Thursday, 31 December 2015

The hard work starts now for AFCB

We are half way through the season and the collection of 20 points is certainly better than expected when we entered December. The points so far are only par for the course though if the Cherries want to stay up, and some improvements will be needed in the second half of the season as it is still a tight battle between about seven clubs to see who may find themselves in that bottom three with the likes of Sunderland and Aston Villa who are already looking slightly cut a drift. 
AFC Bournemouth players at the Emirates Stadium.
Things can change quickly and there is no time to waste in picking up points. It does not matter that AFCB next play Leicester City away who are at the other end of the table - every game must be seen as a potential three points. The Foxes themselves are under pressure to hit that magic 40 point mark and recent games have slowed their progress. Leicester's incentive of getting back to the top of the table may be very different from what AFCB's ambitions are, but the previous draw between the two sides in August indicates that the Cherries have every chance of going to the King Power stadium and competing well with the Foxes.

The home ties to West Ham and Norwich City will be games where wins are really going to be required to pull away from the bottom three so the pressure will be on, even if the FA Cup might bring a bit of welcome relief. This period is going to be full of distractions with the transfer window and players trying to get back from injury to help the squad, so I expect no end of stories as the table starts to see teams already guaranteeing their survival.

I know that AFCB's players will work harder than ever to try and retain their Premier League status. It is evident in the matches that we have already seen that they are fighting and will battle even more in the coming games. They have the quality to see them safe but they must help themselves by beating those teams in and around them just like they had to be beat the top six teams in the Championship in the second half of last season. 

Free Competition - correct score prediction
An AFC Bournemouth diary for 2016 is up for grabs.
My good friends Altamira Deco, Broomhill Garden Buildings and Natterjacks Vets have been sponsoring Cherry Chimes in AFC Bournemouth's first Premier League season and therefore I wanted to give away a few small prizes for those who try and predict the scores for AFC Bournemouth games each week. Let's see if we can get a few more correct ones!

This week we are giving away an official AFC Bournemouth 2016 diary. It is free to enter. You need a Twitter account and need to follow and send a tweet to @PeterBell19 with the correct score for LCFC v AFCB, before Friday 1 January at 8pm. 

If there are more than one correct score we will select the winner from the hat from those with the correct score. If there are no correct scores the prize will roll over to the next game.  

We will post all predictions as usual on the blog. 

If you want to play along as usual but do not want to win the prize just add #NP on your score prediction tweet for no prize.

All Departments has a double podcast reviewing the Crystal Palace and Arsenal games so listen in by visiting the All Departments' website.

The Cherry Chimes Newsletter will be out tomorrow.
Cherry Chimes' January Newsletter  brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month, plus there is a special Newsletter article entitled: Can't wait for the 2nd half of the season?

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