Thursday, 19 July 2018

If Defoe hits early form the Cherries can fly

Jermain Defoe did not have the best of seasons last time out, so it is not that surprising that he has been a name that has been linked with possible loan spells elsewhere. Bournemouth have paid a high price though for his services every week and they need to see some return on the player who remains in my mind one of the sharpest and best Premier League strikers of his generation.
Bournemouth need to see the best of Defoe.

While Jermain, 35, is not getting any younger, he is in superb condition and looks after himself very well. He has personal targets that he wants to get nearer to as one of the top Premier League strikers, and while he has a great previous record at AFCB he will want to improve on what he could do last season.

I notice there have been no mentions from Jermain promising goals of late, like when he quipped on signing for the Cherries. He thought that was a mistake to say at the time and these things have a habit of biting you back. But Jermain only made 24 appearances last season and he has the capability of starting the season and going all the way through with a bit of luck. A good start for Jermain would see the Cherries have a good start and while Eddie Howe needs to get what he can from the younger players, it is the experienced players that will set the tone that everyone else works too.

Eddie Howe needs to get his arm around some of the experienced players and get them to be anxious to perform well. Jermain is hard to stop if he is on fire in front of goal, and this pre-season he is one of the players that should find it easier to make more of an impact in the coming season, because he has done it all before. He is a player that will just want to be playing as many games as he can, knowing that he is coming to the latter part of his career. Defoe has done the big transfers and loan moves. His aim has to be to stand out in an AFCB shirt this season. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

AFCB ready to splash the cash for Uruguayan

Bournemouth have been linked with Geona's left-back, Diego Laxit. While Everton are also believed to be interested in the player, the Sun claims Bournemouth are ready to play £25m for the defender as well as £32m for Levant's Jefferson Lerma.
Charlie Daniels' position is expected to come under
threat this summer with Bournemouth looking to recruit left-sided defenders.
Laxit is 25 years-old and has played for Geonoa for the last couple of seasons having originally joined on loan from from Inter Milan in 2015. He can play in midfield as well as at left-back, and Howe would probably see him as a wing-back in his 3-5-2 system. He has played 10 times for Uruguay and made the provisional 26-man Uruguayan squad for the World Cup in Russia.

The news that Bournemouth are in a position to spend big to capture these two players may be a sign of the times that clubs who have players that the Cherries are interested in, are willing to haggle the price upwards to astronomical levels, knowing their are big bucks to be made from Premier League clubs. But for Bournemouth to spend about half of the Premier League coffers on just two players would appear staggering considering that last summer their total outlay on three players was around £35m. The price quoted for Jefferson Lerma is quite incredible, considering Bournemouth were previously looking at an £18m bid. I don't see how a few World Cup appearances have doubled his value in the last few weeks.

The Cherries are clearly nervous about getting the players they want, but paying over the top would harm the club for a long time to come. While international players are commending big fees, the price for relatively unheard of players on these shores is a risk that AFCB may have to take to feel they can attract the players to improve the squad. Take a deep breathe in, it looks like AFCB are attempting to spend really big.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Mings is desperate to play

Tyrone Mings has had too much of his football career sitting on the injury table, so it is no surprise that when he got his chance to show what he could do against Sevilla FC he got a bit heated when decisions went against him. What makes me pleased though is that Tyrone cares and he is so desperate to play, and play well, that even a friendly meant everything to him.
Tyrone is eager to impress.
What I saw was a player that wants to try his very best to get straight into the team. But for me, Tyrone is a better player when he strokes the ball around, is calm in possession, uses his size to ease people off the ball and thinks about the game rather than try to wrestle and force things, as I felt he did at times against Sevilla. Mings is a better player than one who wants to get into a scrap, and he knows that he has can play with discipline and that he is a better player when he does just concentrate on his football.


But it must be a great sense of frustration to him that he has not played hardly any Premier League games in three seasons and he is seeing years when he would have developed as a player drift away. Tyrone has to acknowledge that he can't get that time back but that he can still become the player he wants to be. He still has all the great attributes that Eddie Howe liked when he wanted to sign him from Ipswich Town, and the test for Mings is really about now. He has to make an impression, but in the right way. Keeping your cool is an important aspect of being a player as when you lose it the whole team suffers.

Tyrone has a month now to show us where he is really as a player. I want to see him tested and I know he might not get it right every time he plays, but Tyrone is a player that has been at AFCB long enough to know all the plays and take on all the advice that Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall have drilled into him over that period. We just want to see him bring some of that out on the pitch.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Arter is back!

For Bournemouth fans who thought Harry Arter might have lost his edge and fight, those thoughts were quickly dispelled with 45 minutes at La Manga in a pre-season friendly against Sevilla. He ran the second half and it was so enjoyable to see him chase down everything on the pitch again.
Harry Arter shows good early pre-season friend.
Harry has not had a good time of things since January and to see him giving his all in a Bournemouth shirt again is a reminder of what a good player he is and how Eddie Howe must find a way to get him playing games with Lewis Cook to see if they can forge a strong partnership. The strength and courage Arter showed against Sevilla picked up the whole Bournemouth team and his work rate rubbed off on the other players in the second half.

Yes, Arter himself was a bit over hyped perhaps for a friendly, but he wanted to win and he wanted to play well and be a major player in the game. Arter rattles players and he gets on the back of the referees too. A yellow card was something that he seemed likely to pick up and he didn't hold back on disputing decisions. But Arter gives 100 per cent and that is what makes him so loveable to a Bournemouth fan. He is the loveable rogue and that player has been at the club through thick and thin. Even if AFCB do bring in Jefferson Lerma or Chris Mepham, I don't want to see Arter flogged off as he is part of the crown jewels for AFCB.

A fully-fit Arter playing for Bournemouth is like having two central midfield rottweilers snapping at the opposition's heels and giving them no time to think. Bournemouth have not had that kind of drive and energy for much of the last year, but if Arter is back, as I believe he is with this kind of performance, the heart of Bournemouth's team will be running on super premium unleaded next season.

AFCB are linked with Genoa's left-back, Diego Laxalt, according to the Sun.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Bournemouth fight back to draw against Sevilla FC 1-1

Match description
Sevilla FC 1 v 1 AFCB
14 July 2018

Bournemouth had to make a second half recovery after Sevilla FC went ahead through a breakaway goal scored by Ben Yedder on 23 minutes. The Cherries on the back foot in the first half despite new signing David Brooks seeing a lot of the ball and chances falling to Wilson and Hyndman. There was much more intent about the Cherries in the second half with Arter and Mings driving the Cherries forward. Defoe was unlucky not to be given a penalty when he was held back, but Jordan Ibe slipped in an equaliser on 68 minutes. The game got a bit heated as it went on with yellow cards, but there was plenty to be pleased about in the performances of Fraser, Arter and Brooks and the stronger second half from the Cherries.

Eddie Howe gave David Brooks his debut against Sevilla while Steve Cook was given the captaincy in the first half. Jack Simpson and Emerson Hyndman also made starts for the Cherries. The game would also have VAR available and made a complete team change at half time with Simon Francis taking back the captaincy.
Jordan Ibe scores AFCB's first pre-season goal.

First half

Bournemouth soon found Sevilla quick on the break with Aké having to concede the first corner on three minutes when Sevilla's 24 broke through. Steve Cook had to make another block from 24 a few moments later. Sevilla started to dictate in the first seven minutes with varied passing. Brooks mis-controlled his first ball, but showed he was good at passing players on the right wing. Lewis Cook's shot from distance fell wide of the right post.

Sevilla were at ease with their passing even when under pressure. An offside stopped a promising Sevilla attack on 13 minutes. Lewis Cook was looking powerful in midfield, but AFCB were resorting to Begovic kicking long. Sevilla's number eight forced a third corner on 17 minutes. Steve Cook had to clear a shot from Sevilla's 6. A good run up the left from King saw Brooks then get a shot blocked for an AFCB corner. Brooks had switched to the left but was finding he had no time on the ball.

Amadou showed his strength against Adam Smith who went flying. Sevilla were neat with their triangles and looked the more dangerous team with 20 minutes gone. A blocked shot from Brooks saw break Ben Yedder against Simpson, and the striker created space on his right foot to beat Begovic to make it 1-0 on 23 minutes.

Adam Smith put in a good cross for Aké who knocked it down for Brooks who shot wide on 28 minutes. Hyndman did well to make space in the box, once Brooks had found him, and Hynsman's shot on 31 minutes needed to be saved at the near post.

Bournemouth were good at getting their shape back quickly and started to get a bit more possession. Brooks and Hyndman were linking well and Adam Smith drove a cross in that rebounded off a Sevilla defender to Wilson who span, but shot wide on 38 minutes.

Lewis Cook slides in well on the edge of Bournemouth's box. Sevilla were back in control though. Begovic having to race out quickly. King beat his man to find Wilson centrally, who finished well, but he was a good yard offside on 43 minutes. Bournemouth had not created enough in the last third of the pitch and it stayed 1-0 at half time. Wilson was probably guilty of missing the best chance on 38 minutes.

Second half
AFCB subbed 11 players at half time and Sevilla did likewise. Arter began like a mad hare dashing all over the place in closing down. Surman, Francis and Mings were playing as centre-backs. Arter, Gosling Pugh, Ibe and Fraser were the midfield five. Bournemouth's high work rate was giving Sevilla more problems this half. Mings got in behind and forced an early corner. Pugh tried a curler that the keeper held well enough.

Arter should have made it 1-1 when shooting centrally but he blasted wide on 53 minutes. Defoe was then fed in by Fraser and was held back by 25 when shooting, but it was deemed not enough for a penalty. Boruc has to make a good save at his near post.

Bournemouth are pushing Sevilla back at every opportunity. Gosling takes out 16 and gets booked and Arter says something to the referee which gets him a yellow card as well. Arter is well rattled. He takes a free kick against a Sevilla player who won't retreat.

Ibe's been quiet. Fraser is taking the tumbles today and is getting a bit roughed up. Sevilla's number three is booked. 22 brings another good save from Boruc. Ibe makes a good clean tackle in the box after Francis was beaten. Francis gets a good block in and Mings tidies up after Sevilla have a good breakaway on 67 minutes.

Ibe is in acres of space on the right. He's going all the way and makes it 1-1 on 68 minutes shooting between the keeper's legs. Mousset wins a corner.  Sevilla break, but Francis covers well.

Mings takes a booking for kicking the ball away. It's a friendly ,with a bit of needle. Boruc makes a clean catch off a Sevilla header from a corner. Fraser takes a nasty challenge by 12 who is booked. Arter did well at getting the press going.

Last eight minutes. Francis puts a good low ball in but Defoe can't keep hold of it. Gosling does well to make a block and punt a long ball up to Defoe and the keeper comes out to get something in the way. Fraser is fouled on the byline by Sevilla's number 2 who is booked. Gosling's shot s blocked. Fraser is now booked for tripping 16. Full time.

The team that took to the field in the second half for AFCB had far more fire in their bellies and were determined that they would not lose the game. Surman looked at ease as a make-do centre-back and Arter was back to his old self, running operations in the middle of the park. It was also pleasing to see Ibe score as he needs to add that to his game more often this season. My man of the match though is Harry Arter who carried the fight for the Cherries.

Begovic (Boruc), A Smith (Fraser), S Cook (Francis), J Simpson (Mings), Aké (Surman), Daniels (Arter), Hyndman (Pugh), L Cook (Gosling), Brooks (Ibe), King (Mousset), Wilson (Defoe)

Boruc, Francis, Mings, Surman, Arter, Gosling, Ibe, Pugh, Fraser, Mousset, Defoe, Mahoney, Ramsdale, Travis, plus a couple more U21 players

Sevilla FC
1 Sergio Rico, Carriço, 5 Amadou, Pareja, Correa, Escudero, Roque Mesa, Borja Lasso, Nolito, Pejiño, 9 Ben Yedder.

Referee Jamiee Latree

In other news, AFCB have been linked again to Brentford's Ollie Watkins an are thought to be battling fir his signature with Crystal Palace, reports West London Sports.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

The Cherries take on Sevilla FC who have plenty of quality

Bournemouth have a particularly difficult game today taking on Sevilla FC. The Spanish team finished seventh in La Liga in 2017-18 with 17 wins from their 38 matches. They qualified for the Europa League, so it is a step up in quality for the Cherries in pre-season.
AFCB will take on Sevilla FC at La Manga on Saturday.
The history of Sevilla FC is very impressive having been formed in 1890 like the Cherries, Sevilla have amassed five Spanish cup wins, five UEFA Europa League trophies and one Super Cup, a Spanish Super Cup, one league championship and 18 Andalusian Cups. The impressive factor to me is that three of the UEFA Europa League trophies have come in the last five years.

New signings this summer for Sevilla include Roque Mesa who signed from for Sevilla this summer having been on loan from Swansea City. He had already had half of last season at the Nervionense as they are nicknamed. 

Ibraham Amadou is a new defensive midfielder that can also play centre-back. He signed from Losc Lille, this summer, having played 102 matches for them.

Thomas Vaclik, 29-year old, is the only Czech international player at the club and was the third signing this summer having left FC Basel.

One of the more well-known players for Sevilla is Miguel Layun who is a Mexican international and he played in this summer's World Cup. Steven Nzonzi has been in the French squad, so won't be back in time with the World Cup Final on Sunday. Ever Banega, 30, is a Sevilla midfielder that is an Argentinian international and Gabriel Mercado, 31, is another Argentinian defender that plays for Sevilla. Simon Kjaer, 29, was in Denmark's World Cup squad, Luis Muriel is a Sevilla forward that came on in the second half for Colombia against England in the quarter-final at the World Cup - he successfully scored Colombia's third penalty in the shoot-out. 

Sevilla's coach, Carlos Marchena, was also called up for the Spanish national team at the World Cup following the dismissal of Lopetgui. We probably won't see the players that have been at the World Cup as they will no doubt have extra leave time, but the strength of the Sevilla squad will be a big test for AFCB.

You can enjoy the match today by tuning in to AFCBTV at 7pm.

Friday, 13 July 2018

What kind of shape are the Cherries in?

While the Cherries are away in La Manga getting fit and building their friendships on and off the pitch the work for new players goes on. The news from the club has been pretty slow about what is going right and where they are having problems, but news of the departure of Operations Manager John Yems, after five and a half years with the club, is not something that AFCB were able to keep quiet, thanks to the Daily Mirror.
It's down to business for the players.
Eddie Howe's focus is going to be solely on the players at the moment and getting them in better shape for the start of the season than in 2017/18. Andrew Surman probably has every right to think that this summer is going to be tougher for all concerned and reading between the lines, I think its likely that a few old friendships have been tested in recent months.

Getting a positive vibe going though is crucial now. We have seen it with the England national tam and the Cherries could take note of how the preparation and relaxed nature around that squad brought results. When there is unease and tension about things it doesn't create the conditions for winning games and I'm keen to see how the players find their way through the friendlies.

We know there is a need to bring in new players and not to over spend. But while we might be sweating over what signings AFCB may or may not make it is clear that a lot of Premier League clubs are in a similar position looking at the ins and outs of SkySports' Premier League transfer list.

AFCB need to get on and prepare as best they can with what they have at the moment and I want to see Eddie Howe working the players hard as the players at the club, I believe can improve further if they are incentivised to want to be the best. I see the newly promoted teams as having that excitement and desire to do well and AFCB need to find that kind of excitement again that got them into the Premier League. With a month to go to kick off, AFCB are keen to sell tickets but I'm more concerned about how the club is going to go forward with the new ground, pulling in better signings and whether the players on the pitch are showing early pre-season form.

I've no doubt that how well AFCB get things in order in the next four or five weeks will have a huge impact on how well the 2018/19 season goes. We'll get a first view of the players at least in tomorrow's match against Sevilla.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Is the goal of Europe too high for AFCB next season?

There is no getting away from it. With a good pre-season and the right players brought in, AFCB want and perhaps need to have a tilt at the top seven places next season or certainly the top 10 to believe they have continued to progress. Nobody wants the Cherries to go seeking glory too quickly for the whole club to come tumbling down though, and it is a steady progression of getting the better of teams in tight games that would make the difference.
Do AFCB need to spend on three or four defenders to challenge higher up the league?
Eddie Howe says Bournemouth were more in games this last season. Perhaps 90 per cent of the games were close and only Spurs, Man City, Liverpool and Huddersfield really gave the Cherries a thorough beating. Most of the games did see AFCB create chances to score and while the goal count was fewer than in previous seasons, there is no disappointment in winning games 1-0.

The final match against Burnley really underlined where AFCB want to go. They are a club that also has a small ground, but with players that work extremely hard. Bournemouth fans may be disappointed not to be where Burnley are, but sometimes you need to go back to go forwards as Burnley had done and a rethink about some positions might lead to a big improvement for Eddie Howe's side.

Europe though is not going to be given to the Cherries unless they really want it. Listening to Callum Wilson after the Burnley game you could tell he wanted it and was perhaps slightly envious of Burnley, but by beating them on their own ground it was making a statement that AFCB could become a team that could have a season like Burnley. Whether it is too soon for next season we will just have to wait and see.

Southgate's World Cup - Day 23 England exit

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

How soon can Lewis Cook fully break into this England team?

Lewis Cook didn't get into the England World Cup squad, but he was mighty close as a standby. Whether Gareth Southgate sees Lewis as a player that can challenge for a starting place in the team in the coming months is what I am keen to know.
Lewis Cook now knows he is trying to get
into one of the top four international sides.
England have a few friendlies coming up in September after the World Cup. The first game will be against Switzerland at Wembley and the USA in November. However, there are some UEFA Nations League matches to be played against Spain and Croatia in the autumn months. It's arguable that Southgate will want to try some new players after the heroics of the summer in the UEFA Nations League games, and that could give Lewis Cook a big opportunity.

If there was anything that pundits felt England were not so blessed with in Russia it was creative midfielders. Now Lewis might not score many goals at the moment, but he does spot the passes to get other players in, and if he can add a few shots on the end of his own runs he will become an England player who is a rarity in running at defenders. In the World Cup, only Raheem Sterling really has the playing style for England to run at defences and Lewis Cook may offer a more flexibility for Southgate in future England games.

Bournemouth play three at the back like England have been doing and Lewis has played as a three in midfield with two wing backs either side. Lewis tends to play centrally, but he would perhaps need to work at playing slightly more advanced in the positions that Lingard and Ali play for England in to force his way into the side. Bournemouth tend to play more regularly with two strong central midfielders and three attackers, so a degree of adaption for Cook might be needed to show he can vary his passing and his movement in a 3-5-2 set up, when he gets the chance to drive forward.

Southgate's World Cup - Day 22 France await

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Can Connor Mahoney get a Premier League start this season?

To be at Bournemouth football club is one thing and to play in the Premier League is another. Connor Mahoney was sent out to get another Championship season under his belt at Barnsley, but will be back training with the regulars this month in a pre-season that could see him boost his chances of getting that Premier League debut.
Can Connor Mahoney get Premier League games under his belt this coming season?
It may be hard for Connor to challenge the likes of Jordan Ibe so quickly, but he has seen how the pace of the Championship goes and now he could do with getting to know more about his parent club and the difference between the Championship and Premier League. It must have been fairly tough playing for Barnsley at the wrong end of the table and the game experience he will have taken on board in Yorkshire will no doubt stand him in good stead. But he'll have joined Bournemouth for the lure of the Premier League and to work with Eddie Howe, so I hope he great more opportunity to do that in the coming months.

Connor may need injuries to others to help him up the pecking order, but I'd like to think that Bournemouth do try and get young players in and around the first team as soon as they can and Connor's apprenticeship has been similar to Ryan Fraser's early days. Whether Connor has the skill and game craft to step up again needs to be tested, and I'd like to see him on the bench to give him some excitement of how he is in touching distance of what he wants.

Eddie Howe will of course make the decision when that is right for Connor and for AFCB. But keeping Connor on the right track and happy that he is making progress is going to be tough if he is still not involved like Jack Simpson has been with the first team. Add Emerson Hyndman and new signing David Brooks into the mix, and Bournemouth are starting to gather a few youngsters that are bubbling around the first team. Lys Mousset has shown that you can get into the team with hard work and persistence and I'm interested to see if there are some others like Connor who can push their way closer to the Premier League appearance that will really give them the bigger stage every football player wants.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Cherries linked with Senegalese striker

Bournemouth have been linked to Senegalese striker Myabe Diagne, according to TurkishFootball. The striker plays for Kasimpasa and is also being tracked by Hull City, Real Sociedad and Reading, according to the report. With 12 moths left on Diagne's contract, Kasimpasa are believed to be open for offers. The Turkish club picked the Sengalese player up on a free transfer last January and  from TJ Teda of China, so will be likely to make a good profit from any deal.
AFCB aren't just looking for defenders.
In his early career Diagne was signed by Juventas, even if he did not play a game for them. At 26, he is a striker that is approaching his best years and would probably expect to start games having been a big hit for Kasmpasa last season scoring 12 times in 17 appearances.

If Bournemouth do go after the striker it will raise fresh gossip over which striker might be either sold of loaned out from AFCB next season. There has been talk about Josh King not being happy with where he is being played and Jermain Defoe could well feel aggrieved that he has not been first choice in a starting role and the Rangers talk has not gone away. Callum Wilson does look set to be holding the striker's jersey at the start of next season, having just signed a new four-year deal.
The transfer fees that have come in for the likes of Grabban, Gradel and Afobe will make AFCB feel cash-rich at the moment, but while only one signings has been made for incoming players I get the feeling that this summer is shaping up as one of the biggest shake-ups at AFCB in recent seasons.

If Eddie Howe really wants to take the club forward, it does seem clear that he needs to look at all areas of the park to get better results, and strikers in hot form that are looking to come to the Premier League are perhaps grabbing his attention just as much as the defenders that the fans are perhaps craving for even more this summer.

Southgate's World Cup Day 21

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Tyrone Mings on his way out?

Last season we only saw Tyrone Mings make four appearances, mainly because of injury. With the pre-season about to start, Tyrone will be an extra player for Howe who has not really been able to call upon the defender to any large degree since his move from Ipswich in June 2015. This makes the next season an enormous one for Tyrone and I believe he would raise the standard of the Cherries defence, if he gets into the team and has a full season of games. But the latest reports from the Daily Mirror say Mings will be offered to Nottingham Forest.
Tyrone at the QPR pre-season game last summer.

While it would not be easy for Tyrone to make an immediate impact at AFCB, as he is automatically up against player of the year Nathan Aké and captain Simon Francis, as well as the seasoned Steve Cook, selling him would come as a surprise. Tyrone only needs a bit of good fortune though to step into the team and we have seen in short periods how he can dominate games. I am convinced that he also plays in a similar way to Nathan Aké in his ball control and confidence on the ball at the back. The two together would give Bournemouth a more progressive and strident back line in my opinion and less of the hesitant play that prevents the team from setting up attacks quickly.

While we may expect Simon Francis to start playing slightly fewer games, Diego Rico of Leganes seems to be the player that AFCB want to bering into the team, according to SkySports. English centre-backs that can play from the back are going to be sought after when this World Cup is over, but to see Mings drop back to the Championship would be a bit of a waste. 

It would take Mings a while to establish himself, but with three centre-backs on the pitch for the Cherries, he has every chance of shifting one of the three regulars not that far down the line. I believe Bournemouth need a bit of a change in that department and should try some different personnel after founding it harder to get clean sheets in 2017/18, but it is a shock that Mings is not going to be trusted to play a part in the new-look AFCB.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

There's nothing stopping Wilson now

Having had most of last season-free of injury, there was no surprise that AFCB were happy enough to offer Callum Wilson a new four-year contract to keep him at Dean Court until 2022. Callum will have a salary now that puts him among the top earners at the club and AFCB now have a striker that is extra-committed to being a success on the south coast.
Can Wilson get 20 goals next season?
The deal also warns off any potential clubs who were thinking of trying to sign the player this summer, and AFCB have to ensure they don't lose their top players just because their contracts are no longer competitive. Some will say that Wilson has not hit the heights of the first few games he had in the Premier League before the injuries, but I think he needed a good part of last season just to get back into the swing of things and to feel happy in himself that he still had it in him to perform in the Premier League.

Wilson has been the striker that Eddie Howe has most wanted to play in the number nine position. Now he has to start delivering the goals that take him well over double figures in a season. He is at the age when he will be at the peak of his fitness and I'm excited that if he does start getting goals at the start of next season he will soon be considered to an England call up.


On the same day, Andrew Surman has also signed an contract extension to 2020. Eddie Howe obviously sees that Surman's legs can last more than for next season, even though I felt he struggled in 2017/18 to find consistent form. I wonder though whether after next season he will combine coaching with a playing role.

In other news, AFCB are linked to Leganes' left-back defender, Diego Rico according to SkySports.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Arter will have to decide if he wants to try something new

Harry Arter has made it clear that he does not want to be out of the team if he is to stay at AFCB and the signing of David Brooks just adds more fuel on the fire to building a team for the future. But Arter doesn't have to just accept that he is no longer in AFCB's plans. It's up to him if he wants to seek a move or stay and see if he can get back to the player we know so well.
Arter is already working hard in pre-season.
Arter does not have that many players in front of him. He knows that Lewis Cook is going to start the majority of matches for AFCB next season, but there is no clarity over whether Dan Gosling will hold down the place next to him as he did for much of last season. Arter only made 13 Premier League appearances last season and his ankle injury never really cleared up for him to play at his best in my opinion. If Arter can get his ankle strong enough that he feels confident about his game again then he can rival Gosling and Surman. 

The time that Arter spends on the sidelines or playing football is what it is all about now. If he believes he is not quite the player he was, then he may have to rethink his career from this point and that could mean taking a step down a level or two. The Championship is rigorous and perhaps not an easy deal, but Premier League teams don't want to pay for players to sit out most of the season. That could ell be why we have not heard much noise about Arter being linked with much transfer news since June. Newcastle United seems his best offer if he wants to move, according to Football Whispers, and to stay in the Premier League.

I hope Arter still believes he can work his way back to his best at AFCB. If he has a strong pre-season he will be in as good a position as most of the other central midfielders to play his part in next season. What I wonder is whether Arter feels he can rely on his injury to have been completely heeled, and if he feels he has not missed too much time out of the team, and doesn't feel as close as he was to the AFCB plans going forward. For AFCB it could be a good time to part with Number eight.

Meanwhile, AFCB and the English Football League have agreed a reduced Financial Fair Play Fine for the 2014/15 season when AFCB were promoted. AFCB have accepted Nottingham Forest's offer for Lewis Grabban, says SkySports.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Don't expect too much from Brooks too soon

The signing of David Brooks has a lot of the local media going a bit hyper about the youngster having broken Sheffield United's transfer record. While I am as hopeful as any AFCB fan that Brooks is going to be a great success at Dean Court, a bit of realism is needed before people get carried away. The midfielder has not played in the Premier League yet and it will take him a little while just to get used to his new surroundings on the south coast. 
David Brooks is the first summer signing for AFCB.
It would be great to find out a little more about what Eddie Howe sees as Brooks' role. If it is going to be a similar signing to Lewis Cook, then we can expect David to spend much of next season on the outskirts of the team. But Brooks is already a Welsh international player and he know doubt has aspirations of getting straight into the Bournemouth team to get that Premier League experience.

I get the feeling that much of Brooks first year at the club will be about learning from just being around players like Andrew Surman, Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling and trying to get up to their speed as soon as he can. Last season was Brooks' first season in the Championship where he played 30 matches. He had three goals and made four assists and it is asking a lot for him to immediately jump up another level again so quickly. 

What we can see is that he has a bit of attitude and gets stuck in with his five yellow cards last season. He'll need to have no inferiority complex when he steps out at Dean Court, because he'll be up against some of the best players in the world. The likelihood is that Brooks will get his taster in the first couple of rounds of the League Cup and I don't think that is a bad thing.  

In other news, Mikael Ndjoli joins Kilmarnock on loan and the Sun links Lewis Grabban with £5m transfer to Nottingham Forest.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Is Grabban the perfect striker to have in the Championship?

Both Nottingham Forest and Leeds United are said to be keen on getting Lewis Grabban into their side for the start of the new season. Other Championship sides might also be looking on enviously about the striker by the Bournemouth Echo has said that Grabban's wage demands could cause a stumbling block for clubs like Leeds Utd.
Lewis Grabban - where will he end up?
What people can't argue with is Grabban's record at Championship level. While he was instrumental in helping get AFCB out of the Championship he was spectacular last season in scoring goals in a Sunderland team that was ultimately relegated without him and also scoring goals on Aston Villa's race to the play-offs.

Is there anything Grabban needs to prove at Championship level? No, he has done it all. Whether he plays in a good side or a struggling side he gets goals, it is just a shame that he hasn't been a player that has been able translate that to the Premier League with Norwich or Bournemouth. It is strange how the Grabban story has progressed through the years. Had he joined Brighton when Bournemouth were in the Championship he might have been a big player for them.
He has done all he can to win back some of the reputation he had earlier in his career and I hope he gets a good move this summer. I would not be at all surprised if we are talking again, next May, about Lewis Grabban playing in a play-off match in the Championship or even being in a promotion winning side at that level. He is a prize asset for a Championship club but teams like Leeds United and Nottingham Forest also know he will cost top dollar. 

Southgate's World Cup - Day 19 England win a penalty shoot out! 

In other news, Stoke City have completed the signing of Adam Federici. TalkSport has also linked AFCB to defender Marvin Plattenhardt of Hertha Berlin.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Stoke are in for Bournemouth keeper

Bournemouth have already released Ryan Allsop this summer and now Stoke City are closing in on signing Adam Federici, reports Sky Sports. Stoke themselves are losing Lee Grant to Man United and they are looking for an experienced keeper to give cover for Jack Butland. While Federici was ever present on the bench for the first two seasons of Bournemouth's Premier League seasons, he has been injured for much of last season and was due to join Nottingham Forest, where he picked up the knee injury that stopped him perhaps leaving AFCB even sooner.
Federici looks set for Stoke City in the Championship.
At Stoke City, Federici would team up with former Cherry Benik Afobe and that might also be good for Benik. Stoke are going to make a concerted effort to win promotion at the first attempt back to the Premier League and under Gary Rowett they have a good English manager who knows the league well and what it takes to get into the promotion positions.

I imagine Federici would be available at a knock down price as he hasn't played competitively for a while. He was perhaps always a number two at AFCB at best with Artur Boruc and then Asmir Begovic the main shot stoppers at the Cherries. But Adam did play his part and featured heavily in the cup competitions. Now Eddie Howe will want to see Aason Ramsdale starting to get more experience following his rise to the England U21 squad. He may now get the chance to develop more at AFCB rather than go out on loan, unless AFCB bring in another senior keeper this summer.

While Federici might not become the number one shot stopper at Stoke, he will battle for the  number two keeper spot with Jacob Haugaard, I'd have thought, which s better than his prospects at AFCB.

Southgate's World Cup - Day 18 Japan get out of jail 

Monday, 2 July 2018

Ritchie would be a backwards step for AFCB

There have been suggestions that Bournemouth should be keen on signing Matt Ritchie, but the player has little to prove in coming back to the Cherries. Fans know exactly what Ritchie has to offer, but there seems little benefit in taking him back just to ease out Jordan Ibe from a starting position. Now Stoke and Middlesbrough are thought to be preparing bids for the former Bournemouth winger, claims the Daily Mail.
Matt was great at AFCB, but there would be a
lot of pressure on him if he returned and the
Cherries would be worse off without Josh King.
While Ritchie is perhaps the better player compared to Ibe, Ritchie left for a reason to develop his career and for him to be used as part of a swap deal just for Newcastle to land Josh King would not do him of AFCB any good. It would diminish Howe's trust in Jordan Ibe and it would suggest that Ritchie is the best winger that the club is capable of developing.

Ritchie was a crowd favourite at AFCB and he did well in his time at Dean Court, so that legacy would also be under threat if he did come back. Whether he would feel as if nothing had changed since his departure is unlikely as big names like Defoe and Begovic have since arrived, and Ritchie's influence having left might not be as great on a return.

There are some players that do play for AFCB and are a good fit to come back to the team, but I find it hard to see why Mat Ritchie would be one of these players. He plays for a good team in the Premier League with much larger crowds than at AFCB and he has never let Newcastle down, but to try and sell him off for the chance to pick another AFCB player seems a big mistake for Newcastle. They may now have disappointed one of their most promising players and for what? For AFCB to say they are not interested.

The sad fact is for Newcastle is that, I don't believe their are any players in their squad perhaps apart from Jamaal Lescelles that would be of interest to the Cherries and I'm sure no Geordie would like to see their young captain leave the club.

Southgate's World Cup - Day 17 penalty drama