Monday, 30 June 2014

Should Pitman be keen on Rotherham move?

We have heard from various blogs and in particular the Vitals site that Pitman is in demand by Rotherham as a potential striker for them this coming season. While I can see why the Millers would be looking at such a player who has been a fierce finisher in League One but has not had that many opportunities in the Championship, I wonder whether Brett should see it as a good move to progress his career?
Brett is one of several players who will want to play more next season.
At 26 Brett is about to reach the age when he should be at the height of his career. He is at a good Championship club but is not getting many starting opportunities and Eddie Howe is already looking for a further replacement for Lewis Grabban. That probably sends a message to Brett and some others that they may not be quite the striker that the manager wants in his team or that they simply have to wait until they get a chance.

If Rotherham have an interest in him and put in an acceptable bid it could well be tempting for him to get more game time at this newly promoted club that could of course do better than AFCB next season. I don't think us fans really appreciate that such decisions are very personal and involve an amount of risk taking whether you stay or go. A loan move is also possibly on the cards for Pitman if he is unhappy at AFCB, but I would be keen to move permanently if a club at the same level as where I was playing wanted me to be their striker and could offer a starting place. But I'll just say that Brett's record in his second period at the Cherries is 24 goals in 45 appearances. While many of those are at League One, it is a good record.
Brett will have to ask himself if he really believes
he can play a bigger part at AFCB.
Whatever Rotherham's intentions it is Brett that has some thinking to do this summer and I think that is true even if this story is not a real goer for him. His return to AFCB started so well with the goal scoring run he had at the end of the 2012-13 season. His lack of pace though seems destined to keep him out of the side in the Championship and, while his finishing has always been of the highest level, there may be little more that he can do at AFCB to prove that he is worth a place in the team. This would indicate that the door would be open for him to move and he could yet prove to be a perfect fit at another Championship club.

World Cup Chimes reports on Netherlands comeback against Mexico and a penalty shoot out in the Greek v Costa Rica match sees Costa Rica through.

Tomorrow will see the release of Cherry Chimes July Newsletter which gives subscribers updates on the favourite stories of last month and has a special report on FC Copenhagen who the Cherries face on 11 July. You need to sign up to receive the free newsletter, which is one email a month just fill in your details below. Previous newsletters are also available by signing up.

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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Derby interest in Francis turned down twice

It is somewhat of a surprise that when talk comes of AFCB players that are potential targets for other clubs it is rare that Simon Francis' name comes up. I say a surprise because Simon has put in a couple of remarkable seasons that has seen him pick up awards and be highly recognised by the fans and the management. Yet, Derby County have seen the potential and have allegedly had two bids turned down for Francis by AFCB, according to SKYSports. It is good to see that Bournemouth are able to turn down such bids now.

Having hardly missed a game in those two seasons he is a reliable performer with tremendous pace and power. So you wonder what more he can add to his game?

Francis was AFCB captain on more than one occasion last season.
I was impressed last season with his crossing ability. He has always been a strong runner who will get to the byline but his crosses were usually two strong but he has been picking out players and Kermorgant has been the main beneficiary. I do think that having Ritchie in front of him most games has given him a bit more understanding of when to go and when he needs to be covered by Matt. That should be even better next season.

Having also had a year in the Championship there should be less surprises for Francis next season. His tackling is strong and his positional play is something which has improved, although there are some times when he gets caught out. I believe he is among the fittest players in the squad though and he certainly uses his strength when he has to.
The crossing and running power of
Francis is key to many of AFCB's breakaways.
While all the time he is likely to be pushed harder than ever before by Adam Smith for his place. If Francis could also add a few more strikes on goal that may also help his cause. The interest from Derby should also inspire him as he knows he is getting noticed at AFCB.

Update 30 June pm: Neill Blake, chief executive at AFCB, has confirmed that Derby County did make two bids for Francis and were turned down - story on Official AFCB website. It looks like the Derby Telegraph was incorrect on this matter as they stated that two bids were "wide of the mark".

Rumours of Steve Cook possible exit resurface

The Social network channels were buzzing with the chat about Steve Cook and a possible move to QPR last week. While I don't like perpetuating rumours it has been a while since Steve was said to be having contract talks with the Cherries and we have heard no news yet of a done deal for a new contract. That is hardly surprising seeing that likely bids for him are expected to come in over the summer and every player should keep their options open for as long as they feel necessary to get the best deal for themselves.
Steve Cook - AFCB in a race to extend his deal at the club.
The possible loss of Cook though would throw a fairly large whole in the Cherries plans with only Elliot Ward and Tommy Elphick having played there last season during Cook's absence. While there are other defenders on the club's books that could do a job there it is Howe's aim to keep Steve Cook at AFCB and not to lose another key player from last year's successful team.

It could be a case of AFCB fans saying goodbye to more than one of their heroes from last season. If Bournemouth do lose Cook I am sure that the rumours will then start circulating about the future of Eunan O'Kane. AFCB are at a level that makes easy pickings for the Premiership clubs. Butt Eddie Howe's summer could be about to turn a lot better. Why?

Yesterday morning, Football League World was reporting that Bournemouth were about to secure a new deal with Cook, citing SkySports. Neil Perrett at the Echo has also tweeted that a deal with Steve Cook is almost there. With the funds coming in from the Lallana deal, it is more likely that the Cherries now have the finances to keep more of their star players and I would expect an announcement perhaps as soon as next week on Steve Cook's future.

It was great World Cup viewing last night and in  Colombia's James Rodriguez I believe a new star was born on the world scene last night what an incredible goal! Kyle's World Cup Watch reports on Brazil v Chile and there are previews on Netherlands v Mexico and Costa Rica v Greece. For all the latest news from Brazil go to World Cup Chimes.

Make sure you get your World Cup bets on with Free Bet Negotiator to get yourself free bet vouchers.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Expect AFCB to be sensible with Lallana windfall

It seems that Liverpool have been encouraged to go for the Lallana deal having had a difficult past week with the Suarez biting incident and are set to capture their second Southampton player this summer, clearing the way for a £6.25m pay out for the Cherries. While many devoted Dean Court  fans may see that money already headed for a large splash out for new additions to the Cherries squad I am more of a mind to expect that AFCB chairman Jeff Mostyn is likely to say thank you very much and bank most of what comes in with the Cherries overheads already at levels that would be hard to sustain but for the generosity of owner Maxim Demin. 

Yes, AFCB may well increase their offer for front man Callum Wilson of Coventry city and their bid may be accepted but look at the prudence of Eddie Howe's signings so far this summer - both free transfers. AFCB are not yet a club that can splash the cash at will and just because another club values a player higher than the Cherries are prepared to initially pay does not mean they will not look elsewhere if they think the price is too high. 

There is certainly a sudden movement in the market and it is being stimulated by the Liverpool's and Man Utd's who are spending and importantly spending on British players. That is not something that has been a trend for quite some time, but the value of academies is there for everyone to see. The clause in Lallana's Southampton contract for an AFCB payment is how clubs like ours can recoup funds and build, but it is not every day that such windfalls will offer themselves and the Cherries have to think carefully what to do with the money they receive down the line.

There are plans for a new permanent South End stand which could be built next summer and we already know that space at Dean Court is limited for much more future development. Living within your means is the slogan that few chairman fail to live by in the Championship but in Jeff Mostyn I believe we have a man who will, with other board members, do what is best for the club and its supporters. Let's see that the Lallana deal goes through  on Monday and then hear what Jeff has to say.

And just a last thought. What are Southampton going to do with all their new money will Ronald Koeman look to buy Dutch players or could he have his eye on some young Championship players, even AFCB ones? Just pulling your leg, Saint fans!

Kyle's World Watch previews Brazil v Chile and Uruguay v Colombia - see World cup ChimesCatch all the best bets for the World cup at Free Bet Negotiator.

Well done to Mark-c on 265pts in our Chimes fans  Fantasy league and AdamJ on 207pts, myself (202) and AFCB_Tay (195) have some work to do!

Finally, All Departments has released a new podcast with Neil Moss - Number One. See the link on our site in the side panel or visit All Departments' website to listen.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Signing new players will add a buzz to Cherries

There is nothing better than hearing that your club has just signed a young player with proven quality. It shows that your team is moving forward and has ambition and is an attractive proposition for talented players who want to further their career. It is exactly the opposite of seeing your best stars leave for pastures new and the level of optimism with new signings not only picks up the fans but carries itself through the squad and into the training field.
Junior Stanislas joins the Cherries. Picture AFCB

The Cherries need that type of buzz if they are to mount a challenge to the play-offs next season. It is a massive leap that they are trying to make in just their second Championship season and is going to be staggering if they can achieve it. I have enthused already about the transfer policy of late bringing in experienced players that are available on free transfers like Elliott Ward, Dan Gosling and Junior Stanislas. It is something that is never easy to do because players that are out of contract are often targets for more clubs and yet Eddie Howe has been landing a few such goodies of late.  

The timing of Junior's signature could not come at a better time with season ticket holders just having a few days left to commit to the new season. Youthful players to see in AFCB's new strip will help a few more renew I am sure, and it is noticeable that the names that Eddie and Jason are signing are getting bigger each season. I expect the wage bills will be rising too, so success is something that the club will be even stronger to crave now. The club will be hoping to being in more funds from various sources not just Mr Demin and I sense that the next stage of development is getting closer if the team manage another successful season in the Championship.

AFCB is certainly a different enterprise from when I used to see the players toiling away in League Two and there is no doubt that the prospect of further additions this summer paints a very different picture from the transfer embargoes that we have been all too used to at AFCB.

Extra time now
We have loaded some more pictures to the home section of Cherry Chimes' Facebook page. These new images are from the Leicester City home match on 1 Feb 2014 - Kevin Philips, say no more!

While Portugal and Ghana bowed out of the World Cup, the other match in Group G saw USA up against Germany, which Kyle reviews in his latest match report - see World Cup Chimes

Thursday, 26 June 2014

What does Stanislas signing add to AFCB?

The Cherries second summer signing is not a striker but another winger to add to the impressive line up of wide men already at the club. Junior Stanislas is a 24-year-old that could have resigned at Burnley to play Premier League football but chose instead to come to the south coast to be with Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe again. That says a lot about how highly the young winger thinks of AFCB's management team and he has penned a three year contract.

Junior is another player who has U21 England international recognition and that kind of quality is the level that AFCB now seek to maintain and improve on their Championship status. He is not a prolific scorer though having netted just seven times in 93 appearances for Burnley and three goals in 32 appearances last season for the clarets. So what exactly does he bring to AFCB? He can use either foot but usually plays on the left wing, which means he will most likely be fighting for a places against the likes of Marc Pugh and Ryan Fraser. Whether that means that Eddie Howe thinks that Pugh needs to improve his crossing or if he feels Fraser played too many games last season, we will just have to see. He is equally at home playing in the hole and has scored some stunning goals in that position like this one against Ipswich in 2013 (sorry no sound!).

With Premiership experience behind him from his West Ham days, Stanislas is used to the big occasion that will help the Cherries and he has already worked under some top-named West Ham managers such as Zola, Grant and Allardyce, and having been part of Burnley's promotion winning campaign he has been on the inside of a team that has made the grade in the Championship. So I see lots of positives and a player that should have his best years ahead of him and should be eager to regain Premiership football again.

It is another player that gives the Cherries that strength in depth that I was talking about yesterday and it may mean that AFCB start to play with a slightly different shape next season with Stanislas and Gosling both attacking midfielders. It was identified that there were a shortage of goals from the middle of the park and the two additions to the squad will hopefully boost the goal count. Check up on Junior's player history on Transfer Market, you'll see he is valued at around £1m even though he was out of contract when AFCB signed him.

Strength in depth is the key for AFCB

I asked a few days ago whether it was important that AFCB make the Premiership in the next few years. For two men I think it is essential that they do. Staying in the Championship just might not be enough for Maxim Demin long term. He needs the Cherries to fight for promotion to the Premiership. It's not just Maxim that needs it either, so does Eddie Howe. A couple of years spent with no further promotions will not sit happily with him and his needs may well change if he cannot succeed in getting the Cherries to the top tier. 

One of the tools needed to help both men reach their goals is a squad that has strength in depth. At the moment it looks like AFCB are starting to get there but there are not quite enough players that are pushing the first 11 regularly enough to spur performances on to the league positions that are ultimately desired.

More additions with plenty of experience like Smith are required.
The club certainly has some star performers now and yet it has been difficult to bring in players with further quality at prices that the club can afford. It was only last January that Adam Smith was signed to give some support in particular to Simon Francis. At times last season the three centre backs were just about able to cover each other when one got injured, but another player in place of Miles Addison is still required.

Finding another Eunan O'Kane and Harry Arter has also not yet been mastered, 
but Dan Gosling is arguably an excellent addition with Andrew Surman now back at Norwich City. On the wings Eddie Howe has a good crop of players and I see no need to bring in further additions there, although there are plenty of rumours about possible new recruits to fill those positions. Eddie's biggest dilemma is whether his strike force is strong enough to hold its own in the Championship. The team needs speed, power, strength and accuracy up front and with Kermorgant to build around the likelihood is that Eddie will make the right choice as he finds out more about what Yann needs in a strike partner.

The strength in depth requires funds though and if there might be a sticking point it is those financial fair play rules sitting uneasily in the background. They are unwelcome for a team that is looking to build like the Cherries, but the rules are the rules. However,  the sale of one or two more players following Grabban's exit still seems likely if new recruits are desired. UTCIAD!

If you go to Facebook and search Cherry Chimes or use the Android mobile app, we have added pictures from the first home game of the new year against Watford and the FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Liverpool.

Today's World Cup Chimes previews Ghana v Portugal in Brasilia today.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Coulibaly has to play more

Mohammed Coulibaly has much to prove in the months ahead. He should hopefully be fully fit to take on the Championship with a strong pre-season behind him. He has not really played much football in his last two seasons and it will be essential for him that he has some trouble-free games now from which he can try and earn a place in AFCB's starting line up. That is especiallypressing now with Eddie Howe said to be chasing Max Gradel of St Etienne, Junior Stanislas of Burnley and Moses Odubajo of Leyton Orient.
Coulibaly can really try to impress this season.
Some may say that Coulibaly has not been a great buy with the lack of game time he has had, but if he can be available for some 30 games or so in the coming season AFCB fans just might find that they have a young player who was worth waiting for to see more of. Coulibaly has the pace to worry defences and we know that he can score goals. Having not really been seen though from week to week it is hard for us fans to truly know how good a player he is yet.

The onus is really on him now to make sure he is in the best condition possible to give his all this season. Another season with just a handful of games would surely mean the end of his Cherries career. The memories of his performances against Real Madrid and Portsmouth will be starting to fade and while he has had a string of substitute performances I don't think we have seen anything like the potential that Coulibaly may be able to offer the team in the Championship. One fan said the other day that they would like to see him play up front with Yann Kermorgant and, while we have always seen Coulibaly on the wings, he would be one of those players who you could imagine is able to switch positions along the front line.

A run of games and a good pre-season are vital for Coulibaly.
I don't think we have seen the best of Coulibaly yet.
Much of a footballer's career time though is based on luck and being in the right place at the right time. I am hoping that Coulibaly has more luck this coming season so that he can really show AFCB supporters what he is able to do.

World Cup Chimes feature a match preview of Nigeria v Argentina and Kyle's World Cup Watch has a match profile of France's Antione Griezmann. 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Kings Park's sharp shooters - AFCB exclusive training pics

My good friend Damien Hill has been doing some pre-season spying on the Cherries and he has kindly shared his exclusive pictures of the team training in Kings Park. Here's what Damien had to say.

Having just had my birthday and some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket I decided to pop Dow to Dean Court to spend my dosh. I haven't been down recently as for the last 2 weeks I have been on crutches and unable to drive even though I only live a stones throw away from DC going on crutches is/was too much for me, so my first venture in the car apart from going first to the doctors was to get to see my beloved club again.
New merchandise in club shop.
New home shirts.
The club shop is full of the new home kit and training gear which is flying off the shelf and the queue for tickets was flowing nicely.
Elliot Ward and Ryan Fraser take a breather.
I think Tommy and Ryan may just have spotted Damien with his camera.
Harry Arter, Marc Pugh and Steve Cook.

Drinks time.
Training over. Dan Hodges leads the players off the field.
Out on Kings Park playing field some of the boys were in light training and in good spirits working some of the beers they have had on their holidays. Speaking to captain fantastic he said that there were no injury worries apart from Elliot Ward and that he had heard the rumours about Wilson and the lad from Leyton Orient, but nothing but rumours so we still wait on any new signings. Marc Pugh gave his excuses about his poor effort on goalmouth Disney XD channel with knocking over the skittles. The pitch was taking shape and covered with the sheet to help with growth but the training pitches have still a lot of work too be done and all around the ground busy with workmen preparing for the new season ahead.
View of the training pitches.
The pitch is well protected at the moment.
So with my new top purchased I'm looking forward to the new season ahead . UTCIAD!

Cherries are ready to go again

It was great to see that the lads were back in training this week and a few faces I did not expect to see turned up on the photos on the AFCB official website. I expect the mood is pretty good with a whole new league campaign ahead of the players and a pre-season training camp to come. It can't be easy resting if you are a professional football player, especially when you can see a World Cup going on. A chance to stretch the legs and start kicking a ball a game will surely be welcomed by many of the players even if the exercise runs and repetitions might not be so popular.
AFCB players are ready to start running again.
It is an interesting time right now with no huge pressure or expectations but a time to illustrate your passion to be involved and general fitness. There are so many opportunities for those who might have felt they could have done better last season and within a few weeks we might hear of the squad numbers being announced which always gives an early indication of who the main contenders for the starting places could be.

While training is probably quite light in these first few weeks it is not long before the friendlies will be here and the pressure will soon ramp up as we near the start of the season. It is okay to aim high but it is another to prepare for being right for that first game and Eddie Howe will be well aware that he has to get minds focused on the hard work before the showpiece of the first Championship game. 

Seeing the players train and getting back into the swing of things and having a smile on their faces is a signal that all is well, but other teams are also coming back into training and whether Bournemouth do well or not next season will start to shape place in the next few weeks. There is no euphoria of having been promoted like the season before last, but the 10th place finish last season should act as motivation and a confidence boost. 

The players will know even the little things matter and that everything is being designed to help them to finish even higher come next May. How much that rests on new signings is hard to tell at the moment, but I can't see AFCB standing still because other teams won't. It's all about building for the start of the season now and we should start to see things taking shape fairly quickly.

World Cup Chimes previews the Italy v Uruguay decider in Group D against and Kyle has a player profile of Costa Rica's  Joel Campbell.

World Cup viewing
De Vere's Urban Village Hotel in Bournemouth are sponsors of Cherry Chimes and are getting ready for England's final game. 

Tuesday 24th June, England’s last match v Costa Rica
- Live DJ, Balloon Artist, children’s face painting & Balloon Artist.
- Entertainment commencing from 16.00, kick off at 17.00

Food service extension
- The Victory will be serving food until 22.00 for the entire duration of the World Cup.

Download the complete game planner for the Victory pub and kitchen.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Allsop will gain from more match experience

I see Ryan Allsop as a goalkeeper that rose so fast up the football pyramid with his excellent performances in League One that perhaps the enormity of suddenly being the Championship and having the responsibility of being he Cherries No1 had come a bit soon for him. His glandular fever will have been an added blow that would ultimately ensure that he spent time resting which was probably beneficial for him last season, but now he should be looking to get back in the saddle.
Ryan needs to get himself back on track.
I think the idea of a loan spell elsewhere would be a good option for Ryan as he would have a fresh sheet and could concentrate on his football without having to be reminded of last season. I want to see Ryan do well whether it be with the Cherries or elsewhere. There are some areas of his game that have now been identified where he can improve and he can go away and work on them at a lower league club. I don't think sitting on the bench at AFCB will really do a great deal for his nerves or confidence if he is always waiting for a chance to play and the Cherries have just extended Darryl Flahavan's contract.
Lee Camp continues to lead the way in terms
of goalkeeping ability at AFCB.
So what would be a good season for Ryan Fraser? A couple of loan spells at clubs with an enhanced reputation and a rebuilt confidence to challenge Lee Camp for the No 1 jersey? I wonder why it is an option that Eddie Howe is said to be pondering over. I think it would be a good option for both parties while it would also perhaps give Benjamin Buchel the chance to be a goalkeeping backup when Flahavan is unavailable.

World Cup Chimes previews the Group A match as Mexico take on Croatia.

World Cup viewing
De Vere's Urban Village Hotel in Bournemouth are sponsors of Cherry Chimes and are getting ready for England's next game. 

Tuesday 24th June, England’s third Game.
- Live DJ, Balloon Artist, children’s face painting & Balloon Artist.
- Entertainment commencing from 16.00, kick off at 17.00

Food service extension
- The Victory will be serving food until 22.00 for the entire duration of the World Cup.

Download the complete game planner for the Victory pub and kitchen.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Expect a big season from Ryan Fraser

Ryan Fraser started last season like a player who relished every second on the pitch. He soon managed to get a couple of goals and his speed was a big bonus for the Cherries on the wings. He is still only 20 and now will have a second season in the Championship but what might he do better?

I expect a big season from Ryan Fraser.
I would like to see him get his head up now and again rather than looking down at the ball when he is dribbling at pace and see if he can pick out players a little more often for his passes. He is always so busy and hurried in his running that he can overplay and try and run through people rather than pick a pass, but if he can keep his control of the ball even better and burst into the box on his own then we want to see an end product. His crossing abilities have been good and possibly Eddie Howe has had him on corner duties because he wanted him to find it second nature to put the ball in the best areas when crossing.

If I do see a weakness in his game it is in just trying to keep on his feet more. If you are fouled and go down there is no shame in that but his small frame does make it easy for opponents to knock him over and while he gets some free kicks there are many occasions when he and the team get nothing and he can't do much sat on the floor.

The good thing about Ryan is though that he plays with the right attitude and just gets up again. He does not seem to slow down over the course of the 90 minutes and on the break he has shown that he is one of our players who can finish himself or spot a through ball pass with accuracy. While he has competition for his place I can only see Ryan getting better with the more games he plays under Eddie Howe and I don't think it will be long before Ryan will be attracting attention from other teams if he continues to do so well in the Championship.

Kyle Cotter is back on World Cup Chimes and previews the match between Colombia v Japan on 24 June and we also preview tonight's big match between Portugal and USA.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Could AFCB play with interchangeable forwards?

Eddie Howe will look closely at how the Cherries take their game to other teams now that Lewis Grabban has departed. Watching the World Cup I have enjoyed seeing some great attacking play. The young promise in England's national squad has not been successful yet but the forward play is surely headed in the right direction. Along with teams like Chile and Costa Rica, they have tried to make their forwards interchange positions during games which is something that you don't see so much in leagues like the Championship. But how easy is it to be expansive in your play?
Can Rantie develop more variety to his game
so it is not simply pace in straight lines?
Firstly, you have to ask do the Cherries have the players to add this type of interplay to their game? I believe we have already seen some of this type of play at Dean Court and in Yann Kermorgant Bournemouth have a player that is very capable of being comfortable of taking the ball in tight areas and manoeuvring play bringing others into the game. He is the kind of player to release quicker runners like Rantie and McQuoid. But can Rantie ever be as effective running wide rather than through the middle? I don't see Rantie as being at his best out wide. His direct style makes him more of a player to play on the last man. But McQuoid is a player who I believe can be effective in several positions across the front line and is one player that would be a contender to be able to switch positions during a game as the gaps appeared.
McQuiod has the legs to stretch teams.

Kermorgant is quick thinking enough to take up
positions that make defenders feel uneasy.
I would like to see Eddie Howe work with the players in seeing AFCB's players add the movement that we have seen from England players like Lallana, Stirling and Sturridge who interchange so effectively. We have seen Ritchie and Fraser swap wings during a game but it would be good to see them moving frequently into wholes in front of defences and turning them as well as getting in behind. It would require a lot more work from AFCB's forward players, but it has been exciting to see in England's performance against Italy and something that would confuse and stretch defences in the Championship.
I like to see Ritchie cut in side to rifle his shots in at goal.

At the moment though, the Cherries are one or two players short of having the pace up front to make such a system truly effective at the moment, but maybe Ryan Fraser and Josh O'Hanon could develop their game in this way and other new striker signings could be looked for who show the potential for such movement as the Raheem Stirling's of this world who are just as comfortable on the wings as they are in the number 10 role. 
World Cup Chimes previews Germany v Ghana which kicks off at 8pm tonight.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Who fancies a punt at goal?

Before each game we always see the Bournemouth strikers lining up to take pot shots at Lee Camp, Darryl Flahavan and Ryan Allsop. It may be more self-defeating at times to see players miss their target by a wide margin. How useful are such routines? I'd say it is important that the keepers get used to the pace of the shots and get used to hitting the deck, but more often than not our strikers don't get the opportunity to hit that many screamers from 20-25 yards out during the game. 

I have not closely analysed the distance that most of the AFCB goals were scored over during the last season but I'll have a cheeky guess that maybe as many as half were scored from 12 yards or closer to the goal. So would that mean that players should think more about working on their reactions and simply turning and running onto lose balls a few yards out from goal rather than trying to blast balls n from distance? It's an area of the game which can of course be analysed and perhaps it would show some interesting results.
Fraser gets in shape to make the back of the net ripple.
Hot shooting from Pugh.
I notice that only the defenders do a few warm up headers during the warm up too. The strikers and midfielders don't look to get involved in such things and yet come the corner kicks during the game they all want to try and get on the end of crosses. There are only so many things you can do during the warm up though and it is the culmination of the week's training. 
Go on Arter, bang one in.
I probably did not used to pay too much attention to the players warming up but you take a closer look when you are photographing them every pre-match and I know exactly where a player or group of players are likely to be at a given period during his warm up period. That tells me that the routines don't change much and perhaps routine is a help to the players to get themselves into the right mental zone before a game to know what they are about to face.

Familiarity and being comfortable in your surroundings is something that we take for granted when we go to Dean Court, but even with you sitting in a certain spot of the ground you could be helping one of AFCB's players to feel at ease that he is about to start his work and that everything is in the right place. Even then, I'll still bet that Harry Arter hits a few of his warm up shots into the highest rows of the North stand! I don't mind that as long as he scores a few during the games.

World Cup Chimes is in reflection mood as England were shown the
 exit door from Brazil by Mr Suarez. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Not everything is going Howe's way this summer

While Eddie Howe usually has a lot of optimism and encouragement to give others I sense a shade of worry to his voice this week and perhaps a feeling that he is getting supporters ready for some possible disappointments regarding players down the line. How far talks have already been progressing with some of the players is starting to surface. We know Darryl Flahavan has signed up for another year along with Ian Harte and many of the players are on long term contracts. But we also know that bigger clubs could be in for some of them at any time and it appears that the Cherries are bracing themselves for a series of possible bids from other teams for some of AFCB's best players.
A few headaches are mounting for Eddie. 

In previous seasons it would probably have been greeted with some enthusiasm for a cash stretched club but when you are trying to build the team it is frustrating and disappointing to see what you were building being slowly taken apart. I already sense that the loss of Grabban is being felt more than was first signalled by the club mainly because signings like Callum Wilson are proving far more difficult to land than might have been expected. If the club loses Steve Cook and Eunan O'Kane as well then we are into a rebuilding project.
With Wolves sniffing around Cook it is important
 the Cherries offer him a salary to keep him at the club if Howe believes
he is the best man for the team at centre back. 
While some may worry about those potentially favourable for a move away it is noticeable that no other signings have followed Dan Gosling yet as we move ever closer to July and the pre-season friendlies. Not everything is perhaps going the Cherries way off the pitch and turning the transfer window into a successful summer is going to need lots of hard work.    

The fixture list posted yesterday was another difficult hand played out to AFCB with just about the toughest August line up they could have imagined. "We are playing a number of fancied teams in the opening month with three long trips in there as well," said Eddie Howe. Some good news would be nice to hear soon. 

All quiet regarding Eunan at the moment, but let's not talk about him too much.
It's crunch time tonight as England take on Uruguay. World Cup Chimes warms up by assessing what Roy will do with Wayne Roonie. If you are confident of an England win then check out the odds at FreeBetNegotiator

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Just one Saturday home game in August for the Cherries

Well those fixtures are out and I'll get my grumbling out of the way quickly. The Cherries open their 2014/15 campaign at Huddersfield Town and that will be a hard fixture if last year is anything to go by. If you can't make Tuesday nights, then it is just the one home game on a Saturday in August which is disappointing. Three away matches in the first month is going to make it a tough start for the Cherries and the away game to Norwich at the end of August will be the pick of the games I would say for travelling fans. I was hoping to avoid the newly promoted teams early on, but I see we have Brentford first up at home on 16 August and Rotherham also play at Dean Court about a month later.

With Leeds coming down on another Tuesday night in September there will be plenty of excitement for the game, but it was disappointing to see that the Derby away fixture comes on a Tuesday night and the return fixture will also be on a Tuesday night.

December looks a belter of a month for the Cherries with a visit to Molineux and home games against Cardiff City and Fulham on Boxing Day. The new year will also likely see a full house for Norwich at home, but six fixtures in February make that a heavy month.

March will see Cardiff away on a Tuesday night so I can see many fans taking the day off for that one and the run-in during April not only sees a trip to the Amex but several of the teams the Cherries played late on last season including Ipswich, Birmingham, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday. A final game at the Valley will finish things up.

The full Championship programme can be found on the Football League website.

And AFCB's official website has the full list of Bournemouth matches, home and away. 

What are you most looking forward to next season?

Next season's fixture programme is being put
together and is out this morning.
There are times when I look at the calendar and think August is a long way off. But to fully enjoy the start of next season we all need to recover, reassess and look forward to things that are yet to come. There are many things that would be pleasing to think about whether it be the next wave from Eddie Howe, a brilliant save from Lee Camp or another step forward in Ryan Fraser's development just to name a few. The players at AFCB are believed to be some of the best the club has ever had and it would be hard to disagree with that assumption when we look at the points they amassed by the end of May.

Taking a look to the future though and I no longer see one or two individuals or just the management and chairman driving this club forward. The fans have the chance to be part of this club like never before. I will be pleased to see all those faces again looking on from the stands with lots of expectation and excitement knowing that we have one of the best teams in the club's history in front of us to watch for another 46 league games. The fixtures are out today and we can look forward to seeing what the season might bring.

In front of us will be the new pitch and the new kit with hopefullly some new signings and the established players, those familiar faces looking to go again. Some of those existing club servants will not be in the first squad though and who knows what the season ahead will mean for some who we will have thought would have been part of the team going forward. It is a constant development at AFCB and the clock does not standstill. I guess that is one of the big things that keeps me coming back. And what about you are you excited by the fixture list today?

World Cup Chimes features Kyle's world cup watch on Brazil who still have some work to do having drawn 0-0 with Mexico last night in Group A.

World Cup viewing
De Vere's Urban Village Hotel in Bournemouth are sponsors of Cherry Chimes and are getting ready for England's next game. 

Next Carnival Day Thursday 19th June
England v Uruguay
- Live DJ, Brazilian Carnival Dancers & children’s face painting.
- Entertainment commencing from 17.00, kick off at 20.00

Food service extension
- The Victory will be serving food until 22.00 for the entire duration of the World Cup.
Download the complete game planner for the Victory pub and kitchen.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Sending out a message - Cook's not for sale

In demand, Steve Cook.
Having lost Lewis Grabban this summer it appears that AFCB are moving fast now to renegotiate the 23-year-old defender's terms of his contract which already will keep him at Dean Court until June 2016 unless someone comes in with an offer that is acceptable. That is the worry if he is currently under valued by the Cherries and there is interest as suggested about.

I also believe Cook's signature on a new deal would be something of a message to other players who might be thinking of a move that Eddie Howe is keen to keep as many of the players as he can from last season's team. There are others that might be targets for other clubs such as Eunan O'Kane or Matt Ritchie, but if new contracts are handed out to lots of players will that reduce the kitty available to bring others in? Will it also unbalance the pay structure and lead to some disharmony? I hope not and that all the players see anyone getting a new contract as a positive thing and that players who do well are rewarded.

The timing of Cook's contract negotiations as yesterday reported by SkySports suggests to me that the Cherries are expecting an approach in the next few days or weeks. Replacing another key player is something that Eddie Howe clearly does not want to have to do this summer and Cook will be the beneficiary of that strategy. Considering that Elliott Ward was brought in to add experience to the centre backs at the club, Steve Cook has done amazingly well to cement his place in the side for so many games last season. There was the odd mistake but he was so often the saviour and he will still probably telling everyone about his last minute goal against Barnsley for years to come. It's those special moments that will help players like Cook to feel that they are key members of the team and that there are more good times to come on the south coast.

Meanwhile, Tony Pulis and others (Wolves for example) can either stump up or look elsewhere. Steve Cook doesn't look like he will be one of those players that Eddie will let go in a hurry. 

Radio Solent also tweeted that Darryl Flahavan signed a one year extension to his contract yesterday as AFCB look to secure the squad for next season. AFCB have also drawn Exeter City away in the first round of the Capital One Cup - tie to be played week beginning 11 August.

World Cup Chimes has reaction to Germany's blasting of Portugal and a preview of Russia v South Korea.

World Cup viewing
De Vere's Urban Village Hotel in Bournemouth are sponsors of Cherry Chimes and are getting ready for England's next game. 

Next Carnival Day Thursday 19th June
England v Uruguay
- Live DJ, Brazilian Carnival Dancers & children’s face painting.
- Entertainment commencing from 17.00, kick off at 20.00

Food service extension
- The Victory will be serving food until 22.00 for the entire duration of the World Cup.
Download the complete game planner for the Victory pub and kitchen.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Is it Ritchie's time to shine?

With the loss of Lewis Grabban, AFCB will be looking to other players to fill the gap in 2014/15. I believe that Matt Ritchie has more than another gear to hit in the Championship and could be the club's most influential player next season. Matt scored 9 goals last season and considering that he missed a lot of games he just might be the man to push on and drive the team on to greater success.
Matt has the skill to be a man that can win games almost on his own.

Ritchie at Millwall before the last game of last season.
Matt topped the midfielder goalscorers foe AFCB last season. 
For me, Matt is one of the most talented players in the squad and I don't believe he has reached his full potential yet. At 24 Matt is one of the young members of the squad, but he is already one of the players that the Cherries look to as a player who might be able to do something special in a game. At Swindon he expressed similar abilities to be a player that impressed his signature on the team and while Grabban, Cook and O'Kane were the strong lights last season in my opinion, it is all set up for Ritchie to take more of the limelight now.

It won't be easy. There is the young Mr Fraser on the other wing who is growing by the game and the arrival of Dan Gosling highlights another potential candidate to perhaps be the guiding influence. But Ritchie is familiar now with the club and Eddie Howe's methods and his aim now has to be to make as big an impact as he can for the team. Having already been the top scoring midfield player last season for AFCB he has the ammunition to fill a star role and with a good pre-season behind him he could be the player that the Cherries are looking to hold of more than most come next summer.

World Cup Chimes previews the German machine v Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

How important is promotion from the Championship for AFCB?

We have heard that a lot of the large clubs that have been stuck in the Championship for several years are being hit financially every season with falling revenues and having to compete against those with bigger parachute payments from the Premiership. But for a club like Bournemouth is it imperative that the club gets promoted in the next couple of years if it is to develop and thrive? 
Does greater success mean everything?
I am in two minds about this. In many ways it will clearly be an advantage financially for the club and the owners if it does succeed in winning promotion to the Premiership. Even if the club did badly at that level the financial benefits are huge. But what if AFCB become one of the teams to get stuck in the Championship for the next 10 years? Personally, I would not see it as a failure for a club of 10,000 supporters and having been a mainly League One team for most of its history a prolonged spell in the Championship offers plenty of rewards for some of us long suffering fans.

The thought of relegation though to League One does not worry me so much from a football point of view. I am sure that the football in League One remains good viewing. It is the financial cost of dropping back down that would be my first worry. Having built up the club to have some well paid players and a strong infrastructure there would be a cost-cutting exercise if the unthinkable were to happen in the next couple of years. As it is, the club needs to reduce its losses and yet it is in a higher division that it has been for most of its existence.

That kind of puts the pressure on Eddie Howe and Maxim Demin to deliver something that has never been achieved for this south coast club before. We know it is possible but it may seem somewhat unimaginable to many who have seen the likes of Southampton, Brighton and Portsmouth in the top flight, but never considered that AFC Bournemouth could one day be knocking on that door. Somethings will have to go right in terms of not only results but getting the right players and improving on what has already been achieved, but I think it has to be the club's ambition now.

Willo said the other day that he felt the team will be capable of the play-offs next season and while I don't feel it will be a disappointment if the club falls outside the top 10 next May and survives another season at this level, there will be more onus on the team to hit the levels of consistency it managed in the second half of last season.

World Cup Chimes gives a reaction to battling England coming up short against Italy in Manaus, pus Uruguay's defeat against Costa Rica and Kyle's World Cup Watch  report on Chile v Australia from group B. You can follow Kyle on Twitter @cotter_kyle

There is also a match preview for today's France v Honduras match on World Cup Chimes.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

No hanging around for Tubbs, but what of others?

Tubbs is a great loan deal for AFC Wimbledon.
It is clear that Matt Tubbs is not one who likes being a bench warmer and with Eddie Howe already dabbling in the transfer market to bring in more striking power to the Cherries Matt Tubbs is ready to go on loan to AFC Wimbledon, according to SkySports Transfer Centre. That may seem like a waste of talent to some League One clubs who you would have thought would have been interested in the former Crawley Town hot shot, but either his wages were not liked or Matt himself wanted to take the AFC Wimbledon offer in a hurry to get his pre-season off to an early start. Whatever his reasons for going out on loan again so quickly, I hope he does well and enjoys his football. AFC Wimbledon have a player who will score plenty of goals for them I am sure.
We know Matt is not part of Eddie's plans and has not been for some time, but the loan move indicates that it was probably not possible to find a buyer for Matt this summer. Whether AFCB considered trying to sell Matt is not clear and he is expected to move today for an undisclosed fee. Recouping some of the transfer fees that ACB paid for players like Matt Tubbs and Miles Addisson are perhaps not so easy. We have also seen Stephane Zubar back in training this week which is excellent news, although I wonder if Bury who showed an interest in him when he was on loan there will see if they can take him back. I would still like to see Stephane try and get back into the team but I fear that he is well down the pecking order in Eddie Howe's thinking.

Miles Addison will be looking to play his football somewhere new.
Whether Miles Addison also decides to move on loan or permanently we will have to see but it is difficult for these players to reinvigorate their careers at AFCB having been out for so long and it will be great if they can play regularly again somewhere soon.

Word Cup Chimes previews my thoughts on what I hope to see from England tonight and through the tournament - see World Cup Chimes.

World Cup viewing
De Vere's Urban Village Hotel in Bournemouth are sponsors of Cherry Chimes and are getting ready for England's first game. 

Next Carnival Day Saturday 14th June England v Italy
- Live DJ, Brazilian Carnival Dancers & children’s face painting.
- Entertainment commencing from 19.00, kick off at 23.00

Food service extension
- The Victory will be serving food until 22.00 for the entire duration of the world cup with the exception of England’s first game (Saturday 14th June) which will be until 23.00.

Download the complete game planner for the Victory pub and kitchen.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Let's hope the Cherries don't pay over the top for new signings

The basis of a very good Championship team is already in place at Dean Court. This week we have heard that the Cherries have made a second and still unsuccessful bid for Coventry's Callum Wilson who had a good year in League One last time around, but is untested at the higher Championship level. If Coventry stick to their guns and have put a high price-tag on the young striker I would hope that AFCB do not go and pay over the odds for his services. It is not that I don't rate the young striker, but if there are other potential forwards who can do as well or if not better then the Cherries have no need to throw more money at the League One side.

The problem is usually that there are not many strikers that are considered right for the task and that is why there are at least three clubs said to chasing the Coventry City lad. No matter how well the Cherries did last season it was a blow to lose Lewis Grabban over the summer. Eddie Howe would have been pleased to have kept him for longer, but if Callum Wilson is seen as a replacement then AFCB are looking for a player that is less experienced and not quite a like-for-like replacement. I believe it is the style of play that is the important thing for Eddie Howe and he wants another striker who stretches defences like Grabban did.

There is time to bring in another quality striker and if AFCB thought that by going down a league to purchase a player would mean a lower price to pay, they have not yet succeeded in their aim. It is funny how Lewis Grabban's release cause seemed to be leaked and yet AFCB are having to creep towards an acceptable figure with new bids if they want to talk to Callum Wilson. If Wilson wants a move no doubt his agent will be very talkative, but if he is happy at Coventry then he will have shown good loyalty to his club. The coming days will no doubt decide if the Cherries have simply set their stall out to capture the young man at significant cost if need be. As fans we just have to wait and see.

World Cup Chimes' story today is 'spray it on' - any ideas what it's about? Find out at World Cup Chimes. Kyle Cotter has also asked to write some World Cup stories and will be featured as Kyle's World Cup watch. As I have far too much on my hands, Kyle will monitor Group's A, B and C with the hosts Brazil, World Cup holders Spain and Group C will hold England's 2nd round opponents if they get that far. Kyle starts with a preview of Chile v Australia.

World Cup viewing

De Vere's Urban Village Hotel in Bournemouth are sponsors of Cherry Chimes and are getting ready for England's first game. 

Next Carnival Day Saturday 14th June England v Italy
- Live DJ, Brazilian Carnival Dancers & children’s face painting.
- Entertainment commencing from 19.00, kick off at 23.00

Food service extension
- The Victory will be serving food until 22.00 for the entire duration of the world cup with the exception of England’s first game (Saturday 14th June) which will be until 23.00.

Download the complete game planner for the Victory pub and kitchen.