Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Dominant Derby are up next

You have to admit that Steve McClaren has put together a great side at Derby. I was impressed with them when they came down to the Goldsands last autumn and passed the ball with so much confidence. I also think McClaren has done well to keep hold of the likes of will Young and Craig Bryson, while Jamie Ward and Chris Martin are still putting away the goals. Trying to find a weak squad in their team is pretty hard and even Eddie Howe had eyes for striker Johnny Russell over the summer.
Adam Smith with Derby players last season.
Will Hughes is a midfielder who likes to dictate games.
How are Derby playing away from home? Not too badly with a bruising draws against Nottingham Forest and a tidy away win against Blackburn Rovers recently. They certainly have goals in the team and are steadily climbing up the table. They also powered their way through to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup last week with a 2-0 win against Reading and beat Bolton 0-2 away at the weekend. At home though they have been dropping some points with a few draws on the record.

One player who they have picked up on loan, who is earmarked for a big career, is Jordan Ibe. Jordan is on Liverpool's books and if you remember he played on loan for Birmingham against the Cherries last year when we beat them 2-4 away. He's a neat little winger on his day and he scored last time out against Cardiff City. Another summer signing was the acquisition of Leon Best from Blackburn Rovers. He has not seen that much playing time which underlines the strength of squad that McClaren has.

This will be a much more difficult proposition than Wigan last Saturday. AFCB have to bring their A game and for away matches they have been doing that this season so I am hopeful that the Cherries can get something from the game. With both teams often the draw specialists it may not be the worst prediction to think that AFCB might get a point from this game.

Derby County Home Form:

AFCB Away Form:

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Cherry Chimes talks to Derby County Blog

Rival Lines
Match Preview
Blogger Interview: Derby County Blog

Cherry Chimes talks to Ollie Wright at Derby County Blog to see how he thinks his team has started in the Championship this season and to question him on the in form players at Derby County.

CC: Do you think Derby's slow start was down to getting over the play-off final disappointment?

DCB: The major problem at the start of the season was the bad injury sustained by George Thorne. Thorne is absolutely perfect for this team in the holding role, combining as he does pace, presence and passing ability, but he is out until well into the new year with cruciate ligament damage. For the first few games, Steve McClaren fell into the trap of picking the best players, not the best team and our form only stabilised once he realised that he had to use the canny but almost immobile veteran John Eustace as a holding midfielder, at the expense of a more talented player, Will Hughes, who is not as well suited to that particular role. Eire midfielder Jeff Hendrick has since sustained a shoulder injury, meaning that Hughes has returned to the side.

After a surprise early loss at Charlton and a disappointing home draw against Ipswich, we have gradually come to life and now sit sixth in the formative table. Perhaps the moment that our season really got going was when we deservedly equalised at Nottingham Forest. That goal meant a lot to everyone connected with DCFC, especially given that the Red Dogs were top of the table at the time (and already Champions, if you listened to some of their fans). Since then, we’ve picked up seven points from nine and are starting to look the part again. Back-to-back home games now beckon.

What everybody is waiting for is another sparkling burst of form like we enjoyed last season, when we started to look like an irresistible force.

CC: Have you been able to control games as well as you were doing last season?

DCB: Yes and no. We’ve had the majority of possession in every game, but too often, we haven’t backed that up by preventing the opposition from scoring. There have been spells in every game when we have looked very dangerous, but they have been followed by spells where we look defensively vulnerable. We give away too many silly goals and this threatens to undermine our season, if we’re not careful.

CC: There was talk of Johnny Russell being eyed up by AFCB in the summer, but has he started the season well?

DCB: Johnny is one of four players competing for the two ‘wide forward’ slots in our formation. He is being used as an impact sub as much as a starter. He works hard and is a very useful member of the squad, but with Jamie Ward in good nick and the interloping Liverpool loanee Jordon Ibe pushing very hard for inclusion in the XI, it’s not easy for Russell to get games. That said, he has five assists and one goal to his name already, which is a pretty good return.

CC: Derby also wanted to bid for Simon Francis over the summer so is the right back position a weakness for Derby?

DCB: At that stage, we were trying to cover for the loss of another Liverpool loanee, Andre Wisdom, who is now with West Brom. Wisdom was a key player in our promotion push last season and two signings have been made in a bid to fill his sizeable shoes. Cyrus Christie, from Coventry City, takes the attacking full back tag to new levels and plays almost as a right winger, which causes opposition defences all sorts of headaches. Ryan Shotton, on loan from Stoke, is much more of a traditional defender and currently has to be content with a place on the bench.

I think we are still missing Wisdom’s defensive presence, as Christie is not quite as commanding a figure in the back four, albeit his forays forward are an exciting and productive addition to our attack.

CC: Apart from the big win against Fulham most of your games have been tight this season. Why do you think that is?

DCB: As a known quantity in this division, we’re getting used to facing massed ranks of defenders challenging us to play through them. More often than not, this group of players will manage it – and anyone not up to it will suffer, as Fulham did - but sometimes, as happened in the draws against Ipswich and Cardiff at home, we will be frustrated.

When we play at home, teams usually set out to frustrate us, waste time and nick a goal from a corner or free kick. Away from home, the onus is on the hosts to attack us more, but still, most coaches choose to flood the midfield. Blackburn fielded two strikers and we revelled in the space that they afforded us, beating them 3-2 - but their first goal was a fluke and in truth, we should have won more comfortably.

CC: Which midfield player should AFCB fans look out for in the Derby team?

DCB: Prince William. Will Hughes is a joy to watch on his day and even when he’s not at 100 per cent, it’s still very rare to see him waste a pass. For a team who base their success on possession and carving out opportunities in open play through creativity, Hughes is crucial. The fact that he was developed through our academy is a source of great pride and I am already dreading the day that he is stolen away. He has the ability to play for England one day.

CC: You signed Leon Best in the summer, but has he had much of a chance to impress yet?

DCB: Not really, because he acts as cover to the main man, Chris Martin. Best has appeared as a sub in most of the games, but hasn’t scored yet – although he tried to claim the goalmouth scramble equaliser at Forest. He is a useful player to have in the squad, but Martin is integral to the way we play and I don’t see him being left out, or a radical change in formation, any time soon.

CC: Has McClaren changed anything in the way Derby play of late, like getting the ball forward quicker, more crosses or is it still very much the patient build up play that he has kept to?

DCB: No, we still pass it. In fact, everything the club did during the summer was about keeping the squad together, keeping faith with them and encouraging them to carry on where they left off last season. There is now a very clear Derby County style and a consistency to the first-team personnel.

CC: It's early in the season but which six teams do you think will be at the top come next May in the Championship?

DCB: Before the season started, I predicted the three relegated clubs, Derby, Wigan and Watford as my top six. Obviously, I didn’t realise quite what a nutter Felix Magath is and what a mess he would create at Fulham, but Norwich are going strong and I still think that Cardiff will be there or thereabouts, if they make the right managerial appointment.

Wigan have made a very patchy start, which has surprised me, but Watford are going well. To slightly tweak my predictions, I will go with Derby, Watford, Norwich, Middlesbrough, Cardiff, and perhaps a wildcard – who knows, maybe even AFCB? But as you say, it is very early days and so much will happen between now and May – including a transfer window…

CC: AFCB have been playing better away than at home so are you confident of a Derby win?

DCB: I think that it has the potential to be a good game. Both teams are set up to pass it, not clog it, so I hope that this will be open, lively and competitive encounter, with plenty of attractive football to admire.

CC: A big thank you to Ollie for sharing some very open and informed opinions about Derby County FC. Please take a close look at Ollie's writing at Derby County Blog

My good friend Damien Hill is going to watch the Derby v AFCB match at Dean Court on the live stream and has agreed to report back on the experience, so I should have that for you in a few days time. I think he already has his pint on order and is looking forward to putting on his slippers in front of the big screen - please let him have a good view!

Please all note that the Brighton home game has been moved again back to Saturday 1 November but at a later 5.15pm kick off - See the official AFCB website. Finally, good luck Stephane Zubar at Port Vale - Stephane has signed on a month's loan.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Boroc had nothing to save

Put yourself in Artur Boruc's boots for a moment. You sign in September for AFCB on loan coming from a Premier League side and fall straight into the first team. Barring a spectacular last gasp goal from Watford it would have been three clean sheets from three for the Polish goal minder. He is big and powerful and has already show how he dominates his area and is a commanding presence in goal. Artur looks like he belongs and yet he has only played three games for the Cherries.
Artur before the Wigan game.
There are moments when even the media are caught out and have to admit they did not see a signing coming. That is surely the case over Artur Boruc as a keeper was not high on everyone's must have list for AFCB over the transfer window. Yet, in has come Artur Boruc from Southampton and you can't disagree that the goals against have started to dry up. Artur kept a clean sheet against Cardiff in the League Cup and arguably had even less to do to keep a clean sheet against Wigan at home. Even when Artur was called upon to make a save in the 92nd minute of that game he did so without a great deal of fuss and pushed the ball out to a defender who cleared. I see that the BBC have recorded two attempts on goal by Wigan but I am struggling to remember more than one instance when Artur had to get his gloves dirty on Saturday.
Artur Boruc has only conceded one goal in three league and cup matches.
There were a couple of moments in the first half when Steve Cook expected for Boruc to come for a ball quicker and the keeper's refusal led Cook to hastily do a u-turn and pump the ball out wide, but such communication and understanding will come with time. As a whole it has been hard to fault Artur as he really has not had a great deal to do in goal and that is an indication that those in front of them are keeping the ball well and blocking shots at the moment. His distribution is also being aided by players pointing and calling for the ball quickly as soon as it is in the keeper's hands, and I imagine the back four in general must feel very assured with confidence and ease with which Artur has fitted into the team - a sign of a top keeper.

Franno is maturing all the time

It is not very often when Simon Francis (Franno) does not win man of the match these days. He has that confident striding gate that eats up the ground in record time on the right side that sticks him in all the fans' minds as the player that would run over hot coals for this team to give fellow team mates the opportunity to score. That he picks his way through the challenges and arrives at the byline always in good time is often a problem for the forwards who can struggle to keep up, but Francis' power and endless energy are marking him out as an early contender for AFCB's star player yet again.
Francis does his repetitions before the Wigan match.
I would not be surprised if Adam Smith asks to see if he can get more practise at playing in positions higher up the field than right back, because Simon Francis is in no mood for anyone to deputise for him at the moment. He quickens play with his bounding runs on AFCB's right side that see other players like Matt Ritchie and Andrew Surman able to hold back behind him in space knowing that Francis will get a pass off in the final third where so many others would not be able to carry things through to that final pass. It is difficult to see a better wing back in the Championship and it is no wonder that Derby have been interested in Simon Francis.

On Tuesday night Francis will be aiming to do a similar strategic bombing raid on Derby's left back and hope to deliver some further punishment to opposition defences. Listening to Simon's interview he is always confident that AFCB can turn around their poor spells in games and having him on the pitch always gives the team a sense that a run from Francis could set up a chance. He is a player who leads by example and plays to his strengths by going directly at the opposition and the part he plays in this successful AFCB should not be underestimated as he is getting better all the time.

Can AFCB turn on the road draw into wins?

Writing this before the Derby game it is a shade unfortunate that AFCB have not picked up more points on the road as their performances have certainly deserved it this season. The Watford match has been typical of how the players had seen potential points disappear from three to one and yet to go to such ground and get results is always going to be tough. I imagine the Derby game is going to be one of the hardest of the season, but AFCB cannot simply try and play for a draw. We may even find that Bolton are even more frantic to get a win come next Saturday and AFCB must play their football in both games by trying to impose their play on these teams and take whatever chances come their way.
AFCB players will be looking to turn their current form
in away games of 1 point each match into 3 points.

If the Cherries are to kick on, I see this week as a perfect time for them to get back on terms with some of the teams that have pinched points from them like Blackburn and Leeds. Getting back in the mix is all that is required at this stage of the season, even if we would all like to be at the top. An away win would start to build momentum for the Cherries whether it comes at Derby, Bolton or both games as combined with the win against Wigan it will lift them in the table.

The wins on the road are really an indication of a team that is looking for promotion and capable of turning it on against any team. We have not seen that yet from AFCB, but the day has been coming for a big away win to follow up on the Huddersfield match. With AFCB's back four not letting in many goals, the attention turns to the front players to get goals to win games now and I expect plenty of shooting against Derby and Bolton.

Team goals are becoming the Cherries' signature

Eddie Howe is adamant that the Cherries will never change from their fluent passing style during his tenure at the club. It can only be reassuring for fans to hear him say that when the team puts in a goal like they did in the second half against Wigan at home. It was the culmination of some superb running on and off the ball which opened the door for Simon Francis to score and to end Wigan's hopes. I'll sign up for more of that.

Simon Francis is another player that Eddie Howe has asked to try and get on the end of things a bit more often, following the calls for Harry Arter to score more goals. For Francis, so often the provider, it is indeed rare to see him finish off moves, but he has such tremendous focus and accuracy in his play that it would not hurt for him to think about shooting rather than make another pass on some occasions. While he hurtles down the right wing at great pace and usually puts in a telling cross, AFCB are also seeing players move around and pop up in positions where you might expect a forward to be, because the movement and interchanging of passing is so good. 
Great passing moves with a goal at the end of it are
 rapidly becoming an AFCB signature these days.
The second goal against Wigan was a master class in showing how AFCB like to create space for a scoring opportunity. Ritchie's fast delivery into feet and Stanislas' clever dummy did for Wigan's defence with a simple triangle pass back towards the on rushing Francis to unlock the defence and give Scott Carson little hope of keeping the shot out. Beautifully crafted and unashamedly devastating in its execution and forward penetrative aim, the Cherries' second goal against Wigan is the kind of goal that is no doubt seen on the training ground at AFCB every week. 

However, it is the ability to bring that technique and skill to the match day that will see AFCB climb the table. We know they can do it for short bursts and golden moments, but bringing it to the table more often will surely start to widen the gap between AFCB and other teams. Such football deservedly marks AFCB out as one of the best footballing sides in the Championship and its great to hear that there are no plans to change that.   

Look out for Michael Dunne's all Departments' podcast on AFCB 2 v 0 Wigan at the All Departments' website. You can also scroll down the side bar on Cherry Chimes to the All Departments' logo and listen by clicking on the sound bar. 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Yann is back scoring again

All AFCB fans will have been delighted to have seen Yann Kermorgant back on the score sheet against Wigan having only netted once before this season on the opening day at Huddersfield. The French forward has not been particularly missing chances, but has not seen many chances fall to him. Against Wigan though he drove into the box many times hoping for a goal scoring chance and he put away a difficult header running in behind a strong challenge from a Wigan defender to get his goal in the first half on Saturday.

Yann has a word with Brett before the Wigan match.
While goals in general for AFCB have been hard to come by in terms of more than one a match, the creativity of the team has not diminished and the goals are starting to come again now. Yann Kermorgant's slow start to his goal tally is not disappointing if others are scoring, but it has been hard work for the club's strikers of late and we all hope that this goal gives Yann the boost he needs to contribute more regularly in front of goal. There were plenty of good signs to show this might be the case as Yann had a rasping, curling shot at goal in the first 45 minutes that could have seen AFCB take the lead even sooner. I still believe that Yann is adapting his game to play with Callum Wilson and with Andrew Surman back in the team the  understanding among the front players looks more assured.
Yann Kermorgant may find he is on the bench against
Derby with Callum likely to be the sole striker up front.
It's now up to Yann to keep getting into scoring positions if he is to do better. He has not been at his best and will know that other strikers are ready to challenge for his place. Eddie Howe certainly back him and Callum though stating: "I struggle to see a better two strikers in the division - at their very best". I think the potential is there, but we need to see the partnership really click into gear now.

Cherries' hard work pays off against Wigan 2-0 (videos)

Match Report
AFCB 2 v 0 Wigan
27 September 2014
Attendance: 8754

When two teams that have not been hitting top form come together there is always a bit of apprehension to be felt in the crowd, and both AFCB and Wigan were in desperate need of getting a win in this match. However, the Cherries desire to win challenges and persistence in driving down the wings and getting crosses in eventually told against a Wigan side that was lacking in forward ideas, creativity and goal scoring chances for much of the match.
AFCB and Wigan line up.

Tommy Elphick and Emmerson Boyce ready for the coin toss.
More pictures can be seen on the Match Day Gallery page.

Eddie Howe just made the one change from the previous league match with Yann Kermorgant coming in for Eunan O'Kane. Steve Cook had recovered from the mid-week groin injury and took his customary position in the back four. Most fans were hoping that Dan Gosling might have made a start after his mid-week heroics, but he as kept in the bench for a late appearance. 

Wigan were quite a changed side from the previous Latics' side to visit Dean Court a year ago, but James Perch was given another outing and was probably hoping to be less charitable than he was last time he visited the Goldsands stadium. Led by Emmerson Boyce, though Wigan were more than capable of making it a difficult afternoon for the Cherries.    

AFCB had their now regular fast start winning a corner in the opening minute and Francis had an attempt at an early hit shot from outside the box, but he could only fire wide. Wigan set up 3-5-2 with Waghorn and Fortune trying to look for a chance of a breakaway, but it was Francis again who had the second shot that also went wide of Scott Carson's goal. Ritchie was next to put in a punishing cross which Carson smothered.

It was going less well for Wigan with an offside flag going up as soon as Fortune crossed the half way line. AFCB pressed on with another corner but were not stretching Wigan until the 15th minute when Yann Kermorgant, Ritchie and Junior Stanislas combined to force a series of blocks in front of the Wigan goal. The scramble forced Wigan into life and Fortune put in a good cross from the left wing to Adam Forshaw, and when he found Emyr Huws the crowd expected a shot or free kick as Tommy Elphick lunged in, but luckily Tommy did not make contact and Simon Francis was able to get in the way to clear the danger. 

We then saw Scott Crason slightly fumble a Matt Ritchie shot having made a good save at full stretch near his left post. Callum Wilson could not quite get there in time to capitalise on the small spill. The game was flowing more now, thanks to some good refereeing and Huws shot well over after some Wigan possession. 

Another flash point was Matt Ritchie's shot on 24 minutes from the left of the box which pinched the bottom of Wigan's left post! AFCB came even closer moments later when Yann Kermorgant hit a curling shot at goal after a cross from Simon Francis, but Carson pulled off a fantastic save to his left.

Wigan were not totally overshadowed though as Fortune forced Surman to concede a corner and Ivan Ramis had a free header which he couldn't get on target. It happened again moments later and it was lucky that Ramis was not making the space he was given. A poor pattern of play then saw Elphick get a yellow for holding back Fortune and Harry Arter picked up a card for a rash and late sliding challenge in the middle of the field. While Wilson kept making his runs to stretch Wigan's back four he had not managed to get a clear chance, but an opportunity did fall to Yann Kermorgant when Junior Stanislas put in a cross from the left and Yann out fought Kiernanat the back post, to head back across Scott Carson, and put the Cherries one up on 36 minutes.

Wigan had a good chance to equalise as the half drew to an end on 44 minutes as Surman gave away a foul, dead centre, on the edge of the D, after bringing down Huws. The chance was squandered though and on the break away Yann Kermorgant was brought down by Don Cowie, while the ref also went for a tumble having run into some players. Cowie picked up a yellow after a long discussion with between referee Gary Sutton and the assistant referee.

Chimes' Fan Cam: Daniel Taylor gives his views on how 
Wigan might do on the day against AFCB.

AFCB subs at half time.
Second Half
Harry Arter shoot well over in the opening minutes of the second half, while Wigan came back with Adam Forshaw on the right sending in a cross that Artur Boruc had to punch clear. Wigan seized possession and looked the more menacing for a while. Bournemouth had gained control again though by 55 minutes and a corner followed by a good ball by Ritchie through to Callum Wilson might have extended the lead, but for the saving clearance and Boyce's cover. Arter was involved again when he robbed Forshaw and went on a solo run through the middle before passing out wide to Wilson on the left. His cross only found Boyce though ahead of Stanislas. AFCB were looking for the second goal and Wilson almost had it, but for an offside flag, although Carson was equal to the shot on 62 minutes. Calls for a handball after a shot from Ritchie were also waved away by the referee. 

As the 66th minute approached, Uwe Rosler made a double substitution with Kiernan and Waghorn replaced by Oriol Riera and Leon Barnett. AFCB had another chance to score after Wilson was fouled by Ramis on the edge of the box. Junior Stanislas took the free kick and caused Carson to spill the ball, but he gathered quickly. The second goal came when Francis fed Ritchie on the right and his ball in towards the box was expertly dummied by Junior Stanislas (not wilson as the FLS would have you believe), leaving the ball for Kermorgant who sent it back towards Stanislas and Francis, coming in on the blind side to the right. Francis hit the shot and it sped into the back of the net on 69 minutes - 2-0 to the Cherries. A great team goal!

AFCB tried to extend the score still further with Callum Wilson almost connecting perfectly with his back heel after a corner, but it was saved by Carson. Yann Kermorgant was subbed for Eunan O'Kane on 74 minutes as AFCB looked to secure the points. 

Meanwhile, Wigan made their last as Andy Delort came on for Ramis. Bournemouth though kept the ball and pushed on with more corners. When Wigan did start to get more of the ball, Pugh was brought on to replace Junior Stanislas and the tricky winner set about running down the Wigan defenders with real determination that was applauded by his manager. Dan Gosling also came on for Harry Arter right at the end of normal time. Three minutes of extra time brought a free kick for Wigan that Delort took and he forced the first real save from Boroc of the match, but it was all over for Wigan as AFCB had recorded their second home win.

It was far from being the perfect or faultless performance that would have most AFCB supporter grinning from ear to ear, but it was a home win and a clean sheet - something that we have not see for a long while at Dean Court. Two goals to the good was a fair reflection of the game and for once we had a strong referee who was well in control of the match. This game was all about just getting three points in the bank. AFCB have played better and got nothing and on Tuesday night they will have to be a lot better. Simon Francis was by far the best player on the pitch, but the work rate of the team as a whole fed off his enthusiasm and AFCB are now looking up the table again.
A score we certainly needed.
Wigan and Bournemouth players thanking the crowds.
A good day's work for AFCB.
Boroc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Harte, Ritchie, Arter (Gosling 89), Surman, Stanislas (Pugh 84), Kermorgant (O'Kane 75), Wilson

Camp, Daniels, Pugh, Smith, Pitman, Gosling, O'Kane 

AFCB Ratings
Boroc 6, Francis 8, Elphick 6, Cook 7, Harte 6, Ritchie 7, Arter 6, Surman 6, Stanislas 7, Kermorgant 6, Wilson 6

Carson, Kiernan (Barnett 66), Ramis (Delort 76), Boyce, Perch, Huws, Forshaw, Taylor, Waghorn (Reira 66)

Wigan Subs
Tavernier, Riera, Maloney, Barnett, Al-Habsi, Kvist, Delort

Ref Watch: Gary Sutton 9/10 - easily the best referee of the season so far

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Let's get Dean Court rocking today

AFCB's home form has been nothing to get overly excited about of late. You don't get anything for poor home form or inconsistency in the Championship and its about time the Cherries won a solid three points at home. They will need a raucous crowd to help them on their way. With a few low home crowds of late, there is still a feeling of Dean Court waiting for something special to get the crowd really up and expressing their delight in the players this season, so I'm hoping it is today when AFCB have lift off!
The home crowd needs to keep with the team and really
 get behind them to get the second home win of the season. 

It is at this point that you wonder whether some superstitions are being changed to help bring a bit of luck. Good fortune usually comes to those who deserve it, so on the balance of AFCB's performances they are due something of a turnaround. In past seasons I have been worried when the Cherries go a goal down, but this season it seems more troubling when they go a goal up. The main ingredient I want to see is the players being committed to the full 90 minutes and to see them keep doing the things that Eddie has told them they must do for the course of the match. 

This second season in the Championship is no easier than last season. We need the crowd and team to be at their best and this is the perfect game to build on the Carling Cup win. Wigan are a big club and keeping above them in the table must be the aim come 5pm. It is unlikely that the Cherries will climb many places even with a win, but to be within striking distance of Derby at the end of the day would give the players an added incentive for Tuesday night as well. UTCIAD!

If you have plenty of time before the game why not pop into Village Urban Resort where you can get food and drinks from 12pm. It is just a short walk from Dean Court and you can get free parking!     

Friday, 26 September 2014

There's a struggle just to get on the bench now

While Steve Cook may be 50:50 to make Saturday's game it appears that players are queuing up to get a run in the side now. Tuesday night saw several players get some minutes who have not had much of a run at all this season. That can only be good for a Cherries side that is now looking to improve its league position and should have plenty of quality to bring on when Eddie needs to make some changes.
Shaun MacDonald has been patient with his recovery. 
Shaun MacDonald was back in the fold and he always gives his best when he wears an AFCB shirt. Playing in Wales would have no doubt pleased him, but he must keep the pressure up just to try and win a place on the bench at the moment. I have already talked about Dan Gosling who now looks attuned to AFCB's play and should be a starter in the near future. Whether Ryan Fraser was being rested on Tuesday or has a knock I am not sure, but I also hope we see more of him in the coming months.
Tokelo will want to get involved, but Pitman and
Kermorgant are probably ahead of him.
The hot position to call though for me is the left back position. Charlie Daniels has been the preferred choice when he is fully fit and while Ian Harte has played well (we will forget the penalty at Watford) I get the feeling that Charlie will be back in the first 11. He showed he has his running game back against Cardiff and getting a goal certainly will add to his confidence. It was nice to see that Ian Harte was equally enthusiastic about Charlie Daniels scoring - he certainly is a team man. 

AFCB need to repeat last season's win over Wigan

The need for three points at home now is going to be very plain for all to see for AFCB. Having only taken four points from a possible 12 at home, it is not the start that Eddie Howe will have wanted to make. Now the team plays host to a Wigan side that have made a slightly slower start to the Championship and have not won away from home yet. The pressure is truly on for both teams with just one point between them in the table.
Wigan and AFCB last season at Dean Court.
In such circumstances it might not be a bad time to play Wigan, but there team is packed with quality and has players we know only too well. Callum McManaman is a handful on the wing, but came off after 36 minutes against Ipswich with a dead leg and James McClean came on for him. Still, Shaun Maloney is also be the player that has the ability to unlock defences with great ease, so I expect a very hard battle to win the ball in midfield. It is a young Wigan team now though, and Adam Forshaw, who was at Brentford, and William Kvist, who signed from VFB Stuttgart, are who they rely on now. Uwe Rosler is a tactical master as well and he'll be keen to get Wigan winning away and playing as well as they have been at home. 

Marc Antoine-Fortune, Andy Delort and Oriol Riera have not got off to a great start this season up front. Martyn Waghorn and Andey Delrot have also been used as strikers. Grant Holt is also on Wigan's books, having spent some of last season on loan at Aston Villa, but has not played since the 2-1 Capital One Cup win against Burton Albion.
Wigan's players warming up.
Repeating last season's 1-0 home win is not beyond AFCB, but they need to keep their heads against a very strong Wigan side. It is the kind of match that would give the Cherries a tremendous boost and put their season back on track if they can get that win, but to do so Francis and Daniels must win their battles and push Wigan back on the wings.

Try and see if you can make time to listen in to the Jesus was a Wiganer podcast as they have some great commentary as ever on Wigan's recent performance against Ipswich and some not so confident predictions on how their team will do against the Cherries this weekend. 

Wigan Away Form:

AFCB Home Form:

Referee: Gary Sutton
Assistant Refs: Mark Derrien and Matt Foley
Fourth Official: Colin Lymer

Get you match bets on via Free Bet Negotiator 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A new Championship centre back pairing for the Cherries?

I have already enthused about 19-year-old Baily Cargil taking to first team action like a duck to water in the last few months. Having aided AFCB to a clean sheet away at Cardiff City and having played in the other rounds of the Capital One Cup, I don't expect any AFCB fans to have any doubts about seeing Baily play in a Championship game very soon. With the groin strain that Steve Cook felt on Tuesday night it may well be that Baily takes that step this weekend when AFCB face Wigan Athletic at home.
Steve Cook may struggle to make the team
this weekend, but he usually pulls through.
I can only guess at what it must be like to run out in front of a packed Dean Court to play your first Championship game. It is something that Steve Fletcher was unable to experience it this level, but I bet he is one of those who will have a big smile on his face when Baily does get his chance. Eddie Howe has been grooming Baily all along to this stage, and while the young centre back may have allowed himself a moments thought about when his big day may come at home in a league game, I suppose nothing will prepare him totally for the moment. He will be excited, but in this AFCB side there are plenty around him to see him through any difficult parts of the game and Baily will be well used to playing with those around him now.

If he comes in for the Wigan match then Baily will have a big job to do. Martyn Waghorn and Marc-Antoine Fortune could well be Wigan's strike force and Baily will be eager to get the Cherries a clean sheet and to stay on his feet. I don't think defenders can ever worry about whether they might make a mistake, they have to be positive and play whatever situation they face with full determination to come out on top. Here's hoping Baily soon shows us all how well he can do the job he has been trained to do.

Is Gosling ready for more starts?

Dan Gosling had quite a match against Cardiff City the other night in the Capital One Cup. He kept his record of scoring every round, and even added a second on the night after what was a glorious first goal. Dan showed really tight control and was able to whirl away from his man almost effortlessly, and he brought the crowd to life with that first strike. Now Eddie Howe has to find a way of getting him into the team more regularly.
Dan Gosling is getting up to speed.
I would be surprised if Dan was to start against Wigan though. I suspect that he will be on the bench as Harry Arter has been playing well, and Andrew Surman is available for the weekend's fixture against the Latics. Whether Dan will be a regular starter though in the coming weeks is harder to gauge. The habit he has for popping up in the box and putting away his chances is something that Eddie Howe is going to find hard to ignore. The pressure is really on for the midfield places now and with O'Kane still trying to get on the score sheet and Shaun MacDonald coming back, AFCB look like they have one of the strongest crop of midfield players in the division.
Dan has the quality to excite fans.
It had been Harry Arter who has been the most selected player in midfield and Eddie Howe must feel his industry and hounding qualities put him ahead of a few others. We could see a change though as the games are mounting up now.  I know many fans want a settled side, but at this stage of the season, it is not clear what the best starting 11 is. For example, it might be intriguing to see Dan coming into the team next to Andrew Surman in the coming weeks.

I am pleased that the cup run continues though and fans have a lot to thanks Dan Gosling for that. His opener, against Cardiff, set the game up for a confident performance. A home tie against West Brom is a great reward and will have many fans thinking of the 2011/12 season when we last played the Baggies in the League Cup, let's hope we can do better this time against Alan Irvine's side.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Has Camp been unlucky to lose his place?

There has been a bit of discussion about whether Lee Camp has been unfortunate to lose his place in the Watford fixture to Artur Boroc. It is always hard for players to be squeezed out of a team, especially when someone from outside comes straight in. Having just had one training session with AFCB, Artur Boruc was immediately thrust into the starting line up having only been at the club some 24 hours.
Lee Camp will have to try and prove he is
worthy of his place ahead of Artur Boroc.
Tough on Lee? Well I guess we have took at Lee's performances in the last few games and assess the abilities of Artur Boruc. The first questions about Lee really came at the end of the Rotherham game when Jordan Bowery headed home a late goal from a corner. I have the feeling that Eddie Howe was not pleased with Lee who stayed on his line and he commented that he likes the way hat Artur Boruc comes for crossing in his interview that introduced the new keeper from Southampton. 

I am slightly more convinced that Lee might have done more about the Leeds goals. He did have time to set himself to narrow the angle on the first goal from Doukara and the free kick, while being 'a worldy' saw Lee beaten from a long way out. Whether he would have done better to have three in the wall, allowing him to see the kick better is something that only he will know. The one-against-one with Antenucci for Leeds' third was one of those that on a good day he might have saved, but you usually back the forward to score in such circumstances.

In all, I don't think Lee has been overly below par in his performances. Eddie possibly just had the opportunity of a top Premier League keeper offered to him and considering the need for competition in the squad it would have been mad to turn such an offer away. Lee has probably found it hard in not having many shots to save in matches as AFCB have been playing well, but when they needed a keeper to pull off a fantastic save it has not happened for him in the last few games. Whether Artur Boruc does any better we will have to see, but at Watford you can argue the same thing happened to him and AFCB should have got more than a point.

My News Hub stories of the week - click on to view
AFC Bournemouth reaching the Fourth round of the Capital One Cup - AFCB v Cardiff City
Sam's no longer on a hammering - West Ham v Liverpool
Leicester outfox United - Leicester City v Man Utd

Well done to Josh Wakefield extending his loan at Torquay for another month.

AFCB are number 1 in the 4th round draw tonight for the Capital One Cup 

Cherries smash three past Cardiff in Capital One Cup

Capital One Cup
Third Round
23 September 2014
Cardiff City 0 v 3 AFCB
Attendance 6491

You could sense a bit of trepidation among some AFCB fans as the team was announced. However, there was no need to be alarmed. The Cherries made short work of a Cardiff side that had just lost its permanent manager and the first half display basically blew Cardiff away and saw AFCB through to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup. 

It was the name of Baily Cargill on the team sheet that had me all excited. There were seven changes in all from the team that started against Watford and Eddie Howe was obviously keen to give Artur Boroc more time with the defence as Lee Camp was left on the bench. The big pluses for me were the return of Dan Gosling and Shaun MacDonald who had been carrying injuries. I also had my fingers crossed that Brett Pitman would have one of his blindingly good games.

AFCB set up 4-5-1 but Steve Cook injured himself during the warm up so Tommy Elphick came into the starting 11, leaving AFCB with six on the bench. Pugh had the first shot of the game that was pushed out for a corner. The good start was confirmed though when Dan Gosling kept up his record of scoring in every round of the cup when he scored in the ninth minute with a shot from the outside the box that went in the left bottom corner. AFCb kept the momentum going with another corner as they started to silence the home crowd. AFCB had to defend a free kick that Junior Stanislas conceded, but were soon back on the front foot as Charlie Daniels won another corner. On 21 minutes it was 0-2 as Charlie Daniels scored with a left foot strike close to goal with Marc Pugh making the assist!

AFCB continued to apply pressure with more corners and Golsing had another one disallowed. Artur Borus made his first save from Maynard on 29 minutes, then it was back to business for AFCB. Dan Gosling in the Cradiff box hit a shot to the bottom right corner and it was 0-3 after just 32 minutes. AFCB had had 61 per cent possession at this point and had had three shots, all on target and all found the back of the net! 

After a double substitution Cardiff came back into it late on in the first half with Maynard and Macheda having shots, but they couldn't beat Boruc. Cardiff ended the half with a corner, but went in 0-3 down!

Cardiff were in the ascendancy at the start of the second half and Macheda had a goal ruled out for offside. Teh second half had trouble living up to the first 45 minutes, but AFCb kept winning corners. Juniro Stanislas took a powerful free kick on 63 minutes that was deflected behind. Cardiff's best chance came from Adyemi who shot over the bar on 73 minutes. Macca was then subbed on 75 minutes and Harry Arter who replaced him went for another shot just like he scored from on Saturday, but this time it went well over.

The last 10 minutes saw AFCB again come close with a breakaway with Arter, Pitman and Stanislas having shots blocked. Harry Arter then hit the bar! Final changes were made with simon Francis coming on for Smith and Rantie replacing Stanislas. Final score 0-3.

AFCB official match tweets
The teams are out here at the Cardiff City Stadium. Late change for #afcb as Elphick replaces Cook in the starting XI. #CCFCvAFCB

Cook appeared to pick up an injury in the warm-up. McCarthy takes Elphick's place on the #afcb bench. #CCFCvAFCB
01: The game is underway here.
03: Brayford lifts the ball over the #afcb defence towards the far corner but it's a comfortable catch for Boruc. #CCFCvAFCB

08: Pugh has #afcb's first effort on goal. He retrieves Gosling's lay off but turns and shoots at Moore. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

09: Goal to #afcb!!!!

09: Great run from Gosling, who caps it off with a fine finish from the edge of the area. 1-0 to #afcb. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

09: Gosling's goal means he has now scored in every round of the @CapitalOne_Cup so far this season. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

20: #afcb are in control here, with Pugh the latest to have a shot blocked. Boruc is yet to make a save.bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

22: Goal to #afcb!!!

22: Daniels completes a sweeping move down the left, slotting past Moore from a tight angle. 2-0 to #afcb . bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

22: Daniels completes a sweeping move down the left, slotting past Moore from a tight angle. 2-0 to#afcb . bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

Great support from Ian Harte
Love it @chazdaniels13 keep it going lads

24: #afcb beat Moore again, but the flag is up. Pitman capitalises on a Gabbidon slip & plays in Gosling but it's ruled out. #CCFCvAFCB

26: Close again! Moore is forced to tip over an #afcbcorner as the visitors' pressure continues here.bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

33: Goal to #afcb !!!!!

33: Gosling completes another slick move - this time slotting home the rebound of Pitman's shot. 3-0 to #afcb! #CCFCvAFCB

37: Double substitution for #ccfc as Daehli and Macheda replace Bo-Kyung and Guerra.#CCFCvAFCB #afcb

43: Pugh meets Gosling's cross but his header is easily caught by #ccfc stopper Moore. Still 3-0 to #afcb. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

44: Double chance for #ccfc. Maynard comes close before Macheda then blasts the ball over. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

46: What a save from Boruc! He scoops the ball off the line after a goalmouth scramble from a corner. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

HALF TIME: #ccfc 0-3 #afcb bit.ly/1ypujE3#CCFCvAFCB

Second half

We're back underway at the Cardiff City Stadium where the Cherries lead by three. #CCFCvAFCB http://bit.ly/ccfcvafcb

52: Macheda heads the ball into the back of the net, but the linesman's flag is up for offside. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

63: Stanislas' free kick from 25 yards out takes a deflection and goes behind. #afcb still lead 3-0. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

64: Pugh cuts in and shoots from the following corner, but it takes a deflection and goes behind again. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

73: Adyemi shoots over from outside the area. It's been a quieter second half so far. #afcb still 3-0 up:bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

75: First substitution of the night for #afcb as MacDonald is replaced by Arter. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

77: Arter tries to replicate his goal from the weekend, but blasts over from 25 yards out. http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB #afcb

80: Ten minutes remaining here and #afcb are comfortably in the lead still: bit.ly/1ypujE3#CCFCvAFCB

81: Arter nearly scores his second in 4 days as his shot comes off the crossbar from the edge of the area! http://bit.ly/1ypujE3 #CCFCvAFCB

82: Arter capitalises on a mix up in defence but somehow #ccfc recover to prevent what looked set to be a certain 4th goal!

86: Smith is replaced by Francis for #afcb

87: Final change Rantie replaces Stanislas.

87: Pitman was fouled on the edge of the area prior to the substitution, but hits the free-kick into the wall upon the restart.

89: Gunnarsson sends a thunderous shot towards goal, but it cannons straight back out of the area.

90: There will be two minutes of added time played here. #afcb still lead 3-0. FULL TIME: #ccfc 0-3 #afcb

AFCB Team:
Boruc, Smith, Elphick, Cargill, Daniels, Gosling, O'Kane, MacDonald, Stanislas, Pitman, Pugh

Camp, Arter, Francis, Wilson, Rantie, Ritchie, (Cook injured in warm up)

Cardiff Team
Moore, Gabbidon, Brayford, John, Torres Ruiz, Le Fondre, Kim Bo-kyung, Adeyemi, Gunnarsson, Javi Guerra, Maynard

Cardiff Subs
Marshall, Macheda, Wolff Eikrem, Pilkington, Daehli, Burgstaller, James

If you still want some more to read about AFCB,  have a quick glance at what pleased me most about AFC Bournemouth reaching the Fourth round of the Capital One Cup.

As a little bonus, there's also an additional article over at the News Hub on whether West Ham fans are having to rethink their opinions on Sam Allardyce? See Sam's no longer on a hammering