Thursday, 16 August 2018

AFCB have to watch out for West Ham interceptions

Predicting results in early season games is always tricky and it is no less easy this weekend with West Ham hosting Bournemouth after their 4-0 drubbing by Liverpool. Still we can use some of the stats from the last weekend to see where it went wrong for West Ham and perhaps get a hint of where Bournemouth might be able to profit.

West Ham were shot of possession with just 360 passes made all game, whereas Bournemouth found possession easier to find against  Cardiff with 502 passes. Bournemouth were not as accurate though as West Ham in having a 79 per cent pass success rate compared to West Ham's 83 per cent. It might surprise some that West Ham also managed one more cross with 12 compared to Bournemouth putting 11 crosses in the box in their game.

Already we can see things that Bournemouth could do better. The startling statistic for me though that Bournemouth have to watch out for is West Ham's ability to make interceptions. They managed 11 against a Liverpool side who ran them ragged for much of the game. If West Ham manage turnovers like that against Bournemouth it could be a problem. Bournemouth only managed four interceptions against Cardiff City. In tackles too, West Ham are strong with a 61 per cent success rate whereas Bournemouth were only at 45 per cent, admittedly against different opposition and a newly-promoted side.

The strength of Bournemouth's defence though should not be over looked. The Cherries made 37 clearances and 26 were headed clearances, while the team won 94 aerial battles against a Cardiff side that didn't play that much football on the ground. West Ham only made 20 clearances against Liverpool and made 10 headed clearances, with 64 aerial battles won.

Eddie Howe expects a much more possession hungry game against West Ham with shooting accuracy of course of most importance. West Ham only had five shots against Liverpool but did get two on target which is noteworthy when Bournemouth had 12 shots at the Cardiff goal but only had four on target.

Spanish and Colombian Cherries will make AFCB a very different team

While we will have to wait a few weeks to see how the likes of Jefferson Lerma and Diego Rico go in the Premier League, we can already understand that AFCB will be a very different proposition for other teams facing them this season.
Bournemouth's Spanish & Colombian signings are welcomed by the fans at Dean Court.
Gone are some or two of the faces that have enabled AFCB to climb the leagues in previous seasons and now there is a distinctively international flavour to some of the names in the squad. It was strange to see Simon Francis left on the bench for the opener as well when Bournemouth have only won one league game without him at this level. He did of course come on to stop that statistic growing and even grabbed an assist for himself with Wilson's goal.

But what will the new foreign players do for AFCB? I think we will see even more influence put on the players to keep their passing rate high and fast and just keeping the ball better would be a great help to the team overall. If it helps the players think quicker too we could see a much more dynamic team, and I was impressed to see the training before the Cardiff game with a lot of build up play being shown before players would take their shots in warm up.
Eddie Howe loves creating patterns of play and seeing training ground moves come off in games. In away it is orchestrated football, and I think with the  speaking players not knowing that much English it is even more important that he tries to get them to be very familiar with the positions the team are trying to create, to make openings in games for their strikers and midfield players to create overlaps and shooting opportunities.

Both Lerma and Rico also have a strong physicality about them which will be of help when Bournemouth face the powerful teams. I'm looking forward to seeing the Spanish influence add more presence to the AFCB game and to give it a new edge. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Wilson hit and miss?

It was a real up and down day for Callum Wilson against Cardiff City. There were moments when he could have been celebrating far more than a single goal, but I think Wilson was just pleased to come out with a goal on the day after such an eventful match for him.
Wilson is off penalty duty after seeing his first penalty of the season saved.
Whether the penalty should or should not have been given by Kevin Friend in the first place is something that AFCB fans probably won't want to dwell on too long. Match of the Day were of the opinion that Wilson created the moment himself as much as Ecuele Manga took him down, but when contact is made the referee is going to make a decision and this one favoured AFCB. To me, Wilson was caught and that's all that is needed in the box.

It's no surprise that Wilson wanted to take the spot kick. He had the ball and would have considered himself as one of Bournemouth's best penalty takers even if King had been scoring a fair number towards the end of last season. Wilson didn't hit the penalty with the power we might have expected and seemed to go for accuracy, which didn't pay off when Etheridge guessed rightly. Still, missing a penalty is sometimes a disappointment that can drive a player on and Wilson never hid from getting himself into goal scoring positions for the rest of the game.

When Wilson's goal did come, he probably thought very little about the shot itself. Francis was running at speed to keep the ball in play and Wilson had no doubt already looked at his own position and where the goal was, so that when the pass did come to him he just concentrated on hitting it cleanly first time. It was that element of surprise and accuracy that beat the keeper with ease.

Whether Wilson will feel he can quickly build his goal total now is going to be answered in the next few weeks. If he had one a few games without scoring, he may have got into the wrong kind of mental state for games and I think Wilson, more than Josh King, needs to be on a run of goals to feel he is doing his job for the team. King will get goals but has an all-round game that offers a lot of different aspects for the team. Callum Wilson makes it more his number one aim to be the man who gets his name on the score sheet. He may be a bit hit and miss, but if Wilson can start to get on a consistent run it could be a very big season for him and AFCB.

Does it matter that Lewis Cook didn't start against Cardiff?

There were a few puzzled faces when Lewis Cook was left out of the starting line up against Cardiff City. I had wondered if Howe would play three central midfielders as they had all been doing well in pre-season, but he decided to stick with the Marseilles set up which is hard to argue with.
Lewis Cook is put in the sidelines for the first game.
Lewis Cook won't be pleased that he didn't get to start the match as you want to be playing the opening game in what could be your best ever season. Lewis is sensible enough to know that his chance will come and it could make him even more keen to succeed of course when he does get a moment to show what he can do. AFCB fans have to be patient and let Howe manage the team as best he can and we can't be negative about who he picks when the team does its job as a whole well. There is a bigger picture of how the team functions as a whole and individuals are just one factor in many that the manager will have to consider.

Keeping the mood high will be important for Howe and he'll be aware that he also needs to integrate Jefferson Lerma as quickly as he can to AFCB's style of play. Whether he finds Lerma plays with more of an understanding with Lewis Cook, Andrew Surman or Dan Gosling is another factor that he'll need to work out and when the pairings work themselves out we could see a change in the centre of the park.

I don't worry that Surman has the place at the moment. Many Bournemouth fans only see the negative side of Surman's play, but they forget that he is part of a system and balance to the team that enables other parts to function better. If his form becomes a problem he will be dropped, but if AFCB keep winning then he will build his confidence and improve his play. If it also makes Lewis Cook play even harder in training, and it takes his game to another level, then Howe will see that and will at some point reward him.

In short, it's not a big deal that Lewis Cook is not yet featuring. His time will come as it has before now. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Bournemouth have their platform

A winning home start is a superb way to start the new campaign. Bournemouth now have a platform where they can attack the division now and aren't playing catch up from the start said Eddie Howe. It is indeed an unfamiliar position to be in for AFCB but they must make the most of their opening-day win.

King and Wilson practise their shooting before taking on Cardiff.
It will take a few weeks for the league table to take shape, but to be among the first week's winners was important for Bournemouth mainly because Cardiff were the team that the majority of people believe will struggle the most this season. Had Bournemouth lost to the rank outsiders to beat the drop, then it would have put the Cherries right under pressure and one of the favourites to go down with Cardiff even in these early days.

Now the games against West Ham and Everton have a tinge of opportunity about them. Eddie Howe will know that if his team wins either or both of these next two games it will be an unprecedented start by the Cherries to a Premier League campaign and will offer the opportunity of much bigger things this season. Pleasingly as well, only David Brooks has made an appearance of the new signings, so there is more talent to come.

Bournemouth's bench is looking very strong with Defoe, Mousset, Mings, Ibe and Lewis Cook jumping at the bit to get on the pitch. These are players that can change games and it's not always been the case that Bournemouth have had many options. We still have Pugh and Stanislas to consider as well, which are other great options that Howe will turn to at some point during the season.


Important too was the clean sheet. Begovic seems to have started with a real determination to be a keeper that puts his head right in the danger zone if he has to, and he has already made on incredible save in his first match. Cardiff didn't have a huge goal threat though and the next two games will really test the defence, but trying to get back-to-back wins and successive clean sheets are what the best teams attempt to do and AFCB have that early opportunity.

Big call to play Brooks pays off

I was not expecting Eddie Howe to put David Brooks straight into the starting line up for the match against Cardiff City. Howe has always been cautious about youth being given its start when it comes to the first team. Bu Brooks seems mature beyond his tender years and he didn't disappoint.
Davis Brooks makes his Bournemouth debut in the 2-0 win over Cardiff City.
I am sure that Eddie Howe looked at Brooks' character and judged that he could handle the pressure of the debut and knew he wouldn't freeze. The manner of Brooks' calm play and clear thinking on the pitch has been a pleasure to watch already and it is going to be exciting to see how he develops at AFCB. He is already looking to be a special player and I don't think it will be long before we have a great chant for him as he is certain to be a regular starter after this first performance.

The game against Olympic Marseilles was Brooks ticket to start the match against Cardiff and while Brooks didn't get a goal to crown his debut he came pretty close with a stunning attempt at a header off of a thunderbolt cross from Ryan Fraser in the second half. Brooks will get easier chances as the season progresses, and it could be goals that Brooks brings in the way of assists that really will make him a team player in future months.

It would have been easy for Howe to have played Jordan Ibe from the start and to hold Brooks back until the second half, but the manager was confident that Brooks was up to the challenge of playing the occasion as well as the game. Now Brooks is right in the middle of everything for AFCB and the future for him looks very bright. I also believe it will encourage players like Ibe and Stanislas to try and find an extra level to compete with Brooks on the right side which can only be further good news for Eddie Howe and AFCB. 

Looking at the pre-match videos on AFCBTV it seems the rest of the team will have to get their skates on if they are going to beat David Brooks into the dressing room on a match day - he was very keen to be there first which is great to see.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Wee-man is going to have a big AFCB season

Ryan Fraser was rightly the talk of the town on Saturday night after he had scored the opening goal of Bournemouth's 20018-19 season. The wee-man had said in pre-season that he wanted to make more of an impact on the score sheet this season. He has started as well as he could have hoped with an excellently timed run to finish off a team goal that he started himself.
Ryan is looking to take his chances.
The first half of the game against Cardiff City went pretty well as could be hoped for. While it took until 23 minutes to get that first goal, the home crowd had remained patient and were giving the team great support. Ryan Fraser and David Brooks, watched by Ryan Giggs,  were catching the eye with their quick movement and while Bournemouth didn't create lots of chances that Neil Etheridge had to save, it will have been pleasing to Eddie Howe that the chance to score fell to Fraser and he made no mistake.

It was an eventful day for Fraser who attracted a scene that we don't want to see from the Cardiff fans of coin throwing. The Welsh club will surely be in trouble for that and it was brave the way that Fraser just carried on and carefully picked up the objects that had been thrown at them to hand them to the officials.


It's the football though that we want to remember. Fraser could well have his biggest ever season for the Cherries which is not such great news for Marc Pugh who didn't manage to make it on to the bench for this opening game. But Pugh will be delighted that his team-mate has started well. To keep Marc Pugh out of the side has taken Fraser a while to do but he has come of age and is beginning to see himself as one of the players that can really make a difference for this Bournemouth side.

Daily Mail season predictions - AFCB

A massive opening three points for AFCB

The win against Cardiff City has given Bournemouth a bit of momentum at the start of the season. It is now down to the players to try and build on that good three points now without being overly confident and forgetting how they need to perform at their very best to win games in this league.
AFCB hit the ground running.
Just because Bournemouth have played well at home doesn't mean everything will necessarily click when they have the added pressure of their next away game. It is very helpful though that the team can go into the West Ham game knowing that they already have some points in the bank. It is a different way for Eddie Howe to be able to attack the season compared to the previous three years.

Whether that makes Howe think differently about the instructions he gives the team is something I'd love to know. While training and the mood around the camp is more pleasurable when you get off to a positive start, the clean sheet and positive goal record are something you want to keep going. Training should be reflecting that the team did well and that some of the preparation has been spot on and needs to be just as thorough to keep the players at their top level.

There are players though who didn't get on the pitch against Cardiff City and who want to play. Eddie Howe has to also think about these players and how to encourage them that they have to be putting their best efforts into training because they could be needed at any moment if their are injuries and the team needs to change. Keeping these players in positive mood is really important now because if they do come on to play well it will add to the feeling that this could be a great season for the Cherries. At the moment it is just one good result but if the Cherries can make it two or three wins from their opening games then their really will be a buzz around Dean Court and it would be great to see that.

Chimes to Camera - AFCB 2 v 0 Cardiff

TalkSPORT blogger season preview

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Bournemouth break opening day hoodoo 2-0

Match Report
AFCB 2 v 0 Cardiff City
11 August 2018
Attendance 10,353
Getting wet: Diego Rico and Jefferson Lerma are welcomed at Dean Court.
Everyone wants to get off to a good start in a new season and that's something AFCB have failed to do while they have been in the Premier League. But taking on newly-promoted Cardiff City they set about the game with intensity and intent. The debut of David Brooks was as good a debut as any, and was perhaps only overshadowed by the finishing of Ryan Fraser who swept Bournemouth into a 1-0 lead on 23 minutes.

Callum Wilson was having one of those days where he was getting into great scoring positions and when he was brought down in the box, the home crowd expected him to make it 2-0. Neil Etheridge guessed the right way though and made the save - Wilson will have to take lessons from Paul Pogba! 

Begovic had little work to do but he did make a great low save to prevent Sean Morrison trying to snatch an equaliser in a goalmouth scramble in the second half. Then Simon Francis legs stretched to get behind the Cardiff back line and his pull back was met emphatically by Callum Wilson's low drive that found the corner of the net in added time.
No Simon Francis or Lewis Cook in the starting 11.
There are more images on Match Day Gallery

Bournemouth played so well against Olympic Marseilles in the last match of the season that he kept the same starting 11 for this match. That meant Simon Francis and Lewis Cook were among the substitutes and the side was captained by Steve Cook.

Cardiff City were expected to be physical as Neil Warnock sides are and within the first five minutes Lee Peltier was yellow carded for a foul on Ryan Fraser. Fraser would be the root problem for Cardiff all game. Bournemouth fans might have expected Callum Wilson to be the biggest danger to Neill Warnock's men, but as early as the 11th minute he shot wide from close range. That was the kind of day it looked like he would have as the first half moved on.

Cardiff's main danger came from Bobby Reid who was quick and full of running. Gosling was doing a lot of shepherding to steer Reid out wide and Reid's only support was coming from Junior Hoilett. Cardiff fans were taunting the Bournemouth crowd with chants of 'it's coming home' following the World Cup. That probably wasn't the wisest of moves with Scotland's Ryan Fraser and Norway's Josh King trying to get in on the act. Suddenly, Wilson found room on the right to put in a low cross and Fraser was there to beat Etheridge from close range and open the scoring on 23 minutes.  

Bournemouth fans heralded the goal with chants of 'England! England!' A bit ironic when you think Ryan Fraser is Scottish, but never mind. Bournemouth (England) were beating the Welsh (Cardiff).


While Josh King had a shot fire wide on 28 minutes, Wilson was slipped through into the box by Daniels on 33 minutes. But he was brought down by Ecuele Manga, or was it Wilson making the most of the challenge? Bournemouth fans looked expectantly at the goal - penalty! But Wilson held his head in his hands as Etheridge guessed correctly to go to his left and he made the save. The penalty was not struck very hard.

David Brooks might have expected another penalty when he went down in the box, after Fraser's clever little chip, but Kevin Friend waved the protests against Bennett's challenge away.

Cardiff were not overawed and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was close to getting on the end of a cross from Joe Ralls on 40 minutes.

The bookings were levelled up when Charlie Daniels saw yellow, rather belatedly, for a foul on Junior Hoilett. Luckily, Mendez-Laing could only put the header from the free kick wide.
Bournemouth are ahead.
Cardiff fans, Dylan and Simon give 
their pre-match views on the game.
Second half
Cardiff attempted to hang in the game and did well at denying space for the Cherries. Bournemouth won a few corners, but didn't get close to scoring until Fraser got behind the Cardiff defence and drilled the ball powerfully across the goal. David Brooks could only head the ball back from where it came, having no time to react to Fraser's cross.

Mendez-Laing was subbed on 63 minutes when new signing Josh Murphy came on. Paterson was also replaced by Danny Ward. The change almost messed up AFCB's concentration as Morrison might have scored following a corner but for a sharp save by Begovic.

David Brooks made way for Simon Francis on 67 minutes with Cardiff having their best part of the game. A chance fell to Bobby Reid following a free kick, but he hit it well over.

Wilson then made an excellent trap before turning and finding Gosling. Wilson then got into the box and rather than shoot tried to find King, which was unselfish but perhaps the wrong decision as the pass was blocked. Wilson then had a header from Fraser's free kick which he might have scored from but he barely made contact. 

It was better than Gosling's next effort though which landed on the roof of the North stand. Fraser would also volley wide in the last five minutes, before Steve Cook took a heavy knock to the head and was down for a couple of minutes before getting to his feet.

Cardiff had one more sub with Reid replaced by Gary Madine. There was five minutes of added time when Francis won a ball on the right wing and pulled it back for Wilson, who hit a first time shot that we were right in line with and saw hit the back of the net to make it 2-0. Wilson was delighted to have got his goal and the score was perhaps more of a true reflection of the day's events on the pitch. He was then subbed along with Adam Smith to let Defoe and Mousset see out the game. 
Eddie Howe welcomes three early points.
Bournemouth didn't find it easy against a well-organised Cardiff City side. The difference was that Bournemouth had a cutting-edge and Ryan Fraser is becoming a midfielder with a taste for goals. Before the game kicked off, he was my pick for first goalscorer and I'm not surprised he found the spot to open his account for this season. While Wilson had not been as fortunate in front of goal until the end, he'll benefit from knowing he did score eventually. The penalty miss won't matter now and Eddie Howe will also be pleased with Begovic's second half save that was vital for the win. A clean sheet and three points is a great day and Bournemouth have the start needed against a team that many will consider they have to finish above to be out of the relegation battle. Cardiff will improve on this though and it's a difficult game that Eddie Howe will be pleased to have gotten out of the way.

The only bad thing about the day was some coin throwing at Ryan Fraser from Cardiff City fans!

AFCB Subs: Boruc, Mings, Francis, L Cook, Ibe, Defoe, Mousset
AFCB Ratings
Begovc 8, A Smith 7, S Cook 7, Aké 7, Daniels 7, Brooks 8, Gosling 7, Surman 6, Fraser 9, King 7, Wilson 7

Cherry Chimes' MoM: Ryan Fraser

Cardiff City
Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Ecuele Manga, Bennett, Bamba, Mendez-Laing (Murphy 63), Paterson (Ward 62), Ralls, Hoilett, Reid (Madine 88)

Cardiff City Subs
Richards, Ward, Murphy, Smithies, Cunningham, Camarasa, Madine

Ref Watch: Kevin Friend - 4/10 a few annoying calls on free kicks and advantage not being played, but at least he gave one penalty. David Brooks will be annoyed he didn't give two.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Can AFCB win their first game against Cardiff?

Cardiff City have been raiding the Championship's best players ahead of the new Premier League season and while they may not have as big as some other top flight clubs, they will rely on team spirit and Warnock's tactical skills to spring more than a few surprises. Bournemouth have to make sure that they are not the first team to have a stumble against this newly-promoted club that will carry Welsh hopes in the new season.
Dean Court is ready to welcome the start of another Premier League season.
Bobby Reid,25, who was a target of AFCB's has made a 10m move from Bristol City to Cardiff City and is likely to make his Premier League debut against the Cherries. He scored 19 goals in 46 appearances last season. Neil Warnock has also signed winger Josh Murphy, 23, of Norwich City for around £11m. Greg Cunningham, 27, is perhaps a less well-known defender who signed from Preston North End for around £4m and Alex Smithies is a goalkeeper from QPR who has signed a three year deal for £3.5m. He'll battle with Neil Etheridge for the keeper's position. The end of the transfer window also saw Cardiff bring in Victor Carmarasa from Real Betis, who played against the Cherries in the 0-2 defeat against the Spanish side, while our own Harry Arter joined on loan on  deadline day, although he won't play against the Cherries and former Cherry  Lee Tomlin is already at Cardiff City.

Cardiff will expect a lot from their Icelandic midfielder Aron Gunnarson in the Premier League. He was at the World Cup in Russia and is an experienced 29-year-old. Gary Madine also signed from Bolton Wanderers last January for £5m, but has not scored yet for the Blues in 13 games, so Warnock could turn to Kenneth Zohore, 24, to partner Bobby Reid if he is adventurous enough to play two up front.

Cardiff have had some mixed results in pre-season with a 0-6 win over Taverstock AFC,  a huge 1-11 win over Bodmin Town, a 1-1 draw with Torquay United , and a 2-1 away defeat to Rotherham Utd, a 1-5 win over Burton Albion, and a 1-2 defeat at home to Real Betis. Cornwall and Devon were hot enough for pre-season training for Neil Warnock's troops and while it is surprising that they have not played more top quality sides, Warnock probably wants them going into the new season feeling that they have been scoring goals.

Possible AFCB team
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Mings, Gosling, Brooks, Ibe, Defoe, Mousset
To win the game Bournemouth will have to play just as eagerly as they did against Olympic Marseilles last week. But the club has never won its first match in the Premier League and 
one win in August is the best it has achieved in the last three seasons. Taking on a newly-promoted side may look advantageous on paper, but this will no doubt be one of the most highly fought over three points of the campaign as everyone wants to get off to a good start. We could have to wait to see Rico and Brooks, but I expect Brooks to be at least on the subs bench. Fraser for me is just ahead of Ibe in the selection stakes and I can't find a spot for Pugh this week.

Let's get behind the team and give them some tremendous support to help them win the first game this season. With a big home win, AFCB could even go top of the league tonight. UTCIAD!

Premier Talk - New Season 2018-19 who will win it and who is going down?

Season Preview on TalkSports' sports Bar

Friday, 10 August 2018

Will Howe go with three central midfielders against Cardiff?

The teams have been rather mixed up of late as Bournemouth have churned out their run of summer fixtures. The choice of central midfielders has been made more of a headache for Howe by the failed attempts to bring Jefferson Lerma in. To me, Bournemouth have looked light in the centre of the park all summer, and it may be that with three at the back Howe could play three central midfielders to give a bit more solidity to a Bournemouth side that have been leaking goals.
Surman is still Mr consistent.
Which three players you might ask? Well, Eddie Howe has kept faith with Andrew Surman and he is still seen as the calming influence and I'd expect Surman to be in line for a start on Saturday no matter what. Lewis Cook has been industrious and his confidence remains high, so with him Eddie is just trying to get a bit more out of him in games. The other central midfield place would arguably go to Dan Gosling, who is the professional who just goes about his job. Gosling doesn't have many poor games but keeps his work rate high and brings others into the game well while popping up himself with the odd goal.

Before the news yesterday that Harry Arter would be playing for Cardiff City this season, I didn't see him breaking into the starting line up on recent performances. He has been making the odd mistake and Bournemouth will need their central midfielders to be protection their defence as best they can. All the transfer talk probably had an impact on how Arter has been thinking and playing and he needs to find out his future just by playing games. While it is a shame that is not going to be with AFCB for now, it is better that he gets out and plays rather than sits getting frustrated at Bournemouth. 
Can Gosling get more games than last season?
Jefferson Lerma will be keen to play of course, but with only having been in Bournemouth for a few days and still getting to know his new team-mates I rather fancy Howe keeping him on the bench for the first fixture. That way Lerma can judge the pace of the English game and take in the atmosphere perhaps before getting huge applause to start his AFCB towards the latter part of the game. It would be brave of Howe to start with Lerma, but who knows, Howe will pick who he wants to play and he'll know who is most ready to play.

Cherry Chimes gives a preview on AFCB for Be In Sports

Since writing this post, Eddie Howe has informed fans that Jefferson Lerma will not be available for selection as he has only had one training session with AFCB and needs to be fully fit before he plays which could mean he is out of contention for a few weeks yet.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Brooks has pushed himself into starting contention for AFCB

I was not that sure that David Brooks would be given much of a chance to start games for AFCB this season when he signed at the start of the summer. To be honest, the young midfielder has sparkled in what has been a pretty quiet pre-season for the Cherries. What that means for the side and for Brooks in the coming months is anyone's guess, but AFCB have to play the players that are in form if they are to get off to a good start against Cardiff.
Official AFC Bournemouth photo.
What I like about Brooks is that he goes forward and looks to make forward passes. He may lose the odd tackle and run into trouble but he commits defenders. While everything has gone smoothly for him so far, Howe will be aware that he could suddenly find things much harder at this level and he has to be cautious about when he plays him.

At the moment though, he is one of the players that has shown some form in the summer. I think Jordan Ibe is slightly behind him in terms of recent performances. Still Howe could start with Ibe and introduce Brooks in the second half against Cardiff, so as not to let Brooks think he has it all made straight away.


If we consider Stanislas as the other player who is in competition with Brooks as the season goes on, there is every reason to suggest that Brooks will find it harder to get games. Stanislas will perhaps get the manager's vote when he is fully fit again, but whether Brooks or Ibe are going to take advantage of his early-season absence is going to be the question that Howe will be keen to find the answer to.

My feeling is that Brooks may start on the bench at first. But I do see him having the ability to start games fairly soon which is something that few new signings have managed in Howe's reign.  

In other news, Emerson Hyndman is getting set for a loan move to Hibernian until January says SkySports. Brad Smith signs on loan to Seattle Sounders, reports Fox Sports. SkySports also reports Cardiff City have made an approach to take Harry Arter on loan.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Is it more of a happy camp with Lerma deal done?

It wasn't long after the 5-2 home win against Olympic Marseilles that the papers were full of the news that Jefferson Lerma was about to sign for AFCB with Levante having agreed a fee of £25m for the player. It has been an awkward summer with the Cherries finding Levante reluctant to sell and the World Cup and the shorter window have put immense pressure on the club to get this deal over the line. But now that it is done are AFCB going to reap the benefits straight away?
Jefferson Lerma's long transfer saga is finally settled.
Jefferson has been at a World Cup and will have been keeping fit in pre-season with Levante, even if he might not have been the focus of too many games for Levante this summer. He won't be prepped on every aspect of AFCB's play and is unlikely to feature straight away, even if Howe will be keen to get him started as soon as he feels he can trust Lerma to be an asset that he can use. I'm hoping that the arrival of Lerma gives the Cherries more of a ball-inning edge to their midfield and enables Lewis Cook to be released more to do his work higher up the field.

The importance of the signing is evident if you consider that Bournemouth didn't have any players at this year's World Cup playing games. Lerma is an intelligent player that could be the start of a new Bournemouth side that is going to challenge further up the league. Before this deal was done I believed that AFCB would be fighting near the wrong end of the table, but all the players in the squad will know that Lerma has been brought in to help them. That will breath confidence and expectations and AFCB can go into games knowing they have a club behind them that has invested in the squad to try and give them the best chance of competing against the best. The club has now broken its record signing amount for the last three years and Bournemouth are having to do that to keep pace with the league they are in.
While AFCB will be annoyed that things could not have been completed sooner, they've got their main target and will look to move forward now having gained even more experience in the transfer market.  

In other new, Bournemouth now wait to see what offers come in for Harry Arter with Cardiff City, AFCB's first opponents among the interested clubs.

Meanwhile, AFCB winger Connor Mahoney signed a season-long loan for Birmingham City yesterday. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Are AFCB getting the mistakes out the way?

Every season you will see some clangers and while Artur Boruc will not want to reflect too long on the match against Real Betis. He'll know he made a bit of a hash of his attempted clearance that led to the first Betis goal. 
Artur Boruc is still trying to put the odd clanger behind him.
Of course, it's okay of Bournemouth make mistakes now and learn from them before the start of the season. But what Howe will not want is for such mistakes to set the jitters through the tam and make them more anxious about their general play. What I believe we have seen in pre-season is just that lack of attention to detail when the ball goes quiet for a moment. AFCB have switched-off when a ball has gone out of play and they need to be at their most alert then when the opposition try and find some one in space. 

I can't be too critical of the overall performance against Betis though. The Cherries were playing a very good team that knew how to move the ball quickly well. It was a step up in class and AFCB could not dominate, but they didn't get frustrated. For much of the game there was nothing between the teams. I'd like to have seen more from the centre of midfield, but at least Bournemouth did get into good areas where Mousset, Ibe and Defoe could get a sight of goal.
Taking care of the ball though in all areas of the pitch will come with better fitness. Some of the players will have found that game hard in the heat and the second goal was another moment when the back line didn't step up quickly enough and Moron had ample time to put his shot past Boruc. 

It's small details at the moment that can be costly, but Bournemouth have to find what helped them to have a more ruthless streak in the game against Marseilles if they are to start their Premier League games in winning fashion.

In other news, Cherry Chimes is booked on TalkSPORTS' Sports Bar tonight at 11pm along with a Southampton blogger to preview the season. AFCB are also said to be showing interest in Danny Welbeck according to the Sportsman.

Jefferson Lerma is expected to be revealed today as AFCB's third summer signing and a transfer that is a club record fee. Connor Mahoney is also believed to be joining Birmingham City on loan.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Will Aké be fit for Cardiff City?

Bournemouth may be seating on the fitness of Nathan Aké ahead of their Premier League opener against Cardiff City. Having come off in the early part of the second half with what Howe said was a toe problem, Aké will be carefully monitored this week.
Nathan has a race to get fit before Saturday.
The importance of Aké isn't lost on any one. If Eddie wanted to play three at the back his preferred choice would have been to include Aké I'm sure. But if he is not available that could push Howe into playing a back four with Adam Smith Simon Francis, Steve Cook and Charlie Daniels prime candidates to carry that through.

Aké had been working well with Steve Cook and the friendly games have given the two players that chance to build that understanding. Francis has been used more in the other starting line ups and will be the ideal cover, and it probably takes one dilemma out of the question for Howe. The manager may have thought the only way he could have kept his captain in the team was to play three at the back with Aké and Cook. If preparations for Cardiff were like that they now have to reconfigured to be a back four with Aké's position in doubt.

The pleasing thing is that at least the forward line did look sharp against Marseilles and it gives time for the manager to concentrate a bit more on the defence that has not kept a clean sheet all pre-season. Tyrone Mings might suddenly be a lot closer to getting some minutes in the Premier League again if Aké is to miss a couple of games, and I have every confidence that Mings could do as good a job as Simon Francis and Steve Cook if asked to fill in.

Glasgow Rangers are now sweating on Aké being fit enough this week so that they can take Jack Simpson on loan until January.

In other news, Birmingham city are reported to be interested n taking Conor Mahoney on loan says Birmingham Live. Bournemouth are also said to have had another failed £12m bid for Brentford centre-back Chris Mepham.