Sunday, 31 March 2019

Leicester comfortably beat the Cherries 2-0

Match Report
Leicester City v AFCB
30 March 2019
Attendance: 31,530
AFCB looked to get a season double over Leicester but it never looked likely. 
Bournemouth found the sunshine in Leicester too bright in a first half that had the players looking slightly distracted as Wes Morgan redirected a shot from Chilwell past Asmir Beovic. While the attempts on goal were fairly equal in the first half, both Vardy and Wilson seemed to have a radar problem in front of goal. Things did not improve second half with Leicester well in charge and comfortably extending the gap when Begovic came out clumsily to punch, but was beaten by Vardy's header. Only Fraser and Aké looked anything like on song for the Cherries while the rest of the players laboured. No energy - no points.

It was a surprising line up for Bournemouth with Begovic regaining the goalkeeping position from Artur Boruc. Dan Gosling also came back into the side to captain the side. Junior Stanislas also returned to the bench.

Match description
Leicester have started well winning an early corner. Vardy is busy but Gray can't make the most of his pass.

Leicester are getting balls into Bournemouth's box. Another good cross in and Daniels has to put the ball behind. Maddison takes the corner. Chilwell's shot is redirected and Wes Morgan has put Leicester ahead on 11 minutes. Not sure how much Morgan knew about it, but with his back to goal he has given Leicester the lead - in off the post.

Bournemouth are getting some passes going and Brooks slips as he shoots. Lerma has a shot deflected, but doesn't get the corner. Ball in from Fraser to Wilson and Schmeichel makes a good save. Looked a goal all ends up, but Wilson didn't finish well.

Bournemouth are gaining in confidence though. Gray is free and Tielemans is stopped by Mepham who has to make a great tackle to stop Leicester getting in again.

Leicester attack AFCB down the left and Maddison has a shot that just goes wide of the left post from 22 yards out.

Daniels plays a good ball in but there are no AFCB players getting near it. Brooks fouls Chilwell. Some 24 minutes gone and AFCB trail. Begovic catches the ball on the bounce. Gosling is pulled up for grappling with Maddison.

Gray plays a ball into Vardy who is free in the centre, but he has put the chance wide of the left post. Where was AFCB's marking? A bad miss for Vardy on 28 minutes.

Clyne wins a free kick. Bournemouth just holding their shape at the moment. Leicester have run offside. The sun is causing a problem for AFCB's central defenders - it's in their eye line.

Leicester win another free kick. Middison has a shot go wide. Fraser pulls back a ball to King but he has shot wide and high.

Fraser is starting to get on the ball , but it's not falling for AFCB in the box. Fraser is knocked off the ball but doesn't get the decision.


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Leicester are happy to play keep ball at the back. Vardy has the chance to shoot after Clyne's  wayward header, but Aké makes the block for a corner.

Gosling makes a horrible pass when he should have put Fraser in the clear. Wilson gets caught off side.

Just one minute of added time. Daniels puts a big throw in.  It's half-time
Leicester were fearless but AFCB hadn't turned up.
Second half
Barnes gets around the AFCB right side but can't find a blue shirt. King tries to get Wilson away but Schmeichel comes out in time.

Aké again makes a block from a cross from Gray. Bournemouth are having to defend deep.  It's very congested in midfield. Gray puts in a cross that goes right across the box and Chilwell wins a corner.

Boruc is out quickly to stop Vardy's run, Rico is coming on for Daniels on 56 minutes. Maddison plays a ball just too strong which would have put Vardy in.

Wilson wins a corner. Gosling hits a skyward volley over. Tielemans has a pop from distance that goes wide. AFCB under pressure here. Howe has to change things soon.

Tielemans breaks into the box and Maddison hits a shot too high. It's all Leicester despite the singing from AFCB fans. Gray has another shot blocked by Aké.

Solanke comes on fro Lerma on 64 minutes. Brooks has come back into a central role. Mepham gets away with risky square ball at the back. Aké makes another block on Tielemans' shot.

Pereira makes a great run in the box and the ball falls to Vardy who has a shot saved low down by Begovic.

AFCB have a free kick just outside of the centre circle. It's out for a throw in. Rico has a shot from distance blocked. Solanke is getting into the game.

There's 20 minutes to go. King runs straight into Evans. Gosling has been booked for a pull back on Maddison. It looks like King is coming off.

Barnes has been subbed and Mendy is coming on after 72 minutes. Stanislas is stripped ready to come on for Josh King on 74 minutes.

Just 12 minutes to go. Leicester win another corner off Aké. brooks slips and gets a card for pulling Tielemans.

Leicester put a cross in from the Tielemans on the right and Vardy has beaten Begovic to the ball and headed it past him to make it 2-0 on 82 minutes. It had been coming for a while. Big misjudgement from Begovic.

AFCB have a free kick. Stanislas cross is cleared. Aké now has a free kick on the right. The ball goes to the far post and Gosling calls for a penalty, but it's waved away. Bournemouth are not at the races today.

Chance for Maddison at the near post but it's wide. Gray is subbed for Ghezzal. Vardy is replaced by Iheanacho in the 90th minute. Three minutes of added time to go.

Solanke overruns the ball for a goal kick.
Leicester's day.
Summary
Bournemouth looked like they were still in Dubai. The energy and commitment in front of goal just wasn't there and Leicester could have won by more than the score line. It is going to be a big training week ahead for the lads. Only Nathan Aké and Ryan Fraser caught the eye. Leicester were by far the better side. The second goal also looked a poor goalkeeping mistake, so Howe will wonder if he really made the right call to drop Boruc for this game.
AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Rico, Simpson, Ibe, Stanislas, Mousset, Solanke

AFCB ratings
Begovic 3, Clyne 4, Mepham 5, Aké 8, Daniels 4, Brooks 4, Lerma 5, Gosling 6, Fraser 7, King 5, Wilson 4


Cherry Chimes' MOM: Nathan Aké

Leicester City: 1 
Schmeichel, 14 Pereira, 5 Morgan, 6 Evans, 3 Chilwell, 21 Tielemans, 25 Ndidi,

10 Maddison, 7 Gray, 9 Vardy, 19 Barnes

Leicester Subs
4 Söyüncü, 28 Fuchs, 12 Ward, 20 Okazaki, 31 Ghezzal, 24 Mendy, 8 Iheanacho

Ref Watch: Lee Mason 5/10 not many free kicks for our side.

Cherry Chimes' Newsletter - out tomorrow
Cherry Chimes' April Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. It's out today, with special story - Nation's League Semi-final could be spectacular viewing for AFCB fans

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Saturday, 30 March 2019

Can AFCB catch the Foxes?

Leicester City have pulled themselves ahead of AFCB and yet, at the start of the season it was AFCB who were on top form against Leicester when they played at home. The return fixture is a very enticing match, not only because Leicester have a new manager who Eddie Howe is yet to beat, but a win for Bournemouth would put them level on points with Leicester.
Can AFCB play as well as they did at home against Leicester City?
The fate of Bournemouth's season rests on these last few games. Either we write it off as a good start, but a missed opportunity to have the best season so far in the Premier League, or the team gets back to it's early season form and heads into the top 10. One of the teams Bournemouth have to try and get past is their next opponents. Leicester have ambitions of their own to reach the top seven places, and yet they have found it hard to get back to back wins of late. Their home form is good though with wins over Fulham and Brighton in their last two home games.

Jamie Vardy is again getting on the score sheet and he heads their goal chart with 12 goals form his 27 appearances. Vardy's pace is still upsetting teams and while Bournemouth have usually had Steve Cook playing against him they will have to see how close Chris Mepham can get to Vardy in this game. This should be a good test for Mepham.


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Another key battle will be between Wilfred Ndidi and Jefferson Lerma in midfield. Both are very mobile players and it will be important to prevent  Ndidi from getting too far forward. Ndidi has a good record of influencing games from the middle and isn't afraid of getting shots off.

Leicester still have the same defenders though who will find it hard to compete well against the pace of Wilson and King. Bournemouth should have a stronger bench as well now that Dan Gosling, Adam Smith and Junior Stanislas have been training this week.

Leicester City Home Form
LLLWW

AFCB Away Form
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Score Predictions
If you fancy winning a Cherry Chimes' T-Shirt send in your score prediction for Leicester City v AFCB to @CherryChimes on Twitter or email Cherrychimesblog@gmail.com with your score. I'll pick a winner from the correct entries.

Possible AFCB Lineup
AFCB Subs: Begovic, Simpson, Rico, Gosling, Surman, Mousset, Solanke.



AFCB TV Preview


In other news, AFCB announced financial losses of £10.9m this year - See SkySports

Friday, 29 March 2019

Rival Lines: "Puel was given a poisoned chalice," says Leicester Till I Die

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Leicester City v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Leicester Till I Die
Twitter: @Leicestertid


While AFCB were soaking up the hot temperatures in Dubai, I sent a quick request off to Chris  Forryan at Leicester Till I Die to answer some questions ahead of the game with Bournemouth. Leicester City have had am improving season and yet have still changed their manager as well as suffered a horrible tragedy losing their owner. So are their fans confident they can finish the season in good for with a tilt at trying to get into Europe?

CC: Has the mood changed much around Leicester now that you have a new manager?

LTID: OMG YES YES & YES!!!  The atmosphere was flat under Puel. Played like crabs side to side nothing to get the crowd excited, but a top manager has been appointed and the future looks bright with the exciting players we have in our squad.

CC: Do you think Brendan Rodgers was the right appointment?

LTID: Personally yes, sooner have had Rodgers then Benetiz, as did the majority of the fans so they can’t complain if it goes wrong, that said we are football fans so of course we will.

Puel was given the poisoned chalice of breaking up the old Premier League winning squad bringing through and in the youngsters which to be fair he had started to do. But the results were not there as the changes were made. Rodgers likes young attacking teams, hopefully will be a perfect match – time will of course, tell.

CC: Are Leicester strong enough to play in Europe next season if you do finish seventh?

LTID: 
Were we strong enough to play in the Champions League when we won the title? Nuff said.


CC: Has James Maddison been one of Leicester's best buys in a long time?

LTID: Was overjoyed when we signed him, I think Rodgers will give him more freedom to express his natural talents.
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CC: The home form has been good but clean sheet seem to have escaped you, but can you see the team keeping more clean sheets in these final games?


LTID: Our back 3/4 is a work in progress. Maybe not this season but once Rodgers gets his best players in the positions he wants I think it will come but maybe it will be next season.

CC: Leicester had a strange match at Bournemouth earlier this season, but Leicester fought back to get two goals. Do you expect Leicester to be better organised to deal with Bournemouth's pace this time?

LTID: I’ll let you know at 5pm on Saturday!! Rodgers came in to steady the ship till the end of the season and see his squad in competitive games, but I really do hope so.

CC: Have Leicester got any major player injuries?

LTID: Albrighton who is out till the end of the season.

CC: How do you expect Leicester to line up for this game?

LTID: Its anyone's guess as Rodgers is experimenting, but Morgan should return to defence to cover Maguire’s one game ban. But would like to see Gray get some more time under Rodgers as he is one player that could benefit form Rodgers coming in and he has great potential.

CC: Where do you think Bournemouth and Leicester will finish in the table?

LTID: Top 10 for us which I would take after the season we have had to endure, and if you can get your early season form back no reason why you couldn’t join us.

Thanks for the answers Chris. I'd like to think this will be an entertaining game with plenty of goalmouth action at both ends. It could be one of those games which just comes down to who finishes their chances better as the league table shows there is not much between these two sides.

To read more of Chris' views pop over to Leicester Till I Die .

Cherry Chimes also previews Leicester v AFCB on Leicester Till I Die.


Score Predictions
If you fancy winning a Cherry Chimes' T-Shirt send in your score prediction for Leicester City v AFCB to @CherryChimes on Twitter or email Cherrychimesblog@gmail.com with your score. I'll pick a winner from the correct entries.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

AFCB can see seventh place slipping away

The pace that Wolves and Watford are setting is perhaps too much for AFCB to catch now. The race for seventh place has been competitive but I kind of feel that AFCB have let their challenge for European football slip away over the last three or four months with some rather poor away form that is perhaps too hard to offset with the remaining fixtures.

Should we be disappointed at the Cherries' slide since those opening 10 games? I don't believe so. The point is the Cherries did have a good start and the players know what its like to be up and in the running at the top end of the league. Eddie Howe can use that experience in future seasons and the more the players gain experience, whether when they are at the top or bottom of the league it will remind the players that they can achieve what they want.
Where will AFCB finish this season?
The club has often referred to rising expectations. These can be good or they can be a drag on players when the going gets tough. But it is important to have some goals at the start and during the season for players to try and achieve. Whether a league spot of seventh was really in the mind of AFCB from day one I'm not so sure, but obviously the good start put it in everyone's mind that it could be possible.

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The amount of goals that AFCB have conceded and the dearth of goals from central midfield, coupled to the poor away form have prevented AFCB from making a stronger challenge for the seventh spot. These are the areas where AFC have to improve, but at least they know they can get themselves into a position where they can challenge the top teams and that means it has not been a wasted season in my opinion, but a fairly positive one.

Cherry Chimes previews Leicester v AFCB on Leicester Till I Die.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

We can be proud of the Minus 17 history

Bournemouth's dramatic escape from dropping into non-league football in 2008-9 appears just as miraculous today as it did at the time. Transfer embargoes, points deductions, manager sackings and financial meltdowns and over spending had finally landed Bournemouth hovering above the relegation trap door. AFCB should have gone down, but the club not only survived - it thrived.
Past triumphs shouldn't become distant memories.
The video that is coming out entitled Minus 17 will no doubt recapture the sense of how desperate the times were when Eddie Howe first came into management. Bournemouth were about as far from a Premier League club as you could imagine, and to go down to non-league would not have surprised anyone. But the club pulled together under the appointment of Eddie Howe and wit the return of Steve Fletcher the team galvanised itself into a team with tremendous fighting spirit. The odds were well against survival, but that didn't seem to matter. Bournemouth felt hard done by, everyone was against them and by surviving they could welcome in a new era of football.

When Steve Fletcher did strike the winning goal against Grimsby Town in the crunch game at the end of the season it was more a feeling of relief than anything else for most fans. Out of adversity comes hope sometimes and Eddie Howe had given the players hope that they could achieve something special. If it wasn't at the top of the league then maybe these players could do something special at the bottom of it. Of course they did and went on to win promotion the following season to League One.


Those days seem quite distant now, but the energy they created I feel is still with us in the Premier League. The big teams are still there and AFCB are hitting above their weight as usual. We may have lost some of the small club mentality, but we'll never forget how proud we were of the 2008-09 team for saving football at Dean Court. They deserve recognition and perhaps more than just in a video, because everyone associated with the club was a hero and it was the start of what made the club what it is today.

In other news, Ryan Fraser has cleared up why he didn't go to Kazakhstan with Scotland's squad. The artificial pitch was worry for him having injured his knee previously on a similar surface.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Begovic could look for new club this summer

The frustration that Asmir Begovic will have endured this year will be similar to how Artur Boruc was feeling at the start of the season. No goalkeeper wants to be out of the team as it's not a position that will get changed regularly and Begovic may not be as keen as others to bide his time this summer if an offer comes in for him.
Asmir Begovic isn't sitting comfortably on the bench.
Begovic still has the best years as a goalkeeper on his side, but if he can't shift Boruc from the number one spot he faces another long period on the bench as he did at Chelsea. That is probably something that Begovic can't find easy to accept and with Mark Travers gaining experience as an international keeper, it is possible that Howe could decide that the camp is better to let Begovic go, rather than have him sulking.

That may seem a strange decision to make as Begovic is the most recent keeper signing, but Howe can only play one keeper a any one time, and if Boruc is the number one then that is how things are. Asmir has kept five clean sheets and has made 22 appearances. Boruc is playing catch up on nine appearances and three clean sheets, but I'd put Boruc as favourite to improve his clean sheets further before the end of the season.

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While Boruc may not have many years left at the top, he has proved this season that he is worthy of keeping the number one shirt above Begovic. It would be easy to say to Begovic to sit and wait it out, but the games missed don't come around again and a keeper's value doesn't exactly start rising when he isn't getting picked.

Personally, I'd like to see AFCB bring in a fresh keeper this coming season if Travers is not yet considered experienced enough to be a number two. But if Begovic does go it could be the making of Travers.

In other news, Callum Wilson played 10 minutes for England as a second hand sub against Montenegro.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Does it matter if Wilson doesn't play against Montenego?

Callum Wilson missed out on playing against Czech Republic on Friday and was an unused substitute. He has done all the training though with England and will no doubt be enjoying his time with the other England players. But he'll want to play.
Will Wilson have ti wait long before attempting to get his second England goal?
Gareth Southgate is spoilt for choice in the front line with the form of Kane, Sterling and Hudson-Odoi impressing in the last match. The formation of 4-3-3 perhaps didn't suit an appearance from Wilson, but away from home Southgate could change formation.

We have really only seen Wilson play as a number nine and how he would do on the right side of a front three would be of interest to see, but Kane has played a full game and might only be used for 60 minutes against Montenegro if England are well ahead. That could give Wilson the chance for his second cap. The team is very young and Southgate knows that the only way his young players are going to get experience is to play them.

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Wilson has done nothing wrong and will have to bide his time. As long as he stays positive I'm sure his time will come again. He may not get to run on the grass in this international break which will be a pity for him, but he'll now he is still in the manager's thoughts and just has to keep banging in the goals for AFCB.

In other news
Nathan Aké was an unused sub in the Netherland's 2-3 defeat to Germany.

I was privileged to be shown a fan's vision of what AFCB's new stadium could look like in Kings Park. You can also see for yourself the design that Marius Sepek has made here.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Brooks sees yellow during win over Slovakia

Bournemouth players did their bit to help Wales overcome a stubborn Slovakia side who tested Ryan Giggs' Welsh team all the way. In the end it was just a first half goal that decided the game and Brooks had a part in the goal even though he won't be that proud of his part in it.
David Brooks and Chris Mepham are starting games for Wales.
Brooks played up front along with Dan James and Gareth Bale. The moment that led to the Welsh goal was a tad disappointing for Brooks as he ran well up the right side before cutting in and looking to find a team-mate in the centre, but his pass went straight to a Solvakian defender. That should have been the move over, but Dan James pounced on the defender and drive a shot quickly past the keeper's right hand to give Wales the lead.

David Brooks lasted until the 60th minute when he went down knowing he would be subbed. But having sat on the ball and deciding to sit on the turf looking to the touchline, the referee booked Brooks for slowing the game and not walking straight off. There is perhaps still some things for David to learn at the top level as he looked a bit bewildered in getting carded.



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Team-mate, Chris Mepham had a less controversial game and Wales rarely looked like they would concede, even if Slovakia had their moments when they controlled possession and put Wales under some late pressure. It will be another clean sheet for Mepham and he'll be pleased to let Eddie Howe know that he did his job well. 

King on spot against Spain

Josh King had a pretty quiet match against Spain, but he gave the Norwegians great hope of getting a point from the game when Johnsen was bundled over on the box on 65 minutes. King was right on spot with his penalty beating David de Gea low to the keeper's left.
King almost got Norway a result against Spain.
The celebrations didn't last long though because Morata was fouled in the box on 70 minutes and Ramos cheekily chipped the ball from the spot into the roof of the net to make it 2-1. Spain had taken the lead earlier in the first half by getting behind Norway on their right side and Rodrigo had opened the scoring.

Josh King has been working hard on his spot kicks. He has had many for AFCB this season and is clearly getting more practise with Norway. While Norway play with two upfront like AFCB, King was not getting much of the ball in the first half when playing with Elyounoussi. The best chance for Norway fell to Elyounoussi just after the half hour, but de Gea made a good save.

Josh would have been pleased to get a point against Spain in group F where Norway also have Romania and Sweden in their group. King almost saved a point in the last minute of added time when his cross for the head bandaged Johnsen was headed just wide. Although the game didn't pan out so well for Norway and King, Josh will have another game under his belt against what was high-quality opposition, and if he can calm himself well enough to score from the spot for Norway against de Gea, then he will certainly feel confident for AFCB next time he steps up for a spot kick.

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In other news, Mark Travers was an unused sub in the Republic of Ireland's 0-1 away win over Gibraltar.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Dubai should quicken recovery of Francis and Cook

The heat of Dubai could not only provide AFCB's players with some sense of well-being just from the warm conditions, it is likely to help the injury recovery of Lewis Cook and Simon Francis in particular. These players have been around the team even when they don't play, but there is nothing like boosting their own determination to get back to being fit when they can be laughing and joking with the team in an environment designed to get the very best out of players.
Lewis Cook and Simon Francis will be trying to be ready for
AFCB a month  or two into next season.
Just watching the other players do their training will get Francis and Cook more anxious to speed their own recovery. They can feel much more a part of the team if they do their work and at the end of the day can talk to the other players about how training went, and relax simply to talk about how their day went.

No doubt the facilities out in Dubai are also five stars and the best doctors the country has to offer will be available to the players needing rehab. We have seen Tyrone Mings and Callum Wilson make the use of this in the past and it's clearly a location that AFCB have become rather attached to in recent seasons.

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Getting away from the last few games is also probably not a bad thing. The season is a short one now with players knowing they just have seven matches to the break. The minds could well be wondering already about the summer break and AFCB still have some work to do, so hopefully the nice weather and new surroundings put smiles on faces. It would certainly be good to come back from the trip and hear that Junior Stanislas, Andrew Surman, Dan Gosling and Adam Smith are back in contention to play.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Central midfield role for Brooks could be exciting for AFCB

We saw a bit of a change in the line up for last Saturday's match against Newcastle. There was no Andrew Surman because of a calf injury, and the injury could well be bad enough to keep Surman out for the rest of the season.
David Brooks could become a more versatile player.

So with David Brooks named in the starting eleven, it was good to see him get another chance to play in central midfield rather than on the wings. I thought he did reasonably well, even if he is perhaps coming back from his Achilles problem and not quite back to his sharpest yet. What I expect Howe is thinking is that Brooks has great vision and can pick a pass. If he can get Brooks sitting more comfortable playing in midfield, behind the two front strikers it could add another dimension to Bournemouth's play.


Brooks is no slouch and can push on through tackles well and if he can find himself getting into positions in the middle of the pitch, where he can thread ball through to the attackers or shoot himself, he could have even more influence in matches than he does playing out on the wing. For David's personal development, it is no doubt good for him to experience playing in different positions anyway at this stage of his career.

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Brooks still has a lot of potential. He will bulk up more I'm sure and this would help him if he does find that central midfield is more to his liking. For the moment, he could get the rest of the season next to Lerma, which again would be a good learning curve for him, and if he keeps developing at his quick rate, we could have an even better player on our hands next season.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Solanke shows encouraging signs

Eddie Howe only made one substitution against Newcastle. The bench was not full of players who could perhaps influence the game and he chose Domonic Solanke who put in a performance that certainly got noticed by the fans.
Solanke is starting look more like a Premier League striker.
The aim is always to come on and make an impact and Solanke was pleased he did that. He doesn't always look like he has the ball under control, but he has a good presence of mind and when he confidently got himself into the box. He kept his concentration well to hold off several Newcastle players around him before finding the well-placed Josh King to give Bournemouth their second goal.

I suppose Solanke's aim will be to break his own duck of scoring before the end of the season and this may help him feel a bit more like he is contributing to the team in an attacking sense. The task of getting in front of King or Wilson is not going to be easy and he is doing well to rival Mousset who also has just as much need to get minutes from the bench.
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What I can see about Solanke is that he does a lot of running. Whether he can start to make more runs that are going to be picked out by his team members is what I'm looking out for now. If he can get an understanding with the midfielders then he may find he is contributing more. He certainly has a shot on him and I'm curious to see whether he can score some goals from outside the box and headers, as well as tap-ins. He has some time this season to show us what he can do and it would be great to get another striker who really feels at home in the Premier League and playing for Bournemouth, because the big clubs could well come in for King or Wilson this summer.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

King's back on form

I had been a bit down on Josh King after the Huddersfield game where he had missed a few chances and didn't quite seem himself. He certainly bounced back against Newcastle with a brace of goals, and he is still the player most trusted to take the spot kicks, which could end up making him the highest scorer for AFCB this season.
Is King on target to be AFCB's top scorer.
While the personal battle between Wilson and King for top goalscorer is likely to go to the last game, I sense that the competition is good for both players. Neither wants to finish behind the other and they both have 11 Premier League goals and will want to get past 15 I'd suspect before the season finishes.

When King stepped up to take the penalty against Newcastle, having seen Aké brought down, I didn't really expect anything but for King to score. He has missed penalties this season, but has never missed two consecutively and I don't expect hm to put another one on to the post.
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His second goal in open play is what we really love to see more of. He arrived like a train and simply passed the ball into the net for Bournemouth's second goal, and the ease at which he made the goal look was what made it a stand out moment. True, Solanke had done much of the work for him, but King held his nerve and knew exactly where to put his shot giving the keeper no chance.

I imagine this week there will be some banter before the end of the season with Wilson as to who is going to finish top in the goal scoring stakes. Wilson may be the striker who usually gets the headlines, but King is equally as determined to be the top striker and I'm not sure who will win this season.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

We want Ibe to keep tackling back

It was disappointing that Jordan Ibe was booked after tracking back to stop the run of Almirón in the match against Newcastle last weekend. I know that many of the fans around by me don't even think he fouled the Newcastle player.
Ibe seems damned if he does and damned if he doesn't do something these days.
While I have been a critic of Ibe at times, he is doing the kind of jobs that Eddie Howe wants him to do. He is trying to help the defence out when the opposition come down the right side, and while he didn't quite get his tackle right against Almirón, I'm sure Howe would rather he make a challenge then just leave his defender exposed.

The fact that Solomón Rondón hit a great free kick and scored should not put Ibe off from making such challenges in future. We don't want AFCB to concede free kicks around the box, but we need players to put pressure on the opposition and prevent them having strikes when cover is thin. The Premier League does have many free kick experts who can test keepers from outside the box, but at least a team gets the chance to organise themselves if they do concede a free kick.

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Whether Mike Dean was correct or not, he gave the free kick and it was a harsh reaction for AFCB to be 0-1 down at half-time. Ibe was perhaps not in Howe's good books as he was the first and only substitution and Howe felt that both Newcastle goals could have been prevented. Still I want Ibe to develop into an all round player who can defend as well as attack and this latest episode will hopefully not hold him back.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Ritchie wanted the last word

Rather than curse and shout after Ritchie's last minute equaliser, I just smiled while applauding the genius of the man. Yes, it was annoying that he should stop Bournemouth from getting to 40 points, but there was something inside me that remembered the cheeky Matt Ritchie who used to do that sort of thing for Bournemouth.
Matt Ritchie is still a player who can conjure magical finishes.
I'd have liked to have beaten Newcastle, especially as they had got one over us earlier on the season. Before the match though, I felt that it could be a 1-1 draw and I was really pleased on entering added time seeing AFCB 2-1 up. The game should have been won I suppose but I didn't see a great many mistakes in the run up to Newcastle's equaliser. Yes, players could have got closer to Yedlin who had pulled out wide, but when you are past 90 minutes into a game the legs can't always do what the mind wants them to do.

Who would have thought that Ritchie would be waiting on the other end of the cross and would instinctively shape to try and hit a wonder goal. He hadn't given Boruc any worries, but for a few crosses during the previous 90 minutes and he was having to create his own space with Clyne and King in close attendance. But he watched the ball fall perfectly on to his left foot and the finish was so sharp, I can't blame Boruc for not getting anywhere near it.


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The frustration of the incident really got to Clyne who we could see hammering his fist repeatedly on the ground knowing that the three points had gone. It was interesting to see that it mattered to him so much as a player on loan. Surely he has bought into the Bournemouth life now and perhaps he can see a future on the south coast beyond the next seven games.

As for Ritchie. Take a bow son. I commend him for the restrained celebrations. That must have been hard for him, because he knows it was an absolute screamer and I can understand why he wanted to raise his arms and say how about that to the Newcastle fans as they need the points as well. Newcastle contributed to a great game.
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