Tuesday, 23 October 2018

MacDougall recalls Bournemouth team bonding and promotion

Sponsored Article

Ted MacDougall suggests that training in his day on the mental side of the game was perhaps not as beneficial as how players work on that side of the game today. John Bond's training method though were slightly unusual in that he tried to use the Coverdale system that had players doing all kinds of strange things.
Ted has me laughing at the Coverdale system.
"That was a waste of time," recalls Ted. "That was on Panarama of all places, because Bournemouth was big news. Every week were in the national press for something. And we did this piece when it was about coming together (team building). There would be two groups and it was basically working together with other people that's really what it was. But in this one instance we had to go and find how many fire hydrants there were around the ground? That sort of thing.

"Then there was this funny one, where we we had those big clipboard like you'd have at a meeting. An okay, I want you to talk about you and what your strengths are. So we'd say okay, he's good at this or good at that. Now you're going, this is great. But then they'd say, now I want you to tell him about what he's not good at. So I'd say something negative about you and you'd turn round and you'd say, that's not right! So everything would kick off!

"Harry (Redknapp) would go round and say to the chairman, Mr Walker, I have a problem with this because I can't write. I can't write he says.. Oh, I thought this is great!" said Ted. 

"The whole club of course was nothing like it is today. But it well celebrated when the Bournemouth were promoted back to the third tier in Ted's second season at the club. "It was a big deal. It was a season when only two teams went up, and we really needed to go up that next season into the second division, because the momentum was growing. And then it was just like a balloon getting deflated.

"We were good enough and we proved that over the years as a lot of those players who were playing in the lower division, a bit like the boys today that came through the different divisions here, like Steve Cook and these people who have proved they can play in the Premier League. 

"Well it was the same with these people as they went on to play with me at Norwich when John Bond to me and a number of players from Bournemouth to Norwich, and they ended up playing in the first division or the Premier League as it is today. So they'd proved the point that they were good enough to play in the First Division."

If you would like to read more about Ted MacDougall's career and his amazing football tales make sure you pick up a copy of Neil Vacher's Ted MacDougoal! from Pitch Publishing, with its new Reflections chapter.

Defoe back of the line?

If you want to be hard on AFCB after the 0-0 draw with Southampton the worst you could claim is that the team was scrappy in its performance. The control and management of the game was perhaps harder than some other matches. The tension was high, because it was a game that neither side would be happy about losing. The non-derby, that is a derby aroused plenty of passion and noise in Dean Court, and yet it didn't manage to raise AFCB's performance enough to keep the wins coming.
Defoe is at the back of the line, but we still see him on the bench.
It would be better to see him winning games though.
Southampton surely set out to disrupt and spoil and they kept two goal scorers on the pitch all the time which was important to keep Bournemouth occupied. The last part of the game perhaps said more about where the teams are in the league than anything else. Southampton were wiling to risk going all out for the win with Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long entering the scene, while Bournemouth opted for Ibe and Gosling in the last quarter of the game which was perhaps more cautious than adventurous when Jermain Defoe was sitting on Bournemouth's bench.


It was perhaps even more surprising that King did not make way for Defoe when the Norwegian striker had been feeling an ankle knock when on international duty. I suppose if Howe had told Defoe to go on, it would have been a signal for the team for all out attack and that can back fire. Was Howe protecting AFCB's league position? He said he felt the game was slipping away for Bournemouth's control and that Gosling was therefore preferred to Defoe. A point from a home game is not a bad point if it is a game you might easily lose.

As long as Bournemouth's points haul continues to grow, it's safety that gets closer. That has to be the first priority. If scrappy means you don't get beaten and pick up a point, I'm sure it allows us to enjoy the big win games even more. Perhaps we will see more of Defoe in those less scrappy games? 

In other news, Man City are said to be keen on Nathan Aké, according to the Sun.

Monday, 22 October 2018

You can be at AFCB, Man Utd or elsewhere but strikers have to score

Sponsored Article

In his new paper back biography 'Ted MacDougoal!', there is a new chapter at the end of the book on Ted's reflections – past and present, where he talks about the modern game and how it has changed at the clubs where he used to play his football. I was intrigued what he thought about headed goals today.

Ted MacDougall was well known for the diving header and headed goals. It was a bit of a signature for him. But asking him about why there doesn't seem to be so many great headed goals these days in the possession football we see and immaculate pitches, he has plenty of answers for that, but he is convinced even the biggest teams resort to knocking it up to the big man when things aren't going for them.
Ted MacDougall chats to Cherry Chimes at Dean Court.
"It's a lot to do with the pitch. You look at some of those old photographs of the pitch and  try and put five or 10 passes together. I mean you had to kick it from there to there via route one to get the ball into the box and crosses and that. It's a lot simpler game today.

"But if you see Manchester United struggling then they go to that game. They put Mario Fellaini on and he'll go up front. And they'll start playing balls in the box, because at the end of the day, I still think the ball has to come in," said Ted.

Ted left Bournemouth to go to Man United in 1972. It was a jump for him from the third tier to the first division, not something a player is likely to do today. "It was still Man Utd. We were still getting 50-60,000. I ended up getting £10 a week raise. But they were all coming to the end. George (Best) had gone missing, Bobby Charlton was finishing, Dennis Law was finishing. It was in transition the whole club and were were about fourth or fifth from the bottom. We weren't a good team and it was survival mode sort of thing for players where the players were looking out for themselves. They weren't bothered about me.

"I needed people to see my runs or I was never going to score goals. It was not like I could dribble past people or  whatever. I wasn't that type of player. If you saw my runs and my movement and you delivered it. You know then you'd hopefully get the best from me. If you never saw the run or you never played the ball then or early enough then I'm not going to be in it," said Ted.

I asked Ted whether it was possible that a league One player today could even dream about making a similar move to the Premier League, like he did in his day. It would be impossible wouldn't it?

"When I went from Bournemouth to Man United that was the record then for a third division player to go to Man Utd – £200,000 or £220,000 or whatever it was. And I think it can happen  to a goal scorer for obvious reasons. The trouble is, if you are a goal scorer and you are scoring goals – you are on the move, and if you're a goalscorer that's not scoring goals – you're also on the move," chuckles Ted.

"I find it's not the same today, because I used to say, if I'm scoring goals you should be picking me, and if I'm not scoring goals, you have to leave me out. I don't  see anyone saying those types of thing today. You know with regards to putting things on the line and saying I'm a goal scorer, I score goals. Jermain Defoe has probably been one of the closest, because he's a goal scorer," said Ted.

"You have to be selfish to be a goal scorer - 100 per cent. More than selfish, no, no I mean you have to be very single-minded and that's why it always makes me think, when people say this is a team game. You know people are in the team for different reasons. He's a young lad trying to make it. You're an old pro trying to get another year's contract. Everyone is in there for different reasons. Of course, you state the obvious that you are in there to win, but you know when we win and I score we collectively do well. Or vice a versa. "

You want to get the headlines though, I suggest. "Yes, I do because that was my job," said Ted.

If you would like to read more about Ted MacDougall's career and his amazing football tales make sure you pick up a copy of Ted MacDougoal with its new Reflections - past and present chapter.

A Nil-Nil how very unlike AFCB

Well, we didn't get the three points we all hoped for against the noisy neighbours last weekend. A nil-nil draw was so unfashionable that nobody predicted that score in our score predictions! But perhaps we should focus more on the fact that Bournemouth kept their second clean sheet in a row, which is almost just as unheard of.
Begovic to the rescue.
You have to go back, almost a year, to 25 November 2017 when Bournemouth played Swansea City away for the last 0-0 draw involving AFCB. Bournemouth simply don't do games when they don't score, or let one in, so what Southampton achieved was pretty special and we should give Mark Hughes some credit for the way he set his side out. To nullify the threat of Brooks and Fraser was a major part of his plan and the two-centre halves of Stevens and Hoedt were very strong under pressure, once they had weathered Adam Smith first sortie into their box.

When Iwatch a goalless draw, I always come away thinking you have been short changed, but Asmir Begivic was again at his best in goal and did extremely well to keep a shut out with chances falling for Austin, Armstrong and Gabbiadini in particular. Bournemouth could easily have lost the game 0-1, or even won it 1-0 with the chances that King and Aké might have put away another day.


I did feel that Bournemouth did play better in the second half, and tried to build some momentum with the crowds' help. Still, it was an end-to-end game and yet with few chances. So I'm not that disappointed to see Bournemouth remain in sixth place in the table, and still with a chance to make it 20 points from 10 games going into their next match. UTCIAD!

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Meeting Ted MacDougall

Sponsored article

Entering the AFC Bournemouth club shop on a Sunny October morning, the light sparkles and glimmers off the Aladdin's cave of gifts and merchandise awaiting to be snapped up by fans who have see the meteoric rise of their club under Eddie Howe. But awaiting visitors at the end of the shop, it's not Eddie they have come to see but a club legend of a generation earlier when the club was rooted in the lower divisions. SuperMac was also renowned for grabbing newspaper headlines in his playing days and he's lost none of his appeal or star quality over the years.
Ted MacDougall sets up shop in the club shop.
He'll speak to the young boy called Harry and ask him what position he plays in and can he play for Scotland. Harry's dad is prompting his son and encouraging him to talk with Ted, like he has just met Father Christmas for the first time! They stop to take a photo and Ted happily jests about days gone by, as one after another Bournemouth fan ask him to sign a copy of his paperback 'Ted MacDougoal!'. The book is published by Pitch Publishing and written by AFC Bournemouth Club Secretary, Neil Vacher, who stands like an attentive guard nearby with a full day's schedule for Ted. I greet both Neil and Ted and similarly introduce my own sons to them, just like Harry's dad did with a knowing pleasure that they have now met the man who was the best in the very business at scoring goals.

I was honoured to spend half-an-hour exclusively with Ted, looking out on the perfectly prepared Dean Court Pitch before the Southampton game. It was a little different from when Ted recalls he was selling bits of turf from this very ground to raise money for the club. "I remember coming here a few years ago. I was auctioning everything off.  A fiver for this and a tenner for that - the seats on the terraces and rolls of turf. They were laying the turf down, and the next minute it was being rolled up and sold to the fans. It as crazy, but they needed the money."

Today Ted is more gainfully employed at an IT company called Got Soccer which runs fixture scheduling in 30 different countries. He usually visits Canada and England, as well as domestically USA to promote the organisation which sets up registration and anything you can think of to run a football league. "We're in 24 US sates, setting up fixtures for associations and player registration. It's good fun," says Ted. "I get to meet a lot of people and talk to people generally. I enjoy the people and I get a greater appreciation of what goes in behind the scenes to get a football game started. I never realised there was so much that needed to be done to get the game on."

This week, in the afternoons, we'll be celebrating the new release of Neil Vacher's 'Ted MacDougoal!', in paperback, with a bit more of the interview I had with Ted who has millions of stories up his sleeve.

Competition winners
Winners of last weeks competition who win a copy of the Ted MacDougall paper back are: Amy Wrixon, Barbra David (Pitman) and Steve Butler.

The answer was B Liverpool for those who didn't know where Ted's first club he signed for in England was.

Cherries kept quiet by dogged Saints 0-0

Match Description
AFCB 0 - 0 Southampton
20 October 2018
Attendance: 10.986

The build up for this local contest had everyone full of expectation for a high-flying game with plenty of goals. Sadly, the game didn't live up to that and was more of a tactical brawl that offered few chances to score. The better chances were probably carved out by Southampton in the end. Rather than blow energy into the Cherries, the international break perhaps took a little edge out of their play and Southampton were excellent at plugging any holes in their defence. While Bournemouth might not have been at their best, it is at least another point gained. It could have been worse if Stuart Armstrong or Manolo Gabbiadini had been better acquainted with where the goal was.

Bournemouth kept the same starting line up from their last game against Watford, even the subs bench remained the same. Southampton were coming off the back of a 0-3 home defeat to Chelsea, but they played with far more conviction in this game.

Southampton fans Ray, Trevor and Darren give their pre-match views.

Simon Francis at the coin toss with David Brooks looking on.
There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery.

The Cherries started well enough with Adam Smith bursting through the middle of the park and forcing the pace with Wilson, who returned the pass to Smith. Smith didn't manager to get the ball under control well enough to shoot, but Lewis Cook let fly only to see the ball cannon back towards him. Bournemouth had almost stunned Southampton in the second minute. 

Southampton survived the early assault and Nathan Redmond put a free kick just a metre or so over as the Saint's first attempt. 

A short corner from Bournemouth taken by Fraser was then caught by McCarthy and it was Bournemouth who were grateful that Austin was offside on 7 minutes.

Francis was looking for the early ball and sent King away up the right side of Southampton until Hoedt came across and snuffed out the threat. The game was already finally balanced with Adam Smith conceding a corner.

It was Wilson though who was showing strength and confidence in the middle robbing Bertrand of the ball and breaking forward.

Southampton came back though with Lemina hitting a weak shot. Begovic also did well to catch a ball in from another Southampton corner on 24 minutes, following Francis' sliding tackle.

Francis was also getting forward and supplied a good cross for Wilson, but the Bournemouth forward could only head over on 29 minutes.


The game was competitive, but far from pretty. Bertrand was booked, but Southampton were more than just fouling. A long ball over the top from Højbjerg caused Aké problems when he let it bounce and Austin got ahead in the foot-race. This caused Begovic to come out, before Austin luckily ran out of room to get a shot off after 35 minutes.

Bournemouth tried to hit back with Francis putting in a strong cross that Wilson couldn't quite reach. It was Bournemouth then defending with Steve Cook doing enough to get a header clear with Danny Ings lurking.

King was fouled by Elyounoussi who picked up Southampton's second yellow card on 40 minutes. Following a Steve Cook header, Redmond forced a save from Begovic but it was straight at the keeper.

The most comical moment of the half came right at the end when a Bournemouth fan in the North stand had the ball and Steve Cook asked for it and the fan held on to it before throwing it to Begovic. The look on Steve Cook's face could kill, but we loved it.

Second half
Bournemouth stared like a train with Jefferson Lerma hurtling through tackles and eventually supplying across that King came close to getting a shot on target from, but it just went wide. Fraser would soon follow up with a pacy run and cross, but there was no one in the middle.

Begovic had to be at his best when Ings escaped up the left side and shot across goal forcing Begovic to get down and save. Both teams were accelerating now and Wilson was next to put in a cross but just too strong.

The big laugh of this half came when Austin completely air kicked and Ryan Fraser could win the throw.

Brooks was subbed on 58 minutes for Stanislas. Junior made an immediate impact winning a corner for Bournemouth. The Cherries best chance to score then came with Junior and Wilson working well before King shot wide from six yards out on 63 minutes.

The Saints too were getting corners but Aké was there to clear. No side was on top but Bournemouth kept trying to push the pace with Stanislas and Wilson stretching the Saint's defence, before Francis half shot come cross was deflected for another Bournemouth corner on 68 minutes.

Begovic again had to be careful to watch a dipping volley from Højbjerg for a corner a minute later. King was still looking like a good bet for a goal, but had a shot blocked and Austin had to head over his own goal to clear from Steve Cook's cross. Aké's header from the corner was powerful but easily saved.

Steve Cook was still making clearances before Fraser was subbed for Ibe on 76 minutes. Southampton also subbed Austin for Shane Long and Gabbiadini replaced Ings on 79minutes.

Lewis Cook's ball into the box saw the ball brush Stephens' arm, but the referee waved away penalty shouts.

Cedric put in a good cross from the right which Shane Long knocked down leaving Armstrong right in front of goal, but Begovic smothered the chance before Adam Smith cleared. King was then subbed for Gosling with five minutes to go.

Wilson was close to getting through when Hoedt kept him out. McCarthy punched the corner clear before Hoedt went down to kill some time. Højbjerg covered when Wilson and Stanislas looked to get free. Even Steve Cook's long throw didn't quite have it's magic as Gosling's shot from the knock down looked on target, before it hit Aké. Wilson then picked up a booking on 86 minutes.

One last chance came right at the end when Gabbiadini had the chance to win it, but leaning back he headed over.
Another point for the Cherries, but not such a dazzling display.
Not the most exciting 0-0 draw. Southampton contained Bournemouth's wide players well and denied space. In the end it was Bournemouth who were probably more grateful of getting something from the game. Lerma has proved he is a player with great touch and control, while Begovic is becoming more reliable between the sticks. It would have been great to see more of Adam Smith attacking at full pelt and Francis overlapping, but Bournemouth couldn't over commit and Southampton played well enough to get something from the game. While lack of goal action was disappointing, a clean sheet is always welcome.
AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Rico, Surman, Gosling, Stanislas, Ibe, Defoe.

AFCB Ratings
Begovic 7, Francis 6, Aké 6, S Cook 7, A Smith 6, Brooks 6, L Cook 6, Lerma 8, Francis 6, King 6, Wilson 6 

Ref Watch: Lee Probert 2/10 Did little to help game flow. Too picky.

McCarthy, Cédric Soares, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand, Elyounoussi, Lemina, (Armstrong 66), Højbjerg, Redmond, Ings (Gabbiadini 79), Austin (Long 78)

Saints' Subs
Gunn, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Long, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Gabbiadini

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Bournemouth's creative power could overrun Saints

AFCB have to be fired up for Southampton. The Saints have had a rotten start to the season and they will try and use all that to get a result against Bournemouth. In the past the Saints have been able to bully their near neighbours most of the time, but the Cherries have an opportunity to really stamp their dominance on the south coast with another home win this Saturday.
16th in the table is a really poor start for Southampton. They are under pressure already.
While the table puts a huge 11 points between the two clubs, there is three points up for grabs and Bournemouth have often yielded in the past like at the end of last season when Southampton needed the points to stay in the division. There is no Dusan Tadic this time though. Southampton are finding it hard to score goals as well with just six so far from their eight games, even though they have had 117 shots with 36 on target. Bournemouth have made 99 shots and have had 37 on target.

The stats point towards the Saints not creating enough and not taking their chances with seven big chances made in their eight games, less than one a match. Meanwhile, Bournemouth have created 20 good chances to score in their eight games, two and a half a game. Will Southampton be able to cope with the running power of King, Wilson, Fraser, Brooks or Stanislas? Bournemouth's creative players have been cutting teams open at Dean Court and I fancy a similar in this match.

Many of the Saint's other stats are not that dissimilar to Bournemouth's. They average 409 passes a game, exactly the same as Bournemouth and have conceded 14 goals compared to the Cherries seeing 12 shots beat Begovic. Both teams have two clean sheets. Where Bournemouth have been less under pressure though is at the back. Bournemouth have seen Begovic make 19 saves compared to 30 saves made by Southampton's keeper. Southampton have only made 201 clearances while Bournemouth have made 234.

Southampton have made 104 interceptions which is also high compared to Bournemouth's 63. It is perhaps showing that Bournemouth are still a high-possession team. But the Saints have put in 144 crosses compared to Bournemouth's 121.

Southampton might have good strikers in Shane Long, Charlie Austin and Danny Ings but if they don't have the creative players to get them in on goal it could be another day when Eddie Howe exacts some punishment on Marl Hughes. AFCB have only beaten the Saints once in the Premier League in six attempts - let's start putting that right. Be loud today. UTCIAD!

Southampton Away Form

AFCB Home Form
Possible AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Francis, Gosling, Surman, Brooks, Ibe, Mousset.
CBTV match preview.

Finally, look out for Cherry Chimes answering questions on AFCB v Southampton on That's Liquid Football.