Monday, 30 September 2019

Callum Wilson unfortunate not to net twice

I hope Callum Wilson has not been too hard on himself over the weekend for not getting a brace against West Ham. He can be pleased with the goal he did get, and will I am sure have been ruing the goal that didn't quite come as he failed to beat Roberto in West Ham's goal when he had been slipped clean through.
Not quite on target!
Strikers are always going to fail to take some of those opportunities. It was unfortunate that Wilson didn't do the keeper with his eyes this time and the block was good enough to stop the goal. Callum has been doing well though to get himself int those positions. It is how he scored AFCB's goal against Leicester, and he also beat the keeper in a one-on-one against Everton, when Diego Rico played him in over the top for Bournemouth's third goal.

I don't think there is another striker AFCB fans would rather get the one-on-one situations than Callum and I'm sure he'll keep working at them. It was a shame in this West Ham game though as the goal would have put Bournemouth well in the clear at 3-1. Bournemouth might have been flattered by that scoreline, but it is those little details that define a season and we'll just have to hope that more of them end up in AFCB's favour.


While Wilson will be a player that wants the responsibility, we don't want him being worried about the next time he is in a similar position. In some ways it might have helped Solanke to get into such a position, but he hasn't been that lucky yet. I was impressed with Solanke's work though for setting up Callum's goal at the start of the second half. He has nimble footwork for a big man. Eddie Howe will be keen to get all his strikers confident in front of goal and as he says, the team is not quite there yet on what it can do.

AFCB at least responded to going behind against West Ham

The match against West Ham United was the first game this season where Bournemouth had managed to get something in a game where they had gone behind. While it might be disappointing that they did not hold on to the win when they got ahead, AFCB can take some pleasure form making a game of it which they didn't manage when falling behind to Man City and Leicester City.

Going a goal down doesn't happen that often at
Dean Court for AFCB. West Ham were a good team.
The speed of Bournemouth's reply was to West Ham's opening goal was just seven minutes and by launching lightening attacks, Bournemouth always looked like they could trouble the Hammers. King's goal was pretty scrappy though. The ball was thumped high into the box for Aké to won and King was virtually unopposed to score. It was another goal that originated from a set-piece, a corner, and it is clear that AFCB have been doing a lot of work on making goals from such plays.

Staying in games and not letting heads drop is easier said than done, and towards the end of the first half, Bournemouth did well not to concede when Fiipe Anderson pulled out an amazing save from Ramsdale. I am not sure if Bournemouth would have found it so easy to get a point from the game if they had gone behind for the second time just before half-time.

It has been rare for Bournemouth not to take the lead at home. There will be days when the team starts better. Eddie Howe admitted that they were not the best out of the blocks for this game and that perhaps contributed to West Ham's early goal opportunity.

Cherry Chimes Newsletter - out tomorrow!
Cherry Chimes' October Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. It's out tomorrow, with special story - Team spirit is still evident at AFCB

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Sunday, 29 September 2019

The Cherries have to be satisfied with draw 2-2 against the Hammers

Match Report
AFCB 2 v 2 West Ham United
28 September 2019
Attendance: 10,729
Plenty of goals at Dean Court again.
Bournemouth almost had this game in the bag but a missed opportunity from Callum Wilson and a VAR offside decision prevented them from getting a 3-1 lead and West Ham came back to grab a point which was probably just about deserved. The Cherries had come from behind when Yarmolenko had put West Ham ahead on 10 minutes with a sharp shot into the corner. Josh King had got the Cherries back on level terms with a scrambled goal after a corner that needed a VAR decision, before it was finally given. The game looked to have swung Bournemouth's way when Callum Wilson swivelled to find the bottom corner of then net just a minute into the second half, but West Ham put the pressure on Bournemouth's defence which eventually game way when Aaron Cresswell rescued a point late on.
Bournemouth walk out against West Ham

There are more images on Match Day Gallery.

AFCB name an unchanged team. Ryan Fraser was ill and did not make the squad, but Arnaud Danjuma and Simon Francis made the subs bench.

West Ham fans Terry and Cameron talk to 
Cherry Chimes (we had a bit of a breeze affecting the sound)

Bournemouth soon knew it was going to be a rough afternoon. Harry Wilson took a late challenge from Cresswell in the opening minutes. Stacey kept the attack going but ran out of room.

Fornals took West Ham's first corner and Cresswell blasted his shot against King. Billlng ran up the left and and crossed for King, who took it down well and forced a save, but he's given offside.

Haller is offside on 15 minutes. Yarmolenko goes down but resumes a few moments later. Billing loses the ball and Aké has to block a shot from Fornals.

A cross from Anderson to Haller in the box. He turns and finds Yarmolenko who fires it into the left side of the goal on 10 minutes. West Ham go 1-0 up.

Aké is caught offside from a long ball from Rico. Corner, Rico puts the ball back in and it comes off Rico and King puts the ball in, but was he offside? VAR is checking the goal. After a long check the goal is given.Bournemouth are level on 17 minutes.

AFCB break. Stacey can't quit get their in time. Lerma gets a block on Noble for a corner on 25 minutes and Aké clears well.

Fredericks gets down the right and Stacey puts it out for another corner with Yarmolenko closing. A good run from Solanke and Harry Wilson wins the corner. Solanke heads over at the near post on 31 minutes. Rico is booked for a foul on Yarmolenko.

West Ham substitute Fabianski for Roberto Jiminez on 33 minutes. Cresswell fires over from the free kick.

Wilson plays Stacey in but the cross is too strong. West Ham break and Anderson crosses. At first it is cut out but works its way to Noble who fires wide. That was close.

Aké heads towards goal from the corner but it has no power. There are four minutes of added time. Great block by Stacey on Forlans, then Ramsdale saves from Anderson for a corner. It comes off Solanke. Ogbonna misses a header on the six yard box. Ramsdale punches. That's half time 1-1
1-1 at half-time
Second half
Solanke goes down the wing. He decides not to pass to Rico and Callum steps on the ball, but turns towards goal and fires in 2-1. Great run by Solanke beating two or three players and he got his head up to find King and Callum Wilson who turned well to score.

Forlans is blocked. Forlans a a on blocked by Billing. Free kick to the Hammers, Rico has to be careful.

Great move by Bournemouth. Callum Wilson was slipped in by Harry Wilson who pulled it back and King left it for Billing and it goes wide for a corner. The defender got a touch.

Aké scores from the corner, but it's offside. Solanke we think was offside and it's no goal.

Billing wins a free kick. Harry Wilson to Rico and Callum Wilson heads over. Corner to West Ham on 61 minutes. Yarmalenko fires just wide of the left post.

West Ham are dominating play. Stacey breaks but there is no Bournemouth player in the box. Corner now to Bournemouth on 65 minutes.

Stacey to Wilson and the keeper just keeps it out for a corner. Solanke gets under it and heads over.

Lanzini comes on for Forlans on 68 minutes. Anderson's shot is blocked by Stacey. Shot saved by Ramsdale from Fredericks. Yarmolenko crosses to Anderson and he heads it but its cleared off the line by Aké.

Solanke flicks it on to Harry Wilson who is running at goal and plays it to Wilson on and the keeper saves with his feet on 72 minutes.That was a great chance to extend the lead.

Bournemouth don't get hold of it and Anderson heads it down and Cresswell on the left makes it 2-2 shooting across Ramsdale on 74 minutes. Noble is subbed for Wilshere.

Solanke is just kept out by Diop. Harry Wilson goes off for Danjuma on 78 minutes. Diop is booked. Rico in for Callum Wilson and Roberto saves low down at his near post.

Lerma in to Solanke but the shot is half hit. Lerma to King, who goes down - shirt pulling by Cresswell, no penalty. Steve Cook is booked.AFCB sub Stacey and Billing. On come Lewis Cook and Simon Francis on 89 minutes.

Lerma is booked for a foul on Haller. Three added minutes. Francis chips over the top and Callum Wilson crosses but right into the keeper's arms. Full-time 2-2.

Another point to the total.
A tough game. Bournemouth had the game in their hands but just couldn't kill off West Ham. They had started slowly and had come out much more alert in the second half. But West Ham are a hard fighting team and they never gave up. A draw was not a bad result when Yarmolenko and Fornals had a lot of the game for the Hammers. But a VAR disallowed goal, Callum Wilson's one-on -one and Creswell's tug on Josh King in the box could have given Bournemouth the edge, if one of those instances had turned out differently. Still, Ramsdale again showed why he is Bournemouth's number one and Jack Stacey had his best game for the Cherries.

West Ham Utd
1 Fabianski, 24 Fredericks, 23 Diop, 21 Ogbonna, 3 Creswell, 41 Rice.
7 Yarmolenko, 16 Noble, 18 Fornals, 8. Anderson, 22 Haller

West Ham Subs
13 Roberto Jimenez, 4 Balbuena, 5 Zabaleta, 11 Snodgrass, 19.Wilshere,
27 Ajeti, 10 Lanzini

Ref Watch: Stuart Atwell 2/10 let far too much go. there were some nasty moments in the game and he didn't nip it in the bud.

AFCB Ratings
Ramsdale 7, Stacey 8, S Cook 7 Aké 7 Rico 7, H Wilson 6, Billing 6, Lerma 7,  King 7,
C Wilson 7 Solanke 6
AFCB Line-up
AFCB Subs: 1 Boruc, 2 Francis, 6 Surman, 10 Ibe,
14 Danjuma, 16 L Cook, 33 Mepham
Cherry Chimes' MoM: Jack Stacey

Score Prediction winner @james_rood

Saturday, 28 September 2019

AFCB know they have to perform after midweek howler

Eddie Howe didn't duck the hard questions in his pre-match interview for the West Ham United game. He admitted that his players didn't perform in the Carabao Cup but was pleased to see several players are getting back to fitness.

Eddie and the team needs big home support today to get that win.
Let's make Dean Court a very loud place. UTCIAD!
Eddie was keen to stress that he played a young team in the cup and that those players need to get a game at some point. It's likely that Eddie will himself have learnt a lot about his players from the last match and he'll want to get back to winning ways.

To win three games in a row would be special in the league for AFCB. Having done the double over West Ham United last season, AFCB do have perhaps a mental edge over their opponents and being at home the game gives Bournemouth a great chance to push themselves even higher in the table.

The mood among the players will hopefully remain high after the results against Everton and Southampton. Most of the players involved in those games didn't play in midweek and at least Eddie can keep those players ticking over and reminding them of how well they played in the last two league games.

Eddie will still want to see an impact at some stage from more of his new signings and while Billing, Stacey and Harry Wilson have been hitting the standard, the manager will be eager to see Lloyd Kelly and Arnaut Danjuma get closer to knocking on the door for Premier League starts soon. It will be disappointing if we don't see at least one of them on the bench for this game. UTCIAD!

Friday, 27 September 2019

Is Solanke a good fit to play next to Wilson?

Eddie Howe has been experimenting with his attack. While he made 10 changes to the players in mid-week it was Dominic Solanke who was the sole survivor from the Southampton game. But why did Eddie Howe do that? Did he want to see Dominic get a few goals and feel more confident of his performances?
How many games will Solanke need to hit the back of the net?
If he wanted to get Solanke used to the feeling of what he faces in the Premier League than it would have been best to play him next to Callum Wilson. But Callum only came on in the second half. I can't help but think that Eddie just wanted Dominik to get the goals to see Bournemouth through the tie and get him on a more equal footing with his other strikers.

In hindsight Eddie might have been better to let Josh King have a game as the main striker as he has been shouting out for it. But the elephant in the room was the upcoming West Ham game and the chance to rest players was Eddie's main goal, I believe, rather than choosing a team that was the best for the job.

What I am still not sure about is whether the Solanke and Wilson partnership really offers anything to the team that was better than when King was partnering Callum. Now that Arnaut Danjuma and Fraser are available, there is no reason really why Howe has to play Josh King out wide and that causes a problem for Solanke. He could be withdrawn in this match having played the last two games and the fact that he has not scored yet must stat to play on Eddie's mind if not the player.

I don't mind seeing Solanke given a go, but I want to see him and Wilson work well as a partnership if they are going to be the main strikers for the season. I see that Callum can play well on his own up front as can King, but between all three strikers Eddie still hasn't found a great strike partnership. But unless he uses Ibe, Harry Wilson or Junior Stanislas when he comes back as a number 10, he has to hope that a games goes well for Solanke soon.

AFCB Possible line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Kelly, Mepham, L Cook, Surman, Ibe, Solanke
In other news, look out for some answers I gave on the West Ham Till I Die website this weekend ahead of Bournemouth's game with the Hammers.

AFCB can regain momentum by beating West Ham

Another week and the games are getting bigger. If beating Southampton was a massive boost to Bournemouth season, we have seen how defeat in the Carabao Cup can quickly bring you back down to earth. It's been the same for our next opponents in a week of shocks. Yet, both teams will put that behind them as they look to win the battle between fifth and six in the Premier League.
Can AFCB keep results coming at home?
West Ham United have been accumulating points all right but mainly at home. The 1-3 away win at Watford is their best away performance, but they could only draw with Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion. Their goal scoring is slightly inferior at 1.3 per game to most other clubs in the top six but they have scored the same amount as Leicester City who are in third. Where West Ham are strong is in defence and they have Lukas Fabianski topping the number of clean sheets this season in goal on three. The form of Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop and Angelo Ognbonna has also helped them get those clean sheets.

Bournemouth haven't managed one clean sheet yet, so there is a big difference there. But Bournemouth are equal fifth highest goal scorers, whereas West Ham are down at 11th. They have invested though in Sébastien Haller up front who has three goals and Andriy Yarmolenko who has scored twice. Add to that the assists of Felippe Anderson and the protection in midfield from Declan Rice, and you can start to see why they are sitting high in the table.
But the biggest reason for why West Ham have turned the corner I feel is in the management of Manuel Pellegrini, who is calm and exudes leadership. He has been at the top and he knows what it takes to get there. He is also honest and had little to say about the defeat in midweek other than that it was a very bad night for the Hammers. The feeling is pretty similar with Eddie Howe, but both of them are just thinking about getting three points in this next match to keep the momentum in the season going.

This game is pretty tight to call and a draw could be a popular prediction, But tell us your score predictions to see if you can pick up a Cherry Chimes T-shirt. Send in your predictions on Twitter to @CherryChimes.

West Ham Away Form

AFCB Home Form

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Rotation is not always helpful for AFCB

As expected, Eddie Howe made the changes he felt were needed to keep the first team players rested and give valuable minutes to players who needed game time at Burton Albion. The problem was that AFCB are now big fish and the Brewers would see this game as their cup final, even if it was only in front of 2500 fans.
A bad night at the office 
The fact that the lights went out is quite fitting. Bournemouth's game faded out if you like before it had started with Burton Albion scoring as early as the 15th minute. AFCB can make excuses about the lights failing and it disrupting place, but on the evidence of the first half Burton were well worth their lead at half time and Travers was the busier of the two keepers by some distance.

The hook was going to come out for somebody and it was Gavin Kilkenny who made way at half time for Harry Wilson. With hardly a shot on goal, AFCB needed some creativity. It didn't come.

Whether AFCB's hearts were in it by this stage is hard to tell. The game had been interrupted several ties for the floodlight failure and it wasn't sure if the game was going to continue. But play did resume and it was Burton who fashioned a second goal on 73 minutes.

Eddie Howe has said before that he would look at such cup games and take them seriously against lower opposition, but to make so many changes is difficult. Bournemouth just don't have the kind of squad that can get away with it when they come up against a determined lower league team. For once, Eddie looked lost for words about what had happened on AFCB TV. He'll have to plan for something better against West Ham United.

The lights out of AFCB's Carabao Cup

Match Report
Burton Albion 2 v 0 AFCB
Carabao Cup 3rd Round
25 September 2019
Attendance: 2505
Eddie Howe didn't have much to look out on at Burton. It was
fitting that the lights went out of AFCB's performance.
Bournemouth travelled up to the Brewers with strong hopes of continuing their positive start to the season. However, they feel a goal down on 15 minutes when Sarkic volleyed in to give Burton Albion the lead. It could have been 2-0 moments later when Broadhead's shot was saved by Travers. When the flood lights went out, it perhaps gave AFCB a chance to get their heads back together. But Broadhead made it 2-0 on 72 minutes and Bournemouth were out of the cup.

Bournemouth rotated their squad and were probably taking a big risk by doing so. Still it gave a chance for Lloyd Kelly, Simon Francis and Lewis Cook to get some minutes in a competitive match and Solanke also had the pressure of trying to get off the mark for goals this season. Among the subs were Danjuma, Harry Wilson and Callum Wilson.

Match tweets

00 Pirelli Stadium

And we're off! Jordon Ibe gets us started

6 SHOT BREWERS: Boyce has a go from 20 yards - deflected wide

7 CORNER BREWERS: Travers comes to collect

8 CORNER BOURNEMOUTH: Headed clear by Akins8 A quiet start...The Cherries have seen a fair bit of the ball in the early stages but neither side has created too much going forward.

15 CHANCE BREWERS: Snapshot from Edwards as ball breaks in box - saved

Goal for Burton...A deep ball goes into the box and falls to Sarkic at the back post, who powers home to give the hosts the lead.

GOAL BREWERS: Sarkic slams the ball in at the far post from Hutchinson's cross . Great finish and first goal for Albion 1-017 CHANCE BREWERS: Broadhead gets the ball in space on the edge of the area and drives a shot at goal, but there is Travers to divert over the crossbar.

18 CORNER BREWERS: Too long for Boyce at far post

23 Ibe goes down... Ibe dribbles with the ball from the centre of the pitch and works his way into the box. He looks to be brought down, but the referee quickly waves claims away. 19 SHOT BREWERS: Boyce tries his luck and his effort is deflected wide

26 Wallace plays the ball long for Broadhead who heads wide of the far post

28 Free-kick for the Cherries... Solanke is fouled on the right and Fraser is over it, but the eventual ball in evades everyone and goes out the other side.

29 Edwards races onto a through ball in the box and only a last ditch challenge stops him being clean through on goal

33 Broadhead runs at the defence and is stopped by what looks like a handball but ref says no penalty

34 Sarkic is put in behind the Bournemouth back line by Boyce but he wastes a great chance to pull the ball back

36 CORNER BOURNEMOUTH: Taken short and eventually run out of play by Kilkenny

37 BOOKING: Yellow card for a foul on Ibe

40 Close!Fraser plays a great one-two with Solanke and charges down on goal, but O'Hara in the Burton net makes himself big, shuts down the angle and saves well.

42 O'Hara needs treatment after that save

Bournemouth corner

45 Good play on the left... Kelly receives it off Fraser on the left and drives a low ball into the box, but it's hooked clear by Burton as three minutes of added time are shown on the board. 45+3 Half time. That's it for the first half.

HALF-TIME: Brewers dominate the first half and have the lead thanks to a great finish from Sarkic - his first Brewers goal

BBC half-time Stats

Burton possession 31%, 5 shots, 3 on target, 4 corners, 8 fouls
AFCB possession 69%, 2 shots, 1 on target, 4 corners, 0 fouls

Second half
We're back underway and have made a change...Kilkenny is the man to be replaced and Harry Wilson is coming on.

Ibe drives forward... 

47 CORNER BOURNEMOUTH: Cleared by Nartey

48 Harry Wilson tries to link up with Ibe on the right, who has done well to carry it forward, but the return ball from the Welshman is just over-hit and goes out.

49 Simpson in the book...The defender is shown a yellow card for a foul on Boyce.

50 Boyce needs treatment after being fouled

52 Temporary pause! Would you believe it, the floodlights have gone out! Play has been paused and the players have gone down the tunnel. We'll hopefully be up and running again soon!

59 ’Lights are coming back - hopefully play will resume soon

60 Players are back on the pitch

61 We almost had it back.

he floodlights lasted all of two minutes. They came back and play continued, but now the lads are down the tunnel again and we're in the same position once again.

69 Here we go again...We're actually in the 69th minute according to the clock, but there's been over 15 minutes of stoppages. Play is back underway...

FREE KICK BREWERS: Taken short to Akins whose shot/cross is saved at the near post

Good chance...Ibe races down the right and puts a deep ball into the box. There is Lewis Cook at the back, who tries to hit it on the volley first time and it sails over.

Ref has blown the whistle and we think the power problems have called time on the tie. Bad news for Albion who were well worth the lead

21:23 We are looking for confirmation that game is not continuing
Right, after much deliberation on whether it had been abandoned or not, we are UNDERWAY AGAIN. Hopefully they can stay on as this game is at risk of being abandoned. We have no idea what minute it is

Not really sure what the time is now - must be half an hour left

65 A double change...

Callum Wilson and Danjuma are coming on, with Solanke and Francis off.

Huge save from Travers!

Burton looked like they were through with their striker one-on-one, but Travers gets fingertips to the shot and diverts the danger.

67 Added time! The board has gone up and we've been told they'll be just the 28 minutes added on


70 Good save from O'Hara...Danjuma is racing through one-on-one, but O'Hara does superbly to get out and make the save.

BOOKING: Akins for a foul

72 Goal for Burton...

A low cross comes in from the right and Broadhead taps it home at the back post.

Harry Wilson tries from range... The winger has a go from 25-yards out, but it narrowly skims the post.

Ibe gets a yellow...The wingers brings down Fraser (Scott Fraser that is) and is shown a yellow. In the meantime, Broadhead is off and Dyer is on for Burton. 

BREWERS SUB: Dyer for Broadhead

BREWERS SUB: Sbarra for Fraser

Simpson hits the post from a corner.  

FREE KICK BOURNEMOUTH: Hit high over the bar by Wilson

90+4 Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

FULL-TIME: Brilliant win for the Brewers with goals from Sarkic and Broadhead securing a 2-0 victory

Eddie Howe will have a bit of explaining to do after this result. Surely the AFCB fans who travelled deserve a refund. Eddie won't have liked it one bit although the bigger picture is Saturday's league match against West Ham United. Bournemouth were prepared to put a few faces in who hadn't played that much this season to get their levels up, but they came up against a side that is doing well in League. Well done to Burton Albion - hopefully AFCB will have learned they can't keep taking liberties with cup competitions.

AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Jordan, Dennis, Dobre, Camp, Danjuma, H Wilson, C Wilson
Burton Albion
1. O'Hara, 10. Akins, 21. O'Toole, 18 Nartey, 15. Hutchinson, 4. Edwards, 6. Wallace,
8. Fraser, 9. Broadhead, 27. Boyce, 17 Sarkic 

Burton Subs
5. Buxton, 11. Templeton, 14. Sbarra, 19. Anderson, 22. Beardsley, 23. Dyer, 30. Liveseya 

In other news, The Eagles Beak - a Crystal Palace site is walking to raise money for The Palace for Life Foundation - The fund raising page is here.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Burton Albion have nothing to lose taking on AFCB

While these third round ties in the Carabao Cup are a chance for managers like Eddie Howe to rotate their team, it is unlikely that Burton Albion have quite the same luxury. Still they have a very experienced manager in Nigel Clough and should go for the win, because any success would put them all over the back pages.
No action at Dean Court tonight, but there will be a 
few AFCB fans who make the trip up to Burton Albion.
Burton Albion have a slight worry in that their website has reported that they have two defenders already ruled out for the game - John Brayford and Colin Daniel, but John Jo-O'Toole is available after serving his suspension. There are a few other 50:50 calls for midfielder Scott Fraser and midfielder David Templeton.

Burton are competing pretty well in league One with a table placing of 14th at the moment and they beat Morcambe 4-0 in the first round of the Carabao Cup, before beating Port Vale 2-1 in round two. They have beaten Gillingham and Oxford United in the league and having narrowly lost 1-0 to high-flying Ipswich Town, it's clear that Burton Albion are capable of making it difficult for top sides.
Lucas Akins their number 10 has scored a couple of goals for them, while Scott Fraser has scored three, so we can see why Clough wants him back from injury. At the back they also have a very experienced goal keeper in Stephen Bywater, who played for West Ham United early in his career under Harry Redknapp.

While Bournemouth will want a good contest they'll want to progress without the hassle of penalties and yet Burton Albion can perhaps just see a possibility of a big scalp, even if the Cherries have done well in this competition in recent seasons. Expect a much changed line up for AFCB with Lewis Cook, Simon Francis and Lloyd Kelly all likely starters and maybe even Arnaut Danjuma.

Has Harry Wilson just got the scoring knack?

I was pleased as many Bournemouth fans to see Harry Wilson pop up with another goal at Southampton. Yet, I can't say he had a particularly good game. He found it hard to get involved at times, and yet he comes alive when he sees a chance to maybe score. Bournemouth perhaps need the odd player like that who is instinctive at arriving in the box just at the right time.
Harry Wilson may need work on his all-round game
but in front of goal he is exceptionally sharp.
What I like about Harry Wilson is that he gets his head up at the right time and assesses where he needs to get to when Bournemouth's players are making an attack. He may be a bit on the selfish side when it comes to scoring, but I don't necessarily think that is a weakness in a team that is renowned for playing good attacking football and not always having the players to pull the trigger when they really should or slip a pass in when a player is in a better position.

Harry has to find his way in this team. He perhaps doesn't know where he quite fits in terms of what he can contribute most. Arguably he has been lacking in generally making sure he keeps moves going and making himself available for the ball, even when he is not in positions where he can immediately hurt the opposition. He is clearly a player that wants to get goals and he has a knack for it.


I suppose he is rather like David Brooks in that respect and I think Eddie Howe will have a really tough few games to decide who plays when both players are fit and available for selection. At the moment, there is perhaps not much competition for Harry Wilson on the right. And while his form is bound to be a bit up and down as he gets used to his new team-mates, I have a good feeling that he will be a player that AFCB will be very reluctant to hand back to Liverpool at the end of his loan deal.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Is Josh King too effective to move form the wing?

I bet Josh King is getting a bit fed up of being asked if he'd rather play up front. He has been asked the question not only by AFCB TV but also SkySports, and let's face it who would say they'd rather play out wide? The thing is Josh is very good when he runs with his pace and power on the left wing, and we just don't see that as much when he tries to play through the middle as a striker.
Josh King is frightening when he is in full flow.
Josh has pretty much played himself into the left wing position and made the space available for Dominic Solanke to get a few games as a striker. The player who has really missed out is Ryan Fraser, but I wonder if it is payback for Ryan for not signing a new contract? Howe will want players who want to be in the shirt and don't want a move.

But if Josh wants to get back to his striker role, he may do well to ask Arnaut Danjuma to put in an amazing performance against Burton Albion on Wednesday night. It could be that Eddie wants to see Danjuma starting a Premier League game, and perhaps even ahead of Ryan Fraser. King may then get his move back to the striker position. It all depends on how much time is Howe willing to give Dominic Solanke to see if he can cut it against the best defenders in the Premier League.

The match against West Ham Utd will not be easy. West Ham's defenders are keeping clean sheets - three out of three in recent league games. Howe needs to work out who his best attacking front three players are, and feel confident that he is going to get goals consistently. Against Everton and Southampton, the goals have come even if not for King and Solanke. But Ryan Fraser must be wondering why he didn't get a move last summer the longer his sub appearances go on. Even scoring against Everton was not enough to get him a start at Southampton, and I kind of agree with Howe that Josh King has added another dimension to Bournemouth's play on the wing. It was also perhaps too obvious to keep playing Fraser and Callum Wilson with teams knowing that the partnership was the area where you needed to stop Bournemouth. Sometimes, changing the players in different position you do see different qualities and players coming to the fore. We could See more assists And goals from King from the wide area, it doesn't have to be seen as a backwards step.

Have Bournemouth found out how to defend?

While the Cherries still await their first clean sheet, they were very close to almost getting it at Southampton. Just the one mistake by Steve Cook changed that, but it was the best defensive game for Bournemouth this season. Southampton bombarded Bournemouth's box in the second half and they could not get a clear shot on target that beat Ramsdale apart from the penalty.
Bournemouth were under pressure second half but they held out.
Southampton had 25 shots and six on target against AFCB which certainly kept Ramsdale busy. He was excellent again, but he also had Steve Cook and Nathan Aké clearing just about everything that came into the box. Bournemouth only had six chances all game which perhaps showed that AFCB didn't have a great second half. Still they won the game and showed a different side of their game.

If Bournemouth can continue to defend so well with blocks and reading the opposition's attacks so well then we may see an improvement in the goals against column. That elusive clean sheet could come against Burton Albion, and while it is likely to be Mark Travers who plays in goal and a different back four, AFCB just need to try and get that clean sheet to know that they are doing things well in defence.
There is no doubt that Rico and Stacey have done well in the last two games. They may not be the first choice full-backs normally, but they have taken their chance and give everything in the games against Everton and Southampton. If they can stay injury free it will be a big help to the team, and their understanding and belief in their own abilities will get stronger if the results continue to come and they are getting games. Bournemouth still have improvements to make at the back, but at least they are defending more as a team now and that is what I believe is helping them to get results.