Thursday, 31 December 2020

Bournemouth slip up to promotion rivals Brentford 2-1

Match Report
30 December 2020
Brentford 2 v 1 AFCB
Bournemouth come up short against Brentford in a tight match.

Bournemouth and Brentford give no quarter in this promotion-chasing match. Bournemouth started like a train and should have gone ahead in the opening minutes, had Solanke got a better connection on his first shot that was cleared off the line. He made up for it though getting on the end of a classic Bournemouth move with Lloyd Kelly providing the assist. Brentford were always dangerous though and while their forwards were keeping Begovic busy, it was Dalsgaard who headed them level from a corner before half-time. It was a tight game and while Bournemouth had been given a big rest before the game it didn't pan out in their favour. A big cross from Mbeumo was headed in at the far post by the sub, Fosu-Henry, and the Cherries couldn't fashion an opportunity like they had made in the first half.

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Jason Tindall decided to keep the starting line-up unchanged again. Josh King finally made it back to the bench and Bournemouth had a very attacking bench with three strikers and two wingers amongst it.

Match Description
Bournemouth almost have the dream start with Lerma getting on the ball and drilling a pass to Solanke. Solanke passes Raya in goal, but Jansson somehow managed to get back to clear the ball off the line.

Brentford's response is a weak shot from Ivan Toney from outside the box. Solane is very lively and Billing almost gets him in again, but the Cherries merely get a corner. Brentford counter well with Dalsgaard, but his cross doesn't find anyone.

It's all action with Solanke being blocked and from Bournemouth's corner it's Brentford that attack with money shooting wide again. Jensen also fires wide.

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

Bournemouth are giving as good as they get with Brooks being blocked from close range after good work from Billing. Bournemouth are racking up the corners.

Mbeumo gets the better of Kelly and gives Brentford a corner. Canos goes close with a shot running across the edge of the box before shooting inches wide. Janssen goes close again with a free kick which Begovic saves at the near post. Begovic has to save again from Canos at the near post.

Bournemouth take a breather. The movement is amazing goal with Stanislas moving the ball well and Lewis Cook drives a cross into the six-yard box and Solanke makes the run to make it 0-1on 25 minutes.

Janelt gets along the backline but Simpson eventually gets the clearance in. Mbeumo puts a dangerous cross in but it's too strong.

Billing blocks well. Brentford are keeping possession. Simpson makes a great block and Begovic has to get don to hos right to save from Mbuemo, corner. Brentford have equalised from the corner with Dalsgaard ut leaping Lerma at the near post.

Stanislas is pulled back Dalsgaard but the ref lets it go. Lewis Cook has been booked for showing a Brentford player. Stanislas keeps asking the question of Brentford's defence. Jensen has a strike wide from distance.

Second half
Bournemouth get the first corner of the second half. It's Brentford that are coming forward though and Canos shoots wide.

A long ball down the centre from Lerma almost gets Solanke in. Canos cuts inside and goes across the box but shoots well over. Solanke is blocked and the ball comes out to Brooks but the shot is saved.

Toney brings down Solanke on the break. Canos is subbed for Fosu. Lewis Cook is of and Josh King is on after 69 minutes. King goes straight for goal but Raya makes a comfortable save.

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Bournemouth are pushing for the win now. Lerma finds Stanislas who is blocked then Brooks is sent through and his pull back is cleared. Brentford are defending deeper now. Lerma's influence is getting stronger on the game. He picks out Solanke with ease.

Brooks is upended and Brentford are allowed to play on with Toney racing to goal but he is offside. Brentford attack again with Toney putting it out wide to Mbeumo and his cross is headed in by Fosu-Henry at the far post - 2-1 to Brentford on 79 minutes.

Brooks is subbed for Surridge on 83 minutes. Lerma drives a wild shot over. Ghodoss is on for Mbeumo and Gosling replaces Lerma on 89 minutes.

Four minutes of added time. Bournemouth have been caught out, they are all up field. Toney breaks and squares to Jensen but Begovic saves well. Ghodoss has a shot saved.

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Summary
It was a brisk game and Bournemouth will feel they should have made the most of their early chances. Brentford hit back well when they had the opportunity and they hustled and fought for every ball. There needed to be a bit more cleverness from Bournemouth's players. They didn't have it and resorted by getting into scrappy tussles, rather than concentrating on quality play. It should be a lesson to the players that they have to fight with more killing instinct in the last third, and there were a few players that simply are not quite excelling as much as might be expected. I'll let you guess who but the ratings may give you an indication. It says it all when my man of the match was Asmir Begovic. Jason's subs also didn't do anything to raise the tempo and perhaps putting two subs on when King came on could have given the team more of a reminder that levels were not as high as they could be.

AFCB
Begovic 8, Smith 6, S Cook 6, Simpson 6, Kelly 5, Brooks 5, Lerma 7, Billing 7, L Cook 7, Stanislas 5, Solanke 7

Cherry Chimes' MoM: Begovic.

AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: Travers, Rico, Ofoborgh, Gosling, Kilkenny, Riquelme, Anthony, King, Surridge

Brentford: 1 Raya, 22 Dalsgaard, 18 Jansson, 5 Pinnock, 3 Henry, 27 Janlet, 14 Dasilva (Marcondes 81), 8 Jensen, 19 Mbeumo (Ghodoss 89), 7 Canos (Fosu-Henry 64), 17 Toney 

Brentford Subs: Daniels, Thompson, Emiliano, Forss, Ghodoss, Fosu, Sorensen, Golbert, Stevens

Chimes Newsletter - out tomorrow!
Cherry Chimes' January Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. The newsletter has a special story - It's hard not to get excited about the Cherries' position

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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Bournemouth to end the year with a massive game

A few months ago it might not have seemed a big deal to be playing Brentford away. But things have moved on and the Cherries need to find their winning form again against a side that rivalls them for a high finish this season. A win against Brentford would confirm Bournemouth solidly in second position in the Championship and set up a second half of the season when they could be soon take pole position for promotion.

Guess who is back training with the Cherries? And he's out of contract!

But Brentford have got plenty about them. You have to go back 10 league home games before they were beaten by Preston North End at the Community Stadium. They have the league's top scorer in Ivan Toney on 16 goals and Marcuss Forss is not a bad shot either with seven goals and has just signed a new five-year deal. Their form was highlighted in recent matches by beating Newcastle United to get to the Carabao Cup Semi-final and they managed to come from 1-0 down against Cardiff in their last away league match to win 2-3.

Add to that Brentford's defence which is the meanest in the Championship and suddenly the task ahead for Bournemouth doesn't look nearly so simple, considering that the Cherries have stumbled to a couple of draws in their last five games. It will, of course, be AFCB's first league game at the new Community Stadium. Whether the long wait for this game will help the Cherries is yet to be seen, but I had hoped by now that Arnaut Danjma would be available. However, I suspect Danjuma might need a few more days. Bournemouth need to freshen the side up a bit to try and get back some rhythm and flow to their game which was so impressive in early-December. Jason Tindall did say Josh King and David Brooks will be available, but the game might come too soon for Chris Mepham, who is a bit behind Arnaut Danjuma in his fitness recovery. Jack Stacey is even further behind that.

The unexpected news is that Jack Wilshere is training with the Cherries again. This should certainly have kept morale high among the players to have such a talent training with them. While nothing has been discussed about potentially signing him, it would surely be a great boost to Bournemouth's promotion push if they can add him to the squad in January.

Possible AFCB line-up

AFCB Subs: Travers, Rico, Gosling, Billing, Ofoborgh, Riquelme, Stanislas, Surridge, Anthony 

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
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AFCB Away Form
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Brentford Home Form
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Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Rival Lines: "Brentford are warming up nicely," says Beesotted

Rival Lines
Match preview: Brentford v AFCB
Podcast Interview: Beesotted
Twitter: @Beesotted @Billythebee99

I had the good fortune to spend a bit of time with Billy who writes and hosts the Beesotted podcast for Brentford fans. Brentford have suddenly started to pick up form and are just a place behind Bournemouth now and go into this game knowing a win could put them n the automatic promotion places. So,  Bournemouth couldn't have asked for a much harder game to finish 2020 with.

You can catch the Beesotted Pre-Match preview podcast here

CC: It was a great win against Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup. Is a semi-final going to be a good distraction from the league for Brentford?

BEES: The win against Newcastle was great. Many Bees fans were a bit disappointed when they saw the starting line-up - with Thomas Frank opting to play many of the so called ‘second string’ (I prefer to say squad out of respect) players who had got us to this stage of the competition.

Fosu - a winger - and Thompson - our sub left back - were playing in the full-back positions. Mads Bech Sorenson - who graduated from Brentford’s B-team, has had a fair amount of first-team game time recently in the absence of Pontus Jansson - at centre-back.

And with first-teamers Ivan Toney, Josh Dasilva, Matthias Jensen and Christian Norgaard all on the bench. 

But the gamble paid off - getting the squad rotation that the team has so massively needed after an arduous season whilst also getting the win - Josh DaSilva coming off the bench to net the winner.

We’ve had a slow start to the season as per usual. But it’s been steady. And although it hasn’t been as pretty as last season (with players like Said Benrahma out of the side, he will always be hard to replace), we have been a lot more assured. Chiselling out results against teams who last season, we would have lost to. Like Cardiff, on Saturday, who went 1-0 up with a genius goal. And were in danger of bullying themselves to a win with their long throws and free kicks bombarding our goal.

Last season we lost around a quarter of our matches 1-0. This season we seem to have got our heads around the opposition 'nicking a goal against us’.

So, yes the Newcastle game was a good distraction from the league. But ironically, it didn’t fully involve many of the players who play in the league week-in-and-week-out. So it allowed us to be fresh for the Cardiff game three days later.


CC: Brentford haven't lost at home since playing Preston North End in early October. Why do you think the home form has been so impressive of late?


BEES: That Preston game was weird. Early October. We were 13th going into the match

I remember it well because I hooked up with a load of Preston fans who had travelled down from the Northwest the day before to watch their non-league club Corinthian Casuals (they are the Northern Casuals) play Dulwich Hamlet in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup. They were not expecting anything from the Bees game as Brentford had beaten them in every match bar one draw at Griffin Park going back to 2011.

Norgaard went off injured after 20 minutes. Little did we know we wouldn’t see him again until the Newcastle match. And little did we know at the time how much his injury would affect the side. It took us weeks to find a proper balance in midfield after Norgaard went injured.

We were 2-0 up at half-time. We fell apart in the second half with Preston winning 4-2.

We never ever fall apart like that. And fans were quite worried that we were losing the plot after losing in the playoffs to Fulham.

It took a month or so for Brentford to find their feet - trying out different combinations in the midfield positions.

Towards the end of November, when we played Barnsley away and QPR at home, one player really started to come into his own. Vitaly Janelt - bought late in the transfer window to little or no fuss at all. He pretty much snuck under the radar. And when he was asked to fill Norgaard’s shoes, not much was expected from him if truth be known.

But he has more than exceeded expectations. He has been tremendous. And does what it says on the tin. A formidable central defender. No messing. Whose job is to break up the opposition play. Win the ball back. And feed the attacking midfielders and forwards.

Our home form has been OK, because we’ve cut out the losses that we had last season. Around 25% of our matches were 1-0 losses. We’ve managed to turn those losses into draws. Our record is two wins and three draws in our last five home matches which is so so. Could be better.

Saying that, away from home we are formidable. Second in the away form table - just behind Norwich. And overall - home and away - we’re the form side in the league.

But as you know, that means nothing long term. One bad result. One injury. One piece of bad luck. Can change everything. 

CC: How much has Thomas Frank changed the style of football at Brentford?

BEES: The style of football Brentford plays was decided by the owner Matthew Benham way back when. Like back in 2010. And ever since then, we have employed the right coaching staff, support staff and players to play that style. So, Thomas Frank coming in hasn’t changed the style of our play. He would have been employed because he complemented our style of play.

Saying that, Thomas Frank was bought in from Denmark half-way through Dean Smith’s reign to become one of his assistant head coaches. The idea - Frank could add valuable tactical elements to Brentford’s game working alongside Smith. Frank also had two years to learn what the Championship was all about. Rather than bringing him in fresh from Denmark when a vacancy came up.

When Dean Smith left, Thomas Frank was able to seamlessly slip into Smith’s shoes. His succession had been planned two years in advance. Even though in his first 10 matches he won only one game (I think it was) and lost pretty much all the rest, because according to the stats, Brentford was performing as expected and were deemed as being unlucky for getting the results they got, there was no chance Frank was going to get sacked - despite pundits saying it was on the cards.

He since turned it around and has gone from strength to strength.

It’s not all been plain sailing. He’s been at times slow to make changes and very much sticks to his guns to see things through. Which can be admired in one hand. And can be frustrating in other hands.

But he has made Brentford more defensively sound than any of his predecessors, Dean Smith, Mark Warburton and Uwe Rosler.

But to be fair to him, he stuck with players like Sergi Canos when it looked like he was misfiring this season. Jensen when he looked a tad shaky. Marcondes who had a poor start to life at Brentford but Frank really believed in him and he has had some fabulous moments in the last year.

So, fair play to Frank. He knows his onions.

CC: Were you happy about the sale of Ollie Watkins?

BEES: I can’t say I was happy no. We all loved Ollie Watkins. But this is all part of being a Brentford fan. From selling Andre Gray back at the end of that season when we made the Championship playoff semi-final when Bees fans were gutted. Since then, we have always replaced a key player sold for someone better. Upfront we went from Gray to Scott Hogan. Lasse Vibe. Neal Maupay. Ollie Watkins. Plus we also sold the likes of Jota. Said Benrahma. Ryan Woods plus loads more. And of course Chris Mepham.

It makes it hard for you as a fan to get a real relationship with a player when you know he is going to leave after spending just two years at the club. But we’ve got used to it - I’m sad to say. And to be fair, it’s really helped us to keep us financially on an even keel.

The player sales over the last fie years has made us I believe around £100m in profit - some of which we still have to spend in the January window (we haven’t spent the £20m Maupay money or a lot of the £28m Watkins money and then there is another £20m to come from West Ham for Benrahma).

I would love Ollie still to be here. But he’s doing well in the Premier League. And we bought in Ivan Toney who could finish the first half of the season with 20 league goals.


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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

CC: Which is the best team in the Championship that you would say that Brentford have played so far?

BEES: Hmmm. We should have beaten Norwich. They got a lucky deflected equaliser in the final couple of minutes.

We hammered Watford 0-0 in the first half - we really should have been two or three up by half-time. The ref spoiled the match sending off Ethan Pinnock. We still got a draw but Watford weren’t all that.

Preston blew us away in that second half scoring four goals. They had the better of us all match.

Stoke also had our number in the first half going three up. But were hanging on for dear life in the second half as we got two back and pushed for an equaliser.

Blackburn looked lively in the 2-2 match at our stadium.

But I would say Preston out of all the teams we played so far.

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CC: Ivan Toney has done well since signing for the Bees. Is there a particular type of goal that he is good at getting - poacher, headers, outside the box - and what was his best goal?

BEES: Toney is your archetypal striker. Put the ball in the box and he’ll get you a goal. Header. Poachers shot. One-on-one with the keeper. He’s very different to Ollie Watkins. But a great striker. And also works so hard in defence to. So, he’s like having 12 players in your side. 


CC: Are Brentford capable of finishing in the top two this season or do they need to add to their squad to be able to really make a charge on the top two places?

BEES: We started slowly as we always do. But we’re warming up nicely. And the squad is coming together at the right time. We’re going to be top six going into the second half of the season. We’re so far unbeaten in 15 matches. And we have the league’s top striker. We also have players coming back from injury like Norgaard and Janson. And players coming into form like Canos, DaSilva and Mbeumo.

I’ll be surprised if we didn’t strengthen in the window. Possibly in one of the full-back positions. And also bring in a winger.

But I really do think we can push for a top-two place - assuming we do not get hit by injuries.

With Norwich, Bournemouth, Watford, Swansea, Boro gathering steam, possibly Blackburn and us, it’s going to be a fascinating battle.

 
CC: How are Brentford likely to line up for the game?

BEES: Our first eleven normally picks itself.

Dalsgaard. Pontus Janson. Pinnock and Henry will play in front of David Raya in goal.

Frank does like to rotate the midfield with Marcondes. Jensen. Dasilva. Norgaard filling the three midfield spots.

Upfront I would be surprised if it wasn’t Mbuemo Toney and Canos. With six-goal Marcus Forss on the bench. 
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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

CC: What is your score prediction?


BEES: Bournemouth have undoubtable quality. And it’s going to be tough.

On the Beesotted Pride Of West London podcast this week, which you kindly did the match preview interview for Peter, I predicted a 2-0 win for Brentford. We need to start winning home matches and I’m hoping with our first team all finally back on the pitch, this will be the match that we really step up to the plate.

CC: Many thanks for Billy for his absolute mountain of football knowledge on the Brentford team and for sharing his Beesotted thoughts with Cherry Chimes. Brentford are playing well and I can see why Billy is predicting a win for the home side. But while Bournemouth have not been winning all the time they have been keeping clean sheets and you have to go back to the Preston game when a team scored more than one against the Cherries' defence and in away match it was Rotherham who last managed that. I'm confident that Bournemouth can score against the best defence and best home record in the Championship, and I think we'll make it difficult for goal-machine Ivan Toney. So, a 1-1 prediction is how I see it. Like the Billy though, I know Bournemouth need to keep the wins coming if they are to catch Norwich City.

Do visit the Beesotted podcast. You'll find a match preview podcast there for this game in which I talk with Billy and discuss my thoughts ahead of the match. 

Monday, 28 December 2020

Can we expect Howe back in management in January?

Bournemouth's previous manager must be getting itchy fingers and feet by now. Eddie Howe left AFCB last August and while he has done a spot of punditry he has kept himself pretty much out of the picture for future jobs. But with January approaching and opportunities popping up all over the place, I think we can expect to see Eddie Howe back in football in 2021 and perhaps even as soon as in the next few weeks.

Will we see Eddie back in football very soon?

What we don't know is at what level Eddie would look to come back into the game. He loves working with youth more than anything so clubs with young squads are likely to be high up on his list as well as a strong family club. Looking at the struggling teams in the Premier League we can expect teams like Fulham, Sheffield United, Brighton and WBA candidates for managerial changes if the picture doesn't improve for these clubs. 

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My guess is that Eddie would want to manage a club that is perhaps bigger side than AFCB at least in the way of a fanbase. In that respect, he has potential interest from Newcastle United, or at least their fans. But he may even see a slight chance of getting in the frame for the job at Arsenal if Arteta can't turn things around at the London club. That might be too big a shift up though for Howe and he may be attracted to a club like Crystal Palace who he has turned down before but might feel the time is right now, as Roy Hodgson can't afford too many more heavy defeats.

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

There are big clubs though that Howe could look at that would give AFCB fans more immediate concern. He could at the Championship sides that are up against it like Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, or Derby if Wayne Rooney does not work out. I don't think the Championship or League One would worry Howe if he had a big club to manage with the capability to win promotion. 

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If we look at the players and connections Eddie Howe might have at clubs, I'd put Sheffield United up there as a really strong potential. Lys Mousset and Aaron Ramsdale may have thought they had seen the last of Eddie but a link up there would not be that surprising. There are a good number of players now-former AFCB players at Nottingham Forest with Harry Arter, Lewis Grabbon and Lyle Taylor on the books. Eddie came back to Bournemouth to be reunited with players and I can see him liking the opportunity to work with players he has already done a lot with who can help pass on his ideas.

Of course, Eddie Howe probably doesn't have to work. he could walk away from football having achieved a great deal. But Eddie is a person who always wants to improve day on day and I still think he could one day get a national club job, such as the England manager. But he has to get back into the game to achieve that, so I am not expecting his phone to stay quiet for long.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Has Asmir proved he is Premier League class?

Brentford v AFCB pre-mtach podcast with Beesoted featuring Cherry Chimes

Sunday, 27 December 2020

Has Asmir proved he is Premier League class?

The return to form of Asmir Begovic has been quite miraculous. When he has gone out on loan in Azerbaijan, I never expected him to return to play another game for the Cherries. He was a flat as he could have been, and had perhaps fallen out of love with the game. But his time in Azerbaijan and at AC Milan turned his fortunes around, and under Jason Tondall he has just kept improving.

Begovic is back to his best

To do well in any league you need a top-quality keeper. The experience that Begovic has is really second to none in the Championship, and at his best he is surely good enough to be the top Championship keeper. The question is would he be good enough to play in the Premier League next season if Bournemouth did win back promotion? I think he would start games, but Bournemouth may need some extra cover in that position. While Bournemouth have had a conveyor belt of keepers in recent years, the age of Begovic is on the higher side and they'll need to give Mark Travers more game time at some point if they are to keep his interest at AFCB.

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

Begovic doesn't seem ready to hand over the shirt just now though. He has been playing as if his life depended on it to keep clean sheets and keep Bournemouth in games. He has put himself in the frame to be a strong candidate for player of the season, and perhaps his calming influence has been good for the younger players at the club who know they have a reliable keeper behind them at the back.

What the future holds for Begovic is really what he makes of it from what I see. He could go on to win many more starts for the Cherries, but he has to stay consistent. That is what he lost under Eddie Howe, but he has a second opportunity now and is looking to make the most of it.

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Previous post on Cherry Chimes - It could be a big year for Bournemouth midfielder in 2021

Saturday, 26 December 2020

It could be a big year for Bournemouth midfielder in 2021

Bournemouth have a great crop of midfielders, but they have a very big talent among their squad who is one of the youngest players in the team. We have not seen that much of David Brooks in his two years at the Cherries, but the scene is set for him to dominate proceedings in 2021 if he can remain injury-free.

David Brooks ha lots to look forward to in 2021

Although he has been linked with Man Utd and more recently Sheffield United, it is more important than ever for Bournemouth to retain the Welshman's signature as he develops his game and starts to excel even further. In a way, I think Bournemouth have been lucky that they have retained his services in the Championship, but it is also a good place for David to sharpen his skills even more. If he can lead defences a merry dance at the Championship level he will be more than ready to have an even bigger impact when he does get back to the Premier League. I have no doubt that he will play more games in the Premier League, whether with Bournemouth or another club.

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

The Championship is gruelling though and it may well help to toughen Brooks up more. He has to develop the more physical side of his game, and I see it as a bonus that he is getting at least a season at this level again. He can showboat in the international when he gets to play with players that have time to play, but at Bournemouth, it is more of the games when there is hardly a second to think that I feel he will improve. In the Championship, opponents are in your faces and are trying their all to stop creative players.

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If clubs don't manage to pull Brooks away from Bournemouth in this next window, then his price will only increase. That has to be good for Bournemouth as well as Brooks. He will get a move to a big club eventually and Bournemouth will more than recoup his transfer fee. I'd like to think that Brooks feels he is still learning while at AFCB, and other young players may well see that he has decided to stay at our club when he might have looked to leave. It could signal to other new talents that Bournemouth is a good place to come, if you want to improve your skills and attract the attention of the bigger clubs.

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Friday, 25 December 2020

Where do the Cherries' need to improve?

Happy Christmas everyone! It is perhaps a good time to just consider how the season has gone so far and what expectations we may have for the second half of the season. Bournemouth are just five points off the lead with a two-point gap over the third-placed Swansea City. Are we confident that Bournemouth can do as well if not better between January and May?

Happy Christmas

When we look at the league, Bournemouth have played 20 games which is almost half and they have played most teams once. So with only two defeats, it has been a good start and the real need for the Cherries is to try and convert a few more of the draws into wins. That is how Norwich have clawed themselves ahead.
Bournemouth can also set themselves the tasks of doing better against the teams in the top six. They have beaten Norwich City but they have drawn with Swansea City, Watford and Middlesbrough. If they can beat these teams second time around they will be opening the gap much quicker on those teams below them.

Defensively Bournemouth have sharpened up well with nine clean sheets so far. That is still two behind Stoke City and Swansea City. While six of these clean sheets for the Cherries have been at home there are just three away clean sheets. In the away games clean sheet table, Bournemouth are down in 10th and it's a clear indication of where they can improve.

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With 35 goals scored, the Cherries top the goals for table with Blackburn Rovers just a goal behind. The stat which is not so good is goals against column,  as Bournemouth have conceded 16 goals from their 20 games. But that is still the fourth-best record behind Swansea City, Watford and Middlesbrough.

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From Bournemouth's position it would be costly to see them fall back into the third to sixth places, and this is what Bournemouth have to be aware of the most as the pressure builds. It may be a good thing that they have Norwich to chase, as it will give the players more to think of rather than thinking of being caught.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Danjuma only has eyes to get AFCB back to the Premier League

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Danjuma only has eyes to get AFCB back to the Premier League

The second AFCB official podcast had Arnaut Danjuma as its guest. It was great to hear from a current player who has had a great start to this current season, but who has also sadly been on the end of an injury. I already see Arnaut as a fans' favourite and he came across in his interview as a very calm and sensible young man who just wants to get back to the Premier league with AFCB. 

Danjuma is still looking to get injury-free for the next group of games.

The question I really wanted Kris and Zoe to ask was how different is it to be managed by Jason Tindall rather than Eddie Howe? Unfortunately, we didn't get that but we might hear on that one from one of the other upcoming next player interviews. 

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

What we did learn is that AFCB have gone out of their way to try and make Arnaut welcome by catering to his religious beliefs and his food requirements. It is quite something to have a prayer room built for you at the stadium. I am not sure such a gesture would have been made for players back in the 1970s or 1980s. In some ways, we are a much more caring society now and it's good to see AFCB are leading the way in that. AFCB want to get the best out for their players and they will go the extra mile to try and see that they do help when they can.

We also heard that Arnaut is very driven in his pursuit of playing to the best of his abilities. He wants to get back into teh Dutch international team and to lead AFCB back to the Premier League. He lacks no confidence either in stating that if he had not been injured so much in 2019-20, he feels he could have been the difference in keeping AFCB up.

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Arnaut is also clearly frustrated when he can't play. I think the word 'pissed' is his favourite word in such circumstances, but it means that when he can play he tries to make the most of it. Having scored five goals this season he is now feeling much more at home in the team and we probably owe Nathan AkΓ© a big thank you for convincing Arnaut that Bournemouth was a good family club to come to. We may not have seen Arnaut at Bournemouth otherwise, as he had offers to join other clubs when he was at Club Brugge.

Having played at the Champions League level, Arnaut was a big signing for the Cherries and he is clearly one of the players that can get the team out of the Championship. So, I just hope we see him more on the pitch come January than having to sit on the sidelines.

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Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Lerma will hope not to miss games

Jefferson Lerma has until Thursday to respond to a 'biting' charge during the Sheffield Wednesday match in November. Lerma is on a charge that he broke FA rule E3 by attempting to harm an opponent - Josh Windas - an allegation Lerma 'strenuously denies', says the Bournemouth Echo.

Lerma could be on the sidelines.

Bournemouth have not been too lucky when defending such charges in the past. I remember the stamping incident with Tyrone Mings and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in 2017, when Mings was subsequently banned for five games. Football is a physical game and there is a fine line between playing with a lot of aggression and pushing things too far. Retaliation is something that can happen on the pitch, but it's hoped that referees deal with any incidents at the time. Now it is more of a spectacle, which isn't fair for players.

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The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

We will see whether Jefferson Lerma's case is dismissed or not. If he is not acquitted he could see a lengthy ban of a few games. That could mean Lerma misses games in early January. It is never a good time to lose such an influential player, even if Bournemouth do have a good number of central midfielders to cover in that area.

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It may be that Gosling simply comes back into the starting line up, but let's hope that Lerma is innocent and can carry on playing. Nmandi Ofoborh will also be hoping to get some game time soon and he could be given his chance against Oldham in the FA Cup. It is a busy period coming up and Bournemouth will need their best payers on the pitch.

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Lerma is undoubtedly a player that Jason Tindall will want to play as many games as he can this season. While a rest may do him some good, I have no doubt that Lerma would rather be playing.

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