Sunday, 16 December 2018

Cherries continue poor run at Wolves 2-0

Match Report
Wolves 2 v 0 AFCB
15 December 2018
Attendance: 30,997
Wolves waited to pick off the Cherries.
Bournemouth sank to their sixth defeat in seven games at Molineux despite a dominance on the ball for most of the game. Eddie Howe saw his team have another individual error that gave the opposition the lead, and Bournemouth's forwards failed then to break down a well-organised Wolves defence. A decisive counter-attack in injury time made the score line rather flattering for Wolves, but their game plan had worked well and Bournemouth were just out thought, losing to a team that took their chances well.

Simon Francis was injured and missed the trip to Wolves allowing Tyone Mings to come into the team, while Jordan Ibe replaced David Brooks. Callum Wilson was fit enough only to make the bench. Bournemouth lined up in 3-4-3 formation and Andrew Surman took the captain's armband.

Match Descripton
Bournemouth began with an attack up the left and made good progress into Wolves box before they had to regain possession. Mings made a mistake at the back in the second minute, but Wolves could not capitalise on it. Surman played a good ball into King and he was caught up by Coady as the ball went out for a corner.

Bournemouth were working hard when Wolves had possession to get the ball back. Aké and Lerma had already made good interceptions while Stanislas was seeing a lot of the ball. Daniels pushed a ball up for Stanislas but Daniels failed to get his cross in.

Ibe beat a few players but couldn't get a deep cross in wither. King recovered the ball well off of Neves, but knocked his pass out of play.

Daniels then made a mistake by giving the ball away to Jota, who squared it and Jimenez scored to make it 1-0 to Wolves on 12 minutes.

Fraser put in a cross but the keeper gathered the ball. Bournemouth were well in control but had given Wolves a gift with 16 minutes gone.

Stanislas loses control of the ball. Neves and Jota came down the left until Steve Cook came across. Boly's pass is then cut out.

Mings is back on half way and Ibe wins a throw. Cody now makes a mistake. Mings towards the byline but Stanislas has hit his shot high into the stand.

Daniels and Surman picked the pace up, but Wolves on soon on the counter with Jimenez and Docherty, Steve Cook had to head away.

Mings came forward to Fraser, but Gibbs-White takes the ball. King has a free kick, half way inside the Wolves half. Daniels comes forward.

Mings has to make a tackle. Mings is injured and Wolves play on but shoot over. Mings had a knee in his back. Mings is trying to play on.

Surman has put a ball out. Gibbs-White on the right side and Neves finds Jimenez. Steve Cook has been yellow carded.

Diego Rico is coming on for Tyrone Mings. Wolves have a free kick and a header off King goes out for a Wolves corner. Boly is in there but Stanislas clears. Lerma finds Rico. Rico is playing just in front of Daniels on the left.

King holds the ball up for Ibe but he is blocked. Rico has a shot but it's a goal kick. Fraser up to Rico, but Ibe has picked the ball up again. Lerma is booked pulling back a Wolves player.

Rico has now given a foul away. Some 40 minutes gone and Bournemouth need to get something before half time. Steve Cook over the top to Fraser against Cody, King can't get his foot on it and Stanislas is just a yard off it.

Neves and Gibbs-White push on, Jota is away and Steve Cook knocks Jota over, it's a legitimate shoulder barge. Surman regains the ball and Bournemouth come forward with Daniels' cross then Lerma hits a shot from distance right at Wolves' keeper.

Costa is trying to come on for Jota but the substitution will have to be made after half-time. Bournemouth have had 64 per cent possession and have had four shots to Wolves 3, but both teams have had one shot on target.

Second half
Costa is on now for Jota. The rain is hammering down. King has a free kick inside the Wolves half. Daniels hits it wide to Steve Cook but the ball comes back out.

Bournemouth continue to push Wolves back .Rico gives away a foul. Daniels plays a ball up for King and Fraser has his back to goal.

Gibbs-White and Neves has a shot that comes off Daniels for a corner on 52 minutes. Begovic punches and Steve Cook is fouled.

Surman has a shot from distance that is wide of the right post. Jimenez is offside. Rico and Costa get in a tangle. Gibbs-White to costa and his finish is poor. Wolves could have finished it there, but he haas hit the shot high.

Callum Wilson is on for Jordan Ibe on 57 minutes. Steve Cook wins a foul right on the corner of the box after Boly's challenge. Stanislas and Rico stand over the ball. Stanislas hits it over the wall and the post keeps it out top right.Lerma hits a great shot that is saved top right.

Wolves are on the ball now. Costa has been booked for pulling back Lerma. Gibbs-White and Doherty and its out for a corner off Rico. Stanislas wins a free kick with 21 minutes left.  Nothing is coming off for Bournemouth in the final third.

Daniels puts a good cross in, but Fraser has lost the ball. Bournemouth corner. Rico takes and it's headed clear and the keeper claims the ball when it's fed back in.

Lerma plays a long ball and Wilson has a shot blocked for a corner. Steve Cook's tame header loops up.  Giibs-White is subbed for Saiss on 75 minutes.

Wolves have a free kick and it's run out for a goal kick on the far side. Lerma has put a header behind for a Wolves corner. Aké wins the header. Lerma can't beat the last man.
Just 10 minutes left. Mousset is coming on for Stanislas. Wolves are playing keep ball. Aké and Rico get away with a bit of a defensive hash, slipping over.  

Costa gets a shot away that Begovic has to push away for a corner. Sharp save from Begovic. Bournemouth having to do some defending. Wilson nad Rico break, but Wolves get back. 

Wolves come forward but they can't get a shot off. Steve Cook puts a cross in that evades everyone. Wolves sub Jimenez for Cavaliero on 89 minutes. 

Daniels to take a free kick. Steve Cook with a long throw. Four minutes of added time. Rico to King and the shot is blocked.

Wolves from the back and Lerma gives a free kick away on Costa on 92 minutes. Rico takes a free kick, Wolves can break and Cavaliero has just Begovic to beat it's 2-0.  A well taken goal with Costa squaring the ball on half way for Cavaliero to race through and kill the game.

Bournemouth slide down to 10th in the table.
Bournemouth will look at this match as a game where they dominated play but made an individual error that cost them heavily, and chasing the game they couldn't get back into it. The play in the final third just wasn't crisp enough and with Wolves keeper hardly having to make a save, Bournemouth are starting to find it hard to create clear chances. The stout defence of Wolves and their disciplined play gave them a deserved win. Bournemouth might have played better than they have for the last five games, but they have lost the ruthless streak in front of goal. Add this to the odd mistake and this is why AFCB are losing games. Worrying also are the number of injuries now with Mings another casualty. 

AFCB Subs: Boruc, Rico, Pugh, Brooks, Mousset, Wilson, Defoe

AFCB Ratings
Boruc 6, S Cook 6, Ake 6, Mings 5, Daniels 5, Ibe 5, Lerma 6, Surman 6, Stanislas 6,
Fraser 5, King 5

Cherry Chimes' MoM: Steve Cook

Ref Watch: Simon Hopper 4/10 got in the way of passes rather too often.

Rui Patrício, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, João Moutinho, Neves, Castro Otto (Saiss 75), Gibbs-White, Jota (Costa 45), Jiménez (Cavaleiro 89)

Wolves Subs
Ruddy, Cavaleiro, Hélder Costa, Saïss, Vinagre, Dendoncker, Traoré

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Wolves is a crunch match for AFCB

The way the season has progressed with AFCB gradually slowing in the points accumulation puts much more importance on fixtures like the one against Wolves who are in a similar position in the league. Taking points off of teams that are around you is always a must to improve your position, and Bournemouth know that another five wins will push them towards safety which has to be their first goal.
Picking up away points would make up for recent home defeats.
Wolves have only won one game fewer than AFCB. While the pressure from being at home can be difficult, the Cherries are picking up points on the road this season and they will be pleased not to be taking on a top six side today. The Cherries have had a full week to prepare for this match and Eddie Howe will be well aware that a defeat would likely see AFCB fall out of the top 10.


Far from worrying about the opposition as has probably been the case against Man City and Liverpool, Bournemouth can concentrate on what they do best for this match. If the Cherries can go into the game concentrating on what they want to do and how they can cause problems, they should start well. They need to drop the anxiety of losing points in the last few weeks and try and mount a serious drive for points again to build confidence.

A big part of that should be the aim of getting back to clean sheets. Bournemouth have let in eight goals in their last three matches and while the opposition has included two top six sides in that run, AFCB have a good chance to get a shut out against a team that has only scored 17 goals in their 16 games. So Wolves are averaging about one goal a game. Bournemouth know that they have the quality to score more than one goal a game and they may well need that to win this game.

Possible AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Mings, Brooks, Ibe, Pugh, Mousset, Defoe

AFCB TV preview

Cherry Chimes' T-Shirt competition

Send in your score predictions for Wolves v AFC Bournemouth to @CherryChimes on Twitter by Saturday at 12am. We will picker winner from the correct entries to win a T-shirt. Good luck 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Wolves have been great against the top teams

Wolves have made a great start to life in the Premier League and now that they have hit the top 10, it is down to AFCB to try and stop them climbing further on Saturday. A defeat would see Wolves climb above the Cherries, and this game has a crunch match feel about it, because of that as both teams need momentum going into more fixtures in December.

Bournemouth last played Wolves in the Championship.
The home record of Wolves has strangely not been as good as their record away. They have won three games out of eight at Molineux, drawing two and losing three. Goals have been a bit hard to come by with Raul Jiménez leading the way with four goals and Matt Doherty has scored three, while Rúben Neves, Diogo Jota and Ivan Cavaleiro follow on two goals each. The Portuguese core of the squad has been very effective at keeping possession and frustrating some rivals, but what has impressed me is their defence.

Matt Doherty is a strong defender who has been doing well with headed clearances and goals at the other end, while French defender Wily Boly has been a great signing since joining on loan last season from Porto. Wolves have managed four clean sheets and with draws against Man City, Man United, Everton and Arsenal as well as a win over Chelsea, Wolves have certainly raised their game for the top half teams. In that respect Wolves record is quite a contrast to Bournemouth's record at having struggled against the top six, so perhaps Wolves should be slight favourites for this game.
Wolves are also a team that are getting results right at the end of games, so AFCB will have to be aware of how Wolves can score late on. Nuno Espirito Santo has the players playing for him and this could be the game of the weekend with both teams likely to see this game as a very winnable match.

Wolves Home Form

AFCB Away Form

Cherry Chimes' T-Shirt competition

Send in your score predictions for Wolves v AFC Bournemouth to @CherryChimes on Twitter by Saturday at 12am. We will picker winner from the correct entries to win a T-shirt. Good luck 

Wolves Blog: Cherry Chimes answers questions about the Cherries for Wolves Blog.
Rival Lines: Find out what Wolves Blog thinks about tomorrow's game

Rival Lines: 'It's nice to be top dog in the West Midlands' says Wolves Blog

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Wolves v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Wolves Blog
Twitter: @wolvesblog

This week I spoke to Thomas at Wolves blog about the great start to Premier League life that Wolves have managed since their return. As well as having a forward-thinking manager they have several young players that have contributed to the good start and I don't see this as an easy game for the Cherries who only just sit above Wolves in the table.

CC: What do you think Nuno's best qualities are as a manger?

WB: I like the fact he has a clear idea about he wants his team to play and never deviates from this regardless of the opposition. I also think it's admirable in the age of soundbites that he says little and prefers to let his team do the talking.

CC:  It has to be the best time to be a Wolves fan right now, but were you surprised at how long it took to get back to the Premier League?

WB: Well, I didn't expect consecutive relegations that's for sure. But we've spent the vast majority of the last 30 years in the second tier trying to get out so it was nothing new. Our previous owners were never that ambitious, so the Championship felt like our level until Fosun took over.

CC: To me it looks like Wolves have much more of a vision of how they want to play and how the club can develop now - is that a comfort to the fans?

WB: Absolutely. It feels like everyone shares the same vision for how we should be playing and there's limitless ambition. The owners have spoken openly about wanting to compete with the Big 6 and haven't been shy about backing that up with considerable investment. It's exciting times.

CC: You have had some great results in the Premier League already, but why do you think Wolves results against the top six have been better than some of the results against the bottom six?

WB: I think we play better on the break and when we're winning possession high up the pitch from teams trying to play out from the back. The top teams tend to do that more than those struggling at the bottom. Motivation and the pressure of expectancy may also be a factor.


CC: A lot of attention has been focussed on Morgan Gibbs-White. Do you think he could be fast-tracked and be involved for England in the next European Championships in 2020?

WB: He's only just had his first Premier League start for us so probably premature to be talking about England. But certainly if he plays consistently for the next year or so as well as he did against Chelsea the other day, why not? The talent is most definitely real. He's been talked about for years so it's great to see the potential coming to fruition.

CC: Are you enjoying not having a derby game this season?

WB: It's certainly nice to be top dogs in the West Midlands as we haven't enjoyed that status in my lifetime. Every game has that derby atmosphere in your first season back in the Prem, so I'm not too bothered if I'm honest.

CC: Do you think we are yet to see the best of Ruben Neves?

WB: I'd say so. He continually improved last season and peaked down the home stretch and it could be the same this time. He's had to adjust to the pace and quality of the Premier League but you can see he's got a lot of quality himself even though he doesn't have it all his own way at times. He'll play in the Champions League again at some point, I'm certain of that. He's got the ability and temperament to go right to the top.

CC: Nuno has not played too many players, but if money is available in January what type of player would you like to see come in to improve the team?

WB: I think we need more options and more physical power in midfield and attack, so an athletic midfielder and a proper number 9 would be handy, even if they're just options we can call upon from the bench.

CC: Have Wolves got many injuries ahead of this game?

WB: Wing-back Jonny Otto is still out but other than that, I think we're dealing from a full deck, which is nice as we head into a busy December.

CC: How do you expect Wolves to line up?

WB: 343 - Patricio in goal, back three of Bennett, Coady and Boly, Doherty and Vinagre at wingback, Neves and Moutinho in midfield with Gibbs-White, Jimenez and Jota in attack.

CC: Do you see Bournemouth at home as a must win game, a difficult game or possibly one of the more entertaining games?

WB: A very difficult game but hopefully win or lose a good spectacle. There will certainly be two teams intent on playing attractive football and trying to get the three points, so should be a great match up.

CC: Thanks to Thomas who has a great Wolves Blog. You'll see some answers to questions that I answered for Thomas on his blog this week. I think Wolves are enjoying life in the Premier League and are one of the teams that are capable of surprising teams, so it is going to be a tough ask for Bournemouth to get something from this game. I wouldn't be too disappointed with a score draw.

Cherry Chimes' T-Shirt competition
Send in your score predictions for Wolves v AFC Bournemouth to @CherryChimes on Twitter by Saturday at 12am. We will picker winner from the correct entries to win a T-shirt. Good luck 

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Are AFCB over their wobble?

In the last five games AFCB have won just one game and have lost four. I think we can call it a wobble in form or a period when the team has found it difficult to pick up points, but if this period was characterised by the best teams in the league, can we expect an improvement of results in the next few games?
AFCB have to start piking up points against mid-placed teams.
The fixtures against Wolves and Brighton might have been viewed as favourable matches to pick up points at the start of the season, but the form of both of these teams has picked up just as AFCB get ready to play them. You could call it bad luck, but AFCB have to start building their own luck, and if they need a target hitting 25-30 points before the end of the year would be a fabulous achievement.

Bournemouth have not drawn that many games this season but playing these teams that are of similar stature could start to increase the likelihood of a drawn game or two. But defeat to Wolves and Brighton would leave the Cherries facing another tough couple of games against Spurs and Man United, needing to get points just to get themselves back into the top 10 before the end of the calendar year.
So, I don't think we can underestimate the importance of the next two games for the Cherries. Bournemouth can either be fighting for a European place or be looking at holding on to mid-table positions come the start of next year. Traditionally, AFCB tend to pick their game up at this important stage of the season, and they will certainly need to improve on their current form, which is only better than Watford and Southampton.

Let's hope the wobble is soon a thing of the past. It would be a shame if Bournemouth struggle to build on their good start.

Express and Star - match preview for Wolves v AFCB

Are AFCB good enough to be best of the rest?

Simon Francis made a reference to being disappointed that AFCB will have fallen out of the top six following the defeat against Liverpool. His target is certainly to try and get the Cherries back into that position come next May, and while AFCB have been in and around the top six for most of the early part of the season, is it asking too much for them to hold onto that kind of position?
AFCB have to make their effort now to stay in the race for Europe.
The teams above Bournemouth now include Everton and Man Utd. In previous seasons it would not have been realistic for the Cherries to be within a game of two of these teams after a quarter of the season, but the Cherries have done well enough that they are contenders, if outsiders, for a European place come next May.

With only one point between Bournemouth and their next opponents Wolves in 10th place it is seen as a crucial game to keep make some distance on Wolves. The same will be considered when Bournemouth play Brighton in mid-December. The gap will either open or close up and to stay in touch with Everton and Man Utd, AFCB need to get points in these kind of games.


A finish in seventh place would be a new record for AFCB and while Man Utd and Everton have more spending power, it is clear that AFCB have been playing well enough in the first part of the season to hang in with these teams' performances. The only worry now is on the injury front. If AFCB continue to pick up injuries at their current rate they will need to use more squad players, and Bournemouth's squad is simply not as deep as these bigger teams.

So would finishing seventh be a good achievement. I'd say it would be an excellent achievement, while even a top 10 finish must be seen as progress, if AFCB manage that in a season when they have not flirted with the bottom three places at any stage of the season.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Why can't AFCB beat top six teams?

While there has been much praise of how Bournemouth are getting closer and more competitive in matches against the best teams in the Premier League, the results this season would suggest otherwise. Perhaps it shows where Bournemouth are still well behind the best teams - in defence.
Bournemouth haven't had much luck against the top six.
Adding up the score lines against Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool the score reads 3-11 in favour of the opposition and, although two of the games were only 2-1 defeats, the Cherries have not been so effective at the back against these top sides. Playing under pressure against good attackers is what AFCB need to get better at. Whether that means there has to be a period of getting used to playing these tames and finding their weaknesses more regularly or studying videos more intently, there is work for AFCB to do to improve.

Bournemouth don't have a top six team challenge again in the league until Boxing Day, which is some relief only if they can pick up points in the games in between then and now.  There is one Carabao Cup quarter-final against Chelsea though that could be a chance to not only break the duck, but try and see if AFCB can find a better way to approach these big games. In past seasons, AFCB have always had some success against the best teams and it would almost seem a backward step if the Cherries don't get any joy against the big teams this season.
At the moment the gap appears to still exist between AFCB and the best teams. But this season the Cherries have perhaps not been at the very top of their game when they have played these clubs. Eddie Howe has to try and find ways to be better, even if there is no doubting the quality of the opposition in these games. If AFCB play the top six and play well but still lose, there can be little complaint, but when AFCB lose and are contributing to their defeats, then there is more work to do.