Friday, 31 August 2018

Can Howe get the better of Sarri?

Maurizio Sarri, 59, has been managing teams since 1990 and having now come to the Premier League he is already beginning to impress. While Eddie Howe met and saw Sarri train with Empoli a few years ago, Sarri has further developed his style of play and had three years at Napoli before landing the job at Chelsea. So what are Eddie Howe's chances of winning the tactical battle at Stanford Bridge?
Howe will take on Maurizio Sarri for the
first time in a competitive Premier League match.
Eddie Howe had better give himself plenty of homework on this one. Sarri is a major student of the game and he will have Chelsea very well prepared for the Cherries. While Sarri is still getting used to the players at Stamford Bridge, their is a slight limitation on what he can immediate get out of his players. It takes time to build partnerships and understanding which is why Sarri hasn't made too many radical changes to the starting 11. In goal he had to bring in a new keeper, when Thibaut Courtois left for Real Madrid, but signing Kepa Arrizabalaga was a headline statement because of the enormous transfer fee. A new keeper is a vulnerability for any team and while he has been well protected by Rudiger and Luiz, Callum Wilson will enjoy seeing if he can make life more difficult than other forwards have for Chelsea so far.

The defence is completed with Alonso and Azpilicueta who have been getting forward and supplying crosses and shots and will often be the extra men in attack. So Howe has to find ways of stopping these two from bombing forward into Bournemouth's box. Jorginho has been one new signing that has been getting rave reviews for his passing. He is a main supplier for Eden Hazard, so Bournemouth need to try and wrestle possession from him - job for Gosling or Lerma perhaps?

The special player is Hazard of course and even when he is not getting the goals they have Pedro, Morata, Willian and Giroud - a rich pool of World Class talent. Eddie Howe can't cater for individual brilliance, but he can look to see ways to get at this Chelsea side and he'll probably find that when Chelsea attack, his players will have to defend better than well and must exploit any counter-attack moves with great skill to undo this Chelsea side. 

Whether Howe also tries to play with a high press we'll have to wait and see, but making Chelsea do things they don't want to is the brave and probably only way Sarri's planning can be affected. In this game, Bournemouth also need ball winners I feel who can quickly find space for King, Fraser and Wilson who will run at goal. It should be an exciting battle if Bournemouth can keep it a tight game.May be both unbeaten records can stay in tact.

Rival Lines: 'Nathan Aké, he's one that got away,' Says Chelsea Daft

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Chelsea v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Chelsea Daft

Chelsea have had a great start to the season winning their three Premier League games. The charity Shield defeat to Man City seems a distant memory and while media interest in their owner's troubles, and the will Eden Hazard go or stay saga has kept the tabloids busy, we wanted to know if Maurizio Sarri was the answer to all Chelsea's problems? Chelsea Daft gives some opinions ahead of the match with AFC Bournemouth.

CC: What are the main differences that you have seen in the way the team is playing since Sarri has come in?

CD: Main difference is that we are always looking to play on the front foot and to move the ball forward at pace.

CC: The game against Arsenal was a belter, do you think it set the tone for what could be a great season for Chelsea as you didn't buckle having had a two goal lead wiped out?

CD: It's nerve wracking for Chelsea fans and frustrating. We defend too narrow and allow space on the wings which Arsenal exposed. We are far from the finished article but will take every three points we can get at the moment no matter they come.

CC: Have you been surprised that the team has made this season with all the goings on off the pitch at Chelsea and the defeat to Man City in the Charity Shield?

CD: Chelsea still have the basis of our title winning side from two seasons ago with a couple of additions and let's face it, we are used to all sorts going on away from the pitch. It's no problem.

CC: How do you feel about the possibility that Abramovich might be looking to sell and the new stadium now being in jeopardy?

CD: It's to be seen if there is any real substance in these reports and I would be surprised if there was. In my opinion the press have taken two and two to make five based on the owners visa issues. The stadium is on hold and will be completed at some stage.


CC: Eden Hazard looks like he is enjoying his football again and that has to be good news for Chelsea after all the transfer talk. Is he back to his best?

CD: Keeping hold of Eden Hazard has been the best piece of business for us this summer. The guy looks better than ever and has started the season on fire. There is no one better in this league.

CC: Do you feel that Morata is doing well enough on his own up front or would you like to see Giroud partnering him more often from the start?

CD: Morata has well publicised issues with our teams style last year and hopefully, with Sarri-ball he will get plenty more chances to score. If Giroud starts he gives us a different option but I'd doubt we would see both start together.

CC: Kepa Arrizabalaga has kept one clean sheet against Huddersfield. Do you think he has fitted in well and is going to be another great keeper for Chelsea?

CD: It's far too early to say about our new man but because of the way we play teams will always create chances against us. He needs at least a season under his belt before we can judge.

CC: Nathan Aké will be returning to Stanford Bridge in this game. Do the Chelsea fans still think very highly of him?

CD: One of the ones that got away but at the same time, he was never going to replace our back three so the decision to sell was a good one. He is a good player and still fond of him.

CC: How will Chelsea line up for this game?

CD: I believe it will be the same eleven that started against Newcastle last Sunday.

    1 Arrizabalaga, 28 Azpilicueta, 2 Rüdiger, 30 David Luiz, 3 Alonso, 7 Kanté, 5 Jorginho,
    17 Kovacic, 11 Pedro, 29 Morata, 10 E Hazard
13 Caballero, 8 Barkley, 12Loftus-Cheek, 18 Giroud, 21 Zappacosta, 22 Willian, 27 Christensen

CC: If Chelsea lost their unbeaten record in this game would it be a big surprise?

CD: On paper (no disrespect) it would but we have seen you guys turn up and spoil the party before. Should be a good game!

CC: Thanks to Chelsea Daft for being the second Rival Lines of the season. It does puzzle me why Chelsea are not talked about as title contenders when they have set the bar high at the start of the season and can point towards an unbeaten record just like Liverpool, Watford and Spurs. But perhaps Chelsea are not fancied because of all the going's on behind the scenes and a new manager. Chelsea Daft says they are used to it, but Chelsea are good at self-destruction. It may be that AFCB will lend a hand in lighting a few potential fires, if they come away with another away win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Visit Chelsea Daft for more news on Sarri's concerns and their £71.6m keeper.

Cherry Chimes' Newsletter - out tomorrow
Cherry Chimes' September Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. It's out tomorrow with special story - What should expectations be for Bournemouth fans?

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In other news, AFCB drew Blackburn Rovers at home in the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Brooks can win the game for Bournemouth against Chelsea

The energy and exuberance of David Brooks has been hard to miss in the first few games this season. He has a real appetite to do well and he has shown that he has the talent to get into positions where he can hurt the opposition. While he has not yet scored, he has looked like one of Bournemouth's most likely goal scores, and it would really catapult him on the the front headlines if he could open his account against Chelsea.
Brooks is a bit of a secret weapon.
What he has in his favour is that Sarri and Chelsea haven't probably seen that much of him and might not be too worried about a player only just playing his fourth Premier League game. Having seen Brooks though in those first few games, he is not a player you want to take likely as he not only is prepared to shoot, but he has also played some slide rule passes that have been perfect for King and Wilson to run on to. Even when he came on for about five minutes against MK Dons in midweek, he put one shot narrowly past the left upright and the ball seemed to go to him like a magnet.

While Brooks is playing this high-level and energetic football I am sure Howe will keep him in the team. But finding his limits is going to be tantalising every time he comes up against World Class defenders. If he can get the better of players like Ake though in training, then he can cause problems for David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger.

Where Brooks has to improve is his shooting on target. He may be trying too hard to hit the corners of the net and if he just makes sure the keeper have to make a save we could see him having more success in front of goal. He is Eddie Howe's secret weapon against Chelsea and Eddie Howe must be eager to get the final bit of quality into Brooks' game as he has everything else and could take the limelight away from Eden Hazard in this match.

Is the King and Wilson partnership working well enough?

It was good to see Josh King get off the mark last Saturday against Everton. It was from the penalty spot and not open play. Still, they all count. In comparison Callum Wilson has scored both os his goals this season from open play. None of the three goals the pair have scored though have involved the two strikers combining to get a goal.
King slots has only ever missed one penalty for AFCB.
While Eddie Howe will be hoping that the partnership will start generating goals with King and Wilson linking up better, we are at least seeing Bournemouth play their games with King and Wilson finally both looking sharp. There was even a great spot and pass from Josh King in the second-half against Everton where he picked out Wilson on route to taking on Jordan Pickford in a one-against-one. Wilson didn't score mainly because he was challenged by Holgate as he shot, but it was a good sign that King and Wilson were starting to act as a striking pair.

Against West Ham Wilson did all the work himself to get Bournemouth their first goal and Simon Francis had been the provider for the assist he scored against Cardiff City. King has been playing slightly behind Wilson and dropping a bit deeper, although I feel King is capable of playing the number nine role well and if Wilson does find that he doesn't take as many chances as he should in front of goal, Howe could look to give King more of the main striker role.


I'd like to see either Defoe or Mousset also be given the opportunity for 20 minutes or so in Premier League matches. King and Wilson have been playing 90 minutes and we can see they are fully able to do that, but they need to pushed and by giving the other strikers a bit of a game they could start to run into form and that wouldn't be a bad thing. Howe certainly has been wanting to play King and Wilson as a strike pair for a long time though and I'm not sure how easy it will be for Mousset or Defoe to make him change his mind.

When Howe looks at the stats in the Premier League and sees six goals scored for AFCB and half of them have been scored by his two main strikers, there is every reason for him to continue asking King and Wilson to get themselves into shooting positions and having as many minutes as they can on the pitch together.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Did Lerma or Rico do enough to start against Chelsea?

Both Diego Rico and Jefferson Lerma made their competitive debut's for AFCB in the Carabao Cup against MK Dons and both had the opportunity to try and impress Eddie Howe so that they could take part in Saturday's Premier League match against Chelsea. Whether Howe wants to disrupt the first 11 after such a great start is questionable, but all the players that turned out against MK Dons know that sooner or later they will get a shot at the first team and for some it could be sooner than others.
Jefferson Lerma played with a tight bandage on his right wrist.
From the very first minutes of the match, most eyes were trained on Jeffeson Lerma. He has a distinctive lumbering and rolling style that soon hits top gear when he sees the chance to nab the ball off an opponent. As a ball winner, he is very strong and his passing was measured and well-controlled during the game. At times he did challenge in a way that would probably have got him booked in the Premier League, but referee James Linington was happy to let most things go with only one yellow card issued in the 90 minutes. Lerma certainly likes a shot as well and he had a few poor efforts, before having a strike that was only just kept out by the MK Don's keeper in the second-half. Lerma put in a good display and should again make the bench on Saturday.
Diego Rico gets acquainted with Tyrone Mings' high-five!
His team-mate, Diego Rico was equally impressive and as a defender he didn't let his man get the better of him during the night. Rico also got forward and did well just to keep up with Ryan Fraser at times, who was having an incredible match. Again Rico did not mind shooting and his second half free-kick was one of the highlights of the game. Perhaps Bournemouth have found a new free-kick specialist? Diego is very close to Charlie Daniels I felt in terms of performance and could challenge straight away for the left back position, if Howe chose to play four at the back at Stamford Bridge. But Daniels has not done a lot wrong this season so is likely to keep his place for now.

Lerma might have to hope that Howe is thinking about playing five in midfield, so that he could play with Surman and Gosling in the middle of the park. But so far this season Howe has preferred the 4-4-1-1 system and with it working so well, I don't see the need to change yet unless he expects Chelsea to play with a back three and wants t match them up. On performance alone though, it its evident that Lerma and Rico could fit into AFCB and be powerful players so the competition for places is going to be very strong going forward.

The draw for the Third Round of the Carabao Cup is live on SkySpotrs from 7pm.

In other news, Lys Mousset limped of with an ankle injury against Milton Keynes Dons.

MK Dons swept aside by new look Cherries in Carabao Cup

Match Report
AFCB 3 v 0 Milton Keynes Dons
Carabao Cup Second Round
27 August 2018

Dean Lewington and Simon Francis in the middle.
The Carabao Cup might not be a priority for many teams, but Dean Court was well attended to see the two new summer recruits of Jefferson Lerma and Diego Rico take to the pitch against League Two side Milton Keynes. There was also an added bonus of seeing ex-Cherry Baily Cargill turn out for the Dons, but it was the sharp darting runs of Ryan Fraser that fans were left in awe of by the end of the evening. Frenchman Lys Mousset opened the scoring on 16 minutes after a flowing move from a throw from Artur Boruc to get the play going from one end of the pitch to the other. It took until the 37th minute for Ryan Fraser to volley Bournemouth into a 2-0 lead. Jefferson Lerma was influential in midfield, sometimes over exuberant in the tackle but very careful with his passing.
Jefferson Lerma and Diego Rico are among Bournemouth's players that get starts.

Bournemouth dominated possession and Diego Rico got stronger as the game went on with his pin-point crossing and running power. A third goal came in the second half when Jordan Ibe made space for his shot to beat Nicholls in the bottom left corner on 90+1 minutes. The margin of the victory was huge even if Bournemouth only managed three goals, as Rico had smashed a shot against the bar and Lerma had made Nicholls make a fabulous save at full stretch. Howe might have wanted Bournemouth to put MK Dons to the sword with more goals, but the Cherries really didn't need to with MK Dons offering little prospect of pegging back any goals.

The first half saw Bournemouth passing at their best and not even allowing MK Dons much of a chance to cross the half way line. Lerma's first shot only disturbed those high up in the South stand when encouraged to shoot by the home crowd. The only survivor from the weekend's game showed Lerma how to do it, when Fraser saw his shot topped over marvellously by a relieved Nicholls in the MK Dons' goal.

Bournemouth's first goal came from Brouc throwing the ball straight out to Defoe who quickly knocked it on to Lys Mousset on the right. Fraser then took the ball over half way before playing Lys Mousset back inside down the right, and Mousset's shot nestled in the bottom left corner. It was a superb move that swept down the field to give Bournemouth the lead.
Lerma with Fraser before kick-off.
It was quickly followed by Ibe feeding Fraser and his cross being volleyed by Mousset that was saved by Nicholls and perhaps part of the post, as Bournemouth earned a corner. Fraser was playing out of his skin with a deft flick to sent Defoe on his way forward, then when Defoe later had his back to goal and returned the favour to Fraser, the wee-man shot narrowly wide.

Lerma was ever-present in the middle with Lewis Cook who played a great pass for Defoe to shoot on 30 minutes that Nicholls saved for a corner. Lerma was not a stranger to fouling and was lucky not to get booked on a few occasions. Fraser was still reminding everyone he was industrious with a punishing tackle on Baily Cargill on the half way line.

A second goal then arrived on 37 minutes when Ibe broke away and had his first shot blocked before picking out Ryan Fraser who smashed his volley in with great power.

Milton Keynes best chance fell to Stuart Moore, but he shot over on 43 minutes. A further shot from Ryan Watson just before half time also flew over, but MK Dons had been outplayed in the first 45 minutes.
A strong first-half from AFCB.
Josh King and Baily Cargill greet each other at half-time.
Bournemouth tried to pick up where they left off in the second-half. We saw a great little flick from Rico before Fraser hit an off target shot, but the link up play was terrific. When Rico did let his ambitions extend to having a shot he almost hit the corner flag.

But a free kick won by Lewis Cook gave Rico to show us what his dead ball kicks were like and he thundered a shot over the wall and against the top of the cross bar on 57 minutes. Meanwhile, Dean Lewington was yellow carded for his foul on Lewis Cook for the free kick.

Just to show he wasn't going to be overshadowed by the Spaniard, Jefferson Lerma soon after had a well hit shot from the edge of the box make Nicholls have to dive to his left to keep the powerful shot out.

MK Dons' Ryan Watson managed to get a shot off that went straight to Boruc, but Bournemouth were in full control. Williams was therefore subbed for Finn Tapp on 62 minutes and Cargill made way for Sam Nombe. A deflected shot that gave MK Dons a corner was reason for their fans to celebrate, but their main tormentor, Ryan Fraser was subbed on 66 minutes for Josh King.

More disconcerting for Eddie Howe was to see Lys Mousset have to limp around the pitch  after 69 minutes and he was replaced by Steve Cook, which meant Francis was pushed into midfield.

MK Dons subbed the luckless Stuart Moore on 72 minutes for Osman Sow as the Dons looked for a consolation goal. Ibe was doing his best to get on the score sheet, but was finding much accuracy. He had to wait until the first minute of added time when David Brooks had added fresh impetus to the attack by replacing Defoe, and Ibe was the recipient of King's pass that Ibe fired into the bottom left corner of the goal.
A good win for the Cherries.
Howe and his players take the applause.
Bournemouth never had to hit their very top gear. It was a disappointment I think to Eddie Howe that they didn't have to. But the crowd were more than pleased to have watched Jefferson Lerma get stuck into a game and to see Diego Rico flight his accurate crosses into the box. The star was certainly Ryan Fraser who has found another level to his game. While Boruc was not tested, Tyrone Mings was busy in keeping Bournemouth's clean sheet and we can all look forward to a third round draw this Thursday evening. 

AFCB Line-up. Pugh misses out with a tight hamstring.
AFCB Subs: S Cook, Surman, King, Brooks, Travers, Dobre, Ofoborh

AFCB Ratings

Boruc 6, Franics 6,  Simpson, 6, Mings 7, Rico 8, Fraser 9, L Cook 7, Lerma 7, Ibe 6, Mousset 7, Defoe 6

MK Dons
Nicholls, Cargill (Nombe 62), Jackson, Moore-Taylor, Williams (Tapp 62), Gilbey, Houghton, Watson, Lewington, Cissé, Healey (Sow 72)

MK Dons' Subs
Moore, Sow, Hancox, Agard, Nombe, Kasumu, Tapp

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Bournemouth keep digging out results

You can't underestimate a team that manages to pull out results from games when it is not playing as well as it can. Bournemouth have found a way of keeping themselves in games in the last two matches, when they didn't dominate possession, or look like keeping clean sheets. While the points keep gathering up, it is important that the team continues to work hard to try and find the missing elements to their best game.
The Red Army is having to come from behind in games it seems in 2018.
I should think that Eddie Howe learned more about his team in the match with Everton than in the previous two matches of the season. There were some good bits and some fundamental frustrations, such as Everton's first goal that seemed far too easy and the switching off for the second goal that went in. Begovic didn't exactly come out guilt free in making it difficult for Theo Walcott and Charlie Daniels had been caught well up field for the first Everton goal, which is where Everton then attacked.

Wilson probably should have done better with his chance against Pickford when King put him through with an amazing pass, before the penalty incident. It seems Wilson needs two or three chances to get on the score sheet, and yet he was certainly shoved by Holgate enough for him to be effected when taking his shot.


Once Bournemouth had got a foothold in the game though and had a target of needing just one more goal to get something from the game, there was little doubt that they could achieve their objective. The hunger for the goal that came through Nathan Aké's close finish had been coming and building up. Bournemouth had managed to put Everton on the back foot for the first time in the game.

If the team continues to be disappointed with not always picking up three points, then they are in a good place. Digging out results is what keeps teams in this league and Bournemouth are showing plenty of fight and spirit to want to achieve something that surpasses what they have done in previous seasons.

Fresh and familiar faces as MK Dons to take on AFCB

It wasn't so long ago that Bournemouth were doing battle in League One against Milton Keynes Dons, or FC Franchise as we like to call them. Now MK Dons are second in League Two and the Carabao Cup has given them what some might say is a big draw against a Premier League side. So this season Bournemouth will get the chance to refresh old memories, but our fans are more likely to be reminiscing what could have been with Baily Cargill, 23, and Mathieu Braudry, 30, more than seeing the Don's white shirts again.
Baily made a summer move to Milton Keynes Dons having been released by AFCB.
One survivor of some of those League One days is captain Dean Lewington who may well lead the MK Dons out against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup. Much about MK Dons though is new, including their manager Paul Tisdale, who was the long time manager of Exeter City, and in a quirk of fate this last weekend Tisdale came up against his former club and the Dons won 1-0. He has also made a loan signing of striker Rhys Healey from Cardiff City this week, so Rhys might have passed on a few tips from Neil Warnock, having seen Bournemouth beat Cardiff in the first week of the Premier League.

The other signings this summer included former Cherry Mathieu Baudry from Doncaster, Baily Cargill another ex-Bournemouth player, who was a free agent, Jordan Houghton from Chelsea, Stuart Moore from Swansea, Robbie Simpson from Exeter City and Lawson D'Ath from Luton Town.

MK Dons have started the season reasonably well. With home wins over Bury and draws against Crewe away and Grimsby at home and narrow win over Exeter City have pushed them into the promotion places. But their standout performances was the 3-0 home win over League One Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup first round.

Look out for Baily Cargill No 26 and Mathieu Baudry No 5, lets hope they play on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth are expected to field Jefferson Lerma and Diego Rico in their first competitive game for the Cherries.

Possible AFCB line-up

Premier Talk - Early leaders
Premier Talk - What's wrong with United?

Monday, 27 August 2018

Why don't Cherries show quality on the ball early on?

Bournemouth are struggling to find the kind of starts they need to get them playing fast flowing football from the off in games. The energy and intent is there to go forward, but there isn't enough conviction and purpose in the passing to get the team confidently attacking teams in the first phase of the game and it's been lacking since the team managed it so very well against Olympic Marseilles.
Bournemouth walk off at 0-0 at half-time against 10-man Everton.
We can't grumble with the great start that Bournemouth have made this season. But there is room for improvement and it is mainly at the start of games when Bournemouth are not quite hitting their game. While they did find away of getting a lead against Cardiff with Fraser's 24 minute goal they have not found it possible to recreate a lead in games. Some of that is down to the opposition not allowing Bournemouth to  impose their game, but there is some concern from Eddie Howe who has spoken out that the first part of the game is not functioning as it should yet. It was even more annoying in the Everton game when AFCB had a man advantage, which Bournemouth didn't make the most of as Howe explains.

'We planned to dominate the ball, be patient in our approach and work the ball from side to side, wait for the openings - they will come if we are good with the ball and really build momentum and try and pen them in towards their goal. The reality is that when we came out the opposite happened we ended up forcing the ball, becoming impatient and that led to a number of counter-attacks," said Howe.

It was a missed opportunity to not get a lead against a 10-man Everton side and it was important to keep discipline high after Everton had had a man sent off. While the comebacks are great for the points and the feeling of invincibility, Bournemouth are going behind in games because they are making mistakes and that is what Howe will be focussing on changing in training I'd expect.

Why are Bournemouth involved in 'crazy games?'

Two red cards, a penalty and coming from behind from two goals down - it's all in a days work for AFCB. There does seem to be a few 'crazy games' as Josh King points out in the season for AFCB. Winning or drawing a game in a regular fashion just isn't Bournemouth's thing, and I believe that is why so many neutrals tend to gravitate towards AFCB as a team they have a connection with, as the underdog is always something we can admire.
Bournemouth thrive on crazy games. 
Some of the madness can be explained just be the passion of the players and the fans to want to do better, and that is very strong in this club as there is a never say die attitude. The history of winning from adversity is now ingrained in the club and it is a great habit to have.

I can't say the red cards are anything that Bournemouth look to have in their games and yet incidents will happen occasionally when passions run high and mistakes are made. I don't think there is any more aggressiveness behaviour at AFCB than any other team, but the will not to be bullied by bigger teams does give the players a fight that is seen when the players are behind in games. If you could bottle whatever it was that ignites the fire in the team, I am sure Howe would want to release it whenever the team was in trouble.
I am a firm believer that the Bournemouth crowd play their part in such games and it was in evidence on Saturday against Everton. The home fans just weren't willing for the score to remain 0-2 and that emotion feeds through to the players who stepped up again and made things happen. There is no coincidence that AFCB can do this where other teams find it hard to comeback in games. It is a collective spirit that simply resonates when the need arises. It's a very powerful force and Everton won't be the first or last them to find themselves in a kind of storm that swells all around them, as they fought to hang on to a lead a Dean Court. Something usually gives and with the intensity of Bournemouth's play it is hardly surprising that they find ways to get back into games.

I just hope AFCB never lose that bit of craziness they have, because it is what makes them one of the most exciting teams to watch. In some ways Bournemouth are the new meaning of the crazy gang. They just don't know when they should have been beaten.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Were red cards given out too easily in AFCB v Everton?

Referees have a hard job but they are the ones who want that responsibility and some even thrive on it. But they can also destroy a game with one decision and fans pay good money to hopefully see 11 men against 11 men on the pitch in football's purest form. So do we feel cheated when players are sent off? If it happens to the opposition we are more than satisfied, but when it happens to your team it is a disgrace. The referee has to remove himself from any influences, but I wonder how easy it was for Lee Probert to send Adam Smith off after he had already given a straight red to Richarlison in the match between Bournemouth and Everton?
Adam Smith at Dean Court before his incident-packed aftenoon.

The first incident was very strange in that the ball was not even in play, but out for a throw-in after Brooks I thing had kicked the ball out of play. Adam Smith and Richarlison were some distance apart at first on Bournemouth's right wing, but they soon closed in on each other and I imagine some words were exchanged which led to Richarlison's reaction. For an instance, Richarlison forgot where he was as you can't level your head against another player and press up against them before making a headbutt however light. 

Adam Smith's reaction was like a playground spat and while he didn't fall down. He wanted to make sure the referee knew exactly what had happened. It is all in the realms of play acting and stupidity and neither player does themselves any favours from such incidents. On this occasion  Lee Probert decided Richarlison had to go and it is hard to make a case for the Everton player to have been allowed to stay on the pitch, given his reaction as mentally he had overstepped the line by even having an intention to hit out at Adam Smith with his head.

The second incident with Adam Smith tugging back Theo Walcott I saw as a professional foul. Smith was beaten and Walcott was going past him. While other players were chasing back, Smith knew what he was doing and took the risk thinking he would get a yellow card at most, but Lee Probert chose to level things up with a red card. If the game had not seen any cards and that had been the first foul of the game, I'm not sure Adam Smith would have seen red. It was a foul though and it was cheating and it's up to the referee to decide how severe the penalty should be.

When I look at the overall picture of the game I have to wonder if it was a really bad tempered game and one that merited two sending offs. It seemed a bit over the top to send two players off and I wonder if yellow cards could have been issued instead? Would the game have had a much different outcome and would we have seen a less exciting game? Would it rewarded two players who should be punished for making mistakes? I don't have all the answers, but red cards are part of the game and it's up to the players not to give referees that opportunity to have a decision to make.

In the end, I don't blame the referee for trying to manage the game, it is the players that create the situation and they have to take the consequences knowing that they take a risk whenever they challenge the rules of the game with their actions.

In other news, it has been confirmed Michael Keane suffered a fractured skull in the match between Bournemouth and Everton. We wish him all the best and a full and speedy recovery.

Everton cut down by late Cherries' fight back

Match Report
25 August 2018
AFCB 2 v 2 Everton
Attendance: 10,654
Bournemouth find their way to a 2-2 draw with Everton.
It's early days, yet Bournemouth are picking up points in games on a regular basis and will remain undefeated in the Premier League in August. Everton were the latest victims who found Dean Court a hot bed of trouble when Richarlison looked to have blown their chances with a stupid headbutt on Adam Smith. But Bournemouth failed to capitalise and Theo Walcott gave the 10-men the lead that was quickly doubled when Michael Keane headed the visitors into a two goal lead on 66 minutes. Game over? Oh, no. Game on!
All is calm with a team photo before kick-off.
Bournemouth had also seen Adam Smith sent off and looking defeat in the face, they were woken by the chants from the home crowd and rallied to start another comeback. Wilson may not have had the best shooting accuracy on the day, but he kept going and won a penalty that Josh King duly dispatched. With Lewis Cook and Jordan Ibe adding fresh impetus to the team, there was an energy that pushed the home team on and Nathan Aké smashed in the equaliser, after Wilson had headed onto the post. It was a point won and Bournemouth can proudly sit in the top three for a while, having been involved in another classic comeback game. At the end the game, everyones' thoughts were just wishing Michael Keane a speedy recovery after his collision with Gueye.
Captains Leighton Baines and Andrew Surman in the middle.
There are more pictures on Match Day Gallery.

Eddie Howe wasn't changing a winning team, but Jefferson Lerma made the Cherries bench for the first time this season as Tyrone Mings was left out of the squad.  Surman was making his 200th appearance for AFCB and captained the team. Meanwhile, Everton replaced the injured Morgan Schneiderlin with Tom Davies, as Marco Silva looked to overtake Bournemouth in the table.

Everton fan Anne gives her opinion on the Toffees pre-match.

The game didn't come alight very early on. As soon as the ball broke to Richarlison, he was met with three Bournemouth shirts closing him down. Leighton Baines took the first shot after five minutes, but was thwarted by the block of Steve Cook.

Everton tried their luck down the left side with Coleman being adventurous, but hardly putting any quality balls into the box. While Everton closed down Bournemouth paying out from the back they couldn't stop Adam Smith stampeding up the right wing and crossing to Fraser, who passed on again to Wilson, in a great unmarked position. But Wilson skied his shot, when he knew he should have tested Pickford on 16 minutes. 

Fraser was imposing himself on the game and Bournemouth looked great when he pressed forward. King was next to have a shot saved, while David Brooks was snapping in the tackles on Richarlison.

Coleman was still chipping his crosses, but not finding any Everton player in the box and Begovic made a strong punch out when Sigurdsson tried to cross from the right.


Bournemouth countered with a free kick from Fraser that Aké got a good head to which Pickford kept out, and the follow up from Brooks was too high and wide.

Things got spicy though when Richarlisson reacted to Adam Smith and attempted a minor but definite headbutt. It was enough for Lee Probert to show a straight red. Chances were hard to come by though, even with the extra man for Bournemouth and half-time was reached at 0-0.
Everton are down to 10-men but it's 0-0.
Jeffersin Lerma at half-time.
Second half
No changes were made a half time. Bournemouth forced some early corners and there was confusion when Pickford and Holgate got in each others way for a cross that Gosling sent in. Fraser was a marked man and was caught by Siggurdsson who was yellow carded.

Everton soon won possession and Theo Walcott ran away up the right wing with a run that drove him right in on goal and he beat Begovic, on his near post, to make it 0-1 on 56 minutes. It was a shock, but it had happened. The 10 men had scored!

Bournemouth looked like they would recover well when Steve Cook tried for an over head kick following a corner. But misery followed when Walcott got the better of Adam Smith and the Bournemouth defender was given a straight red from bringing him down on 61 minutes with a pull back. Baines then saw his free-kick saved by Begovic.

Eddie Howe tried to change things with Ibe replacing David Brooks. This is when Everton struck again with  their players looking disinterested about a free kick, and then suddenly taking it from the right with a big cross that was met by Michael Keane at the far post to head Everton 0-2 up on 66 minutes. Begovic just couldn't keep it out.

Tosun was carded for a foul on Fraser as the game moved on. King spotted Wilson on the right in the clear and with the ball at his feet it was just Bournemouth's number 13 against Pickford, with Holgate closing, but the shot went straight at the keeper. Holgate actually had got back and had made a push on Wilson to put him off.

Ibe was given the ball regularly as Bournemouth attacked down the right. King and Wilson would get the Cherries back into the game though when Wilson fell in the box with Baines going into the back of him. The penalty was converted by King on 74 minutes and there was a sense that Bournemouth would now unleash everything they had on the Everton goal.

Lewis Cook replaced Surman as Howe tried to force the pace of the game in the final quarter.

Within five minutes it would be 2-2 with Callum Wilson looping a header against the post from a corner and Natahn Aké alert to the rebound and firing in the goal to bring the teams level on 79 minutes.

Bournemouth didn't find it easy to find keep the momentum going. Gueye was booked and Everton subbed Tosun and brought on Calvert-Lewin, before Walcott was subbed for Bernard.

Added time went up for six minutes and it will be remembered for the horrible head collision between Gueye and Keane trying to make a clearance. It took the medical staff six minutes to get Keane on to a stretcher and to enable the game to continue, but football didn't seem so important after the incident. Fans just wanted to hear that Michael Keane would be okay. Zouma made his debut for Everton, but he hardly had time to make a contribution.
Bournemouth come from behind to get another hard earned point.
A 2-2 draw from a situation where your team are 0-2 down with less than half an hour to go has to be seen as a great point. What Bournemouth are failing to do is make the first break through in games which leads to being in the comeback position so often. But Bournemouth get their chances to get ahead in games and they are not taking them. This is something that can still be improved and Wilson is invariably the player squandering chances, even if he is doing well to be the player finding the best positions in which to shoot. Howe will also be disappointed with not doing better when the game was 10 against 11.

I think the crowd needs to keep calmer when Bournemouth are trying to play out from the back as it just makes Begovic lose his nerve and Steve Cook was asking the fans to back off when they were getting nervy and Everton pressed. We play our part and need to help the team, like we did when they were 0-2 down.

Yet, there are positives as well. Josh King has a goal under his belt, Bournemouth recovered from a losing position again and Ryan Fraser is playing the best football of his career. Seven points is no mean total and it leaves the players knowing they can do even better.

AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Francis, Lerma, L Cook, Ibe, Defoe, Mousset
AFCB Ratings
Begovic 5, A Smith 5, S Cook 7, Aké 7, Daniels 5, Brooks 7, Surman 5, Gosling 5, Fraser 8
Wilson 7, King 7

Cherry Chimes' MoM: Ryan Fraser

Ref Watch – 5/10 Lee Probert: A hard match for the referee. Everton could count themselves unlucky not to be awarded a penalty early on when Baines was challenged in the box and near the end when Tosun was bundled over by Steve Cook. Probert had no choice but to send Richarlison off for a headbutt, however gentle. I could not see the Adam Smith challenge, but was surprised that it was also deemed a red card, perhaps as he was the last man. Smith did take Walcott down so it was a professional foul. I can't argue with the  overall result. 

Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Keane (Zouma 90+12), Baines, Walcott (Bernard 85), Davies, Gueye, Richarlison, G Sigurdsson, Tosun (Calvert-Lewin 84)