Monday, 31 August 2015

Murray's agreed fee - a ticket to Premier League survival?

It has been reported in several national and local papers tonight that a fee of £5 million has been agreed for Glenn Murray with AFCB. The news of this agreement with a day to go of the transfer window should enable the transfer to be completed in good time tomorrow, but while Crystal Palace fans may be sad to see one of their strikers go, it may be that by allowing Murray to join the Cherries the South London club has given Eddie Howe's team exactly what they need to ensure they will line up for the 2016/17 season in the Premier League.

The desire for a proven striker at the top level is certainly something that encouraged the pursuit of Glenn Murray and while Palace have been reluctant to see Murray move to another club, the deal is going to be met with pleasure on the south coast. It immediately takes a bit of pressure off of Callum Wilson and gives the Cherries a new cutting-edge that will enable them to score even more goals in and around the box with the kind of striker Murray is. The Cherries have not got a predator like striker and Murray's ability to pounce on balls in the box and his heading power should add a new dimension to what we have seen at Dean Court of late.

Sky Sports have been explaining that the reason why the move did not go through earlier in the summer is that the Cherries really wanted the player on loan, but that Palace would only let the striker depart if a transfer fee was involved.

Tomorrow we'll ask if there is any other players AFCB are likely to try and sign on deadline day!

Cherries' squad depth already being tested

The mounting injury list is going to need some frantic work by Steve Hard and his team to get the numbers off the treatment books and back in training. The left back situation is clearly the major worry having seen Charlie Daniels having to come off at half time in the Leicester match and Tyrone Mings stretchered off with a knee injury just six minutes later.

Charlie Daniels may well be the quickest of the injured players to recover.
Adam Smith can of course play at left back even if it is not his strongest position and Filippo Costa could provide cover if the Cherries needed to extend the period that Daniels and Mings are out but the early signs are that Charlie Daniels' knock might be not as severe as first thought

The left side of the field is certainly stretched though with Max Gradel also likely to need time out to recover from his left knee injury. While Junior Stanislas has not been involved in the Premier League squads he may just get his chance now.

We also heard from the Bournemouth Echo that Harry Arter had a minor operation on his groin in Germany to sort his long absence out and the midweek match against Hartlepool had resulted in a hamstring strain for Josh King as well as a problem for Dan Gosling. Luckily the scan for Gosling was clear and he is likely to be back in training fairly soon.

The importance of having a first rate physio section though is being underlined and keeping the players fit is going to be vital. While there is time to bring in loan signings, the club will also want to not dilute the strong squad spirit too much and morale within the camp has to remain high. That can probably be helped if the Cherries can deflect attention away a bit with a new signing, but bringing in players will be a battle in the next few days with every club looking to strengthen. Once again Charlie Austin is strongly linked with the Cherries with rumours of him now having a house in Sandbanks and the Daily Mirror stating that the striker is Eddie Howe's top target.

All Departments' review of AFCB 1 v 1 Leicester City is now out - you can listen on the side bar of Cherry Chimes or visit the All Departments' website to find other ways to listen.

Look out tomorrow for the Cherry Chimes' September Newsletter which brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them in AFCB's first month in the Premier League, plus a special Newsletter article entitled Tactical battles have to be won

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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Mings was just unfortunate

You have to feel for Tyrone Mings having waited all this time to make his Premier League debut at home and only seeing six minutes of the game before he sustained an injury that saw him stretchered off against Leicester City. While Tyrone will have been delighted to get on the pitch his luck certainly was no better than Charlie Daniels and it looks like AFCB fans are going to have to wait some time before Tyrone stretches his long legs out on the left wing again.
Tyrone was reported on crutches shopping yesterday,
so just maybe he will not be out for as long as first feared. The details on his
scan should be made public soon.
What action Tyrone did see was pretty much limited to seeing Robert Huth give him a hand off after Callum Wilson had seen the ball blasted at him when he was on the ground. He did get to make a few touches and ventured into the Leicester half, but it was hardly a Premier League debut to saver. It will be the road to rehabilitation now for Mings and while that might be difficult in itself he will probably be in a way a little comforted by the fact that he won't be alone as there are plenty of AFCB players that are in a position where they could be missing some games.

Such periods though come to all professionals and like we have seen with Harry Arter it is not always as simple as one hopes when making a diagnosis and regaining fitness. Let's just hope that Tyrone makes a speedy recovery and gets to compete with Charlie Daniels again soon as that competition was certainly making the left side of the field much stronger for AFCB. 

Look out tomorrow for the Cherry Chimes' September Newsletter which brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them in AFCB's first month in the Premier League, plus a special Newsletter article entitled Tactical battles have to be won

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Injuries marr Cherries' draw against strong Leicester side 1-1

Match Report
29 August 2015
AFCB 1 v 1 Leicester City
Attendance: 11,155
The second Premier League game - AFCB v Leicester City.
AFCB must be wondering what the Premier League is all about after they almost had it sussed in this match. One-nil up and just five minutes to go and having seen three left sided players have to be replaced through injury, it had already been a hard afternoon, but one slip in midfield by Eunan O'Kane and a race against the pace of Jamie Vardy and matters would soon see Vardy lining up a penalty as Steve Cook mistimed his challenge in the box. Artur Boruc did his best by getting fingertips to the penalty shot, but the ball was blasted into his top left corner and Leicester had earned a draw having fought back from a first half strike from in form Callum Wilson, who had burst the back of the net in the 24th minute with a spectacular overhead kick that had given the Cherries the lead. So honours were even but the injury count was less even with Charlie Daniels, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel likely to be sidelined for some time now.

A big Eddie Howe flag in the North Stand.
Leicester were second in the league and confident before kick off.
The captains sort out which end to kick towards for their teams.
There are more pictures on the Match Day Gallery tab.

The team selection was a shock in that Lee Tomlin won his first start in the Premier League while Josh King did not even make the squad line up. Marc Pugh had to be content with the sub's bench again despite having scored in the previous match against West Ham. 

Jason Tindall gives the team news.

Leicester were paying AFCB a bit of respect by playing just Vardy up front with Albrighton and Mahrez on the wings when it might have been expected that they would have started with a more attacking strike partnership up top.

Megan and James give a preview interview of 
what we might expect from Leicester City.

Lee Tomlin wins his first Premier league start. 
This match was certainly keenly contested and as early as the first 20 seconds Max Gradel found himself in the book having displeased referee Neil Swarbrick with his challenge on Riyad Mahrez. Leicester had started well with Schlupp getting crosses in and AFCB's back four looking a bit jittery, even if Kante was not able to capitalise on it when he was in the box. 

Lee Tomlin was receiving the ball well and was always aware of where Wilson was making his runs. But Leicester looked just as promising going forward with Vardy up front and Albrighton on the wing. Leicester won the first corner, but Gradel soon levelled the count up with one up the other end. Mahrez latched onto a cross from the left from Albrighton and thought he had scored but was caught just offside. Lee Tomlin then made a tight turn to send Wilson on his way and another corner was won with 12 minutes gone, but getting a shot on goal wasn't a possibility. 

Leicester were building well in the game and keeping better possession than I'd seen in their previous games. Jamie Vardy hit a shot over after 16 minutes and to be fair the Foxes were looking good at this point. Andy King was mopping up a lot of the ball in midfield even if he tried to do so with his arms in one instant and a loud cheer of 'handball' went up.

AFCB were about to apply some pressure though with Daniels pushing up the left and having a shot, come cross, that went just wide of Schmeichel's left post. The Cherries goal though came soon after with Surman winning the ball and Gradel and Daniels joining with Tomlin. The ball lofted up towards Gradel in the box and while he could not get much of a head on it, the ball broke off of Robert Huth to Wilson who watched the ball's flight onto his right boot, as he attempted an overhead kick, which lashed the ball past Schmeichel's right hand and into the top corner - 1-0! 

There was a good chance for AFCB to extend their lead when Lee Tomlin was brought down on the edge of the Leicester box by Kante, although it was questionable whether the challenge was actually inside the box. Gradel took the kick but Schmeichel punched it clear.

The home crowd were getting a bit frustrated with some of the decisions though as Lee Tomlin was said to foul King. Still AFCB were keeping possession well and were in front. But on 40 minutes Charlie Daniels went down injured. While he soldiered on, he was certainly in discomfort but just had to last for a few minutes more before half time arrived with the score at 1-0.
AFCB subs warm up.
Cherry Bear at half time.
Half time scoreboard.
Second Half
Both teams made substitutions at half time with Daniels being replaced by Tyrone Mings who made his Premier league debut and Leicester's star man Riyad Mahrez being withdrawn for Shinji Okasaki. It was a wild start to this half with Robert Huth deciding that Callum Wilson falling over outside the box deserved him belting the ball against the striker for winning a free kick. Huth then handed off Tyrone Mings and a bit of a confrontation broke out with nearby players and the referee needed to calm things down with Robert Huth accepting a yellow card. Gradel floated the free kick in but it evaded all of AFCB's players.

Tyrone Mings had seen a bit of action down the left wing but he didn't find it easy to miss the attention of Drinkwater who chased him down and left him clutching his leg while play went on. Mings could not continue though and the stretcher came on for him after just six minutes of the second half. Adam Smith became the third left back of the day for AFCB.

While Leicester were winning corners, the Cherries looked comfortable enough at making clearances. Wilson was keeping Morgan honest at the other end and all we seemed to be missing was some shots on goal. More bad injury news was on the way though as Max Gradel now had to come off, hobbling with an injured left leg on 66 minutes. Marc Pugh was his replacement.

Leicester were sensing that they were well in this game now with a chance of getting something and Schlupp came mighty close with a run down the left and a shot that Artur Boruc did really well to keep out on the angle.

Leicester's midweek hat-trick sensation Joe Dodoo replaced Marc Albrighton on 72 minutes and AFCB were now really scrapping to keep control. O'Kane was yellow carded for a tug on Drinkwater and Okazaki was making things difficult for the back four. Pugh was doing more defensive work while Ritchie was also not such an easy outlet with Leicester pushing for a goal.

AFCB fans might have thought it would be their day when the game went into the last 10 minutes and Dodoo had a clear air shot which could have proved costly, only for Schlupp to then tried his luck again as he hammered a shot that flew very close to Boruc's left post. 

All seemed well until Eunan O'Kane trod on the ball in the middle of the pitch with the on looking Kante quick to win the ball and feed Jamie Vardy who accept the gift. His strong run to the left side of the box had three AFCB players around him. With Elphick twisting and turning and unable to get a tackle in, the lunge from Cook took Vardy straight out - a clear penalty! Artur had been great all game and guessed correctly to his left but the power was too much in Vardy's shot and the Foxes had levelled - 1-1.

Right on 90 minutes Leicester brought on Benalouane for de Laet to see the eight minutes of extra time out. Schlupp picked up a yellow for disagreeing with a decision, but the ball was soon back in the Cherries' box and Pugh's clumsy challenge on Vardy could have been adjudged a foul, but AFCB finally had some luck and nothing was given.

There was just one last attempt by Wilson to out sprint Huth and while he went down in the box the referee soon turned away as he was not going to give anything, despite the calls for a penalty.
Full time.
The players just after the whistle.
A tough day for Steve Cook.
Eddie was pleased the Cherries got something from the game.
The Cherries know that they have played well in their four matches and probably should have won more points than they have. Yet a draw against a team in second place is not a bad return on a day when they had to make so many changes because of injuries. It upset Eddie Howe's plans for tactical changes and the rhythm of the team was not as good in the second half. Leicester were always in the game and although chances were very few it always appeared that they might get something. The table does not look at all shabby though for AFCB who have now picked up a point at home and came very close to getting a clean sheet against an unbeaten side. Moreover, Callum Wilson is quickly growing into a formidable Premier League striker.

AFCB: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels (Mings 45, Smith 57), Ritchie, O'Kane, 

Surman, Gradel (Pugh 67), Tomlin, Wilson

Cherries' Subs
Federici, Distin,  Mings, Smith, MacDonald,  Pugh, Kermorgant, 

AFCB Rating: 

Boruc 8, Francis 6, Elphick 7, Cook 6, Daniels 7, Ritchie 6, O'Kane 6, Surman 8, Gradel 7, Tomlin 8, Wilson 9

Leicester City: 
Schmeichel, de Laet (Benalouane 91), Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Drinkwater, King,
Mahrez (Okazaki 45), KantΓ©, Albrighton (Dodoo 71 ), Vardy

Foxes Subs
Schwarzer, Benalouane, Fuchs, Inler, Okazaki, Dodoo, Ulloa

Referee watch: Neil Swarbrick 4/10 gave one penalty probably missed one or two more. Booking a player in the first minute is really all you need to know.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Bringing effective football to the Premier League

There has been rather too many pundits telling Eddie Howe the way he should make his team play in the Premier League to get results. "What worked in the Championship won't work in the top flight" we would often here, but the kind of full pelt wide play of his wingers and full-backs ripped through the West Ham lines with exceedingly high regularity last Saturday. Moreover, the 4-4-1-1 (or 4-4-2 if you like) formation did not fail to provide the Cherries with a possession problem when most of the sides in this league have long ago abandoned such a match approach.
AFCB are looking sharp.
The Bournemouth manager simply plays to the strengths that his players have and that is to get the ball wide and switch play from side to side while looking for the penetrating runs of Wilson in particular. AFCB kept it tight against Aston Villa and Liverpool, but in both games they played with a similar desire to get forward and to try and outscore the opposition. These were close games, but the Cherries could have scored three or more goals in their first home game if they had been more successful in front of goal, and against West Ham we saw that their style of play is creating a fabulous amount of chances away from home now.

It was the away performances that really galvanised the team to such a strong season in 2014/15 and on big pitches like Upton Park the Cherries have a pattern to their play that fully suits maximising the space and encouraging midfield players and full backs to push forward. AFCB are not the type of team that play for nicking 1-0 results and why should they? Just because the Premier League has many sides in it that play the percentage football - Jose Mourinho style - there is more than one way of getting results and Eddie Howe has pleasingly always looked to entertain. Yes, it does mean that good sides are likely to have periods when they might get some joy against AFCB, but if the Cherries are creating almost double the amount of chances in playing this way than the opposition why not win games 3-4, 5-2 and 2-4?

The football purists on TV might not like it, but this is an entertainment business as well as a results business and AFCB fans are used to seeing great football - perhaps more teams should take a leaf out of Eddie Howe's book.

I hope you are all looking forward to the home match against Leicester City today - two attacking sides going at it. It should be fun. UTCIAD!

You can catch up with some more of my thoughts on today's game against Leicester City at - Leicester Til I Die.

You can also look back at a Leicester World interview I gave a couple of year's ago on AFCB at Leicester City World FC.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Cherries need to put games out of sight earlier

The verdict from Eddie Howe at half time at West Ham was that the Cherries should have been out of sight. Sadly the 0-2 margin at the time was by no means enough, even if the Cherries had played the Hammers off the park in the first 45 minutes and had missed good opportunities especially a couple with Max Gradel to wrap up the points earlier in the game.

Max Gradel will get goals.
In the second half too we did see Marc Pugh miss an opportunity before he got his goal and while Eddie may be a bit critical in asking for better finishing at times, there is also the positive side that the team is making an enormous amount of chances. The clinical side of the game is of course the hardest part and taking chances is never such a problem when your strikers are in form and just enjoying playing. The target though is for AFCB's players to increase their shots on target ratio which was seven out of 15 at West Ham.

The exciting fact was that West Ham were well out played in terms of number of shots and possession while at home, but out of their 10 shots four were on target and three were ultimately goals. Given the space, their forwards could beat the keeper when they did get a shot on target and that's what the Cherries need to improve on.
Every shot on target is important.
The timing of AFCB runs though was extremely good. Both Gradel and Wilson were finding space in behind without getting caught offside hardly at all, and in an out and out sprint both of them seemed to have the number of Jenkinson and Cresswell. When teams play deeper against the Cherries there may be more need to see Surman and O'Kane coming forward more. Andrew Surman did not have that many shots again and when he did they lacked a bit of venom. 

So there are areas where the Cherries can improve in attack and it will be intriguing to see if Leicester try and take on the Cherries toe-to-toe like West Ham did, or if they lay deep in wait and play on the break as I expect away from home with their fast forwards.

Ranieri's revitalised Foxes come to Dean Court

Taking on Leicester City at home in August might have seemed a favourable early game when the fixtures were announced. However, now the Foxes sit up in an enviable second place having played three games and won two and drawn once so far this season. As an undefeated team they are more than capable of making it difficult away from home and the Cherries will want to get their first home points having missed out against Aston Villa.

There is little sign of the Leicester team that looked unsure about it's Premier League status at the start of last season. With Nigel Pearson having taken them on a string run at the end of last season they were still seen by many pundits to be a club that would struggle in their second season in this league. Far from it, Claudio Ranieri has come in and added pace and attacking strength to their side with Algerian right winger Riyad Marhrez's four goals not going unnoticed.
Leicester City will be protecting their unbeaten record this season.
Leicester City are far from a one man team though. Marc Albrighton has also been hitting form and marked his King Power game last weekend with a goal with the onlooking Roy Hodgson reported to be interested in adding the former Villa midfielder to the England squad. Danny Drinkwater has also been given more of a free role which has enabled him to get forward more as shown against West Ham recently. Up front there is the talented Jamie Vardy who we know all about - high work rate, fast across the ground and fearless when sent through one on one. That is added to by the hard working Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki, while Leonardo Ulloa is now fit again and could start against the Cherries having played midweek against Bury. 

Renieri has added to the squad in the summer as well with defensive talent of Austrian captain Christian Fuchs from Schalke. There have also been new contracts and extensions for defenders Robert Huth and Jeff Schlupp, respectively. Most of the new signings have had a run out - Gokhan Inler (midfielder) from Napoli, N'Golo Kante (midfielder) from Caen, Yohan Benalouane (centre back) from Atlanta (was sub but did not play last match).

The injury news ahead of the game is that Matty James will miss out with his knee injury and youngster Joe  Dodoo who had a great midweek hat-trick against Bury will travel with Leicester City. The Foxes may find that they have missed out on signing Demarai Gray though from Birmingham (we've all been there), according to the Leicester Mercury.

You can listen in to a preview to the game from a Leicester point of view below, thanks to the Leicester City Forum on BBC Radio Leicester (Kris Temple is on there after 35mins and Eddie Howe on 41min).

Leicester City last time out against Spurs
01 Schmeichel, 02 de Laet, 06 Huth, 05 Morgan, 15 Schlupp
26 Mahrez (Ulloa - 94 ), 10 King Booked, 04 Drinkwater (Inler 80), 11 Albrighton (KantΓ© 78)
20 Okazaki, 09 Vardy

Substitutes: 14 KantΓ©, 19 Kramaric, 23 Ulloa, 28 Fuchs, 29 Benalouane, 32 Schwarzer,
33 Inler

My probable team for AFCB Probable team: (4-4-1-1) Boruc (GK), Francis (RB), Elphick (CD), Cook (CD), Daniels (LB), Ritchie (RW), O’Kane (CM), Pugh (LW), Gradel (FW), Wilson (FW)

Cherries Bench: Federici (GK), Smith (RD/RM), Distin (CB), Stanislas (LM), Gosling (CM), Tomlin (FW), Kermorgant (FW)

Extra AFCB news
Stephane Zubar has returned to AFCB having sustained cruciate ligament damage that could see him out for the rest of the season having been on loan at York City and damaged his leg during a match against Minstermen.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A crucial goal from Pugh

There was a big change in the West Ham game when the 51st minute came up and Josh King was withdrawn for Marc Pugh to come on. It meant a change in position for Max Gradel as well as Pugh coming in on the left side. Gradel played much of last season up front and while he was excellent on the wing in the first half he added a new dimension to the Cherries playing with Wilson and also won a penalty. Yet, the factor that Eddie Howe says gave him great pleasure in the second half was Marc Pugh's finish for his first ever Premier League goal.
Pugh just keeps getting better.
A few moments before Marc had scored he had another great chance from the centre of the box but didn't catch it quite as he wanted and saw his shot go straight at Darren Randolph. I was intrigued that afterwards Pugh was talking to himself and looked really annoyed that he hadn't done better as he bounced the ball in frustration on the sideline to my right. Whatever he said to himself did the trick, because the next moment that he was in he took his time when other might have shot early and took it around the defender before preparing to shoot wide of Randolph. Time almost stood still while he was making those moves for me. I had expected Pugh to blast it past the keeper, but the earlier miss seemed to want him to make absolutely sure that he was going to produce a text book finish. Knowing that he had to be that much more precise is now something that should stay with him when in that position again and I'm confident that Pugh will again be one of the club's high scorers this season.

Pugh has continually defied the odds by keeping his place on the left wing and I hoped he would get time in the West Ham match having not started at Liverpool either. It was a game that I thought would suit Pugh as he has always performed well having been kept out of the team. I also thought that the fact that Darren Randolph was playing would be good reason to get Marc on the pitch as the thought of Darren facing the hat-trick man in the 0-8 demolition of Birmingham last season would surely have a slight impact on how West Ham's keeper would be feeling. Marc's personal record against Randolph is looking pretty good at the moment, perhaps he should play believing every opposition keeper is another Darren Randolph waiting to pick the ball out of the back of the net!

Ian Harte retires
It is a sad day today to hear that Ian Harte is hanging up his boots having left the Cherries in the summer. We wish him all the best in the future. There is an audio track from him talking to Talk Sport on the side bar of the blog.

Upton Park was just one of the ground on weekend our hit list

As the first away match of the season for AFCB fans to go to on a the weekend, the West Ham match was the ideal opportunity for me to take my two sons, Robert and Stephen up to the capital and to take in a few sights before heading to the match. We caught the train up to London from Redhill and had the usual standing only place reserved specially for us as we headed up to Victoria station. 
The three amigos looking for an AFCB win - Stephen, Robert and Peter (left to right). 
On the train we met up with quite a few England cricket supporters who were trying to forget about Friday's batting collapse against the Aussies and were hoping that the side would bat all day long on Saturday (nevermind - at least they won the Ashes!). We talked quite a bit about the differences between cricket and football with the sponsorship and how the beers are on tap at the Oval and how we would all do that day under the intense heat that was already racing up in the train carriage - it got up to over 30C on the day.
Victoria station and no other footie fans in sight yet.
Stephen finds the first Chelsea store shut!
We spot the bigger main store at Stamford Bridge!
Once in London it was Stephen's big desire to head to Fulham Broadway as he was keen to see the home of the Premier league Champions. While it was going to mean catching the tube in the opposite direction our main destination of the day we were all rather keen to see what we could look forward to visiting later on in the season when we might not have as much time to get a good look at Stamford Bridge. It was quite a short work from the tube station along the main road to the ground and while Chelsea were playing on the Sunday against West Brom it was a good chance to see what the club shop was like and how big the stands were. Tours were going on all day with prices around £22 for adults and £15 for children under 16, if I remember correctly. We did not really have the time for all that but when we saw they had two club shops we were pleased that just one was open - the big store on two floors.
Stephen eyes up what cups would be better placed in AFCB's trophy cabinet.
Fabio (centre) shows Stephen, Robert and me around the shop.
Peter Osgood - one player Chelsea had that didn't cost £1 million. Weren't the 1970s great!
There we met Fabio who was keen to come right over to us having seen our AFCB shirts. "Welcome to the Premier League," he enthused with a big beaming smile. We told him that we were on a detour to Upton park and  that we didn't want to miss the chance to visit another ground on the way. Chelsea was the ideal choice to put us in the Premier League mood as the home of the champions we explained. The trophy cabinets with replica miniature trophies came under close inspection and we were a bit shocked at the amount of different shirts that were available to buy, let alone the key rings, badges and masks of players and the manager. Fabio explained that the new mega store had only been there a few weeks and was finished in time for the new season. 

Up stairs we saw the European Champions League trophy which I explained to Stephen had been won by Liverpool some five times. I didn't shout that out too loudly! Having talked with Fabio about Jose and what he was really like - friendly and shy and a big family man - we were told! That sounds more like Eddie Howe! Stephen found something to buy and was pleased to get a Chelsea bag. We took a quick photo with Fabio, before telling him AFCB were coming back for three points in December. As we made our way back to the station we went past the Peter Osgood statue and took photos of some of the player posters around the ground. 
Fulham Broadway underground station - waiting for a train.
Having got the bug for visiting grounds we decided that Robert's second club QPR also deserved a visit, so we hopped back on the tube and managed to get to Shepherds Bush by 11am. It was then a walk down the high street in the stifling heat that caused us to stop off for a drink before making our way onto the ground where preparations were already underway for their game against Rotherham Utd. A picture of Stan Bowles was on the front cover of their programme in tribute to him and his battle with Alzheimers. The club wanted to bring awareness to the condition and the need for more research to find a cure. 
Closing in on Loftus Road.
Robert outside QPR's stadium. I'd only been there for a night game
before so it was good to see it in daylight hours.
QPR still have plans for a new stadium but Loftus Road has all the memories.
Sign on top of the club's shop.
Robert stops to get a picture will midfielder Michael Doughty.
The club shop is situated right on the road side and is narrow and quite a different set up to something like Chelsea's grand building. Still it is home to QPR and was no less packed with hooped shirts and goodies for their fans. Robert picked up a wristband - most things were on discount - and we managed to find QPR midfielder Michael Doughty on his way in to the game. He posed with Robert for a photograph and was very pleased to do it even though he had an AFC Bournemouth shirt on.  "What are you doing over here?" he asked. "Your playing West Ham today aren't you?" He soon had a smile on his face when we told him it was Robert's birthday tomorrow and QPR was his second team. 

We should have asked if we could take Charlie Austin back with us to have a chat with Eddie Howe but I think QPR were in need of his services that afternoon and he scored a goal for them of course.

Having had our fill of football grounds for the moment we then decided to head to Kings Cross station and a certain platform in particular - 9 and 3/4. Yes, we were off to see the Harry Potter shop and to work out if we could buy some special wizard spells that we could cast on the West Ham players - 'stupify' should do it. It was a sign of how popular the children's spin-offs for Harry Potter were as we had to queue just to get into the shop! We didn't have that problem at Stamford Bridge or Loftus Road.
Robert checks out the Harry Potter goods.
Stephen couldn't resist getting a packet of Bertie Bott's
every flavour beans - whatever they are?
Come on you two! We have a match to get to.
After a quick bite to eat the time had moved on to 1pm and we needed to get the tube again on the Hammersmith and City line. In our hurry though we sat on a Circle line train (big mistake!) and started chatting to AFCB fans John and Adam who were also going to the game. John was from Blanford Forum and his son was up in London studying and they knew an awful lot about the Cherries with John having sponsored them many years ago. We talked so much that it was a shock that we finally realised we should have changed at Liverpool Street station and had to jump off quick at the Mansion House stop as we had started to head west when we needed to go East! Back on the right train though we soon reached Upton Park tube station by 2pm and passed the Queens Pub nearby, with hundred's of fans of the Irons taking on some liquid refreshment. Along the road there were loads of stalls selling Hammer's merchandise and we decided to follow AFCB fans the back way to the Trevor Brooking Lower stand. 

I just had time to meet my friend Damien Hill and grab the Cherries DVD from last season off of him (I still haven't had time to watch any of it yet) as well as the Liverpool match day programme that he got for me. Then it was a quick interview with a West Ham fan on Chimes' FanCam before making our way inside the ground and finding some shade while taking a few photos of the players on the pitch warming up. It was a great first half for us and the thrill of the first Premier League goal for AFCB was brilliant even though it would have been nicer if it had been up our end though in front of the fans. Two goals to the good at half time was great and I thought going into work Monday morning would be very satisfying with my boss being a West Ham fan.

AFCB players do their warm ups.
Someone does not enjoy our singing very much.

Photos before the start of the match.
Little did I know that West Ham would come storming back and I'd have several panic attacks before the Cherries finally got that all important win 3-4. That was entertainment! What a pleasure it was to be a part of that and to see the players come over and thank the crowd. it was like the Charlton game at the end of last season in terms of celebration all over again.
Robert believed this message was just for
him as it was his birthday on the Sunday.

What a great win!

Having been held back in the ground for some time there was no rush for the tube. We looked around West Ham's shop and the main entrance to get some more photos and to savour the moment of the big win. In the car park we met Marius Rave who reads Cherry chimes over in Norway. He saw 'Afcbchimes' on the back of my shirt and enquired if I was the writer of that blog. It surprises me how far my words and thoughts sometimes travel! But it is great to know that AFCB fans in other countries also follow the blog with such enthusiasm.
Robert in teh Boleyn ground with loads of empty West Ham
seats behind him as they all got let out first.
Gates in front of the main reception - a lick of paint might be required.
Good job they are only here for one more season!
Stephen and me celebrate AFCB's victory - not sure the
West Ham fans were that impressed.
That's it Robert, I think they know who the Cherries are now. 
 Marius and his friend enjoyed AFCB's win and even loves Cherry Chimes! 
Having seen the queue at the Upton Park station going around the block, we walked to the end and then decided to walk on to the next station as it would be quicker than sitting waiting in the hot sun to get on a tube train. We weren't alone. Loads of fans had the same thoughts as us and when your team wins it does not really matter that you are walking through streets full of opposition fans that are just pleased to see you leaving.

You can read my Shoot article that was out yesterday at Wilson shows he is ready for the top level

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Altamira is Cherry Chimes' third summer signing!

Sponsired Article 
The signings keep on coming for Cherry Chimes this summer as we are very pleased to welcome Altamira to readers as our third new advertiser to join the blog for this season. I was privileged to spend some time with Alberto who owns this special shop in Richmond Garden Centre, down in the centre of town on Old Christchurch Road and we chatted for quite some time about AFC Bournemouth. He has some fond memories and is of course looking forward to this special season in the Premier League and he hopes that you and your partners will spread the word about his Art Deco, jewellery, ceramic and furniture shop as well as visit his website and come down to the shop yourself to see what he has on sale.

You won't find another shop like this in Bournemouth so I think it is about time we got to know a bit more about Alberto, his love for the Cherries and Altamira.

Alberto and Gelyn at Dean Court.
CC: How long have you been living in Bournemouth and what is your favourite part of the area?

Alberto: It feels like I’ve been living here forever, 100 years? I am originally from Madrid, Spain and throughout my life have travelled and worked in various places. I first arrived in Bournemouth about 35 years ago on a Lambretta scooter. I fell in love with the area and bought my first property here on impulse but with no regrets; Bournemouth is very much home for me now and has been since the late 70’s early 80’s. I now live in Queen’s Park with my wife so am a little bias but I would have to say that is my favourite part of this town. The area its self like so much of Bournemouth is beautiful, with a large park and golf course just down the road which is ideal for me with a young puppy that requires a lot of walking. Of course being in walking distance to AFC Bournemouth is handy too.

CC: Can you remember your early visits to Dean Court and is there one player that always had you coming back for more?

Alberto: My first trip to Dean Court was in 1978/79. Things were totally different back then of course but things had already started to improve with Alec Stock being manager. One player I really remember well from the earlier days was Tony Pulis.

CC: Altamira is a specialised jewellery, ceramic and Art Deco shop in the Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre of Bournemouth, so would you say you offer a unique selections of items for sale?

Alberto: Yes, Altamira is one of a kind, particularly within the Bournemouth retail. I myself have been in the Art Deco business for decades; it’s a real passion for me and has truly taken me places- literally from across Europe and even Hong Kong.

For many years I owned an Art Deco Gallery in Westbourne on Seamoor Road, however with plans to retire I sold my business several years ago and well retirement never really happened so last year my wife and I opened Altamira; combining my love for Art Deco and her passion and knowledge of Jewellery.

Altamira has an unbeatably stunning collection and I am so proud of it, I think our selection is unique, 100% you won’t find anywhere with such a range of ceramics, glasswares, bronzes, pictures and prints and they are all originals! That's so important to us.

Alongside the Art Deco and Modern Art we have an exquisite range of New and Second-hand Jewellery with really competitive prices, we know when it comes to Jewellers in Bournemouth our customers are spoilt for choice, being an independent jeweller our stock varies massively to that of our high street competitor and so does our price tag, we always ensure our prices are some of the best in town.

CC: Do you have a repair service and what kind of items might people bring in to get repaired?

Alberto: We offer our customers of all types and really to us, no job is too big or too small. We work with one of the best local Goldsmiths in the area with over 30 years experience on the bench offering our customers expert repairs and also jewellery commissions. We also work closely with a skilled watchmaker servicing and repairing watches as well as a pearl re-theader dealing with anything from antique pearls to modern fashion jewellery. So we have all varieties of repairs covered, locally by professional and skilled craftsman. Every week we deal with so many repairs and no two jobs are the same; our customers can need anything from a simple ring sizing or stone setting to a complete redesign of a family heirloom or the bespoke design of an engagement ring.

CC: If away fans see things they like in your shop can but don't buy on their first visit can they buy on line easily?

Alberto: Our website is up and running but as with most things is a constant work in progress. Many items are currently for sale and over time we do hope to get everything in our online store. Online sales are fantastic and as technology advances we all move more and more online however with items such as Paintings or Bronzes you really want to see them and experience them in the flesh so to speak. But if one of our customers sees something they like and decide later that it’s the piece for them there is no quibble to make the arrangements that suit our individual customers.

CC: How special was it for you as a Bournemouth fan last season to see the team win promotion to the Premier League and do you remember when you started thinking we could go up?

Alberto: I was extremely delighted when Bournemouth made it into the Premier League, both for the club as a long time supporter and for the town itself, it really will do wonders for the town in tourism and really putting Bournemouth back on the map for more than just somewhere to retire.

I’ve always believed in AFC Bournemouth and over the years i have been a supporter the team has gone from strength to strength so I’d always seen the move into the Premier League as just a matter of time, and when they did it I was so proud, proud of the team and proud to have been a Bournemouth Supporter all these years.

CC: Do you ever have AFC Bournemouth fans coming in to discuss games with you at the shop?

Alberto: Yes! In fact sometimes I feel sorry for non-football supporters if they pop in when we are discussing the matches! We have a good group of fans from the football who always pop in when they are passing and we have a good old chat and try to predict up and coming results. My wife and I being local supporter means we can build great rapport with our customers and we are strong believers in customer service and keeping things personal, that’s what is lacking with online shopping and in some of the chain-stores. We would always welcome more fans to pop in for a chat and have a look around.

CC: How good a manager do you think Eddie Howe is?

Alberto: I think he’s a very good manager, he seems to be a very intelligent man and is also ambitious which is great for the club. I think he will really take the team places.

CC: Does it bother you when players for the Cherries are sold on - you must have seen a few favourites go over the years?

Alberto: No it doesn’t really bother me, which must sound terrible but I’m not sentimental about it. We’ve lost some good players but we’ve also gained some great players. It’s just the way things are in football, even more so these days and i try not to let it bother me and just seen the team as a whole. Overall I think we have a fantastic team with some really talented players.

CC: Which player interests you most of the new signings this season at AFCB?

Alberto: The deal for Lee Tomlin has been confirmed and it looks like he’s going to be a real asset to the Cherries. He was a star player last season and I think it was a great move by Eddie Howe.

CC: What match are you most looking forward to this season and why?

Alberto: There’s so many! My wife and I are really excited about the coming season and have planned our lives around the games. I think overall it’s going to be an incredible season for Bournemouth, particularly looking forward to the Man City and Chelsea games.

CC: Is it difficult sometimes to miss games if the shop needs to be open or do you have a special arrangement so that you can always get to see the Cherries?

Alberto: Altamira is open 7 days a week but we are only a very small shop and we both work there along with our shop manager Sam. Being a new business it requires a lot of time being put in and we like to be open as much as possible to be convenient for our customers. When the seasons start we work our rota out so we can have the Saturday afternoons off to watch the game. It’s not always possible but usually we are very lucky and are able to see all the games. Thankful Sam isn’t a season ticket holder!

CC: How do you think the Cherries will do this season?

Alberto: I think they are going to do well, and i’ll be there to cheer them on each step of the way. I think as a team we are really going places and this is just the start. There's no doubt in my mind we are staying in the premier league.

Well it is good to hear that Alberto has plenty of confidence in the Cherries and I know he was delighted with the club's first win at West Ham last weekend. Please keep checking out the Altamira website as different objects will keep coming up on it to buy.

If you also have a local company that might want to consider advertising on Cherry Chimes, just give me an email at