Thursday, 30 June 2016

French fire power added to AFCB with Lys Mouset

So AFCB have opted to delve into the French Ligue 2 to sign Le Havre striker Lys Mouset on a four year deal. It is not a bad place to look seeing that Riyad Marhez did okay at Leicester City in 2015-16. The signing had been in the cards for a few weeks and while he is seen as a potential of great potential according to Neill Blake AFCB will need to see such new signings make a good start to the Premier League careers if they are to survive the 2016-17 season with the club's status still in tact.

Whether Lys plays as an out and out striker or fills a wing position is not yet clear. Like Nathan Aké it appears that AFCB are looking for players that can play in one or two positions having experienced the injury problems they did last season. Being adaptable to play in a couple of positions is not that usual for English clubs but I can see the benefits of players that are not frightened of playing in more than one position.

This is not a player you want to leave space for in and around the box. I can see Eddie thinking about playing him on the right wing as he has provided some great assists. FV Video.

The profile of the squad is starting to look full of U20 and U21 internationals and I don't think that is a bad thing. They have ambition and talent that needs to be nurtured and Eddie Howe has a good record of developing young players. The four-year deal gives Lys plenty of security having been reportedly signed for £5.4m, according to the Daily Mirror or £6.8m reports the Echo. Apparently, Sunderland, Spurs, Arsenal, Bristol City and Italian side Torino had been chasing Lys, so it was a big scoop for AFCB.

Looking at the players that are being signed it suggests that the Cherries are going to be an even more attacking side next season if that is at all possible. Eddie is an advocate of being positive and scoring goals and if AFCB are to stay up it will be with the firepower they are now accumulating.

Magpies poised to grab Ritchie

Newcastle Utd seem ever more confident of landing AFCB winger Matt Ritchie for £12m and Sky Sports say talks are ongoing. I find it quite staggering that Matt would take that step down considering his international prospects, but I guess he has had reassurance from Gordon Strachan. A move also protects his AFCB legacy and enables him to live closer to Scotland, if he is to play up north, and he'll probably trebling his wages. That would of course leave a gap in AFCB's Premier League squad and I hope that Eddie Howe believes that Ryan Fraser is ready to play his part in the squad going forward.
Is Ritchie another AFCB player that wants a new challenge?
We have not seen enough of Ryan Fraser. His nippy wing play and quick thinking was always a great sight to see at Dean Court in AFCB's Championship years, but if he is to step up to being a Premier League player he will have to improve his finishing and get his name up on the assists board. What AFCB can benefit from is Ryan's pace and directness of running at defences. He has a different style to Matt Ritchie and prefers to play on the left, but he is already a bright prospect and I think fans want to see more young players get their chance in the Premier League. AFCB still have a large crop of wingers with Stanislas, Grabban, Pugh and Gradel as well as Fraser so there are still quite a few options for some one to play on the right with Stanislas probably in prime position to take the starting place.

There is no done deal yet for Matt Ritchie and while the Daily Mirror see him as being on his way it will be of interest to hear what AFCB say today or tomorrow, if anything at all. Whatever the outcome of this transfer interest from Rafa Benitez, it is apparent that AFCB will do very well to hold on to their Scottish winger who has attracted more and more attention for his international performances. 
Can Ryan Fraser find a spot in the squad if Ritchie departs?
It does seem strange though that another member of this Premier League squad is expecting to drop back down to the Championship, while AFCB have started this summer's transfer business by buying a Championship player. Money talks though and £12m looks more than West Ham are willing to pay for Matt. It remains to be seen if Eddie and Neill Blake will want to replace Ritchie with a new signing or if we could see more of Ryan Fraser next season.

Meanwhile, AFCB have announced that the first team will go to the USA this summer to Chicago and will play Minnesota Utd on 20 July.

The Cherry Chimes' Newsletter is out tomorrow.

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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Nathan Aké strengthens AFCB's back line

AFCB have signed Nathan Aké of Chelsea on loan for next season. Aké played for Watford for most of last season at left back and will give competition to Charlie Daniels, Tyrone Mings and Rhoys Wiggins for a place in the side.

The last couple of season-loan players for AFCB have not really worked out in the case of Christian Atsu and Juan Iturbe, but there is more promise perhaps with Nathan that has already proved his worth in the Premier League. The Netherlands U21 international was Watford's young player of the season in 2015-16 and has played 12 times for Chelsea.
Nathan Aké at Dean Court last October.
This is an important signing in terms of the quality that AFCB need. The back four was not overly strong last season and while the left back role was mainly held by Charlie Daniels it is expecting a lot of him to play just as many games again in this coming season and to have some options must be a bonus for the side. Nathan has also played in a Champions League match for Chelsea so there is no doubting his quality and it is likely that we will see a lot of him at Dean Court. Nathan can also play in midfield and is a product of the Feyenoord youth academy.

It does take a little pressure off of Tyrone Mings to make it back early and I would expect that he will be targeting the second half of the season to be in contention for team selection now that more cover has been brought in for the left back position. 

What are the lessons from the Tomlin debacle?

AFCB's transfer history has been mixed in recent seasons. While Eddie Howe returned to the club in 2012 with a new squad fairly freshly assembled, by Paul Groves and Shaun Brooks, it has been piecemeal additions to the squad since then with some excellent signatures like Callum Wilson, Josh King, Ryan Fraser, Adam Smith and Max Gradel, but also some less successful additions like Tokelo Rantie, Juan Iturbe and yes Lee Tomlin.
Lee had high hopes when he joined AFCB of being a top Premier League player.
The Tomlin signing should have been a reasonably safe squad signing. He played extremely well in 2014-15 for Middlesbrough and was instrumental in that sides fourth round FA Cup win against the stellar stars of Man City. But as soon as he signed for AFCB it was an up hill battle for him to recover his fitness and form, while it looked even harder for him to find a real bond with the team. His lack of games was ultimately unsettling for him and then his frustration came out.
Lee Tomlin is now set to join Bristol City if he agrees terms.
But what can AFCB take from the experience of Lee Tomlin's period at the club. It is easy to say very little, but picking players with the desire and ability to take on some of the feelings that AFCB is no ordinary club is not simple to get across to players that have come from bigger clubs. It is a warning that could well repeat itself more often in the future as AFCB are now in the market for signing players from Europe's elite, and even further afield. The pillars that are important to Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall, which are the roots of AFCB, have to be bought into if a player is going to succeed at Bournemouth. It has been a feature of the side that there are no real stars. No one gets above their station or has a right to feel that they are more important than anyone else in the team, and that is really some of the defining elements that have given AFCB that feeling of togetherness. Moreover, that success is better when it is experienced by everyone as a group.

There will be more Lee Tomlins and I only hope that fans recognise that there are no guarantees that everyone is a good fit for their club no matter how good a player they may be. Hopefully Bristol City is a better fit for Lee. 

Not sure who AFCB should sign this summer? Have a go at making your own player - see side bar for Qzzr player maker, then tweet or Facebook your created player.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Do yourself a favour Eddie, don't even think about doing the England job

I don't ask Eddie Howe to turn down the England job because I am an AFC Bournemouth fan. I ask him not to do it because all he will face is humiliation. This England set up is wrong from the base up and if the players are not capable of playing in tournaments because they can't perform under pressure, then he has lost before they even kick a ball.

There are other reasons for Howe not taking the job as well if he were to be offered it. He is not experienced enough yet. He has only just dipped his feet in Premier League football and he is learning against some of the best managers in the world. Why would you take a young manager out of that environment and put him in an England jacket where he is asked to do a job for the nation that prefers Premier League football to putting the national side first? It would ruin one of the best young managerial talents in the game and I just hope Eddie is not put in that position yet.
I love Eddie, but he is not yet ready for a job like England manager.
Let an experienced manager have the job.
The sad fact is there are very few candidates for the England manger's job. It is now a huge job after such an abject failure. The player's confidence will have been totally shattered and on the floor. This was a worse defeat than the World Cup two year's earlier as there was real hope and potential that this side would be good enough to have learnt from previous mistakes. They were humiliated by Iceland. Iceland who drew against Portugal and Hungary and beat Austria in the group stages, but they demolished England in the last 16. Who on earth wants the job of picking the players up after that? 

It needs to be a manager that not only has pride and can put an arm round the players, they have to have to have won things and have an understanding of the game that reveals why England teams keep failing at international tournaments. The players simply don't turn up. This is a failed project that keeps reoccurring. I don't want to see a good man like Eddie Howe go anywhere near it.

Euro 2016 - England thrown out of the Euros

Monday, 27 June 2016

Ritchie to Newcastle - dream on Benitez!

With news that Andros Townsend might leave Newcastle Utd, the Toons are ready to fight with West Ham Utd over the signature of Matt Ritchie as announced in the Sun. I don't buy the gossip that Ritchie has been offered to Newcastle. Since when did AFCB start offering its top players to be sold? Yet, Ritchie has already been the subject of a bid from the Hammers along with Callum Wilson and the future of the Sottish international is probably under more doubt than it has been for some time.

We have already seen Tommy Elphick be prepared to drop down a division to the Championship with Aston Villa, but even if Newcastle is an equally massive club in that division, I find it hard to see the advantage of Matt Ritchie being enticed there if he wants to keep his international aspirations in tact. Even a loan move would seem a backwards step. Benitez would have to throw a staggering amount at AFCB to take the player down to the Championship. The real challenge for his services comes from the Olympic stadium where Slaven Bilic is building a side to play in the Europa league. The Hammers have the attraction of a new stadium, a young manager, an exciting squad and European football as well as being a side that is challenging for a place in the top six of the Premier League again next season.
Rafa Benitez had better have a super big cheque book if he is chasing after Matt Ritchie. 
West Ham are ambitious and if Matt Ritchie also has ambition it will be no surprise to hear that he would like to talk to the Hammers. That is the understanding of West Ham who are considering a second bid as they believe the player would be interested in a move. The Hammers also know that Man Utd had scouts down watching Matt in the last few months, although with a change in manager at Old Trafford there has been no signs of further interest from there in the player.

The noise on the transfer rumour market simply won't go away when it comes to Matt Ritchie and while he only signed a new 3.5 year contract last January to ward off interest, it seems that there will be further pressure put on AFCB to part with their winger.

Euro 2016 - Will the real England turn up?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Has Charlie Daniels become an essential AFCB player?

There is never much of a noise about Charlie Daniels. He is just one of those players that is a great professional that gets on with his job. No one should underestimate what he achieved though in 2015-16. He stepped up to the task and played like he had been in the Premier League for several seasons while Tyrone Mings was ruled out for much of 2015/16.

I don't think there were many better players than Charlie last season either. Indeed, take him out of the team and you suddenly feel that those are hard shoes to fill. There has not been any transfer gossip relating to Charlie but any manager looking at his stats can't fail to be impressed. It's not just his assists, clearances and goals either. His discipline is exemplary with only two yellow cards in 39 games.
Will Charlie Daniels be a target for other clubs this summer?
I remember Ian Hart saying that Charlie would fit right into the Premier League and he wasn't wrong. Charlie scored a great goal against Newcastle Utd that was kind of blurred over by coming so late in the game and virtually condemning the Toon Army to the Championship. At times he was also the full back that was simply impassable. In some ways I hope Charlie keeps going under the radar, as his influence on the side is very strong and he is one of the brigade that has witnessed several promotions now and has become a cornerstone of the side.

It is almost unthinkable though not to imagine an AFCB side without Charlie in it. That is how far he and the side have come. But we have already seen Tommy Elphick go this summer, surely when more than one or two of the cornerstones are replaced it will be hard for AFCB fans - let's hope Charlie is one that Howe will fight hard to keep if offers come in.

Euro 2016 - No luck for the Irish as Wales progress, plus Republic of Ireland v France - the Irish can blow the tournament wide open

Saturday, 25 June 2016

How fast can AFCB's fan base grow?

The size of the Cherries' fan base is tiny against some of the mid-table sides in the Premier League let along the top ones. It is a disadvantage and yet getting a ground and the supporters to fill a stadium that would see 14,529 gathered to watch a game would have been progress, even if only a small advance. But now that has been put on hold and AFCB have held back on raising ticket prices even though other Premier League clubs will have bigger revenue streams with their larger fan bases. 
At least no ground expansion means AFCB fans can expect
little added problems in getting away from the ground after games next season.
This big hope is that the club may find that overseas support will also have its effect on how the club is viewed as it starts its second season at the top level. Merchandise like the new striped away shirt and kit will be available to anyone over the Internet and while walking down the street in Bournemouth might not turn that many peoples' eyes it probably would if you were in Kula Lumpa or Istanbul.
Official AFCB photo of new away kit.
The appeal of AFCB is unlikely to diminish while it keeps upsetting the odds. The Americans in particular like the underdog and I am not surprised that the club has found new supporters over there. They may have to watch games streamed on TV but they are knowledgeable about the players and the way the team plays. 

I'm evening starting to wonder if AFCB's players will be targets for foreign-based clubs rather than just the domestic competition. Every time that AFCB play games though that are shown on global TV screens that fan base will rocket and we could be on the verge of seeing a very different AFCB in only two or three years from now. Eddie Howe still believes we are at the start of the journey and I suspect that there are many more that will tag along for the ride yet.

I'm also like many fans who want the club to keep playing its games in Kings Park and that it has managed to do so at this level I think is tremendous. The improvements are likely to keep coming though if the side can prolong its time in this league and there will be decisions to be made over how to attract more fans and how to ensue that they can come and see games. The expansion may be on hold this summer but success on the pitch will make it more and more difficult to ignore that something has to be done about getting a wider audience to see home games.

Transfer News and gossip
Sky News announced that a bid for Lee Tomlin had been accepted last night by AFCB. While the amount is undisclosed it has taken a full month of rumours before Bristol City came up with a bid, but an escape for Tomlin can be no surprise for AFCB fans.

The Daily Express insists that Potruguese star Raul Meireles has agreed terms with AFCB, but the Daily Echo dismisses claims that the Cherries are interested in the Fenerbahce midfielder.

Meanwhile, Tokelo Rantie is being linked with Kaiser Chiefs in South Africa and SonderjyskE in Denmark.

Friday, 24 June 2016

AFCB said to be on the brink of signing Le Harve forward

AFCB ae said to be on the verge of completing the signing of French U20 international Lys Mousset, according to Squawka. The fee is said to be £7.7m for the Le Harve striker who plays in the French Ligue 2. Is this a signing that is cover for Josh King and Callum Wilson and is it a transfer to suggest that Lewis Grabban is soon to be shown the loan window?

The need for goals will always entice clubs like AFCB to buy in strikers if they feel they can make a difference to the strength of the squad and grabbing young talent before the bigger clubs have had a chance to sign them up seems to be the Cherries' new master plan. While it is likely to be a leap for a player to go from Ligue 2 to the Premier League, I can understand why Eddie Howe would be prepared to take a risk on a player that has high potential (14 goals in 29 appearances), especially when the club Mousset is currently with has had a hand in developing such talent at Dimitri Payet and Riyad Marez.

What I can see is that there is a big gap at the moment between AFCB's U21 players and the first team, and while Hyndman and Mousset could be signings that have the strength and ability already to challenge for places in the first team they also might be seen as players that bridge the gap. This would include players like Bailey Cargill who needs other players around him that are breaking into the first team.

Whether these players get named in the 25 man-squads for Premier League football will be the intriguing matter. If they are then the age profile of the squad is going to start shifting quite quickly unless a few more leaders are also lined up.

Do I think Grabban is likely to be surplus to requirements? I'd say that the odds are narrowing on him finding it hard to find a place in the squad if AFCB retain the services of Wilson, Afobe and King and the Lys Mousset signing does go ahead.

All Departments has released an evening with Paul Morrell Part Two.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Jose's Man Utd will be a huge test first game

Jose Mourinho is probably smiling at the prospect of facing AFCB in his first game next season. It is quite likely that he will spend a large amount of dosh over the summer and he will come to Dean Court with quite a different side to the won that went down 2-1 in their last visit to the stadium.
Man Utd last visit to Dean Court. Now AFCB will finally
be able to welcome Jose Mourinho to the stadium.
There is some reason for Eddie Howe to be pleased though that he has such a hard test for his side in the first game. Let's face it there won't be many teams that finish above Man Utd if any and it will set the standard right from the start. Eddie will know his team have to be prepared right from the first game and seeing that fixture list doesn't half concentrate the mind. The cameras will be very much on what the new Man Utd are about, but wouldn't it be good if we could spoil Jose's party!

Eddie has made it clear that the side has to do better in home games and having lost the first game last season he will want to do better this time. But if AFCB start with a defeat and then have to go to West Ham facing the prospect of another hard game being their first in the Olympic stadium, then so be it. The Cherries have to make themselves harder to beat than last season and if they can get something out of the first two games it will be a fabulous start. Even though AFCB won both of these fixtures last season it shows how huge those six points were.

AFCB have a couple of months though to work out how they can get off to a good start and maybe they can find a few surprises before then to upset the big guns. It's a clean sheet and we know that everyone has to play everyone else, so getting results in these difficult games is what it is all about if the side wants to improve its position in the league. The good part in the football fixtures is that AFCB's run in looks much more favourable than it was in 2015-16.

Euro 2016 - Sometimes you get what you deserve

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Simon Francis is a strong candidate for skipper

The performances of Simon Francis in recent seasons has won him most of the player of the year awards. He is a confident player and has now captained the side many times in Tommy Elphick's absence. With Elphick now having left the club it will be a big season for Francis who not only has the job of finding consistency as a centre back, but is likely to be the main candidate for the vacant captaincy.
Can Francis lead AFCB to thier best season ever?
While the position of a football captain may not seem such a hands on job as some captain's roles, you do become a figure head and fans do hang on every word for insight as to the mood of the camp and reasons for how the team is playing. For Francis the interviews have been something he is more than used to and he has no problem in giving an opinion which is what us journalist love to hear.

On the field he is a player who leads by example. If he is not playing on the right wing he will not be bombing up and down so much and by having the captaincy as a centre back he will be able to encourage and motivate from the centre. For the next captain the challenge will be to build on what Tommy Ephick achieved at the club. A different skipper means that some things will change and how players respond to a new captain is still very important. There has to be respect and a willingness for the club to be very much together if they are to improve, and Eddie Howe's decision on who should be captain is an important one for morale and picking a player who will do the best job.

There are other candidates like, Steve Cook, Andrew Surman and Charlie Daniels but it is Francis that has probably been ideally suited for the job and, if he gets it, he'll have much more opportunity to be a voice both inside the club and talking to the press.

Euro 2016Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Don't expect too much too soon from Callum Wilson next season

It has been great to see Callum Wilson back in the AFCB line up for the last month of the Premier League season. He has not started that many games but he adds a different dimension to the team. He does not go unnoticed and it is hardly surprising that West Ham have been asking some questions and Roy Hodgson has been quick to praise the potential England striker, but it is important that fans don't get ahead of themselves in expecting too much from the Cherries number 13 who is only just getting used to life in the Premier League.
Callum still has to find the net more regularly.
Any striker who has been told that he is on the verge of an international call up should feel good about himself. There is no harm in that. Yet, expectations can be a burden and I hope that Edie Howe has a quiet word with Callum Wilson before the start of the 2016/17 season to acknowledge that while he has a prestigious talent, he is not the finished article yet. Callum scored five goals last season and three of those came in the game against West Ham at Upton Park. It's arguable that Josh King has more experience of the top flight and spread his goals better over more games so Callum has a bit of catch up to do in some ways.

The fans will want Callum to do well from the start and will hope for 20 goals for the season as Callum himself will probably target. But just playing games and finding that sharp touch in front of goal is where I hope Callum's thinking takes him. Forget about the England call ups and the potential big money moves. Callum has yet to have a real run at the Premier League and if AFCB can keep him fully fit for a season it will be a massive boost to the Cherries' next campaign.

Farewell Tommy
Yesterday, we finally heard the skipper Tommy Elphick had signed for Aston Villa and everyone wishes him the very best of luck there as he has been a great servant for AFCB. It will be strange not seeing his pre-match routine, but it gives Eddie Howe some room to manoeuvre on a new defensive signing. 

Euro 2016 - A missed opportunity for England

Monday, 20 June 2016

Are AFCB in the box seat to sign French midfielder?

The gossip is growing around Jordan Veretout being unsettled at Aston Villa following their drop to the Championship. He is a young central midfielder but who can also play in the number 10 role. He would add strength to the Cherries going forward and like Hyndman he has attracted quite a lot of interest from European clubs but the Cherries could well be in the box seat if the Tommy Elphick deal also goes through the other way.

At 23 Veretout is a player that has at least experienced the Premier League and has also played for Nantes in France. With 25 league appearances for Aston Villa, he has not had a great start to life in England with a side that found itself in the relegation zone virtually all season, but it is hard to thrive in a struggling side. He even played in the first game of the season against AFCB last season.

Whether Veretout is extra to Di Matteo's need is hard to tell as a young player with energy and high enough skill to play in the French U21 side is certainly a good player to have in the Championship. But Tim Sherwood signed him on a five-year deal last July and while he may not be the highest paid player at the club, Aston Villa will want to cut wages in some places.

While the Sun commented that Veretout was an Eddie Howe target back in May there have only been football bloggers mentioning the Frenchman's name closely linked with the Cherries, but AFCB were said by the Birmingham Mail to have been tracking the player last summer as well before he signed for Villa. AFCB may have to move quickly now though as Celtic are said to be keeping tabs on Veretout, according to the Scotsman. Lille and Celta Vigo have also been linked to the player.

Personally, I think Veretout would be a sensible signing as he has had a year in England now and knows what pressures the Premier League bring and he is likely to find things easier if he can find a club that is looking to push its way up the league with similar enthusiastic young players.

Tommy Elphick Tommy Elphick was said by the Bournemouth Echo to be undergoing a medical at Aston Villa this week ahead of his expected move to the Midlands club.

Euro2016: Six changes in all for England?

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Do AFCB need a meaner edge?

Looking at the teams that are coming up from the Championship, there is a case for saying that that Premier League places will be harder fought for next season. Burnley, Middlesbrough and either Hull City are not the kind of teams to lay down easy. They are northern teams that will scrap and battle no matter what and it is a trait that perhaps AFCB will need to add to its game if the club is to have a successful 2016/17.
Do AFCB need more gritty midfield players and a meaner edge?
We have seen some games where the fight was not evident enough when AFCB played away at Norwich and at home against some top sides like Spurs, but in general the Cherries have taken games to the opposition. They will need to be just as combative or maybe even more so next season and the midfield area is probably where Eddie Howe sees pressure can be taken off of the defence. While it may be too difficult to find a younger Sylvain Distin who can dominate at the back, Eddie might be able to find more strength in midfield where Eunan O'Kane, Shaun Mac Donald and Dan Gosling have supported Andrew Surman and Harry Arter. The signing of Hyndman is a good start but Leed's Lewis Cook would add more bite in tackles which the side really lacks. If Leeds won't sell AFCB will ave to look elsewhere.

The gossip has been that AFCB are keen on turning to Spurs' midfielder Ryan Mason who has already won an England senior cap. His goal potential is not much better than Andrew Surman's but he has strong passing and tackling, arguably something that would give better balance to the Cherries. While the Evening Standard was touting £6m for the young midfielder in early May, the Daily Star is suggesting that a fee nearer to £2m could be secured and without the loss of Callum Wilson in any swap deal.

Building up a squad of potential England internationals is what I think Eddie Howe is looking to do with players like Wilson, Afobe and Smith. The midfield section is light though and there is space for grabbing some exciting new players that are on the edge of the England fold and we have seen with Harry Kane, Deli Ali and Marcus Rashford that the talent is around if you can find it early enough.   

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Emerson Hyndman signing is one of potential

AFCB took most of the national media a little off guard until the final hours with the sudden signing of Emerson Hyndman yesterday. There had not been much build up to the deal as Hyndman was out of contract and yet compensation needed to be paid to Fulham his former club as an U21 player.
Fulham FC tweeted photo: Emerson Hyndman playing for Fulham.
I was straight on the email to Andrew Beck at Cottagers Confidential blog to see whether Hyndman was highly rated at Fulham and if he might be the kind of player that would deputise well for Andrew Surman for example.

"Hyndman is a really interesting player. He's been a favourite of mine for about four years now. He was part of some very impressive Fulham youth squads that won the academy leagues a couple times. He also was part of the squad that made the FA Youth Cup final," said Andrew.

"He's held his own in limited time with the first team. He's done very well when playing for the USA U-23 team. He's even looked good playing for the full national team.

"His position is kind of in question. He's been used as an attacking mid, a defensive mid, and a box to box player. I think ideally he's a deep lying playmaker or box to box mid, but he can really do anything in the central midfield,"added Andrew.

"The one knock on him has always been his size. He's not a large guy, and he was consistently playing way above his age, which only made him look smaller. That being said, he's almost exactly the same size as Luka Modric. I don't want to imply that he will ever be as good as Modric, but that's the kind of player he is. And at the same age Modric has just completed a season with NK Inter Zapresic in the Croatian first division and hadn't yet been capped by Croatia, so you can't really say that Hyndman is that far behind him developmentally either," said Andrew.

You can see a full profile of Emerson Hyndman on the Cottagers Confidential site. A big thanks to Cottagers Confidential in giving Cherry Chimes readers an inside view on AFCB's first summer signing.

The Sun had been among the quickest to link the Cherries with the 20-year-old midfielder who has already won two caps with the full USA international team. He started his career at FC Dallas. But before we get too carried away he has only made 24 appearances for Fulham and has scored one goal in his last 15 games and started three of Fulham's last six games. 

Eddie seems to be looking for young talent though that he can mould and bring through and considering that the fees for such players are low or in this case a free transfer, albeit with compensation, it is a more sensible way of going about building up a squad than simply splashing out on players that have experience but are past their best and are still on big wages.

Hyndman's first goal must be to get himself into the first team squad but if he does that and can learn from players like Surman he may well become a special talent that AFCB have picked up just at the right time. Let's wish Emerson all the best at AFCB - welcome and UTCIAD!

All Departments has released a podcast part 1 of an evening with Paul Morrell. Listen via the All Departments' website or scroll down the side bar on Cherry Chimes to the All Departments sound bar.

Friday, 17 June 2016

It can be a big season to come for Harry Arter

Harry Arter has worked had to get to where he is and he was just beginning to reap the rewards. This summer he would have be playing for the Republic of Ireland in Martin O'Neil's team if it were not for a late thigh injury and it is notable that O'Neil did not mind Harry resting up for a few AFCB games at the end of the season, as long as he could have him in his squad in the summer. So it was only cruel luck that ruled him out.
Harry Arter will want more games to play in during
2016/17 and some of them will surely be for the Republic if Ireland.
O'Neil can see that Arter can add something to his side and I liked the patient way that Harry went about his recent friendly against Holland. It was an Arter that wasn't bustling around wasting energy, but a more considered performance knowing that he had quality around him and that he just had to keep the ball moving whenever it came to him. The Republic of Ireland are not blessed with players that keep possession well and that is why I think Arter is seen as a great addition to their side.

It would have bode well, not only for the Republic of Ireland, but also for AFCB had Harry Arter and Eunan O'Kane performed in France. The kind of experience gained from playing those games in that competition will be hard for them both to miss out on.

Arter's new three-year deal though at AFCB is just reward for the progress he has made. Now Eddie Howe will be asking him to take his game forward still further. The best way he can do that is by becoming a regular in the Republic of Ireland team. It may mean he learns to adjust the pace of a game better and become more aware of how the top internationals influence a game more. If he can bring that back to the Cherries, Arter will the player at the club that has excelled the most in taking his game to the next level.

Harry will be an eager watcher of Republic of Ireland v Belgium on Saturday for sure.

Other AFCB news
Meanwhile, Artur Boruc has signed a new one-year deal to stay with the Cherries. Boruc was an unused sub in Poland's drawn match against Germany last night. The Telegraph reports that West Ham are still chasing Matt Ritchie, despite being warned off by AFCB - it could be a busy week coming up.

Euro 2016 - Why are England so bad at tournament football? Even if they managed a win at the death against Wales I want to see something better from England.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Tommy Elphick will always be the captain who took the Cherries up

Aston Villa were said by Sky Sports to have accepted at £3m bid for Tommy Elphick and the player was said to be in talks with the Midland's side. Cherry Chimes reported that this was a likely outcome back on 11 June and as the move looks ever closer to becoming a reality it is important for Tommy to know that AFCB fans will think only the best for him having been the captain that not only won promotion for the club from League One but who also guided the club on the pitch into the Premier League.
Tommy on the first day of last season when AFCB played Aston Villa.
Now he deserves to further his career in the best way he sees fit. If as looks likely that is with Aston Villa, he will be charged with trying to build a similar team spirit to that which the Cherries have had and I'm sure Tommy would do an excellent job at Villa. Tommy is a crowd favourite as well and that makes him an ideal candidate for Di Matteo to go after first as he can build his side around a motivator like Tommy. 

It will leave a big whole in the dressing room at Dean Court though. The part played by Tommy Elphick as captain has been immense in the last few seasons and his influence and calm head has often steadied the ship when things have gone against AFCB. Eddie Howe has to find players though that can take the team on a level or two more though and if the captain does go it opens up a whole new chapter in the AFCB book. 

Now the side has to really compete with the better half of the Premier League and not just make up the numbers. It probably needs a cornerstone figure like Tommy to make a difficult decision like this to get other players out of what can seem a comfortable seat the way the club has progressed and to really take a look at themselves to see if they are getting the most out themselves? Things are starting to change and we'll only know come August what the new look AFCB will be like, but I trust Tommy will do what is positive for his career.

Euro 2016England must play to their pedigree against Wales

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The fixture list we want to see

While a computer is left to run off the fixtures for the 2016-17 season, you know that it has been programmed by human hands and even with the best intentions, there will be some games that fans will look and stare at and say why do we have to play them then? AFCB did not get pulled around with many mid-week fixtures last time around and I'm hoping for something similar this time, but you can't pick when you play clubs in European competitions and these are going to be games that often get moved to a different time slot.  
We will soon be able to plan our football year.
When the fixtures come out it certainly focuses the mind on the new season. AFCB will have a sudden up surge in those season ticket holders finally booking their seats and we will be keen to find out when we are playing the big teams and that other team down the road. But have you considered what Edie Howe and Jason Tindall have on their minds when they see that fixture list? Last season it was certainly the painful run of fixtures at the end of the campaign that worried them. This next season they will equally be looking for a good start and a more favourable back end to the games, while fans will probably be looking at the big lot of fixtures over the Christmas period.

Some may say that you have to play everyone twice so what does it matter? But I do believe that the timing of playing teams can have a big affect on morale and points during the season. No one wants to play the biggest four sides one after another and yet if you get a run of the lower quality sides you have to target that period as an opportunity to get some momentum in your season. 

So AFCB are first to take on Jose Mourinho's Man Utd and first to visit the Olympic Stadium - are you excited already?

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Revamped EFL Trophy to give Academies chance to shine

There has been quite a lot of energy by the English Football League (EFL) being put into changing or what they would consider improving the pyramid system in the last few months. Their latest initiative was to suggest making another league and bringing the number of league clubs up to 100. Now they want the Premier League Academy teams to take part in the EFL Trophy and 16 of the 20 Premier League clubs will put teams in to play against League One and Two clubs in the competition.

It has not been announced which will be the 16 Premier League academy's to take part in what was previously the Johnstone's Paint sponsored Trophy. The EFL is being rebranded though and a lot of effort is being put into revitalising the competition with the aim of improving the U21 players in the country by giving them more meaningful fixtures. The idea is only to be a trial in the new season and may be scrapped if it does not work well. Opponents to the idea have been Portsmouth, Accrington Stanley, AFC Wimbledon and Hartlepool Utd. I imagine much of their complaint surrounds the worry of Premier League clubs reducing the number of layers they have out on loan if they want their players to be involved in this competition.
Jordan Green may be one of AFCB's U21 players
to benefit from the revamped EFL Trophy.
I don't suppose it is any coincidence that AFCB's official website has been getting us all to pay attention to the 'Next generation' series of articles as the club encourages us to know more about the young players who are at the club now. The acid test will be how well supported such games are and whether the academy players can benefit from the extra games against league players. In principal I see it as a good way of ensuring more players at the top clubs get more regular run outs but I also see why some clubs at the bottom end of the pyramid season just see it as eroding their chances to further their own players who now have to play against young players who are getting the best facilities and benefits at being at top academies. That means they might not get as far in the competition as they might have done of course and lessens their experience.

The haves and the have nots. We are beginning to see the power and weight of the Premier League clubs now fully unfold and by putting £1m into the £1.95m prize pot it is something that the EFL is keen to see flourish even if it is small beer in terms of how much the Premier League clubs could put in.

Meanwhile, Adam Federici has signed a new three-year contract keeping at Dean Court until summer 2019. AFCB have also been linked with Aston Villa's, Jordan Veretout according to the Daily Mail.

Monday, 13 June 2016

We want to be safe watching football

Watching the scenes in Marseille over the last few days have just been horrific. Perhaps I am being naive in thinking that I had hoped such days were long behind English football, but organised violence just has no place in football tournaments and can't be tolerated. Whether the violence stops out in France or not from now on I am sure there will be plenty of discussions about security at Premier League venues next season, especially after the fiasco of Bournemouth's abandoned match against Man Utd at the end of last season.

I only went back to watching football in 2008/9 as I did not want to be in places where there was likely to be trouble. It was only when my children had reached the age of seven and nine that year that I felt going back to watch AFCB was something I felt okay to do. The 1980s had left a pretty horrible image in my mind as far as football was concerned and it has taken me a long time to fall back in love with the game. 
Extra security measures are never a problem for those that just want to watch football.
Sadly, the English national side have a fanbase that has left behind it a historical legacy of being up for a fight and even if the majority are only interested in having a good time, we have seen that when antagonised and charged at by Russian so-called fans things soon get out of control. UEFA have done little to segregate fans it seems and the French Police have used excessive force from the videos I have seen.

Eddie Howe is certainly one person who has had a massive affect on why I now enjoy watching games again and I love seeing so many young families now fill the stands at Dean Court. It is a priority that everyone feels safe coming to games and the atmosphere that we want is friendly and passionate not hostile and vindictive.

I now see how fragile the balance is and how important it is that everyone is vigilant when they attend matches as things can quickly deteriorate. In the last seven years I have not come up against much intimidation or felt unsafe at an English ground, but I feel that there is cause to be more alert these days. The Liverpool v Valencia Europa League final and West Ham fan's attack on the Man Utd coach brings it all home to me - it's never fully gone away.   

As for the Euros though let's just hope that no teams face the indignity of being thrown out because of fan trouble rather than what happens on the pitch.

Euro 2016 - Heroic Northern Ireland battle to the end

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Things to ponder over the summer for Howe

Eddie Howe won't have had too long to reflect on the Man Utd game but he will be concerned with the team's run at end of the last season. It is gone now and he'll be picking things apart for the things that his side could have done better, but he is adamant that the team will not be completely restructured.

Whether that gives hopes to a few players who might be wondering what might be happening to them, it is clear that the club will invest again. The final table shows that it was tight between success and failure in reality with only five precious points being the safety gap that saw the Cherries over the line. Yet, what may have seen unlikely to some has been achieved and sides up to 11th only finished five points better off than AFCB.
Eddie will attempt to bring the side back stronger.
There were signs again at Old Trafford though that the team is still weak and vulnerable in some positions. While Adam Federici made some fantastic saves, he would have hoped for more protection on some occasions and switching off for a second against a side like Man Utd undid much of the good work that the side did in the first half. While it is easy to pick holes in not making it more difficult for top sides like United, Spurs and Man City - these games are what Eddie Howe will get more from in terms of taking his side forward.

Whatever the club decides is the best way forward in regard to player numbers to bring in and those to move on, I don't believe that AFCB can think of themselves as anything less than a side that has proved its merit to be in the Premier League. Improving on that though is going to be tough, but it has to be tried to be done. Everyone currently at the club knows that this may mean splitting up a few players who have taken the club such a long way, but they'll also know it is necessary for the side to progress again.

Euros 2016 - A great start for the Welsh and England done at the death.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Elphick Villa bound?

Social media is red hot yesterday with whispers about Tommy Elphick about to sign for Aston Villa and there were even a couple of tweets about the possibility a few days before this. National media and the Birmingham Mail had nothing to report though, even if Villa blogs were quick to see if there new manager Di Matteo was already looking to recruit some Premier League players to take up the challenge of getting the Villa back up next season.
Tommy Elphick at Villa Park last season.
While it is hard to confirm or deny the reports, you can see some potential in the rumours as Tommy Elphick did not have the strongest of seasons and is now under pressure to keep his place in the starting 11 with the performances of Simon Francis and Steve Cook giving Eddie Howe plenty to think about. The goals against column was high last season and most AFCB fans would expect to see a new central defender come to the club and that will mean in all likelihood that a vacancy will need to be created.

For Villa too you can see the attraction of signing a player that recently led a team to win the Championship and who would not be an expensive signing at an estimated £3m compared to Villa's stella-priced signings over the last few seasons.

Whether the lure of playing for Aston Villa perhaps as captain is something that would tempt Tommy is a matter for him to consider, if Villa want him and offer a bid that is acceptable to AFCB. There are lots of ifs and buts to this story, but if Eddie Howe is ready to break with his skipper there are plenty of clubs that would see Tommy as a prize catch even if it is not Villa. Leaving would keep Tommy's legacy well in tact having steered the Cherries to promotion and then safety in the Premier League. 

Having recently married Tommy may well like to have a new challenge and the Villa campaign is going to be pressured next season, which he may very well like to have a go at. But having worked so hard to get to the Premier League I could understand him saying no as well.

Timing is everything and if Tommy decides he should leave then the dynamics of the changing room immediately change and one or two other might start considering if they should also be looking for moves. 

Euro 2016Dimitri Payet lights up Euro 2016 and England - the day of reckoning is here