Monday, 22 July 2019

Let's hope VAR is not a real spoiler for the Premier League

Bournemouth had a real eye-opener as to how VAR can change the face of a game while playing their pre-season friendly against Girona FC at the weekend. Jack Simpson received two yellow cards for a fairly unspectacular foul on the Girona forward Marc Gual, but after a waiting period of a couple of minutes the fouled was reviewed and Simpson received a red card. It was a good test for AFCB who then had to play with 10 men for the last 15 minutes, but in a Premier League match it will be very hurtful to suffer such an incident and I fear they could become far more regular.
A hard lesson for Jack Simpson.
The problem is that referees are unlikely to be told to go to VAR if they are unsure, the decision will already have been taken out of their hands. Instead of referees being able to use their common sense, the full letter of the law is likely to be used which means VAR is going to be the defining voice on every goal, every foul and any incident when their is a suspicion of an advantage being gained unfairly.

It won't just be an annoyance of the clock being stopped while decisions are under review, it will be goals struck off, players sent off and penalties being awarded. Whether those in the stadium will fully understand what is going on could also be a frustration. The players may have been told to get used VAR being involved in the game but the fans are not going to get used to it straight away. One benefit may be that we see less diving but even that may take some time to filter through to the players when they start getting caught.

The Premier League hopes that VAR brings clarity to the game and the correct decisions, and while it might bring excitement and suspense the game in a new way it might also rob fans of the game as they know it and have loved it. Times are changing and change can be good, but I sense that it is an area that has not yet found its boundaries and that we may well be talking about VAR more than anything else if it is over used in this 2019/2020 season.

Meanwhile, Lys Mousset has completed his move to Sheffield United.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

10-man Bournemouth fall 2-1 to Girona FC

Match Report
20 July 2019
Girona FC  2 v 1 AFCB 
Girona FC picture: Aké had plenty of heading to do in a 0-0 first half in Barcelona.
Bournemouth offered stiff resistance to a Girona FC side that had the advantage of 11 men against 10 for much of the second half. Jack Simpson was the unlucky man to be sent off for a foul on Gual when he was the last man. When Marc Gual put the Catalans ahead with 10 minutes to go it looked all over, but Ryan Fraser popped up with an equaliser a minute later. The lifeline was short lived though, as Girona scored a again with Juanpe's header form a corner five minutes from time.

It was good to hear 'Sweet Caroline' from Neil Diamond being belted out at the Estadi Olumpi Luis Companys stadium before kick off. with Bournemouth somehow being the home team. AFCB were in their lime green third kit. There was no Josh King, Asmir Begovic, Harry Arter, Aaron Ramsdale, Steve Cook or Jefferson Lerma, while Simon Francis, Lewis Cook and Charlie Daniels are still recovering from long-term injuries.

The Cherries withstood some early pressure as Girona attached up the left a few times with Boselli have two shots blocked.

Solanke started well with some good touches. Adam Smith put in an early cross that was cleared and Rico won AFCB's first corner.

Valery fouled Adam Smith to give AFCB a free kick on 13 minutes. Smith hit the cross and Akee headed it over the bar. at the far post. AFCB were very possession conscious. Solanke won the ball well to find Smith and he passed to Gosling, before Wilson moved the ball to the left with Dobre who had AFCB's first shot on target that the keeper saved.

Travers had a shock when Travers hit the ball against Aké and almost saw the ball go into AFCB's net on 17 minutes. Dobre then won a corner off Valery. Meanwhile, Offobroh was hitting some accurate long passes.

Wilson put a ball straight through for Solanke on 21 minutes, but the former Liverpool striker could only hit his shot at the keeper's legs.

Soni hit a speculate shot from distance that Travers took easily. Wilson was leading the press for AFCB.

Dobre's cross from the left had Solanke reaching for a header but he couldn't get it going forward. Gosling lost out to Boselli and Boselli got a hot away that had Travers forced into making a low save to his left.

Adam Smith made another raid down the right trying to link up with Wilson. Kilkenny was being a bit too strong in his press. The game was really going through the motions. Bournemouth were not exactly hitting Girona with tremendous pace. Ofoborh was happy enough to drill a shot from 30 yards out that lifted just over the bar on 37 minutes.

Wilson was being held unfairly every time the ball came up to him. Wilson snuck in on 39 minutes and almost broke the deadlock, but was held off and had to be happy enough with a corner off Alcalá. Gosling then smashed a shot well over.

Dobre had a header that came off the bar from an Adam Smith cross, but the referee had called a foul. So it ended 0-0 at half-time.

Second half
Offoborh was the only AFCB player to be retained from the first half. Fraser made a good early burst but Brooks couldn't reach his pass. Stacey then conceded a corner to Girona.

AFCB started more progressively this half with Brooks and Fraser pushing the team forward. Gual won another corner for Girona after Ofoborh blocked his shot on 50 minutes. Boruc caught the corner well.

Andzouan played Gual through, but the shot went wide for a corner. Soni who stayed on from the first half pulled out a good save from Boruc on 55 minutes when he was free in the box.

The commentator is talking about everything but the game which kind of tells you how unexciting the play is at times. Soni is starting to beat AFCB players and is causing some concern.

Brooks and Surridge aren't getting much chance to stretch their legs. Girona are taking control and Gaul hits a strong shot that Boruc saves in front of his chest on 61 minutes.

Girona had a four on two but a poor pass made it easy for AFCB to recover possession. A yellow card was given to Simpson after taking down Gual. Simpson was then given a second yellow and was sent off on 67 minutes, perhaps it was decent as he was arguing with the referee when the wall was being set up. If he was sent off for being the last man then it was a harsh call, although the referee did signal VAR was used, so Simpson is off.

Ibe comes forward with a forceful run and sins a corner off a deflected shot. At the other end Andzouana plays in, Gual but he hist the side netting,

Surman almost got Surridge in the clear, but his shot was blocked for a corner. Diamanka plays in Gual who hits a shot over again. Boruc is not too happy about a corner being awarded to Girona.

A pull back for Gual is sharply saved by Brouc at his near post. But now Girona have gone ahead. A mix up at the back and Gual has made it 1-0 to Girona on 80 minutes.

And just when you thought that meant a certain defeat for AFCB, Jordan Ibe races up the other end and plays in Ryan Fraser who makes it 1-1 on 81 minutes.

Girona are still pressing with crosses and a corner now. Paik takes the corner and Girona score with a header from Juanpe on 85 minutes.

Boruc has to make another save from Andzouana, which he does. Boruc makes another save from Gual after Andzouana made a pull back for Girona's number nine.

Bournemouth will be disappointed to lose the game but Girona FC attacked with more consistency and had it not been for Artur Boruc it could have been a bigger defeat. The Cherries struggled to create in the first half, but were stirred into action more in the second half after Jack Simpson was sent off. Eddie Howe will be most annoyed about AFCB's play leading up to the first Girona goal when the ball was lost on the right side. Ryan Fraser is again showing he has the finishing form to do well for another season, but Bournemouth still show little sign of being tighter at the back.

AFCB 4-4-2

Travers 42, Smith 15, Mepham 33, Aké 5, Rico 21,  Kilkenny 28, Ofoborh 38, Gosling (C) 4,
Dobre 54, Solanke 29, Wilson 13

AFCB second half 4-4-2
Boruc 1, Stacey 17, Simpson 25, Kelly 26 , Ibe 10, Surman 6, Butcher 36, Offoborh 38, Fraser 34, Brooks 20, Surridge 44,

AFCB unused Sub

Player Ratings first half
Travers 5, Smith 7, Mepham 6, Aké 6, Rico 5,  Kilkenny 5, Ofoborh 8, Gosling (C) 5
Dobre 5, Solanke 6, Wilson 7

Player Ratings second half
Boruc 7, Stacey 6, Simpson 6, Kelly 6 , Ibe 6, Surman 5, Butcher 5, Offoborh 8, Fraser 7, Brooks 6, Surridge 6

Juan Carlos 1, Alcalá 2, Pau Resta 3,  Valery 5, Granell 6, Maffeo 4, Soni 27,
Eric Montes 14, 
Lago 11, Boselli 23, Pachón 21

Girona Second half

Suárez, Maxi Villa, Juanpe 15, Muniesa 20, Iago, Diamanka, Paik 17, Andzouana 26,
Boselli 23 (Sub 24), Marc Gual 9, Soni 27 (Sub 28).

Saturday, 20 July 2019

How good are Girona?

I really didn't know much about Girona FC apart form that they were a Spanish team, so when AFCB told us they would play them in Barcelona in the summer I thought I'd do some digging before the match to see what our lads were up against.

AFCB will take on Girona FC tonight at 7pm at
Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona at 7pm.
Girona FC is a Catalan club that now play in the second division in Spain having been relegated last season from La Liga, Spain's top league. They finished 18th just four points behind Celta Vego and Valladolid and managed nine wins and 10 draws form their 38 games which wasn't quite enough to keep them up. Still they did beat teams like Villarreal, Real Madrid and FC Sevilla so they can cause upsets and they had two seasons in La Liga before this relegation.

The team was founded in 1930 and since 1970 it has played at the Montilivi stadium which has a capacity of 13,450. I'd say it is a club of similar standing to AFCB, but interestingly they are owned by Man City's parent company the City Football Group.

They have been looking at the English leagues over the summer and have just bought Spanish midfield player Samu Saiz from Leeds United.  Other new signings include Marc Gual is a striker on loan from Sevilla FC and a Spanish U21 player and defender Pablo Maffeo who is on loan from VfB Stuttgart.

Alex Granell, 30, is the captain and a Spanish midfielder who has been at the club five years. He has said he longs to take Girona back to La Liga, but also says his future at the club is uncertain. Their top scorer is Cristhian Stuani, 32, who is a Uruguayan and scored 21 goals in 2017/18, fifth top scorer in La Liga and 19 goals in 2018/19. His strike partner is  Anthony Lozano, a Honduran who joined the club in 2018. Jofre Cherta, 18, is one of the club's young players who signed an extended contract this summer to keep him at the club to 2023. 

Last season Girona's manager was Eusebio Sacristán who arrived at the club in 2018. He has previously managed Real Socieada and Barcelona B.

The new coach is Juan Carlos Unzué who was previously at Celta Vigo. he won his first match at the club this summer against in a pre-season friendly against Al Arabi of Qatar winning 1-2.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Is the way clear for Surridge to make an impact?

With the likely departure of Lys Mousset to Sheffield United (he has not left AFCB as I write this), there is potentially a bit more space for Sam Surridge to put his case forward at the Cherries. While he will find a starting place hard to come by with a fully-fit Callum Wilson and Josh King, he has a real shot at vying to be the first substitute.
Sam Surridge could be a surprise package next season if
he is allowed to stay at AFCB and is not loaned out.
I say that because Dominic Solanke hasn't made a massive impact in his first six months on the south coast. Eddie Howe will probably see Solanke as his go to striker, if Wilson or King did get a knock, but with Mousset expected to leave there could be a great opportunity for Sam Surridge, and if he did find his feet in the Premier League it would be a great advert for AFCB's Academy.

Surridge would have to do better than any other AFCB player that has come through the youth ranks in recent years. I suppose Danny Ings would be the top prospect that AFCB never really saw much of at the top level, but now that the club is in the Premier League players coming through could become top stars very quickly.


Eddie Howe looks like he's made a decision not to bring in the more expensive players this summer and it has opened doors for the likes of Surridge. We just need to see him and a few others grab the opportunity. There is still time for Surridge to be loaned out, and that is something he would have to deal with again if it happens. But I'd be very excited if I were in Surridge's shoes right now, as the opening looks to be there for him to stake his claim.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

AFCB's French striker to join Blades

It came as a surprise yesterday that AFCB had agreed a price of £10m for Lys Mousset to join Sheffield United rather than Celtic, according to BBC Radio Solent. The Frenchman has found it hard to get playing time at AFCB, but it must be a gamble for Sheffield United to hope that Lys can become a big star for them in the Premier League.
Lys Mousset could soon be in Sheffield United colours.
For the Cherries, Mousset is another young player that Eddie Howe and his coaches have worked hard to try and improve. The transfer fee seems reasonable for Mousset and what he has achieved so far, and the extra money that AFCB are starting to accumulate is starting to look like some good business depending on what they do with it.

Of course, Mousset could be lining up against the Cherries on the first weekend of the new season. if this deal goes through as expected. I always felt that Mousset had some natural talent and an eye for goal, but that he didn't win over Eddie Howe. That's just my opinion looking on. Mousset may say he did everything he could to get into the team, but for whatever reason he wasn't making much progress at AFCB, and with the arrival of  Dominic Solanke last January, Mousset's time at AFCB as always likely to be up soon.
It wouldn't surprise me if Mousset did well at Sheffield United and we saw a player that we haven't really seen at AFCB. He has an incentive to do well. A fresh start at a club that has the main aim of staying up and if he can score goals he'll soon become a hero. That would excite me as a player much more than being reduced to being a sub for most games at AFCB, so I wish Mousset all the best of luck. He is prepared to take up a new challenge and perhaps the Premier League will be better for him at Sheffield.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Wilson and Fraser's finishing sees off Dons 3-2

AFC Bournemouth took on AFC Wimbledon in La Manga last night. It was the Callum Wilson show first half with two well crafted goals for the Bournemouth striker, the second being truly magnificent as he lobbed the keeper. Ramsdale also made a good save in the first half to keep the clean sheet. A second hand change of team brought fresh legs to the game. But Bournemouth started to make mistakes. Gosling gave away a penalty and then a handball gave Wimbledon the chance to make it 2-2 from the spot which they did. It was left to Ryan Fraser to get the Cherries out of their predicament against a Wimbledon side that were stronger in the second half. Supremacy regained, there were not so many scares as the game came to a close.
Wilson is in goal hungry form.
The Cherries settled into the game in the first five minutes, passing and moving well and Kelly put in the first meaningful cross on two minutes which Wimbledon's keeper held on to. Wilson and Solanke found each other quickly up front and the team looked fairly fluent in possession. 

Wimbledon did get forward town the right and Connolly put in a cross that was headed wide by Roscrow on four minutes. Wilson got past the keeper on six minutes but couldn't get his shot on target having been forced wide.

It was Bournemouth doing the chasing after nine minutes as Wimbledon got into a groove. Adam Smith had a couple of difficult moments getting caught out at right-back. Mepham looked good coming forward and he found Solanke who drove a shot on target from just outside the box on 13 minutes which the keeper saved low in front of him.

There was probably a bit more coaching than normal form the sidelines. It took Wilson until the 15th minute to break through off a David Brooks pass and round the keeper to put AFCB 1-0 up.

Arter's passing started to find some gaps - he was wearing number 88 - double as good as usual! Brooks put in a super low cross on 19 minutes but it didn't find an AFCB foot on the six yard line. Dobre put a cross in for Solanke on 21 minutes but the ball didn't drop fast and Solanke just volleyed into a defender. Dobre then tried himself from distance but shot wide of the target.

Wilson got free again on 24 minutes and put a cultured chip into the top left corner of the goal to make it 2-0. That was just too classy for  Wimbledon and wouldn't have looked out of place on the international stage! Quality finishing.

After half an hour the players had a two minute water break before getting on with the game. Kelly got down the left and tried to get Wilson in at the near post but there was no space for Wilson to complete a hat-trick. 

The game was slowing down and getting a bit ragged after 38 minutes. Passes were going astray from both teams. David Brooks hadn't had many touches but was doing the work in his own half well.

Wimbledon's Rudoni got in down the right but Ramsdale made a smart save from his cross. Arter was doing an exceptional amount of running, but Wimbledon were forcing the play close to half-time.

Second half
AFCB's second group of players took to the field. Gosling made a hash of control from a throw pulling his man down (Folivi) and game away a penalty. Wimbledon's Folivi scored form the spot against Begovic.

Fraser burst through the Don's defence after working with Ibe, but dragged his shot wide on 49 minutes. Wimbledon had a second penalty when a cross came off Stacey's hand. The penalty as calmly scored by Wimbledon's top scorer Joe Pigott 2-2.

Bournemouth are pressing again as we go into the 55th minute. Fraser wins a free kick on the edge of the box and looks to take the free kick himself.  The keeper makes a sharp save to his right.

Wagstaff pulls the ball back and a shot comes in from Wordsworth that Begovic is behind. Ibe put in a fast cross that Surridge could not got on the end of. King made Surridge another chance seconds later, but it was hit straight at the keeper with an hour gone.

A good move by Folivi left the ball in Pigott's path and his shot went wide off the right post. It was a warning that the Dons fancied their chances of a win.

Bournemouth were finding it harder to play out from the back. But Gosling had a snap shot after some controlled play around the box that the keeper fell on to his left. 

A good run almost saw Wimbledon take the lead but the ball ran along the six yard line with no finishing touch on 74 minutes.

Bournemouth strike again with Ryan Fraser slipping the ball  under the keeper having taken a long ball from Aké to make it 3-2. There's been no water break this half and some players are starting to blow a bit.

The Cherries are trying to control the game now in the last 10 minutes. Wimbledon are having none of it through and are winning possession back. Pigott tries a shot on the turn, but it's right at Begovic. There are some tired legs out there. Gosling makes a good block.

The Dons have a free kick but Pigott heads wide. Fraser stays down after a strong challenge. He gets up eventually. That's it 3-2 to AFCB.

There is a lot for Eddie Howe to ponder after that 90 minutes. AFCB had the game under control until the second half. Wilson's goal power is something the team will rely on but with him and Fraser doing the damage you wonder who else is going to step up and get some goals- King and Brooks were fairly quiet. While the penalties could have ending up costing the Cherries the game, they team fought hard and got the vital goal from Fraser in the end. The fitness levels will improve, but AFCB don't yet show a sign of being more solid in defence. But it's early days and not all the players were available.

Ramsdale 12, Smith 15, Mepham 33,  Simpson 25, Kelly 26, Brooks 20, Ofoborh 38, Arter 88,  Dobre 54, Solanke 29, Wilson 13 (C)

AFCB Second half
Begovic,  17 Stacey, Aké 5, Rico 21,  Cordner 25, 4 Gosling, Ibe 10, King 7, Butcher 36 , Fraser 24, Surridge 44. Kilkenny

AFC Wimbledon
Nik Tzanev, Kyron Stabana, Terell Thomas, Rod McDonald, Nesta Guinness-Walker, Dylan Connolly, Anthony Hartigan, Jack Rudoni, Mitch Pinnock, Adam Roscrow, Kwesi Appiah

AFC Wimbledon Second half
Nathan Trott, Will Nightingale, Paul Kalambayi, Anthony Wordsworth, Luke O’Neill, Scott Wagstaff, Shane McLoughlin, Joe Pigott, Michael Folivi.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

AFC Wimbledon test should be a big watch for AFCB fans

We haven't seen much football for a couple of months now and the chance to see some of AFC Bournemouth's players running about in a proper pre-season friendly should start to get fans in the mood for the new season. For Aaron Ramsdale it could be quite a game if he gets selected to play against a team he was on loan at from last January.
Let's see who plays in the AFCB kit against AFC Wimbledon.
There are not too many names in the AFC Wimbledon squad that I recall as being players to watch out for when AFCB were climbing the leagues. But Scott Wagstaff had five games for the Cherries back in 2008 and has played many games for Bristol City and Gillingham before moving to the Dons. In a memorable FA Cup run last year, he dyed his famous beard yellow and blue after BBC Football commentator Mark Clemmit challenged him on Football Focus to the dare.

The Dons top scorer last season was Joe Pigott who scored 18 goals. So he'll be a player that AFCB have to look out for. Another player who could be influential at the back is the Don's new defender Luke O'Neill. He was formerly with Gillingham and plays at right-back.

It's Bournemouth's new players that we'll hope to see doing well. Lloyd Kelly looks fast and light in his feet, while it will be interesting to see if Jack Stacey is a powerful addition to the right side of defence. Just seeing what pairings Howe picks for this fist game will give us an indication of how the early period of training has gone for some individuals, although we can expect lots of changes as the players look to build up their fitness.

In other news, keeper Mark Travers has signed an extension to his AFCB contract taking him past the summer of 2022 it is believed.

Monday, 15 July 2019

What will be the best keeper option for AFCB?

The one position that AFCB really need to sort out is the goal keeping position. The summer has not given us a quick answer to this vital position. While Artur Boruc has signed a new contract, Asmir Begovic remains at the club, and just the one bid for Jack Butland failed to bring in a new keeper. So where do AFCB go from here?
Does Asmir face a number two role at AFCB if he stays?
It looks like if Bournemouth really want Jack Butland, they are going to have to meet the valuation which is likely to be around £20m, double what they paid for Begovic. Whether that is seen as good value or not, it must be frustrating for Howe if he wants Butland that it hasn't happened so far.

AFCB need to calm their spending if they are not going to let some players move on and the fact that they seem unable to get a good fee for Begovic could be some of the problem. If Begovic turns out next season along with Boruc, AFCB will go into the new season with no changes between the sticks and that would probably disappointing for most fans.
The way that Aaron Ramsdale and Mark Travers have been mixing with the first team in La Manga is great to see, and I am one of those who would like to see one of these young keepers given a game out  in Spain, if they are going to challenge Boruc and Begovic. The outfield players and especially the back four need to be comfortable with whoever is going to be between the sticks, and they need to work as a unit. It's really Boruc's shirt to lose I'd say, but a lot could happen in the few weeks between the start of the season.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Scotsman has difficult season ahead for AFCB

Ryan Fraser may find it his hardest season in 2019/20.
There as hardly been a day when Ryan Fraser future hasn't been speculated upon in the national press. The media machine has finally got hold of the idea that AFCb fans had been told a couple of months ago, that Fraser was most likely to serve out his contract and leave on a free transfer next summer, but where does that leave last year's player of the year as he prepares for one last season at Dean Court?

Fraser has a very difficult period ahead of him in my view. His head may seem to be fully focussed on AFCB, but as soon as anything happens that is disappointing there is always going to be that question in people's minds of whether he is fully attuned to the AFCB cause. Ryan is as honest a lad as I could ever want as a fan of AFCB's players, but I expect he will come under pressure unless he can come up with another season that is as good as what he did last time out.

The fact that Eddie Howe hasn't so far brought in another left winger is perhaps surprising. Marc Pugh is no longer at the club and Connor Mahoney has left, which means that Eddie is hoping that Jordan Ibe, Junior Stanislas, and most likely Josh King, can fill in if there are any injuries to Ryan Fraser. I still expect Fraser to be the number one choice on the left, but AFCB need to be looking for another superstar as soon as possible to fill Ryan boots when he does move on.
Liverpool's Harry Wilson is left footed but tends to play on the right to cut inside or play in centre midfield. Potentially he could be still on AFCB's target list, while long term Howe favourite Demarai Grey would surely be a player that Howe could bring on and perhaps turn into a bigger star, if the transfer fee was not too high.

Replacing Fraser will be tough and it won't be cheap, but AFCB look like they'll have to do it by next summer without having any transfer fee from a Fraser sale.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Goal machine shares AFCB ambition with new contract

A few days ago we said that Callum Wilson would be deserving of a new contract. Yesterday he signed a new four-year deal and admitted that he knew his game was constantly improving at AFCB. Where that might take him in terms of his England career and honours for AFCB is the unknown, but Wilson must believe AFCB improve further by committing to the club when there have been bigger clubs circling for his signature.
Wilson will be at AFCB until, 2023.
The most pleased person is probably Eddie Howe. He needs a striker that will guarantee him double figures of goals if he can keep fit and we know that is well within Wilson's compass. He may even have a bumper season sooner or later as his experience of playing in the Premier League is growing all the time.

In some ways I can see why Wilson is happy enough to stay at AFCB. The town is fantastic for bringing up a young family, the club is in the top league, he has a manager that has been getting the best out of him, the club wants more every year and things are going to change with the new training ground and the amount of young players coming into the squad.

The bonus of Wilson signing a new contract is not only good news with keeping the likes of Chelsea and West Ham at bay, it should give incentive to players who are thinking of joining the club that there is an English striker that is remaining at the club. If any of those new players are English they'll also know that Gareth Southgate will be watching many of AFCB's game. 

Friday, 12 July 2019

Are Cherries about to sign Irish striker?

Preston North End have reported that a Premier League club has come in for their striker Callum Robinson. The Republic of Ireland striker has been given leave to talk to the club that is interested in him having left the Irish training camp.
Will Dean Court see another Irishman join AFCB this summer?
Whether Bournemouth are the club in question is by no means certain, as Aston Villa are also said to be keen on the player, according to the Lancashire Live. But at 24 Robinson would fit the sort of profile that AFCB have been linked with in recent seasons. He has played for England U16,17,19 and 20s and Robinson scored 12 goals for Preston North End in the Championship last season, in only 27 appearances.

It would appear that there is room at the Cherries for another striker to be added to the team, especially as Jermain Defoe is still on loan at Rangers. While Sam Surridge has shown that he is perhaps close to contributing for the first team on a more regular basis, Surridge could be one player who might still benefit from a loan in the Championship first.

I don't see Lys Mousset moving on unless a club comes in with a good valuation for him this summer as AFCB have spent a lot of time with him trying to get him closer to being a more regular Premier League player.

The decisions Eddie Howe and the recruitment team are making now are probably the biggest calls the club has made in the last five years. It is more difficult now and the competition for players is seeing AFCB go head to head with the newly promoted teams of Aston Villa and Sheffield United, as well as Wolves, for Kalvin Philips of Leeds as well. The challenge now is that other clubs have seen how AFCB operate and what they have done to stay in the Premier League, and they see similar options could work for them.

In other news, Josh King is changing his squad number to number 7 which was Marc Pugh's number.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Wilson would be deserving of bumper new contract

Callum Wilson looks set to be signing a new contract this summer with AFCB which will be a blow to the likes of West Ham and Chelsea. The Sun reported that Bournemouth's number 13 is about to be given a new five-year deal worth £26m to stay on the south coast.
Wilson is believed to be in for a big pat rise.
Considering that Wilson has fought his way back from two potentially career-ending cruciate ligament injuries since he has been at AFCB, I don't begrudge Wilson becoming the most highly-paid player at the club, and on a deal that puts him up with the best strikers in the country. After all, Wilson is now an England international player and has been extremely loyal to the Cherries during his time at the club, and has never indicated that he has wanted a move when other clubs have come looking for him.

At least the deal would end any talks of Wilson leaving in the near future, and it is perhaps further indication that AFCB are still trying to build a team that can thrive in the Premier League. It is not the time to dismantle the team and Eddie Howe is only looking to move players on who he doesn't see a future for at the club. Wilson is probably one of Howe's best ever signings.

To reward Wilson should give the player a boost for next season. He might have secretly have been open to a move, but if he feels he can play his best football at AFCB then it is great for Wilson and the club that the union can continue.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Does Mahoney departure say more about AFCB than anything else?

The rumours were true that Connor Mahoney is off to Millwall. While AFCB have a culture of bringing on young players, it appears that this one didn't live up to expectations and that Mahoney is better off in the Championship, where he can get regular games.
Mahoney departs AFCB.
There was very little sentiment in the club's farewell statement on Connor but the player has really been basically an AFCB player in name only with loan periods at Barnsley and Birmingham. It was probably good for Mahoney that his skill has been identified by another club that is going to make better use of him.

I do hate to think that AFCB has become a club that can harvest players that seem perfect for the squad one minute, but as soon as they sign look like they have Mount Everest to climb to get into the team. The task of recruitment is not easy and it will be intriguing to see if Lloyd Kelly is in a much stronger position than Mahoney was as an U21 international. But even Emerson Hyndman who had won caps for Canada at U23 and senior level struggled to fit in and is now playing his football in Atlanta, while Brad Smith looks set to also stay in the MLS.

The number of players not making AFCB their permanent home after a move to the club has been escalating in recent years. It is becoming like catching fish and those you don't want are thrown back in. 

In the meantime, I'd like to see AFCB getting players through their youth ranks and into the first team, but how long can we hold on to players like Jack Simpson who has done everything right and deserves his opportunity to play games now?

Good luck Connor Mahoney at Millwall, some of us would have liked to have seen you get more of a chance at AFCB.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Can Cherries hold off a Hammers' bid for Wilson?

The transfer market is just ramping up and having heard that Marko Arnautovic has left West Ham for China attention will soon turn to the Irons making a bid for Callum Wilson. Pellegrini is a big admirer of AFCB's number 13 probably because Wilson always scores against West Ham, and he is an England striker that would add a bit of glamour to a West Ham signing.
Callum might be a wanted man, but he seems to
have his eyes set on another season with AFCB.
I can see the interest form West Ham, but are AFCB now a big enough club to hold off the likes of West Ham when they are desperate to sign one of the Cherries' players? We haven't really seen this situation and it will be a test of AFCB's resolves to keep one of their star players. Losing Wilson would be a big hole to fill and the stature of Wilson has been growing to such an extent that it is hard to imagine another player leading the line for the Cherries.

The decision may come to a crunch if West Ham are willing to offer in the region of £50m for the striker. Bournemouth won't budge for anything less and while they might hope for more they would have to consult Callum at some point when a figure did start to meet their  valuation of Wilson. There comes a time when a club has to find that they can find better value in the market if they are offered a substantial fee, but I'm not sure West Ham will smash their transfer record to land Callum Wilson. Felipe Anderson I understand is their record signing and that was for about £34m, so expecting West Ham to go north of that is asking a lot.
AFCB probably will stand firm and West Ham could come away disappointed if they do target Wilson. There are other strikers that they may decide offer better value, but it's a poker game at a moment and I sense that sooner or later the cards will be on the table and we'll see just how much AFCB value their star striker.

Meanwhile, AFCB completed the signing of Jack Stacey from Luton Town yesterday for £4m.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Villa pay out of this world price for Tyrone Mings

While AFCB fans have never seen that much of Tyrone Mings, the fee that Aston Villa are said to have paid for his services seems astonishing. Tyrone is certainly good enough to play in the Premier League and has been unlucky with injuries at AFCB, but to get £20m -  rising to £26m - for him will have AFCB rubbing their hands all the way to the bank.
Farewell to Tyrone Mings and thanks for earning such a huge transfer fee.
The price for top-quality defenders did go up with the transfer of Virgil van Dijk last season, but now every defender is being reappraised it would seem. Aston Villa might have money to burn, but to see Bournemouth's once record signing of £8m go to another Premier League side for a record club fee on the south coast is staggering.

I'm wondering of there are any other AFCB players that Villa might want to buy off of AFCB. The important part of this transaction for me is what AFCB will do with that profit. They should reinvest in a better defence, and it may stir the club to put in a realistic bid for Jack Butland, although I suspect Dragowski is AFCB's keeper target. The transfer window has been stuck for a long time, but it looks like things are finally moving for AFCB with Jack Stacey expected to have a medical today.
The pleasing thing for Mings is that he will get his Premier League dream to play games and at a club where he obviously feels welcome. I believe the Bournemouth fans would have liked him to have been more successful at the club, but it isn't the fans that get to pick the team every week. He'll do well I am sure at Villa and goes with smiles on many AFCB faces.

I just can't get over the size of the fee. If Mings is worth so much what should the valuation of Nathan Aké be?

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Are AFCB telling Villa something with Butland bid?

Stoke City have rejected a £12m bid from the Cherries for Jack Butland, reports the Daily Mail. The Potters are said to value their keeper at £20m and the opening bid form the Cherries falls far short of that. So will the Cherries go back in with an offer that is closer or that meets Stoke's valuation?
AFCB start the bidding process for Jack Butland.
Bournemouth had not been favourites to land Butland. Aston Villa are 6-1 on with the bookies on the SkyBet August transfer window site. So what is going on? There is interest from Villa for Tyrone Mings and while Aston Villa have been in talks over the defender they have not been quick to put in a bid that would match AFCB's price. Is there a bit of a game going on? AFCB surely knew that their bid for Butland was too low, are they just warning Villa that they could go and get the keeper and start to mess up Villa's plans if they don't play ball with Mings? Whether Bournemouth are waiting on bids for some of their own players such as Nathan Aké from Man City and/or Spurs before deciding if Mings can go to Villa is another suggestion being put forward.

There is no doubt that AFCB do want a better keeper for next season but the bid for Butland seems to have come at a strange time. The cub could have gone in for him far earlier than this. And why the low bid when it has been reported widely the kind of figure that Stoke City are after? It seems to be a thing this transfer window for clubs to offer prices well below the asking price - well at least if you are Arsenal or AFCB. Does it do these clubs any good?


Perhaps AFCB are just testing the waters to see if Butland will say anything and if he would prefer a move to AFCB over Villa if the Cherries do up their valuation. Whatever the case, this week could see some real movement in the transfer market at AFCB. The tension has been building and it may just be that AFCB are trying to start the movement of layers now having waited for other clubs up until now. Time is pressing and there may be other targets that AFCB are keen to attract.  

In other news, the Daily Mail says AFCB have agreed a £4m fee for Luton's Jack Stacey.