Monday, 24 September 2018

What happened to Bournemouth at Burnley?

Eddie Howe felt that Bournemouth had their opportunity to do well against Burnley but simply didn't find a way to stamp their authority in the game. The Cherries certainly managed to survive the first half hour in good enough shape to be in the game and start to create some chances, of which, Nathan Aké's diverted shot that hit the cross bar was the closest that Bournemouth came to getting in front.
Bournemouth couldn't capitalise on early play.
So where did thins go wrong from there? I felt that the Cherries didn't get close enough to Gudmundsson on the right wing for most of the first half. The crosses just kept coming in and they caused a lot of problems. Diego Rico was subbed at half time with the team going to a back three and that did stem the flow of the game that by that time was running in Burnley's favour, who were 2-0 up. But there was no power in Bournemouth's shooting and no belief that they would get the third goal and force their way back into the game.

The chances that did fall to Brooks and Lerma were the closest that the Cherries came to getting somewhere in the second half, and we didn't see King or Wilson really look like the players that would break Bournemouth's duck. A few runs from Ryan Fraser through the middle did give glimpses of the creative energy that the Cherries required, but it was the inability to cope with Burnley's breaks that eventually led to the big scoreline.

When Bournemouth are up against it we need to see more from players in the middle of the park like Lerma and Surman to get in and win balls and fight harder. Howe now has some difficult decisions to make in whether he sticks with the same players or makes some changes for the next league game. The absence of Dan Gosling may well have had more of a negative impact than Howe was expecting.

Expectations drop for AFCB

The early good start for Bournemouth certainly came crashing to an end at Turf Moor. It wasn't just that Bournemouth lost the game, but they came out on the wrong side of a beating. Four goals was perhaps far worse sounding than the game looked to Eddie Howe, but the Cherries didn't look like scoring and Burnley didn't look anything like a bottom side in the table.
What went wrong at Burnley?
Now that the Cherries have slipped out of the top six and sit more amongst the teams that have been gradually finding their feet, there is a need for Bournemouth to stabilise their performances quickly of they are not to start sliding into the bottom half of the table. Expectations have been high for the first few weeks and now the fans might have to readjust to the new reality that AFCB really are not the finished article yet as Eddie Howe alluded to after the win against Leicester. There were signs in that game that all things were not quite as they might seem when Leicester scored two late goals and against Burnley the team continued to play in a similar way to how they had in the last 10 minutes of the Leicester match.
Taken before the start of the season, I think most Bournemouth fans would suggest that games against Burnley and Leicester could go either way and that draws would not be unlikely. So to have gained three points form the two fixtures is not such a bad tally. The need now is to learn from the mistakes in the two games and to find some positivity again going into forthcoming games. It's been a good start and now it's a case of just trying to take each game as it comes.

While Bournemouth still have a few weeks before they come up against the top six teams they can get a few wins to ensure they maintain that top half position in what looks to be a very competitive league. Bournemouth may have to accept that there will be periods when they win a few games and lose a few if their performances just come off a little.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Bournemouth stumble to 4-0 defeat at Turf Moor

Burnley 4 v 0 AFCB
22 September 2018
Attendance: 18,636

Turf Moor fills up - picture taken by Michael Dunne (All Departments)
Bournemouth were brought back down to earth by a three-minute first half blitz of Burnley goals that knocked the Cherries back. While Aké came close to getting one goal as his shot deflected off the bar. Burnley were great in front of goal with Vydra and Lennon finishing with ease in the first 45 minutes. A change of shape did see some improvement from Bournemouth, but Brooks missed the Cherries best chance to score and even with Stanislas and Defoe trying to rescue the scoreline, Ashley Barnes added further punishment with two late goals to give the former Burnley manager, Eddie Howe, plenty to think about as Burnley get their first win of the season.
Bournemouth come away with a heavy second away defeat.
Eddie Howe made a change to the Bournemouth starting 11 with Dan Gosling not travelling and Andrew Surman making his fourth start of the season and captaining the side. Tyrone Mings and Junior Stanislas also made it on to Bournemouth's bench. It was questionable what Lewis Cook had to do to get back into the side, while there was no Lys Mousset.

Match description
Burnley make a quick start up the right with Gudmundsson, but Lennon's shot is blocked. Gudmundsson runs into Fraser but no foul is given. Mee and Wilson are having a wrestling match.

Burnley are controlling the game.  Fraser makes a good run and finds Wilson, but Surman's shot is blocked.King and Wilson keep the ball well but Burnley smother Bournemouth in the end.

Brooks gets on the ball. Fraser has a shot blocked. A good three minutes fro Bournemouth, eight minutes gone.Rico puts a good early cross in. King crosses but Wilson can't quite get to it in the air.

Lerma fouls Westwood but isn't booked. Adam Smith makes a good clearance. Josh King fouls Taylor with his elbow. Adam Smith is now fouled by Lennon.

Surman plays a good ball out to Rico, Fraser has a shot deflected for a Bournemouth corner on 17 minutes. Brooks gets the ball in eventually and Aké's shot is deflected off Mee and goes up high and off the bar! 17 minutes gone.

The Cherries are starting to apply pressure. Brooks has a shot from distance but it's straight at Joe Hart. Gudmundsson now has a corner off of Adam Smith on 20 minutes.

Jack Cork over to Taylor, and it's out for another corner. Vokes misses a good opportunity, Steve Cook got in there just in time. King into Brooks and Hart gets to the ball. 

Tarkowski heads away. Cork away and Gudmundsson and Burnley have another corner off Aké on 25 minutes. Wilson heads away and Taylor's volley is wide. Begovoc came for the ball but didn't get there.

Lerma is caught in possession. Lowton to Vokes and Steve Cook gets a header in. Westwood looking for Vokes, goal kick. Half hour gone.

Rico is taken out by Lowton and gets a yellow card. Aké and Vokes having a tussle. the offside flag is up. Wilson gets behind Tarkowski, but it's a foul.

Adam Smith and King towards Wilson and he slides in but can't get there. It's a corner to Bournemouth. Rico and Aké tries to gets  header. Lerma shoots well wide. 

Lerma and Cork clash heads. Cork puts in a cross from the left. Vokes has a shot, Westwood hits his own man. Westwood again, Aké' blocks and it's come out to Vydra, who has scored. 1-0 to Burnley. Vydra was five yards out on 39 minutes.

Ball to the back post from Gudmundsson and it's 2-0! Lennon has slid in and scored to put Burnley well in control. Steve Cook couldn't make the header. Burnley have scored twice in two minutes. Adam Smith lost his man and the ball went passed everyone to land with Lennon.

Aké wins a free kick. Lerma and Surman to Rico. Gudmundsson gets a tackle in. Aké mis-controls the ball. Burnley up to Lenon again. King now and Fraser is fouled. That's half-time with Bournemouth 2-0 down.

Second half
Bournemouth have gone three at the back and have subbed Rico for Francis. Francis on the wing. Surman and Lerma. The pass is too strong for Fraser.

Lerma 30 yards out has a go and just sees it skim over the goal. Vokes to Vydra and Francis gets a toe in. Burnley down the left. Aké clears.

Lowton and Vokes with a shot just past the post. Begovic was worried and was down to his left. Lennon for Taylor and Francis tries to block. Adam Smith and King. Surman and Lerma into Fraser drives at goal and Taylor blocks for a throw in. Steve Cook  takes the long throw.

Surman and Fraser, over to Francis but Joe Hart catches the cross. Gudmundsson looks for a shot but Begovic saves well in front of Vydra.

Brooks away from Westwood and Westwood is carded. Free-kick to Bournemouth 25-yards out. Fraser and Francis are standing over the ball. It's a four-man wall. Fraser hits it past the left post.

Lennon attacks Francis and Steve Cook clears. Brooks down the middle. Fraser to King Fraser to Lerma who didn't hit the shot at all well - easy for Hart. Burnley sub Vydra with Chris Woods on 58 minutes.

Gudmundsson ball into Woods but the header is off target. King ball onto Brooks in the penalty area and a great save from Brooks left foot. Best chance for Bournemouth.

Adam Smith to King who fires over. Francis puts Lerma in a spot. Lennon in the box to Lowton and Begovic has to clear. King and Lerma come forward. Fraser on the right. Brooks gets the corner off Westwood.

Junior Stanislas is warming up. Bournemouth need something. Adam Smith and Brooks, King hist the side netting. Stanislas comes on for Wilson on 68 minutes. Barnes also replaces Vokes on 69 minutes.

Stanislas gets his first touch. Brooks and Francis in for King. Mee clears. Fraser ball in and Bournemouth have a corner. 

Bournemouth are not getting enough pressure on the Burnley goal. Hart has not been tested. Stanislas gets a free-kick off Cork. Last 15 minutes. Adam Smith and Stanislas, Francis might shoot, Fraser to Stanislas and he misses the ball on the far post.

Defoe is coming on. Adam Smith comes off on 78 minutes. Brooks to Defoe to King, Defoe again and Taylor heads clear. Francis' cross, it's cleared. 

Lennon beats Francis and the ball comes off the post by Gudmundsson and Ashley Barnes is there to make it 3-0. 

King is brought down, but the whistle goes for an earlier offence with Brooks being pulled down. Tarkowski on King was surely a penalty otherwise.

Stanislas hits the free-kick well but Hart saves. Stanislas turns well in the penalty area and pulls it back for Brooks, but Hart saves with his legs. Bournemouth just have no power in their final shots.

Burnley break. Westwood to Lennon. Barnes has made it 4-0 on the break! That's it Bournemouth aren't coming back from this. "A rude awakening for Bournemouth,'' says Chris Temple.

Three minutes of added time. Bournemouth are well beaten here. 
A bad day at the office for AFCB.
Bournemouth frankly didn't deserve the 4-0 beating, but they didn't do well at shutting the back door in the second half when the game was running away from them. The only player that will come out well from this is Dan Gosling who didn't play. Joe Hart was never tested enough to give Burnley many problems and there were no heroics this time from Begovic at the other end. Perhaps Tyrone Mings will now get a chance in mid-week along with Lewis Cook and Howe will tell a few players that this simply was far below the standard that his team should be producing away from home. While Burnley were desperate for the points, Bournemouth just wanted to get out of the ground. Gudmundsson and Lennon were just able to cross at will and Bournemouth didn't cope with the ball into the box. The scoreline was embarrassing for the Cherries, but they would have scored two or three goals with a bit better finishing.
Not much fun for the away fans that travelled up to Turf Moor.
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Francis, Mings, L Cook, Stanislas, Ibe, Defoe.
AFCB Ratings
Begovic 5, A Smith 5 , S Cook 6, Aké 5, Rico 6, Brooks 7, Lerma 5, Surman 5, Fraser 6, King 5, Wilson 5

MoM: David Brooks

Referee Watch: Anthony Taylor - 3/10 he wasn't the cause for Bournemouth's poor play but it was more or less a toss of a coin to who he was going to give free-kicks to at times and he chose to pull play back to an earlier offence when King was taken down in the box.

Hart, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Gudmundsson, Vydra (Wood 60), Vokes (Barnes 69)

Burnley Subs
Heaton, Bardsley, Long, McNeil, Hendrick, Woods, Barnes

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Bournemouth must make the most of Burnley's lack of confidence

Sean Dyche has said this week that 'Burnley aren't a million miles away from getting a result', but they are far enough away that they haven't been picking up points. Bournemouth can take that one of two ways, and it's Eddie Howe that must convince his players that they are the strong team and the ones that will get the result, if they put in a good performance.
Ryan Fraser may be Burnley's biggest fear.
Bournemouth must first match Burnley's energy and intent and let their football flow. Bournemouth have been enjoying their football. Winning games has been great for morale but it's been particularly positive for the new signings that have come in. There is a freshness to Bournemouth's game and yet there are still some parts of their play that can be worked on, says Howe.

While Ryan Fraser is likely to become a more marked man, there is hopefully more space for some of Bournemouth's other strikers. Josh King is yet to score from open play and will have find memories of scoring at Turf Moor last season as will Callum Wilson who grabbed the winner last May. Burnley are in a far more precarious position at the start of this season, and if decisions early on go against Burnley, Bournemouth should keep their cool and look to make the most of any set-plays they get.


Any balls put into Burnley's box will put their defenders on edge and the more Bournemouth can make Burnley look at their own goal in the first 20 minutes, the more likely I feel the Cherries are to get a result. But Joe Hart is in great form, so we need to see some precision shooting from the Cherries again. Keeping the pressure on Sean Dyche's players requires Bournemouth to play their game and restrict Burnley from getting any cohesion or momentum, because if Burnley do get a goal up Bournemouth could find that Burnley's players suddenly feel that they are back to doing what they did last season.
Josh King will be after his first goal in open play.
Beating Burnley this season, just like last season at Turf Moor would be a great result. But this season to get a win up there is probably going to be even harder to achieve, because Burnley can't afford to lose anymore ground on the teams above them. Bournemouth have to dishearten Burnley to break them. and that's going to need a team ready to fight hard for every ball up at Turf Moor. I just hope Bournemouth are ready for a battle.

AFCB possible line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Mings, Francis, Surman, L Cook, Ibe, Mousset.

 AFCB TV match preview

Sean Dyche's pre-match press conference on Bournemouth match.

Friday, 21 September 2018

What's wrong with Burnley?

In the early part of the season, it was easy for Sean Dyche to say the Europa league had been difficult to get used to and the Thursday/Sunday routine. Before the international break the Claret's manager said the players looked 'fatigued'. But playing against Wolves last weekend, he couldn't really find a palatable excuse in a game where they hardly threatened to score.
Will Bournemouth walk off happy against Burnley?
Dyche has pointed to the amount of turnovers in their games and 'a fog' descending on his team. The team is not balanced and while they have a couple of players to come back from injuries, Burnley look there for the taking at the moment.

Joe Hart has looked their best player and he hasn't done too much wrong. But Burnley are leaking goals with 10 against, so far this season. The fixtures they have had in the Premier League would suggest that they have been really struggling, losing to two newly-promoted clubs – Fulham and Wolves away from home. They have gained a point away at Southampton, but Watford and Man United were too strong for them at home. The goal difference of -7 is only better than Huddersfield and only three other teams have a higher total than 10 goals conceded, which is what Burnley have. Their problems though are not just at one end. Burnley have scored just three goals in their five matches. Only Huddersfield have scored fewer goals and Cardiff are the only other team scoring as few as three goals.

Putting those kind of problems right quickly is a challenge. Sean Dyche will be looking for a reaction, and if they can't get points at home it is looking like a long season for Burnley. The pressure is on Burnley just for propping up the league.

They have players coming back from injury such as midfielder Steven Defour, but Dyche needs his strikers to start scoring and, so far, he has only given two games to Matej Vydra, who was signed in the summer from Derby. Chris Woods has had four starts, Sam Vokes has just had one start, as has Ashley Barnes, but they have featured in the five games. He needs one of the strikes to hit form. Two of Burnley's three goals have come from James Tarkowski with Jeff Hendrick scoring the other goal. So it's a blank for the forwards.

Bournemouth will be hoping that record doesn't improve.

Burnley Home form

AFCB Away form

Rival Lines with Up the Clarets

Rival Lines: 'We shouldn't be bottom of the league but we are!'

Rival Lines
Match Preview - Burnley v AFCB
Blogger Interview - Up the Clarets
Twitter: @utcdotcom

This week  I sent some questions to Tony Scholes who is the editor of Up the Clarets! While Burnley have not had the greatest of starts I wanted to see if Tony could give any insight into why it had been a slow start for Burnley and whether last season was perhaps a bit of a burden.

CC: Where you disappointed with the small number of summer signings Burnley made?
UTC: I think everyone was, and that certainly includes the manager who has commented on it on several occasions. We were playing in Istanbul on the final day of the deadline, which doesn't help. The chief exec stayed behind to try and complete potential deals but nothing happened.

CC: Why do you think Burnley have had a slow start to the season?

UTC: It's so hard to pinpoint the reasons. We were told constantly from outside that our involvement in the Europa League qualifiers would affect us. It does seem ridiculous that we had to play on six consecutive Thursdays with some of those games intermingled with pre-season friendlies.

I think we had all decided that was the reason and that things would be fine once we'd got over the travelling and had an international break. It's not quite worked out like that yet.

CC: Sean Dyche has spoke of fatigue, do you think the players are as fit as last season having had a short pre-season?

UTC: If they are fatigued then I don't think it is a lack of fitness as such but the games programme we've had. We've played on Thursday nights in Turkey and Greece and flown straight home. That must hit the sleep patterns and unfortunately, because of how the European ties were drawn, we followed those trips with away games at Southampton and Fulham.

CC: What did you make of the team's performance against Wolves in your last game?

UTC:  I was considering not even answering this question. It was as bad as anything I've seen for some considerable time to be honest. We were in disarray and it was only the inept Wolves forwards who helped us keep the score down.

CC: Are there any of the recent results where you felt the team were really unlucky not to have won?

UTC: We should have won the opening game at Southampton. We were better than they were, considerably so, but had to settle for a 0-0 draw. A week later, having conceded an early goal, we were level at half time against Watford and were, again, by far the better side. We then conceded two goals in the opening minutes of the second half and it has been pretty poor stuff ever since.

The only exception was our performance against Olympiacos. We were outstanding that night and really, with any luck, would have gone through and would have been playing in Europe again this week.
CC: Who has been Burnley's best player so far this season?

UTC: I'd say take your pick from Joe Hart, James Tarkowski and Jeff Hendrick. Hart has had a couple of outstanding games, Tarkowski is just a very good Premier League defender and Hendrick, who is often the target when things aren't going well, has been as good as anyone else forward of the defence.

CC: Who has been the most disappointing player?

UTC: It's not just one player. The two full backs have disappointed, so have the wide players, Aaron Lennon and Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, and Chris Wood has looked poor up front.

CC: Which players are injured at the moment and might come back to make an impact soon?
UTC: Steven Defour and Robbie Brady. We've missed them terribly. Defour has been out since January but played nearly an hour for the under-23s this week while Brady, who was brilliant at Bournemouth last season, suffered a serious injury on the following Saturday at Leicester and hasn't played since.

Get those two players back in the reckoning and there is absolutely no doubt we are strengthened.

CC: Do you think Burnley just need one good win to bring the belief back?

UTC: One win would certainly be a good start and I think it would be a great help to get things moving again. We shouldn't be bottom of the league but right now that's exactly where we are and we need to start getting results.

CC: How will Burnley line up against Bournemouth?

UTC: This will be interesting. Given the result and performance at Wolves I'd expect changes but it would be impossible to be honest right now to even think what the line up might be.

CC: What is your score prediction?

UTC:  We need a win, we'll get one sooner or later, so I'll go for us to win this one 2-0.

CC: I never find it easy asking fans of teams that are struggling in the league. We have all been there and it hurts. But I agree with Tony that Burnley shouldn't be there and they will pick up results sooner or later. I do believe the efforts of last season mentally might still be weighing on the team. Joe Hart has come in and been exceptional but he needs those in front of him to show similar need not to want to get beat. Bournemouth's players though are in a great place mentally, and in terms of form and while Burnley are at home, all the pressure is on Burnley's players in this fixture. To be honest it's as a good a time as any to play Burnley and that is said respectfully, as Turf Moor is one of the hardest places to go and win a game usually. What I can assure you is that it will be long odds against on a 0-0 draw. There will be goals at both ends.

Check out more of Tony's views at Up the Clarets! 

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Are Bournemouth finally becoming more ruthless?

Bournemouth rattled in four goals against Leicester City of which three came in the first half. It's the first time this season that Bournemouth have really been in the box seat from the start of the game and scoring freely, so have they found their ruthless streak in front of goal?
Fast-shooting AFCB will look to come out of the traps quickly again against Burnley.
The Leicester match may have seemed comfortable with the early scoreline. Bournemouth did find themselves out shot though by a Leicester side that had 14 shots compared to Bournemouth's 10 shots. Where Bournemouth excelled was in getting five shots on target and in the first half, it was three out of four which resulted in goals.

The player that most fantasy league managers may want to see score in a Bournemouth shirt is probably Callum Wilson. While he has been going through a bit of a confidence low in front of goal, he is making chances for others and the assist he made for Ryan Fraser set Bournemouth well on their way to victory. Both Wilson and King have not found it easy to get space in the box to shoot though, and Bournemouth need to get these two players into positions where they have a clear sight of goal.

Other parts of the team are functioning really well. Still, it may be that Fraser needs some support in the goal getting in future games. Whether we see that from the likes of David Brooks or Jefferson Lerma is something I'd like to see Bournemouth work on. If Bournemouth really need to up their shots though it may mean waiting for Junior Stanislas to return to the team.

Howe was clear that Bournemouth are not the finished article after beating Leicester, and while four goals at home is going to win most games, there is still room for better shooting from the red and black shirts.

AFCB can hang in there at the top of the table

Eddie Howe stressed that the win against Leicester was an important three points and I agree that it was more important than the win over Cardiff City and possibly even the away match at West Ham. Leicester are not a side that make it easy for teams and Bournemouth ran them ragged from the first minute of the game. While Leicester had their chances, Bournemouth defended in the main well and with some luck you could say. But Begovic's saves and the blocks from Steve Cook were just as helpful as Fraser's goals, and Bournemouth are building into a team that are starting to believe they can live with the top six in this league.
How long can Bournemouth keep up their average of two pints a game?
Beating Leicester was a big step. In the past these games have usually been draws but AFCB are trying to better themselves at every point and the targets they are setting themselves are simply to win the next game. With Burnley up next, Ryan Fraser was quick to admit that Turf Moor will be tough, but also stressed that Bournemouth won their last season and 'we are better now'. It's not arrogance, but confidence and it's not just coming from Fraser, but you can see it in all the players.

Why might it be different this season? I believe it is the impact that the new signings have made. David Brooks shouldn't be that good that he can take to the Premier League so well and yet he has managed it, and fits into the team perfectly. He will blossom more when he gets his first goal. Jefferson Lerma is a man mountain in the middle of the park and while he reminds me of a past Marvin Bartley, he is calmer under pressure and showed a great sense of maturity against Leicester with his decisions. Diegio Rico is also providing major competition for the left-back spot and he will learn from leaving his foot in for the late penalty against Leicester City.
If Bournemouth can hang in there with the likes of Leicester and Everton then they will be knocking on the door of the top six. The fixtures are lined up so as to give Bournemouth a chance of staying amongst the leaders, if they can get results against teams that have mediocre starts such as Burnley and Crystal Palace. The programme is already building for a strong season and Bournemouth could have a mouthwatering tie against Watford in a few weeks time to see which of them can give the top six a run for their money.  

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Lerma is a powerhouse

While it has been hard to see Harry Arter playing for another team, there is no doubt in my mind that Bournemouth have the better deal with the arrival of Jefferson Lerma. He played with a great deal of control and energy against Leicester City. While he picked up a yellow card, I though he as more restrained than he was against Chelsea and did his best not to get a cheap booking.
Lerma is finding his feet at AFCB.
Where Lerma is exciting me is his fast recycling of the ball. He instinctively passes quickly and he is strong on the ball. It is a presence that Bournemouth have been lacking in midfield and I thought he particularly warmed to the game at Dean Court against Leicester. Whether he starts getting into good shooting positions next is what I'm looking out for. Bournemouth haven't had many powerful central midfield goal scorers, but I see that Lerma is getting more involved in attacks, and he has the power to hit drives from 25 yards out.

Lerma's addition to the team has been a quiet transformation. I don't think Eddie Howe wants him to change the way the team plays, but he does want Lerma to be strong in the tackle and to set moves going. Lerma does get close to the opposition, and against Leicester it forced them to go to Ghezzal and Chilwell in the wide areas, while they looked for the early ball to Vardy and Morrison rather than keeping the ball in central midfield for long. If Bournemouth can channel play more into the areas where they can make quick turnovers then it helps their game, and I see Lerma as a key element in Bournemouth's game plan to get hold of possession.

The balance of the midfield area looks fairly settled with Lerma and Dan Gosling. Once they can get a few more games together, we should see even more from Lerma as he'll pick up what Gosling is likely to do in more and more situations. He will start to anticipate more. For now though, Lerma has fitted in well and I'm looking forward to see what more there is to his game.

Has Begovic grown an inch?

Asmir Begovic has not found it simple to keep clean sheets, but he is making difficult saves look more routine in a Bournemouth shirt. His double save against Jamie Vardy and James Maddison at the weekend was outstanding and his agility, if not his height, seems to have grown over the summer.
Begovic can stand tall after recent performances.
With the amount of saves Begovic is making though he should be walking around an inch or two taller. His catching has gone up a level or two as well, as he didn't look like dropping anything against Leicester and was most assured on crosses, which gives confidence to the team.

The back line needs that confidence in kicking as well and playing out from the back. This is probably the area of the game where Begovic, as well as many other keepers are finding that the game has moved on very quickly in recent years. Playing from the back is difficult when keepers don't think quickly and Begovic's throw outs are becoming really important for setting up play from Bournemouth's own half.
The stats show that Begovic kicks more than we might expect with 43 goal kicks so far, just over eight per game. But the stats don't say how many of these are taken shot to his defenders on the edge of the box. His throw outs amount to 25, five per game. 

Having a good goal keeper is going to save teams at least 10 points in an average season. With Begovic conceding seven goals in five games, he is below the rate which saw Bournemouth let in 61 goals last season. If he can keep up his current level the Cherries will end up on 53 goals against, so he has had a good start to the season.

In other news, Stanislas and Pugh score in an 8-1 win in the Hampshire Senior Cup playing for the U21 against Eastleigh. Best wishes to former Cherry Eunan O'Kane who has suffered a double leg break playing on loan for Luton.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Can Fraser get any better?

The Wee-man has done it again, hasn't he? We are running out of superlatives for him. Ryan just is hungrier and more eager to impress this season and he is getting rewards in the way of goals and assists. While I guessed (Ed-wrongly!!!) that Eddie Howe might rest the Scotsman after having a problem with his hamstring this last week, I was as glad as anyone to see Ryan Fraser take to the pitch, as he has been the player who has been bang in form for Bournemouth.
Ryan is out to smash his goal scoring record from last season.
Ryan Fraser isn't just playing well though, he is starting to rip teams apart. The analysis on Match of the Day which showed how Ryan has another gear, which he just clicks into when he sees a chance to hurt the opposition was revealing. Ryan does much of his good work off the ball, when he just finds space and runs into it at full pelt. Defenders can't keep up with him, and as we saw with Maguire, the wee-man is also strong enough to hold off the odd hand or shove, and when he gets ahead he is going to get a shot off.

Ryan himself pointed to the way he has learnt a lot from other players. His shooting has been a concern to him and he came back from missing a great chance against Chelsea with a polished performance against Leicester. His second goal was not as picturesque as his first strike, but he played the percentage game, knowing from experience and advice from goalkeepers that shooting at the feet is a high success rate for goals.

It's working on these small details that are making Fraser a better and better player. His appetite to learn is something I'm sure Howe wishes he could bottle and give to other players. But Fraser's game should rub off on David Brooks and Jordan Ibe and in this way the whole team benefits from such improvements. I don't think there is a level to which Fraser will get and not improve. If he keeps on watching videos of Eden Hazard, Bournemouth will soon have their own European great midfielder.

Why wasn't it a 4-0 win for AFCB?

The way Bournemouth shot themselves into a 4-0 lead against Leicester was most satisfying. The knack of getting a goal up was finally satisfied against the Foxes and to get four goals ahead was really a statement of how much Bournemouth were enjoying playing in front of there noisy fans. It was mesmerising play at times, and I felt that the red and black shirts could just turn it on whenever they felt like it, but then some defensive frailties reared up in the final minutes that just took the edge off the big win.
One clean sheet in five for AFCB.
I guarantee you that Eddie Howe will be pleased with the win, but will have something to say about the last few minutes of the match this week. The penalty was really a bit clumsy by Diego Rico and while he perhaps should have tried to show his man wider, by diving in he gave the referee an easy decision. That should have concentrated the minds that the team would hold out for the remaining minutes without giving anything else away. But the running power of Iheanacho attacking the left side again proved destructive, and Marc Albrighton, who isn't the biggest of players, didn't have much company apart from a struggling Simon Francis, when he headed in Leicester's second goal of the afternoon.

It wasn't fair on Asmir Begovic in particular. He had had a great game and made some wonderful saves. To lose a clean sheet with two minutes to go will be painful to him and should really make the back four ask questions of themselves. Did some of the players go glory hunting when the team was 4-1 up? Certainly AFCB were caught out on the break and when the numbers are not favouring you on the counter-attack, you are not going to get away with it every time.
What I thought Howe might have wanted Lewis Cook to do was to shore things up and protect the back four a little more in those final minutes. I don't feel Lewis got much time though to get up to game speed. Perhaps there needs to be a bit more thought of what the subs need to priorities when the team is winning so comfortably? It makes such a change from coming from behind that perhaps AFCB are only starting to see that even when they are winning well, they can still get embarrassed in a game.

Cherry Chimes chats with TalkSport 2

Monday, 17 September 2018

Thumb in mouth as Adam Smith hits a 100 appearances

Keeping Simon Fraser out of the starting 11 is something Adam Smith has managed very well in recent weeks, and he will have done himself no harm in getting on the score sheet against Leicester. The Leicester game was all the more special for Adam being his 100th appearance for the club, and it was even more special when he scored. He also had his new baby celebration ready to share with the players and the fans in front of the North stand.
Adam Smith has his guided-missile shot fully loaded.
Thumb in mouth apart, Smith has been one of the most athletic players for Bournemouth. He may go a bit unnoticed at times, but he's very good at playing in a variety of positions. His move further forward is something that has come on in recent seasons. Now he strokes the ball into the net with great accuracy, and he seems to be picking his spot well before the ball has even been played to him.

While Eddie Howe is often criticised for staying loyal to players, Smith has been one of the bits of glue that really makes this Bournemouth side tick, and when he is not playing his sharp movement is really missed. I believe it is the less exciting parts of the game though that have given Adam a regular starting place. He has been one of the back four who is quick enough not to get caught when playing out at the back and he never dwells on the ball too long.


Adam is going to have to start getting a few more celebrations worked out, if he is going to come forward and keep getting the goals for Bournemouth. I did think he was just so pleased to score that he went for the thumb suck to say that was easy, but at least it made a change from rocking the baby for a newborn. We may yet see, feed the baby or taking a bath in future games!

Congratulations to Adam and his partner on their new child.

Daily Mail Fans' verdict - AFCB 4 - 2 Leicester City