Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Extended Wilson loan should have Cherries buzzing

The Bournemouth Echo has reported that Harry Wilson has had his loan contract extended past 30 June ,so that he can play a part in AFCB last remaining nine games of the season. This should be a massive boost to the options Howe now has on the wings and as AFCB's second top scorer this season, Harry Wilson will be extra fire power to hand.

Harry Wilson stays to the end of the season.
While AFCB are unlikely to buy Harry Wilson over the summer, from Liverpool he has fitted in well and it will be interesting to see if Howe will play Harry on one side and David Brooks on the other wing at some stage during the run-in. Like David Brooks, I think Harry Wilson would be even more suited to playing behind the front striker as his game develops, as he has a powerful and accurate shot. Bournemouth simply don't seem to play that way very much though with Eddie Howe liking wingers to get round the back, but it's something he might consider in upcoming games.


Bournemouth will need goals more than ever now. The goal difference between the bottom few clubs is not large and it could come down to a few goals, especially if the league is not fully concluded and decided on goals and points per game.

Liverpool of course are in a position where they can be generous to AFCB, but they could have said no to extending the loan. It gives Wilson a bit of a window in which to showcase his talents and I expect he would have felt disappointed if he had not been able to complete the season at AFCB, having played in so many matches and having been a big part of the squad this season.


Previous post on Cherry Chimes -
A difficult decision for Billing

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A difficult decision for Billing

It has been reported that Philip Billing is still considering who he would most like to make himself available for when it comes to international football, according to ESPN. He has the option of playing for Denmark or Nigeria. Billing has a Nigerian father, but he grew up in Denmark and it is thought that he does think of himself as of Danish decent despite having enquired about playing for Nigeria.

Philip Billing has a decision to make.
International football is an easy decision for most individuals, but when you have the opportunity to play for a couple of teams it can't be quite so easy, especially when you don't want to offend anyone in your family or fans. Denmark have probably got less chance of winning any major titles, whereas Nigeria may well see themselves as Africa Cup of Nations winners in the next few years - and nobody would be surprised if that happened. Billing probably just wants to pick a nation where he can be sure to get games, but both these teams have had talented players in the past and have done okay on the world stage, even if Nigeria have perhaps not reached their true potential.


It reminds me of the similar choice that Matt Ritchie had to make a few years ago. He chose to play for Scotland via his father's line, even though he hadn't even stepped in Scotland himself, until he played for them. Having an identity is something that many take for granted, but it is surprising the number of players now who get to their early 20s who still haven't stated exactly what nationality they are taking up in terms of sport. It is as if advisors are now telling them to keep their options open, and understandably this can rattle some people when they see a talented player decide not to play for their national team.

I expect Billing will follow his heart. Anything less is hard to live with and players want to give their all when they get to national team level. I hope Billing can live with the choice he makes, and for AFCB it will be good if he does get selected soon to improve his abilities playing with players that are of a higher standard. Travel distance may also be a consideration, but it really has to come down to the gut feeling of the player involved.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Rambo will be ready to be AFCB no 1 keeper

Monday, 1 June 2020

Rambo will be ready to be AFCB's no 1 keeper

The news of Aaron Ramsdale's positive test for COVID-19 was hardly good news. But the timing of it allowed Aaron to make his recovery, and he will be delighted to train with the other keepers today for the first time in a week. I think Ramsdale is essential for AFCB's hoped of staying up and to have him back will be a big lift for the players and staff.
Ramsdale - ready to go again.
It is the character os Ramsdale that makes him a big special. Yes, he is a great keeper and may yet have more massive saves in his locker that we see in the next few weeks, but it is his bubbly energy and confidence that the team really need. Every positive player is going to be very important now. AFCB need that positivity and to generate a bit more defiance than they have shown in the early part of the season. Having Rambo back will make a difference to morale.


While it has been training as usual for Artur Boruc, Mark Travers and Will Dennis, I have no doubt that they want Ramsdale to finish the season and do it by keeping the Cherries up. They will want to support him in his efforts to be the player who makes that vital difference, and keepers tend to have important parts to play when the pressure really piles on.


While Ramsdale won't have a penalty shoot out to keep AFCB up, he will feel that every save he makes is another step towards getting the team the points it needs. He hasn't found it easy to pick up clean sheets and that is what he must concentrate on. While he has missed a week of training, I bet they don't take it easy on him. Ramsdale will be worked twice as hard and every bit of confidence he can gain from that could be really important come the restart games.

Bournemouth need their best players on the pitch and Aaron Ramsdale is definitely one of them.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Cherries need to take this period as a new beginning

Chimes Newsletter - out today!
Cherry Chimes' June Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. The newsletter has a special story - The wait will soon be over

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Sunday, 31 May 2020

Cherries need to take this period as a new beginning

The past has been pretty difficult viewing this season for AFCB fans. It is now time for the team to make this a new beginning. They can right some of the wrongs that they feel have happened in 2019/20, but they have to be stronger than ever as a group to beat some of the best sides in the Premier League and wins are what it is all about now.
Bournemouth have to pick themselves up and go again.
The players and staff know now that football will restart, barring a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases, and if they play to their very best ability they could secure a sixth season in the top league. That would be no mean feet, as Bournemouth are marked down by most bookies to be one of the three teams that don't start the Premier League 2020-21 season in the Premier League.

It has been many seasons since AFCB have been in fear of relegation. They have climbed so high that it had to come one season when the drop was a real possibility. Now the team has to embrace the challenge and stand up for what they want to cling on to. The team can talk about looking forward to getting matches on again, but they will only be content if they start to win games again.
I can't imagine how immense the first game will be. The tension will be huge and Bournemouth players will need to be super concentrated. It will set the mood for the following games and if they can beat their opponent, I think the fans will also feed off the win. But if it goes wrong and Bournemouth fall even further back in the race to stay up, it will be hard to be optimistic for a good end to the current season for AFCB. 


The fixture list might not be so important once we get going, but the players must view this period as a new beginning. They know the task ahead What has gone before is basically irrelevant to how they can look to perform now. They start from 27 points and need to add four wins - it's a big ask but striking a win in the first game would be a huge lift.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Three weeks to get AFCB up and running

Chimes Newsletter - out tomorrow!
Cherry Chimes' June Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. The newsletter has a special story - The wait will soon be over

To sign up for the newsletter just complete the form below - like all good things it's free!

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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Three weeks to get AFCB up and running well

Eddie Howe has spoken out about potential injuries from a lack of fitness training with just three weeks to the start of Project Restart. Eddie wants to get previously injured players back, but is unlikely to push his players too hard if he can make some changes with teh prospect of three games in a week.
Eddie Howe only has a few weeks to work his magic and get his team fired up for the last nine games
Eddie Howe only has a few weeks to work his magic
 and get his team fired up for the last nine games

What we do know is that AFCB will be wearing is a new kit come the restart. The contract with sponsors Mansion88 is over from 31 May 2020 and isn't being renewed and Umbro has designed new home, away and training kits that AFCB were keen to show off on social media yesterday. I think even the kit change may give the players a bit of a lift because the old kit didn't bring many good results.


The mood with Eddie Howe was clearly a bit apprehensive, as he talked to Kris Temple, in a YouTube Interview yesterday (see video on PC/Tablet side bar of Cherry Chimes). But Eddie seemed up beat about getting back to the test of the Premier League. Getting AFCB up and running at full throttle is what Eddie wants now. They are only starting contact training this weekend and while Eddie Howe wants things to be as normal as it can be, there are many unknowns like whether players will be able to play, whose contracts are up come the end of June.

What we don't want to hear at the end of nine games is that AFCB just weren't fully prepared of had a disadvantage compared to the other teams in the bottom six. As no one has been in this situation before, it will be hard for Eddie Howe to know if he has got things right until the games start. All we can do is look on and hope that the Premier League means as much to the players as it certainly does to Eddie Howe. They might be considered to be lucky to get the opportunity to play the last nine game story and stay up, now they have to make the most of that chance.


Friday, 29 May 2020

Resumption date agreed for Premier League

While the date of 17 June will be met with ecstatic delight on one side of Merseyside, for those facing relegation it is a time of maximum stress, but also a chance to improve their situation. While we wait to see in which order AFCB's remaining fixtures will be, fans will also be desperate to know which games will be free to air and will BBC Radio Solent be back in the stadiums to at least give commentary on the games?

The Premier League is getting closer to a restart next month.
As Bournemouth are in a relegation fight and play probably the hardest fixtures of any club in the bottom six they are likely to be well watched on TV. All matches will be on TV but only a third will be free to watch, from what I understand. If Bournemouth thought they might quietly slip out of the top league, they may find fans look to find some way of communicating their support, be it through social media and forums. The game will not have been played in this way here before, behind closed doors, and it is going to be a strange experience. But we have to let the layers know somehow that we are right behind them and willing them on to do well.

Friday 19th June could be Bournemouth's first restart match, but more likely Saturday 20 June. At least it gives Eddie Howe an approximate date for the first opponents but the league table is going to change quickly with so many fixtures packed in on pretty much every day after 17 June, as the league looks to complete the fixture list as soon a possible.

The worse thing for AFCB fans is that we wont be able to celebrate or commiserate with the team at the end of the season. We will have to just send messages of support. But in many ways it will just be a relief to get to the end of the season. There will still be many discussions t be had about 2020-21 and whether games should start behind closed doors in August for that season. Fan revenue is paramount for many clubs, so it will be interesting to see how fans will be looked after, as they will be excluded from taking part in the match experience and clubs need to keep fans happy as best they can in these difficult times. Now you have paid for a season ticket you can't use you may need to spend on some TV games on paying platforms just to see how the season ends.


Previous post on Cherry Chimes - AFCB won't need Harry Wilson next season

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Bournemouth won't need Harry Wilson next season

While Liverpool have been very keen to loan AFCB players like Nathaniel Clyne and Harry Wilson in the least two seasons and have seen the signings of Jordan Ibe and Dominic Solanke, they may find that AFCB's love affair with Anfield players is over.
AFCB are unlikely to spend further with Liverpool after recent signings.

Bournemouth have delved into Liverpool's extras for a few years now. It is clear that Jurgen Klopp's players play in a way that Eddie Howe likes and wants to bring to AFCB. However, the acquisitions of the last few years have been pretty lukewarm at best. The signings that have been particularly expensive I imagine are those of Brad Smith, Jordan Ibe and Domoinic Solanke. None of these players have been able to pin down a permanent place in the first team and they have all failed to impress. We can't really say that about Harry Wilson, this year's loan signing but if Liverpool are looking at another £20m plus for his services, Bournemouth are unlikely to be following up on the young Welshman, especially if the club is playing in the Championship in 2020-21.


Harry Wilson has been a great credit to himself and Liverpool. He deserves a crack at the big time, be it at Liverpool or another big club, and it has been great to see such a player at AFCB. It would be nice to keep hold of him, but with David Brooks coming back AFCB have no need for Harry, Wilson's contract will be also up at the end of June unless Liverpool kindly offer to let AFC have hime until the completion of the season.

Bournemouth have in all honesty bought too many Liverpool players and the record doesn't show that these players have been a great fit for AFCB. The club has been more successful in recognising talent at lower league level and bringing them through, even if it has taken more time to see some of these players come through. So, if Liverpool think they can count on AFCB to keep paying over the odds for some of their players who are not up to the grade they may have to look elsewhere for buyers this summer.

In other news, another four players test positive for COVID-19.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Ramsdale we need to recover quickly to be ready for Project Restart

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Ramsdale will need to recover quickly to be ready for Project restart

It was a shock to Aron Ramsdale that he tested positive for COVID-19 in the latest round of tests. But he could be back training after seven days of self-isolation without losing too much training time. Ramsdale has been such a key figure this season that it is difficult to see any other keeper take his place in the run-in.
Ramsdale will be keen to get back to training.

While Aaron says he has no visible symptoms and has not been in contact with other people, he has still managed to come into contact with the virus. It is lucky in many respects that he has been tested and that he can get on top of the virus as quickly as he can. Hopefully, he doesn't get ill and can return to training soon with no harm done.

It is another case though where a person shows no physical sign of the illness and yet is carrying it. Even while fewer people are being infected, the risk is still there. The rate will probably start to increase again if the amount of people continue to flock to the beaches in huge numbers and Bournemouth is a potential hot spot for that.
With full physical contact getting the thumbs up from the government and the players to decide on it today, we are likely to see players get much closer to each other and we just have to hope the testing is good enough to catch any players who have the virus. Trust in the system is paramount. If players don't feel safe the whole 'Project Restart' is going to come under threat. The tests that are really going to be important are the next two rounds, when games are going to be almost upon us.


Ramsdale has time to recover but others who test positive in the weeks to come might find that they will miss games.

Previous Post on Cherry Chimes - Bournemouth player tests positive for COVID-19

Monday, 25 May 2020

Bournemouth player tests positive for COVID-19

The fact that an AFCB player has tested positive for COVID-19 tells us that this virus is still all around us and it doesn't respect what you do or who you are. Anyone can catch the coronavirus and I imagine the cleaning around Dean Court has gone into overdrive since the learning of this second batch of tests has picked out a Bournemouth player, who may not even have thought that he was carrying the virus.
One AFCB player picks up COVID-19
While that player will go into self-isolation for seven days, it is good that Hull City are the only other club that I have herd of who also say they had a positive case confirmed in this second round of testing that had 996 tests. It is difficult to know how the authorities feel about what is acceptable for football to go ahead, if a small number of players are still picking up symptoms and having positive tests. While we may be a month away from the action of a match day, perhaps this is acceptable, but once we get into June, who wants to play if there is a sudden spout of cases?


I am sure the Bournemouth player will not want to rush back in any case. Once a player has had this they are going to be tired from fighting it off, and it may mean that player is not going to be available for the restart of the season, having missed at least a week of training. Our main concern has to be that, whoever it is, they recover quickly. Afro-Caribbean and other ethnic groups have been found to be some of the main groups of people who have been hit hardest with the cornavirus, and it is not unnoticeable that football squads these days have a lot of people from these ethnic groups.

There has been some relaxation in the lockdown with certain people being allowed to get back to work, footballers among them. However, the fact that the coronavirus is still being transmitted and can be found among AFCB's football players, should be a warning to everyone that we are not clear of this thing yet and decisions that are made right now are absolutely crucial to get right.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Do fans want season ticket refunds?

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Do fans want season ticket refunds?

I was thinking myself about whether I wanted to see AFCB offer a refund on the home games that are left this season or whether they would offer something in exchange for the money paid for games that have yet to be paid. Then I saw BBC had a news story on Saturday on how some fans of lower league club fans were needing to support their clubs by donating the money they had paid for remaining games, just to help keep their clubs afloat.
Money to be refunded?
With AFCB it might be a different situation, but the club is by no means making a profit every season despite being in the Premier League. AFCB are not about to go under but they will no doubt be grateful of any revenue they can hold on to because their out goings have been greater than income for the last few years. I suppose you can blame this on the wages they are offering to players and some of the high transfer fees. It is the environment in which they operate, although perhaps other clubs are able to manage their finances better, especially when they have bigger fanbases.

It will be of interest to see how AFCB approach the question of offering a refund or vouchers perhaps in the club shop or a discount on the 2020-21 games, or anther incentive for them to try and keep the funds that have already been paid. It might well depend on what league AFCB are playing in next season as to what kind of deals they offer, but as we approach June, the clock is already clicking on working out how the club will go about sorting season tickets for the next season, which is still scheduled for an August start as far as we know.
For fans the debate will depend very much on personal circumstances. Some may have been furloughed and would be very glad of having a refund to which they are surely entitled. But for others who can afford to give the club the five games without asking for a refund, it could save the club hundreds of thousand pounds. And at the moment the club is having to spend itself on getting its social distancing right and changing things around the training ground and stadium to prepare for games.


AFCB  fans have always been generous and it may just be that the majority decide that the club needs the money more than themselves this season and we hope that prices don't go up in 2020/21.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Where will AFCB pick up enough points to survive?

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Where will AFCB pick up enough points to survive?

Viewing AFC Bournemouth's nine fixtures to go doesn't inspire me with great confidence that they can escape the bottom three. However, what does give me hope if that other teams are within a couple of points of being where AFCB are, and a win can give any team a massive step up towards safety.
Players will want to celebrate if they do stay up, but any celebrations will be muted.
Undoubtedly, now that there will be home games as well as away matches, AFCB's home games might offer the best chance of the team getting more points on the board. The games to come against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United probably give the Cherries their best chance of a reward, while Southampton match will be a big test as the Saints will want revenge for the defeat earlier in the season with the added bonus that they could help send AFCB down. If Bournemouth were to get nine points from those games they would be looking good for safety.


However, the away fixtures look very difficult with the two Manchester clubs as well as Wolves and Everton. Bournemouth also have Leicester City and Spurs at home, but in all these fixtures AFCB would be doing well to get a point in any of them. It will be all about whether AFCB can put pressure on the teams above them - Watford, West Ham and Brighton. If AFCB can't put pressure on one of these teams then they are likely to go down. Aston Villa are far from being down yet as well.
I don't know if the time lag before finishing the table will make things even more difficult. It is going to be very apparent very quickly after the first couple of games that Premier League status is very much in the balance and every game will be like a cup final. It is the immediacy and finality of these nine games which will probably capture fans memories for the next couple of seasons, as I think this season will be defined by these games. There hasn't been a season like it and let's hope we never have to go through this again. But if AFCB are successful and come out of this with their Premier League status in tact, what will the celebrations be like? It will be celebration at home for the fans, but social distancing will be almost impossible for the players when that final whistle goes. 


Friday, 22 May 2020

Players must be allowed to make personal decisions over playing

The fact that six Premier league players and staff proved positive for COVID-19 symptoms last weekend has already put doubts in some players' minds if they want to go back to training. Jamie Redknapp has said on SkySports that more players will quit training like Tory Deeney and N'Golo  Kante. The integrity of any competition is therefore shattered, and it's hard to see the end of the Premier League season being anything more than a fudge solution.
Players decisions should be respected.
The players who decide not to train and play will surely find that they are not paid which will probably lead to more disputes. But if you can't do your job you don't get paid, there are millions of people that have lost their jobs in recent weeks and months over the coronavirus, so Premier League players will get little sympathy there.


I do worry about AFCB as it already has a small squad. Many of the players have young families, including Eddie Howe. We see them every time they have their walk around at the end of the season. The players and staff have hard decisions to make over whether they really feel safe enough to go and train and even more critically go and play games in June.

At the moment it all seems too soon and a high risk. Things may look better in a months time or we could get the start of a second wave of coronavirus. It all feels like an experiment at the moment, but whether there is really a good safety net in place is hard to see. Players are going to have to go with their gut instinct and I only hope that fans will respect the decisions of individual players who will surely have worries about pulling out. Players need more big stars to come out and say if they are unsure about training. It would take pressure off of others who may feel vulnerable, if they come out and say they don't feel comfortable about playing. The mental health staff at clubs really have their work cut out in the next few weeks.

In other news, Jordan Ibe has done himself no favours again having his hair cut and ignoring social distancing rules, and he's off for sure on 1 July, says SkySports.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Comebacks are part of what have made AFCB great