Sunday, 19 May 2019

Bournemouth sign England U21 defender

AFCB have made their first new signing this summer as defender Lloyd Kelly of Bristol City has joined the club for a reports £13m having played two seasons in the Championship and a nine appearance for the England U20s and three for the U21s, respectively.

Photo posted on Lloyd Kelly Twitter feed:
AFCB make their first summer signing - Lloyd Kelly of Bristol City
Bournemouth have moved very quickly moved for the England U21 defender and Bristol City report that the signing was made for a record fee for them. Kelly will give new competition to AFCB's problem position of left-back. While Kelly has only played 48 appearances in all competitions for Bristol City over the last two seasons, he has clearly impressed Bournemouth's scouting team. The defender joined Bristol City form the age of 12 and is a product of the Bristol City Academy.

Lloyd only made his first team debut for Bristol City in a Carabao Cup match against Plymouth in 2017. He has since scored twice in the Championship and was awarded Championship Player of the week on 19 March 2018 for week 38 of the 2017/18 season.

Lloyd says, "The move has come around quickly, but I'm happy to be here and can't wait to start playing."


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Eddie Howe was equally as enthusiastic about the signing saying, "Kelly is athletic, versatile, physically excellent with a very bright future ahead of him." To sign another England U21 player is a further indication that AFCB are targeting home-nation top young professionals and that they see this strategy as one of the main pillars of the club's long-term plans to grow in the Premier League.

Lloyd will be competing with Diego Rico and Charlie Daniels for the left back position while Brad Smith is still making appearances for Seattle Sounders in the MLS.


AFCB have a full story on the new signing. Twitter followers can keep tabs on Lloyd @lloydkelly4

In other news, AFCB are reported to be preparing a bid for Burnley keeper Nick Pope, reports the Daily Mail.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

The mid-table finish is a clear indication of AFCB's position

While we may have thought that Bournemouth would be challenging for European places after the fist couple of months of last season, the reality is that the payers came up short of what they and perhaps supporters felt was possible. There are reasons for the drop off in performances, but how far are Bournemouth away from being a side that could finish seventh or eight in the Premier League?
Are AFCB headed in the right direction?
I believe AFCB are still three or more players off of a team that could challenge for an outside European place like Wolves, Watford and Everton were fighting for last season. Bournemouth have a strong first team when everyone is fit, but we soon saw how the team can fail to register any wins when there were two or three injuries to key players. Bournemouth have to strengthen this summer in several key positions in my opinion, but Howe is set on gradual regeneration rather than revolution which could mean the signing of just two or three players, while more could leave the club.

The size of the job that AFCB's recruitment staff will have over the summer will become clear in the next few weeks, when we see who is being released and how much of the squad is staying put. Bringing in players to push AFCB into a higher league position is far from simple. AFCB have tried big names like Defoe and Begovic and AFCB have also gambled on relatively unproven players like David Brooks and Chris Mepham. Bournemouth's budget is not as big as we'd like to think, and it highlights where we are in terms of recruitment and league standing when Bournemouth are linked with Ademola Lookman, who couldn't get much of a game at Everton, a team that AFCB are trying to catch up with.

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So the finish of 14th in the league was a fair reflection of where AFCB are in my opinion. AFCB will have better seasons with fewer injuries that would get them a better finish, but Eddie Howe needs more depth in his squad to cover for the injury crisis the team seems to have most seasons. 

Friday, 17 May 2019

Fighting qualities are not enough for AFCB

Bournemouth have made a name for themselves in previous seasons as fightback merchants. They almost did it again against Crystal Palace. Had the game run out a 4-4 draw, the Cherries would have finished a place higher and had very little to be disappointed about despite the topsy-turvy game at Selhurst park. But Palace went on to win 5-3 and Bournemouth's top striker didn't get much of a sight of goal in the final game. Bournemouth were well-beaten by a side that wasn't going to let them have it all their own way.
Leaking five goals away from home to mid-table teams
is not a sign of confidence for next season.

While Bournemouth have often been beaten by the top six with large scores, it is now not unusual for mid-table rivals to find a good day against AFCB, when they can take their chances. Arguable AFCB are not as strong on defence as we have seen in the last couple of seasons. This time it was 70 goals going in against the team.


So while Bournemouth showed good fight when things started to go against them, they found it difficult to recover in games this last season. Too often they got away to slow starts and went a goal down and when AFCB don't get on the front foot they don't do what they do best which is going forward with pace. There are holes in Bournemouth's play and players finding themselves out of position is something AFCB have to work on.



Bouncing back as Ryan Fraser said is possible some days, but when the mistakes keep coming it soon becomes too much. 

In other news, Celtic could be looking to come in for Lys Mousset says Scottish Daily Mail.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Ibe gets Bournemouth's 200th Premier League goal

It's hard to know what Jordan Ibe is capable of. He may not have a troop of supporters singing his name as much as some of the other players for AFCB, but he has a talent and Eddie Howe believes he can succeed at the top level.
Jordan Ibe needs to get closer to the goal tallies of King and Wilson.
It hasn't been a landmark season for Ibe. He scored a couple of goals in the Carabao Cup and just couldn't compete as highly as David Brooks for the right wing role, although Junior Stanislas also found the young Welsh winger ahead of him. The first Premier League goal did come for Ibe against Crystal Palace in the last match, and it was Bournemouth's special 200th goal in the top league. In that way Ibe has been a part of AFCB's history and who knows what lies ahead for him?

There has been a link made with Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City. After all, Rodgers did sign the winger for Liverpool. Would Jordan see Leicester as a good move for him? I can't see Liverpool asking to see if they can take him back and the option of Leicester could entice Ibe, who has yet to make a starting spot his own at AFCB. Bournemouth may well want to let some players go this summer as well, and it is possible the club may need funds for a new left winger, with Pugh already leaving and doubts over Frasers future.

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Ibe may not score that many goals, but he has only made 19 appearances in the Premier League and the majority have been as a sub. At 23, Ibe is still a young player and Eddie Howe wants to have a young squad so Ibe is probably a player that Howe would be reluctant to let go even for a good price. But what I think Ibe has to do is play in more positions and become adept at becoming a more powerful player. If he can further develop his game at AFCB under Eddie Howe, he still has time to make a bigger name for himself on the south coast.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Travers finds it no breeze at Selhurst park

Playing Mark Travers again at Crystal Palace after his debut was a no brainer. He won a lot of plaudits after his man of the match performance against Tottenham, and yet it was perhaps tempting fate that he could have another clean sheet in his second AFCB game.
Travers had a more comfortable match day at Dean Court than at Selhurst Park.
The afternoon turned out very differently on Sunday compared to the first Saturday in May for Mark Travers. Shipping five goals was no doubt a bigger experience than the clean sheet against Spurs, as he will come away from that game questioning every aspect of the five goals to see whether he could have done any better. I don't expect any of his team-mates will have a bad word to say about Mark's game, as it could have happened to any of AFCB's goal keepers. In truth, it was the team's inability to defend as a unit more than any goalkeeping mistakes that saw Palace put five goals past Travers.

The reaction is what Eddie Howe will want to see. While there are no more games now in an AFCB shirt until pre-season, it will be a summer of more tests for Travers in an international Republic of Ireland squad and his progress is going to be keenly scrutinised. Next season it is likely that Travers will be loaned out like Aaron Ramsdale was this season. If Ramsdale gets the number three keeper position and Asmir Begovic leaves, and a new keeper is added to the squad it's difficult to see how Travers will get any games at AFCB.



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While the team has not covered itself in glory by keeping the goals against down as low as they might have been, the crop of young keepers that are at AFCB are likely to become the envy of other teams. Loaning them out is how they will get experience, but Travers should find it easier to play in pressured games at a lower level now having played at the very top. I'd love to see youth get more than one or two game sin a season, but i I don't expect Howe to give a young keeper like Travers more games next season than he has had in 2018-19.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Fraser 's night at AFCB Player Awards Evening 2019

I was looking forward to tuning into the AFCB player awards evening. It was not that AFCB had smashed all records, but there was plenty to celebrate about gaining another year in the Premier League and having spoken in the week to comedian and Man City supporter Lee Nelson to inform him a bit about the Cherries' players, I wondered who he would pick out to have a bit of fun with, but sadly that part of the evening was not to be streamed - perhaps wisely!
Official AFCB photo of the awards.
The serious awards were what fans were allowed to see. Chartered Accountants, Strategic Solutions, and Automotive group, Westover Group were sponsoring the event, which kicked off the live streaming, a bit later than scheduled - Jeff Mostyn had a few words to say to the audience, with Kris Temple of the Bournemouth Echo and Laura Woods of Sky Sports hosting. There were nine trophy's to hand out starting with the Community Player award by the AFCB Community Sports Trust, which went to Nathan Aké.

The Youth Team player Award was presented by AFCB's U18 manager Alan Connell to striker Jake Scrimshaw, who enjoyed playing for the U18s, U21s and Poole Town. Steve Cuss, Head of Community, announced the Women's player of the Year, which went to Meg Vella who scored 26 goals in 23 games.


The U21 Player of the season was presented by the U21 manager Shaun Cooper and it went to Sam Surridge, who played on loan at Oldham scoring 12 goals in 20 games as well as gaining a Premier League debut for AFCB at Arsenal's ground. The John Harris unsung hero award was presented by the management team, Stephen Purches, Simon Weatherstone and Eddie Howe to Alice Jeans who has always been amazing when I've had a question on AFCB.


Online-Bookies.org.uk
The supporters player of the season saw Andrew Surman get up on stage hand the gong out to Wee-man, Ryan Fraser. The goal of the season award came next with lots of contenders. The award was presented by Charlie Daniels to Jefferson Lerma ,even though Charlie himself voted for Gozza's goal against Brighton - nice one Charlie! Jefferson left it late to pick a match to score his best goal, but he was immensely happy about it. I think Lee Nelson had given Lerma his own a word for best own goal earlier in the evening.
Ryan was full of praise for his team-mates for his great season.
The golden boot award was presented by Jason Tindall and Steve Fletcher to Callum Wilson, who is looking forward to representing England this summer in the nation's League. The final Players' Player award was handed out by captain Simon Francis. The four entries were David Brooks, Nathan Aké, Ryan Fraser and  Callum Wilson with the prize going to Wee-man! Ryan might not know much about Gary McAllister, but he has set a new Scottish record for Premier League assists.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Cherries end season taking a 5-3 battering at Palace

Match Report
Crystal Palace 5 v 3 AFCB
12 May 2019
Attendance: 25,433
AFCB bow out with a disappointing 5-3 defeat at Selhurst Park.
Bournemouth had a chance of finishing12th if they could win this game, but they found themselves in trouble after the first 24 minutes when Batshuayi opened the scoring unchallenged. A smart bit of play from Wan-Bissaka opened the way for Batshuayi to double the lead, before a mix up between Simpson and Travers saw an own goal off Simpson. Bournemouth had just a glimmer of hope when Jefferson Lerma hit a stunning drive from 30 yards out to get them on the scoreboard just before half-time. The scoring kept going with Ibe pulling it back to 3-2, but things looked all over when van Aanholt made it 4-2. Yet with 20 minutes to go Josh King had an easy tap in at the far post. Palace hadn't stopped scoring either though with Zaha racing out of his own half and setting up Townsend to make it 5-3. Palace who couldn't score at home left all the goals for this match and Bournemouth couldn't cope with the finishing of a Palace side who suddenly found the target.

Eddie Howe named an unchanged Bournemouth side after last week's great win over Tottenham. Mark Travers would get another chance to press his claim for the keeper's gloves next season and Jordan Ibe would have another chance to try and get on the score sheet. Meanwhile, Matt Butcher came in to replace Ofoborh on the bench.

Match Description Bournemouth turned out in all white for this game and had Adam Smith and Josh King shooting up the right wing in the first minute. Meyer through the middle to Batshuayi and Travers makes the save even though Batshuayi was offside.

Meyer to Millivojevic and he's hit the outside of the post! Four minutes gone. Lerma has his cross cleared. Ibe is away past van Aanholt keeper smothers the ball.

Adam Smith is on the ball. Aké and King runs into Meyer. Fraser wins a corner. Palace clear the ball back to Adam Smith. Fraser puts a cross in and Ibe has it. Fraser again but the keeper gathers.

Zaha on the attack and Millivojevic keeps possession. Palace through the centre with Townsend but Bournemouth close him off. Palace have a free kick. Millivojevic take sit to the back post and Steve Cook gets up before Adam Smith concede the corner.

Lerma breaks and is fouled. Zaha pulls back Steve Cook. Ibe misses the ball from Fraser. Max Mayer comes forward then Wan-Bissaka. Townsend puts a cross in and Adam Smith is accuse of hand ball but nothing is given.

Fraser back to Adam Smith and he's won a throw. Simpson wins the ball. Ibe plays Callum Wilson in but he's offside.  Townsend tries a shot 30 yards out but its weak.

Ibe to King and time to shoot but it's over the bar – a good chance missed on 18 minutes. King down the right with Adam Smith. Clyne and Ibe. Lerma now on half way. Zaha is offside.

Fraser on the left to King and Aké is on but he can't find King, van Aanholt is there. Aké could have shot. Zaha now wins a corner off Simpson. Adam Smith gets the block in.

Zaha's cross hits Adam Smith, it's looped up and Batshuayi has scored with a scissor kick past Travers 1-0. The two defenders, Steve Cook and Simpson didn't really react on 24 minutes. Kris Temple on BBC Radio Solent asks, why didn't Cookie get his head in there?

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King and Fraser gets the ball and Kelly heads away. Zaha on the left and Travers catches the ball.

Smith clears from Townsend and Meyer to Milivojevic who shoots wide. Townsend and Zaha in against Simpson, Travers clears. Meyer and Zaha, Wan-Bissaka on the right drives the ball across the box and Batshuayi makes it 20 on 32 minutes. Wan-Bissaka was all on his own and the goal came from Clyne losing the ball.

Lerma and Ibe down the right. Wilson looks to cross but Ward gets the tackle in. Aké and Ibe is clipped by McArthur. Ibe on the right.

Zaha on his way on Travers who saves, but it's gone in off Jack Simpson on 37 minutes 3-0 to Palace. Zaha didn't get anything on the shot but it's bounced in off Simpson. Fraser has a free kick but Guaita clears.

Batshuayi to Zaha but Clyne gets in a saving tackle. Meyer shoots wide. Ibe and Wilson who is held up by Ward and it's a free kick to Palace. Lerma up to Wilson. Smith and Ibe. Jefferson Lerma 25 yards out and he's found the net off the underside of the bar 3-1 on 44 minutes.

One minute of added time. Palace have the ball at the back. Half-time 3-1. Possession has been equal but palace have had nine shots and three on target, whereas Bournemouth have managed two shots and one on target.


The back gate is open and goals are flooding in at Selhurst Park.
Second Half
Bournemouth are passing their way out from the back and Aké has a free kick. Fraser shoots into a crowd of players and McArthur brings it clear.

McArthur and Meyer. Ibe loses the ball. Townsend and Batshuayi, and Townsend takes aim, Travers makes a great save top right for a corner. Zaha down the left and Lerma gets to him and Adam Smith keeps chasing to block.

Meyer and Townsend and it's a save from Travers from McArthur. It was straight at him but a reactive block from Travers. Clyne finds Smith and Ibe up against van Arnholt.

Wilson now and Fraser is blocked. Zaha shoots at the other end but it's side netting. Aké on to Smith and Ibe and Bournemouth have a corner. Aké gets up but no power and it's over the bar. Fraser down the left and Smith pulls it back to Ibe and it's 3-2. 56 minutes gone, Ibe's low shot has given Bournemouth a chance. That's Bournemouth's 200th goal in the Premier League.

Clyne and Smith come forward again. Palace have a goal kick. Fraser on the left and Adam Smith. Lerma and Aké. Ibe to Fraser and Clyne. Ibe goes himself and shoots right at the keeper.

Wilson is caught by Milivojevic who is given a yellow card. Fraser on his right to Smith who goes down.

Bournemouth are camping in Palace's half. Fraser has a shot but it's rising too high on 64 minutes. Zaha though ball to van Aanholt, who spins away and he scores past Travers 4-2.

King on the march and Wilson has an effort wide. Travers comes out quickly to stop Meyers. Lerma on to King and McArthur pulls him back yellow card. Bournemouth make subs. Mepham and Mousset come on and Simpson and Ibe go off with 20 minutes to go. The free kick is over the wall but easily held.

Wilson is away from Kelly, but mcArthur is back. Townsend is away Zaha chops it back, and Max Meyer grazes the post! Fraser o King and Mousset is on but the keeper comes out to save. Fraser takes a corner, Mepham gets a touch and King poaches a goal at the back post 4-3.

Townsend is tackled by Aké. Smith over half way. Mepham wins the ball and Mousset is in the box but he fouls van Aanholt. Zaha takes a shot and Travers saves well. Lerma tries to take a quick free kick. Zaha tries to stop it and gets carded.

Fraser puts a ball in. But Zaha is away past Lerma and Townsend makes it 5-3 to Palace on 80 minutes. Mousset into the box and shoots but Guaita makes a save for a corner.

Adam Smith and Steve Cook get back to stop Zaha. Adam Smith shoots wide and Callum Wilson is furious.

Kelly clears form a Fraser cross. Ward puts in a diving header away. Zaha and Townsend and van Aanholdt shoots wide. Crystal Palace sub Zaha for Sako on 87 minutes.

Clyne to Aké and Lerma to the left but it's out for a goal kick. Clyne comes off for Surridge and Batshuayi is subbed for Connor Wickham. King into Wilson but it's through to the keeper.

Fraser to Surridge. King goes for goal but Kelly blocks. Townsend goes off to give Luke Dreher a few minutes in midfield.

Palace have a corner. Four minutes of added time. Mepham clears and Travers gets the ball. van Aanholt crosses and McArthur's shot is blocked. Mousset has options and goes left to Surridge.

Mousset to Aké and Surridge miss-hits the chance.
Putting the balls away at the end of another season.
Summary
Conceding five in an away game is not at all how AFCB fans will have wanted to season to end. Instead of finishing 12th they are down to 12th with a points total of 45. This was Bournemouth unable to defend rather than errors or end of season lack of effort. Eddie Howe must improve the defence for this team or the Cherries will not have learnt their lesson over the summer. Only the three relegated teams have let in more goals than Bournemouth and Howe has to find a better balance with his spending to buy some quality defenders.
AFCB team
AFCB Subs: 1 Boruc, 33 Mepham, 36 Butcher, 22 Hyndman, 28 Taylor, 9 Mousset, 44 Surridge.
AFCB Ratings
Travers 7, Clyne 6, S Cook 5, Simpson 5, A Smith 7, Fraser 8, Lerma 7, Aké 6, Ibe 7,  King 5, Wilson 5.

Cherry Chimes' MoM: Ryan Fraser

Ref watch: Roger East 6/10 no problems with the referee.


Crystal Palace
31 Guaita, 29 Wan-Bissaka, 34 Kelly, 2 Ward, 3 van Aanholt, 18 McArthur, 4 Milivojevic,
10 Townsend (Dreher 90+3), 7 Meyer, 11 Zaha (Sako 87), 23 Batshuayi (Wickham 89)

Crystal Palace Subs
13 Hennessey, 26 Sako, 8 Kouyaté, 28 Dreher, 44 Riedewald, 17 Benteke, 21 Wickham





Sunday, 12 May 2019

Who needs to star against Palace?

Well, here we are the final match of the season. Do you remember all the players being desperate to play in the first game of the season? Now we are looking at the last match and the team selection is going to look quite a bit different from the AFCB side that took on Cardiff last August.
Selhurst park is calling.

According to the Daily Star Asmir Begovic is already travelling to a summer beach. Eddie Howe maintains there has been no fall out, but Asmir is having this last week off. And how could Howe do anything but play Mark Travers again in this last fixture, after collected the man of the match award against Spurs? So Travers is most likely to get his second Bournemouth cap and the back four is likely to stay the same with Steve Cook and Jack Simpson in the centre and Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Smith picking whichever wing they fancy.


Dan Gosling has also been unable to be ready for this last match with his calf problem. So, Eddie is likely to keep Aké in the centre alongside Lerma, as they did okay when under pressure last week. Fraser and King played wide against Spurs, and I expect that to continue this weekend. That just leaves the forwards and it was clever to use Jordan Ibe behind Wilson last week. The selection of Ibe was enough to raise eyebrows. Yet, Ibe did well, and hearing that David Brooks is not going to be available again, it should mean that Ibe gets another start in a position which I think suits him best. Solanke has also been ruled out of being available.



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It is not the strongest of AFCB teams, but they know how to dig out a result, and they will need to have that kind of mentality against a Palace team who won't want to relinquish 12th place in the table. The £4m game is on!

Possible AFCB team
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Mepham, Hyndman, Taylor, Ofoborh, Mousset, Surridge


AFCBTV

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Can AFCB put another dent in Palace's home form?

Crystal Palace have not offered a great deal to home fans in the way of wins this season.  They have stopped the rot of late though with a 0-0 draw against Everton and a win over Huddersfield, and they sit a point and a place ahead of AFCB. So there is a big incentive to pip Palace with a last game win at Selhurst Park and a financial gain of somewhere near £4m, if Bournemouth can make one final push.
AFCB will leave travel away from home for their last game of the
season to a ground where other visiting teams have done well.
Roy Hodgson has kept Palace up for another year, but I wonder how satisfied the Palace fans are with just being part of the Premier League? Talk always surrounds Wilfred Zaha and there does not seem to be a long term plan to get Palace on to a stronger footing. Yet, on a positive they have scored more away goals this season than in any of their previous Premier League seasons.

It's the home form that has been disappointing. Palace was always a difficult ground to go to and the noise was deafening. It could be that way for the last game of the season, but Palace have found it hard going at home with defeats to Watford, Brighton, Man Utd, and Man City this calendar year. But the form has been good enough to lift Palace to mid-way in the league and they have started to score goals in their last few games on the road.


Batshuay, Ajew and Townsend have added to the Zaha threat. Palace have plenty of fire power going forward. It is at the back where they are vulnerable and perhaps the pressure of playing at home has started to become an unwanted pressure. There are worse grounds to visit on the last day of the season. AFCB will get opportunities at Selhurst Park to try and get their record points total. 

Crystal Palace Home Form
LLWLD

AFCB Home Form
LWLWD



Competition - Score predictions
Send in your score predictions for Crystal Palace v AFCB to @CherryChimes. It's your last chance to win a Cherry Chimes T-Shirt this season - Good Luck!

Friday, 10 May 2019

Rival Lines: "Wilf Zaha is not the finished article," says Eagles Beak

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Crystal Palace v AFCB
Blogger Interview: The Eagles Beak
12 May 2019
Twitter: @TheEaglesBeak


CC: This week I talked to Crystal Palace fan Jay at the Eagles Beak. Crystal Palace are one of those teams that trundle along and get the odd victory against the top sic but don't necessarily hit top form for long pars of the season - or at leas that is how it looked to me this season. What needs to happen to see a change in that? Do they need to sell Wilfred Zaha or are Palace doing just fine?

 CC: How satisfied are you with Palace's season?

TEB: With a highest points score within our grasp having already secured a 7th successive season in the Premier League (a record for the club), we should be pretty pleased. The sour point is the home form which has been poor, but thankfully we have been fantastic away from Selhurst. There was also plenty of disappointment at losing out in the League Cup quarter finals to lower league opposition and of course the FA Cup quarter final, but I'm pretty sure most fans will look back and think, that wasn't a bad season in the slightest. There is just some frustration at the quality within our squad should be pushing on having been in the Premier League for as long as we have, but I really think you have to be careful what you wish for in this game.

CC: Why do you think Palace tend to get off to slow starts?

TEB: I wish we knew! Last season was quite different with all the turmoil of an early change of manager, this one was marginally better but it dropped off quite quickly. It is so difficult to put your finger on, perhaps the way the fixtures worked out this past couple of season led to dips in form. If we could have managed a slightly better home form we'd have been okay, but hey, it has worked out just fine in the end.

CC:  Would the money for Zaha be a chance to build a better side or is it more important to keep him?

TEB: Keep him - without question. He is still not the finished article, we see frustrations with him but he is a player that can do things with a football not many are able. He is arguably one of the best players outside the top six and it will be a long summer of rumours. The money we get for him, should he go, will not be enough to replace him. In fact, it will be difficult to imagine a Palace side without him. The good news is, Roy Hodgson has come out and said he is looking forward to working with him for another couple years, so there is hope, but I had prepped myself as this being his final season with us. Wilf is such a talent, I would not begrudge him a move for a shot at the big time.


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CC: Which was Palace's best game of the season for you?

TEB: Manchester City at the Etihad. There was not one fan, pundit or journalist that gave us a hope, but we put in a stunning performance to become the only team to win against the reigning champions in their own back yard. Not just that, but to score the goal of the season in that win just put the icing on the cake. What a hit by Andros! Lost count how many times I have watched that - never gets boring.

CC: Were you happy enough with what the team did in the Cup competitions?

TEB: Reaching the quarter-final stage of both competitions is a pretty decent showing, but there was plenty of disappointment at both those losses. Both Boro and Watford deserved their wins, but we did not perform in either game and it was a case of what if on both occasions.

CC: This last game will decide who finishes higher between the two teams. Do you consider AFCB as a similar side in terms of quality to Palace?

TEB: There is not a lot of difference between us in all honesty. We both have plenty of quality running through our sides and there is no doubt that both sets of fans will be hoping to keep hold of that talent during the summer. There is plenty of suggestion that this is a dead rubber, but there is a different of £4million at stake in prize money between positions we can end up finishing and that is an amount that both teams can do with.

CC: How do you expect Palace will line up for the game?

TEB: I think Roy will want to sign off at Selhurst with a win, seeing as there have been very few of those this season. I don't think he will be as bold as he was at Cardiff last week, probably more conservative so expect Jordan Ayew to drop back to the bench with either Kouyate or Meyer to step back in. Maybe, just maybe, we will be more bold at home in this last game so who knows!

CC: What is your score prediction?

TEB: I think we will sign off in style with a win but expect it to be a tough but entertaining affair. 3-2 to Palace.

CC: Thanks to Jay for completing our last Rival Lines of the season. I hope you have enjoyed them, I think it was on the Southampton away match that we missed out on. Jay van rightfully boast that Palace have beaten Man City away and they have the players to worry any team. These games are usually close between Palace and Bournemouth and the league positions suggests that two. I have my fingers crossed for a 0-1 away win and a record points total for AFCB. Many thanks for Jay and the Eagles Beak for their answers and may the best team win this weekend!

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Where are AFCB in terms of making progress?

This season has been a contrasting one for AFCB. They got off to such a terrific start that safety was more or less taken for granted by December, and yet they found it hard to in a game away for months. The home form then started to falter and AFCB were left relying on their good start of the season not to get dragged into a relegation scrap.
Glass half empty or half full?
Was it a good season? I'd say yes, in the fact that young players such as Chris Mepham, Jack Simpson, Lys Mousset, Mark Travers, Sam Surridge and David Brooks got minutes on the pitch. The progress of the club shouldn't just be seen from a points view and while the injuries started to mount, the team has proved it can start a season very well.

The disappointment for me was in not seeing more points taken off the top six sides. In those 12 games Bournemouth managed just two wins at home against Chelsea and Tottenham. You can't expect a lower team to always give the top six a run for their money, but when the bottom sides start taking points off the top six it becomes a worry.



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AFCB are well established now and have to see how they can progress next season. The team needs to get more acquainted with the phrase of making it hard to beat them, even if they don't win games. The strategy against Man City might have annoyed some fans, but trying in these games could earn another dozen points for the Cherries. Taking you chances against the top teams has been a problem, and when the individual errors are not made AFCB are starting to look more like a team that could challenge higher up the table, because their counter-attacking football is a s good as anyone's.

Is AFCB's win over Tottenham a significant win?

While any win counts as three points, some games are more valuable than others in the development for a club. Having not beaten Tottenham before there is a hurdle that has been overcome not just for the team, but also for Eddie Howe. He has managed a team that has beaten a Mauricio Pochettino side at last, and what he has to take from that is that AFCB deserved their win.
All together - we can do this.
Some might say that Tottenham only played with nine men for most of the game. Of course they are right. But it was down to the frustration of Spurs that they were only left with nine men to play the game. Bournemouth have had more men sent off since the 2015-16 season when Bournemouth came up than any other Premier League team - a total of 18 players sent off. AFCB are good at rattling teams and having the pace to make opposition teams make mistakes.

Tottenham may well have won the game if they had kept all their players on the pitch. But the record books will say Bournemouth won the game and being only the second win against a top six team this season it was a significant result for the Cherries. The run that AFCB have put together in 2019 has not been consistent, but the wins against Chelsea, Brighton and Spurs have at least given the team something to hold on to.


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While the counter-attacking football of the Chelsea and Brighton wins were able to show the clinical finishing that Bournemouth sometimes have, it is the Spurs win that might just register higher in the eye of Eddie Howe. It is not always easy to knock over teams that have less men on the field and Bournemouth's players probably learnt a valuable lesson to play right to the end and not lose belief that they could win the game. That is why I believe it was a significant win over Spurs.

PS. Well done Spurs last night for getting to the Champions League final - boy did they leave it late to win that game!

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Does Aké have a better future in midfield?

I remember reading in the MatchDay programme about Nathan Aké being flexible in his view about playing in central defence or in midfield. While he has not had many chances to play further up the field, he has definitely enjoyed playing next to Lerma, as he did against Tottenham, and his thrill at getting the winning game was there for all to see.
Nathan Aké is versatile enough to plant centre-midfield.
If Aké does not know if he is a better midfielder or central defender then it is probably hard for us to make a judgement. I get the impression that he would like to play in midfield. After all, who doesn't like to get the chance to score goals and push the team forward? The dilemma for Eddie Howe is that Aké is probably the team's best defender. Howe has to weigh up whether what he gains with Aké in midfield is more or less than if he uses him as a defender.

Currently, Aké is fulfilling a role in the middle of the park because there isn't really any one else apart form Hyndman who could do that. With Jack Simpson being asked to gain experience at the back, the obvious choice was to move Aké forward. He has done it before, and yet I really felt that this time he was very keen to do well in the central midfield role.



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It may be that Aké will have a short time in central midfield, but playing in different positions can only help in making a player more aware of the challenges other players have in the team. He can get more understanding of the game, and if he likes playing there I don't see a problem. In fact, Aké is a player who likes to get involved and roll his sleeves up. If he can sniff a chance for a goal he'll do his best to get into the right position.

For me Aké' s reading of the game makes him a better defender than a midfield player, but while he has the energy to play in central midfield, it is a handy option for AFCB to have when they do get hit with injuries in that position.
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