saw so may be he will start. There are still few attacking options on the bench with Solanke likely to be out of contention, and with Sam Surridge only able to play for two clubs in one season, AFCB will look to loan him out or give him a permanent move this January.


AFCB possible line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Rico, Daniels, Surman, Pugh, Ibe, Mousset
AFCB TV 

Friday, 18 January 2019

If Mepham signs for AFCB, will he get a game?

While Bournemouth have yet again splashed the cash and brought in Chris Mepham from Brentford to bolster their defence, the Welsh defender has a tough task to break into the team. Steve Cook and Nathan Aké have dominated the centre-back positions for Bournemouth and a spot in the bench might be as much as the new signing can expect for a few weeks.
Tyrone Mings is being linked with Aston Villa and WBA.
The injury-plagued Tyrone Mings will see yet another player make it harder for him to make a start for Bournemouth in the remainder of this season. The extra-cover that Mepham will provide will be excellent if Bournemouth do suffer an injury to their first line defenders, but making the jump from Championship defender to Premier League defender is a rocky road - just ask Tyrone Mings.

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The form of Steve Cook has been a bit up and down this season which may give him the jolt he needs to keep his game at a consistently higher level, but Mepham is likely to be seen mainly on the bench with no cup games left and an important run-in for the Cherries. So why did Howe go for Mepham now in this window? The threat of losing him to Southampton or another premier league club was probably too great. Bournemouth have also seen how losing a player in a position which is not well supplied can lead to difficulties and with Simon Francis out for the rest of the season a bit of insurance was probably worth the wages of getting Mepham in now rather than in the summer.

Does this mean that Tyrone Mings will look for a move this January? The options are probably open for him, with Villa and WBA said to be interested, and if this is the end of the incoming players for Bournemouth this window, don't be surprised if there are two or three who are now allowed to find game time elsewhere.

Transfer News
Matt Worthington has left AFCB to join League Two Yeovil Town on a permanent contract.

Score Prediction Competition 

Send in your score predictions for AFCB v West Ham on Twitter to @Cherrychimes. We will pick a winner from the correct entries to win a Cherry Chimes T-shirt.


 

Are Bournemouth looking over their shoulder?

The points might be seven more than at this time last season, but until the points are on the board to say Bournemouth are safe they are still catchable. Recent form is as bad as any of the teams in the relegation zone and the important thing for Bournemouth to do is not to panic.
Home form is preventing Bournemout from slipping lower.
There is probably going to be no survival for Huddersfield or Fulham. They are just losing too many games. But Bournemouth's run is going to land them in trouble if they keep  throwing games and the form of Southampton, Burnley and Crystal Palace is picking up and they will win games which will leave Bournemouth looking at Newcastle United and Cardiff to hit poor form to give them a safety cushion.

The gap at the moment to the relegation zone looks big at nine points, but how many points can you see Bournemouth collecting in their next three games? If a few of the teams below get two wins out of those three games they will be pushing Bournemouth, so there is a need for the Cherries to get to the 30 point make in their next three games. That is one win which may not seem much, but if the run continues with no points from those three games then the mood will not be good around Dean Court and Eddie Howe will find himself under pressure.


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It is strange in a season that was going so well that things have turned so severely. Howe was warning that things could change quickly back in October, but now he needs things to change back just as quickly to winning ways as there is good reason for AFCB to be looking below them as much as the teams above them now. 

Score Prediction Competition 

Send in your score predictions for AFCB v West Ham on Twitter to @Cherrychimes. We will pick a winner from the correct entries to win a Cherry Chimes T-shirt.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Hammers' nemesis should be back for Bournemouth

The goals were not forthcoming at Everton and Bournemouth missed their top marksman in the match with Josh King and Junior Stanislas drawing a blank. The form of King may start to get questioned if he continues to find himself not getting any clear chances, but Eddie Howe knows that he has to wait for Solanke to be ready, and the need to get Callum Wilson back on the pitch is paramount.
AFCB are missing Callum's goals.
While it has no doubt done Callum good to have some days relaxing and away from intense training, his hamstrings have been more of a problem in this first full season he has had in a long while. He may just be finding that the winter pitches are stretching him a bit far and to get Callum just right is a priority with so many games still to come. 


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In a way it keeps Wilson out of the limelight if he is being rested, but Bournemouth are simply not getting any points when he is out of the team. He has become a goalscorer that is talked about in the same breath as Marcus Rashford or harry Kane and for Bournemouth to have a striker of that quality they can't afford to have him sitting out of games. Burnley, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Southampton all have Bournemouth in their sights now and the West ham match is perhaps Bournemouth's last chance to really pull themselves back into contention for a crack at the top 10.

A fit Callum Wilson gives all the players a lift and the home crowd will fancy Bournemouth's chances if Callum is on the pitch on Saturday, West ham see him as a Nemesis. But if he has to miss this game as well, the fill in choices for Howe are limited. He certainly needs a quiet word with Josh King for sure to see how the Norwegian can get on the score sheet in Callum's absence.

Transfer News
AFCB are all set to name Chris Mepham as their third January signing

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