Friday, 31 July 2020

Ramsdale next to go?

Aaron Ramsdale is being pursued by Sheffield United as a replacement for Dean Henderson, who has been on loan from Man United at the Yorkshire club. It would be a return to his fist club for Ramsdale and could net AFCB another high transfer fee.
It's going to be a struggle to keep hold of Aaron Ramsdale
Aaron has become a firm favourite with Bournemouth fans, so it would be gut wrenching to see him go. Sadly, I think he is destined for bigger things and even Sheffield United would only be a stepping stone for him. The youth that Eddie Howe has built so hard to get into the team is being cherry picked, and there is not a lot AFCB can do about it.

It will leave Bournemouth with Mark Travers to take over. That will still be a good basis to keep some clean sheets in the Championship, and it is good that Eddie has give Travers a few games at a higher level already. Whether the services of Artur Boruc now become more important as a back-up keeper remain to be seen, but I think it would be good to give Artur another year to keep some continuity in the squad.
Bournemouth have been well off for goalkeepers and it is one area where they have been wise to build up a surplus of players. It is hard to see that Asmir Begovic will be kept. Perhaps he will be sold to Inter Milan.

Reducing the wages is going to be a priority now and Aaron Ramsdale has earned a good pay day for the way he has performed this season. Even so, I think it will be hard for him to leave AFCB. Going to back to Sheffield though would make it easier for him to leave AFCB though.

In other news, Aaron Ramsdale has been named winner of the Bournemouth Echo's Micky Cave Award

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Liverpool are after the talented Lloyd Kelly

Liverpool after the talented Lloyd Kelly

Bournemouth look like they will be leaking players fast, as the big teams come in to grab the best players they can for cut-prices if possible. On the back of the club agreeing a fee for Man City to take Nathan Aké, Liverpool are lining up the signature of Lloyd Kelly, according to the Daily Express. 
Lloyd Kelly is a target for Liverpool
Putting Lloyd Kelly in the shop window for the last nine games of the season might not have been in Bournemouth's best interests, but Liverpool have been keen on Kelly, He was snatched first by Bournemouth last summer. Now the tables look to have turned. The only compensation AFCB fans will have is that Liverpool will have to pay significantly more than the £13m that AFCB plaid Bristol for Kelly's services. It would be great if Kelly stayed considering he has hardly played for Bournemouth since signing, but he has a rare talent that will attract big money.

Bournemouth could be left with an improved bank balance, but very little to show for it on the pitch, as they start the next season. It does seem crazy that Premier League teams want to pick players out of a defence that let in 65 goals last season. Perhaps Eddie Howe was not so far away from a great defence but the best parts of it - Nathan Aké and Lloyd Kelly  - seemed to be headed out.

Eddie Howe will need to rebuild the defence but he will want to build it around a player like Lloyd Kelly, so there might be some fight ahead to see if Liverpool get their man. Bournemouth might be able to keep hold of one of their players that are in high demand, but it looks like Premier League clubs are after Aaron Ramsdale, Lloyd Kelly, David Brooks, Callum Wilson and Josh King for starters.

In other news, U21 Zeno Ibsen Rossi joined Kilmarnock for 2020-21 season

Chimes Newsletter - out tomorrow!
Cherry Chimes' July Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. The newsletter has a special story - What lessons need to be learned from this season?

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Thursday, 30 July 2020

Six weeks to get ready for the Championship

AFC Bournemouth don't have time to dwell on what might have been. The Championship preparation needs to be in full swing with games due to start on 12 September. The launch of ticket sales is the first sign that AFCB are getting their campaign ready for 2020/21, and we hear in the local press that several senior players contracts are up and decisions as to the future of Charlie Daniels, Simon Francis, Andrew Surman and Artur Boruc need to be decided.
Who will remain for the Chamionship?
I also imagine we will hear a statement from Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall to stay if he is committed to leading the Cherries in their endeavours to get back to the Premier League. Preparation is key and until we know who is leading the team, player decisions have to wait.

Personally, I'd like a clean sweep of some of the players that are coming to the end of their careers. It is time to make new stories and see if some of the players in the U21 like Gavin Kilkenny, Nnamdi Ofobargh, Corey Jordan, Jake Scrimshaw and of course Sam Surridge become regular names in the first team squad. Jack Simpson should also get on the team sheet now. While Bournemouth can have U21s and U18s that they look to sell on, it is even better business if some of these players can force their way into the first team and with some high profile names likely to leave their could be opportunities for one or two of the younger lads.

What will be on the minds of the management though is that the Championship is a very tough league. The players will have less time to play their patient build-up football and physical strength will be required in many of the games to prevent being unsettled by bigger physical teams. It is a different test. The skill levels might be slightly lower and teams might not be punished quite as much for mistakes, but it is 90 mile an hour football and Bournemouth will have to get used to that again.

Bournemouth are back in training on 12 August and while we may see players leave before then we might not see much rebuilding until the latter part of August.

In other news, it has been reported by local and National Media that Nathan Akee has been sold to Man City for £41m.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - It's hard to know what AFCB season ticket holders are signing up to

It's hard to know what AFCB season ticket holders will be signing up to

There was no big fanfare, but the season ticket sales are open now for AFC Bournemouth fans. We know most of the fixtures and they will become even clearer once the play-offs reach their conclusion. While there are 46 games and cup games to come in 2020/21, the uncertainty as to how some games might have reduced capacity leaves AFCB offering ballot system for games and refunds aplenty for those who perhaps sign up and find they don't get to go to as many games as they'd hoped.

Stadiums might only be half full as matches resume in 2020-21.
Football has changed and it doesn't look to be for the better. Safety has to come first and that is going to make this another strange season. Much of what is going to be tested will be done for the first time and it makes me slightly anxious that AFCB are bringing out a new ticketing website, even if it is the same system being used by Everton and Brentford.

It would have been equally entering the unknown if Bournemouth had stayed in the Premier League, but changing divisions is going to mean much more work for the staff at AFCB I  and that is for a staff that may well be smaller in numbers now. Costs are going to have to be cut sharply and there has to be a new blueprint for the club to be successful in the Championship.

It is easy to see why other clubs dropping down to the Championship have found it difficult to adjust, and I am not sure if being a smaller club helps AFCB anymore, it could be worse. But I want to be positive and see the club thrive. We need to hear from good news between now and 12 September, when the season starts, and hopefully I can talk about that on Cherry Chimes.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - what can AFCB fans take from Maxim Demin's statement?

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

What can AFCB fans take from Maxim Demin's statement?

I was considering what to say about Maxim Demin's statement last night. We haven't really heard from him much since the club won promotion to the Premier League, but he wants to show leadership at this important time and I am fully behind what he had to say.
Maxim Demin says it isn't the end of his AFCB story.
It is only normal for there to be a bit of gloom in the minds of players, staff and fans after a relegation. But it is how you respond to the setbacks that counts, as Eddie Howe said in his post-match interview.

Maxim Demin clearly wants fans to believe their can be an even better future for the club, and the experience that has been gained from being in the Premier League can only make the club stronger. It doesn't have to be the end of the story, and it won't be for AFCB. It is not like we have become a non-league team. We are in the second highest division in the country and going to be playing in an extremely competitive league next season with many teams looking to beat a recently relegated team. Bournemouth will have the second lowest ground capacity with only Wycombe Wanderers having a smaller ground, but AFCB will be seen as one of the giants in terms of status.

Maxim talks of thriving in the Championship. We know we have a manager that has proved he can lead a team out of that division, but it will all depend on what players he can keep and attract to the club now. Maxim may well throw some money at the Championship again, so it will be interesting to see if these are simply words or real determination to get back to the Premier League.
What would have been more worrying is if Maxim had said nothing. The rumours of him looking to sell the club would have only grown. Now there is a voice giving a bit of stability to the club after it has received a wobble. A steadying voice is probably what it needs and everyone needs to focus on the task ahead. Maxim Demin seems up for it, and it is important that the fans also feel it when they do get back into the stadium.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - An AFCB compensation claim against Hawk-Eye wouldn't sit well

In other news, AFCB announces season ticket renewals have begun.

An AFCB compensation claim against Hawk-Eye wouldn't sit well

Yesterday, TalkSport was one of the first media outlets to announce that Bournemouth were considering a compensation claim against the Hawk-Eye technology or the Premier League for being relegated by a point, when goal line technology failed to register a valid goal in the game between Aston Villa and Sheffield United, which would have made Bournemouth safe.
Bournemouth will hopefully accept their fate.
The world of sport is a pretty unsavoury place. We know the Premier League is ruled by money, and for a club like Bournemouth to fall out of it, when 85 per cent of its outgoings go on player salaries, is going to be a catastrophe. But there is honour in the game and sportsmanship which are much better values to uphold, and if Bournemouth did launch a compensation claim, it would reek of sour grapes for many, rather than a valid claim to seek justice.

There are 38 games during the Premier League season for every team. Wrong decisions can be highlighted in just about everyone of them, even with the level of technology that is employed today. Nobody believes now that the technology is infallible, but all the clubs signed up for its use at the start of the Premier League season, and it is the best added help referees have to try and make the correct decisions. There is injustice in sport and there always will be. If clubs can make claims against wrong decisions, it would open the flood gates.

Bournemouth must move on and focus on getting back to the Premier League rather than waste their energy on legal cases. They will gain more respect and retain dignity if they accept the decision, when everyone knows that they were unluckily treated, and were a plucky team during their time in the Premier League. There is a legacy of reputation and I don't want that spoiled as many more people have a high respect for AFC Bournemouth now, and that has been hard earned over the last five seasons.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - First goal- itiss - did it contribute to AFCB downfall?

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

First goal-itiss - did it contribute to AFCB downfall?

Steve Cook was clear that he felt a lot of the poor results that AFCB had in the season were not helped by conceding the first goal. Even when Bournemouth did score first that didn't always hold on to a lead. It was curious how well the team could play at times when they were really up against it, like at Man City and Everton and yet they couldn't perform at home after the restart with the exception of the Leicester City game, when even then, they didn't score first.

The first goal didn't come often enough for AFCB.
I am not sure what was happening in the players minds after the restart. They still had a good opportunity to beat the drop, but only mustered seven pints from nine games which is relegation form. West Ham pulled in 12 points, as did Brighton and Aston Villa won 10 points, only Norwich and Crystal Palace gathered less points than Bournemouth and Watford, who bot took seven points.

Scoring first was perhaps on the teams mind, but it just didn't happen. The crushing free kick that was struck by Crystal Palace's Milivojevic completely deflated any confidence that had been gained from the pre-restart games with Chelsea and Liverpool. it was a downhill spiral from then conceding first goals to Wolves away and Newcastle at home. The Man Utd defeat was different because the players did score first and came out fighting - they were just beaten by a better team. The writing was on the wall by then, but still Bournemouth could have saved themselves. The failure to either beat Spurs and Southampton at home proved very costly. The away form had been bad all of 2020, so it was likely to turn at some point and Everton was a game where Bournemouth couldn't afford to have nerves. They duly delivered, just too late.

Of course, Bournemouth were considered a team that made great comebacks in previous seasons, but these didn't materialise in 2019/20. The worry is not for me that the first goal didn't always come, but that the players are perhaps burnt out and will soon have to play again as a new season gets underway.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Bournemouth just weren't good enough

Bournemouth just weren't good enough

The time of reflection is now for AFCB and they have to get over it quickly and start to deal with reality. The season was a strange one with many complications, but however you look at it the Cherries were not good enough over the course of 38 matches.

Too many goals, goals goals in Bournemouth's net.
There are several stats that make it clear why Bournemouth were relegated and we can point towards the number of goals scored and those conceded as a starter. Conceding 65 goals is the second best record that Bournemouth have in the Premier League, but in their five years they have not got close to getting the number below 50. While Bournemouth invested in Nathan Aké, there were no other big name centre-backs, apart from record signings Tyrone Mings and Sylvain Distin in the 2015-16 season. Chris Mepham bolstered the numbers along with Jack Simpson, who is home grown, but Bournemouth opted for recruits from lower leagues like Jack Stacey and Lloyd Kelly this season and they didn't have experience of the top flight before that, Even Diego Rico had only a handful appearances for the first team before this season. Relying on the old guard of Steve Cook, Simon Francis, Adam Smith and Charlie Daniels was honourable from Bournemouth, but not prudent when the club was continuing to leak goals.
The midfield has been unable to weigh in with many goals. The central midfielders especially have been more defensive in outlook with Philip Billing and Jefferson Lerma being Howe's main choices in 2019-20. Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling have more attacking style, but didn't manage to push their claims enough for starts. With Ryan Fraser wanting out and Howe needing to rely on Harry Wilson to fill in for a star-man like David Brooks, we can also see weaknesses on the wings.

Up front too, Callum Wilson managed just eight goals this time and Josh King struggled with six, several of which were from the penalty spot. Dominic Solanke might have weighed in with three goals since the restart, but it was too few for a forward that was a big signing from Liverpool. Selling Lys Mousset and letting Defoe go on loan, left the Cherries short of fire power and it wasn't until January that Sam Surridge was recalled from his loan at Swansea.

So, for me there were weaknesses all over the park. But it was the inconsistencies and individual errors that made Bournemouth sink even faster. Much of that can be put down to the injuries and players not having regular partners playing next to them.

We can also say the club wasn't good enough in losing games to other struggling teams. They lost the six pointers in 2020 to Brighton, West Ham, Norwich and Watford. There can't be too much doubt that Bournemouth were not playing to a standard that they are capable of and that is what hurts. It hurts more than knowing Aston Villa had a point more than they should have, with the point they got against Sheffield United, thanks to the failure of goal line technology.

Fans shouldn't be disappointed if many of the senior players move on now. Their needs to be new ambition and excitement about the squad. The players we have seen play for AFCB ultimately cam up short. Let's see a new era and more success. UTCIAD!

Monday, 27 July 2020

Eddie please stay

Listening back to Eddie Howe's post match interview with Kris Temple on BBC Radio Solent my heart went out to Eddie Howe. It was a tough interview and nobody likes to comment when they have had a major set-back. Bournemouth don't fail very often, but the club didn't have enough this season and Eddie Howe knows it.
Eddie and Jason's work is hopefully not yet done at AFCB
While Eddie Howe will take it on the chin, it is important that he knows that the fans still want him to carry on. The way the team played against Man City and Everton proved to me that Eddie Howe knows how to get the very best from footballers. In the Championship Bournemouth need fighters and a strong squad as well as a leader who can guide them to be competitive.

There is a lot to be decided in the next few days. Eddie Howe has put his stamp on the club, and yet, he knows that there is no legacy yet from the Premier League years. He hasn't finished the job yet, and Eddie Howe will I think look at that and being a competitor will want to carry on. What the club and the management have gained is experience We have rubbed shoulders wit the best clubs in the country and, on many days, have even come out on top. Now it is about feeling good about the club and looking to the future.

Eddie Had a Dream eBook version -£7.99!

Bournemouth have to get a plan in place to make sure they can build a new stadium and training complex next time they have a spell in the Premier League. There has to be plans for a return. The initial business then will be to sell players and bring in more youth. Eddie Howe loves coaching young players and that is why I also think he'll want to stay at the helm.

The fans also need to be reunited with Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall as well as the players that stay. It might not be at the start of next season that the fans are allowed back in the grounds, but we will be back in the autumn I hope. There is spirit still in this side in the way they took on and beat Everton in the last game. Now they have to show that confidence in a lower league and prove that their stay in the Premier League should have been longer.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Bournemouth's first away win in 2020 - not enough to keep them up

Bournemouth's first away win of 2020 – not enough to keep them up

Match Report
Everton 1 v 3 AFCB
26 July 2020

It was going to be a tight finish with three clubs fighting for one place and just three points and goal difference between them. Bournemouth went on the front foot from the start against Everton and dominated play going 0-1 up, from a Josh King penalty. Although Everton pulled a goal back, a header from Solanke restored the Cherries' lead before half-time. Everton made changes and came at Bournemouth in the second half. Bournemouth always looked like they might get another though, and Junior Stanislas showed a bit of personal magic to make it 1-3. The game was won, but counting on West Ham to beat Aston Villa was one result to many. Bournemouth's five year Premier League stay came to an end. 
Josh King puts Bournemouth ahead 0-1
Bournemouth made three changes for the last game of the season. In came Dominic Solanke, Adam Smith and Dan Gosling. Dropped to the bench were Philip Billing, Junior Stanislas and Jack Stacey. Nathan Aké also made it back to the bench. Eddie Howe had left plenty of fire power on the bench with, Harry Wilson, Arnaut Danjuma, Junior Stanislas and Sam Surridge if Bournemouth needed a goal.

Match description
Bournemouth went straight at Everton, very direct. David Brooks had an early cross cleared. Everton were being pinned in their own half. Adam Smith went on a good run and picked out Josh King who won the first corner.

Everton had to make two clearances before Pickford got the the ball. Bournemouth are winning the ball all the time. Lerma is picking up the scraps.

King puts in a cross just over Solanke's head. Brooks puts a good cross in the box that caused all sorts of problems and King has his shot saved by Pickford. 

Ramsdale has to make a good save with Everton's first attack. We have just heard that Watford are a goal down in their game against Arsenal.

Callum Wilson finds King with a great ball, but King half crosses and half shoots which is easy for Pickford. King through to Callum Wilson and a great one handed save by Pickford. But Bournemouth look so threatening.

Josh King does well but is fouled by Braithwaite and has a great position for a free kick on 10 minutes. Brooks takes it and it hits the wall, Solanke turns and shoots and it is saved by Pickford. But a penalty has been given by the referee. Richarlison handled the ball. Callum Wilson knocked a header down and Richarlison was trying to stop King getting the ball.

Penalty on 13 minutes. Josh King to take. He scores -0-1. Bournemouth have dominated the start of this game. 

Gosling has got down the left and wins a corner. It's all Bournemouth. Keane heads out for another corner. King is up and Brooks tries to get on it, Handball! Surely, where is VAR? It hit Digne's arm.

Kean down the left, finds Richarlison who has a shot from 20 yards and it's blocked by Kelly. Kean now on the right. he has played Walcott in on goal and Ramsdale makes a great save.

Rico into the box and Callum Wilson's header is saved. Solanke tried to play Brooks through but a defender just got in the way.

Everton get a cross in but it's too deep. Gomes fouls Callum Wilson. Drinks break. Arsenal have made it 2-0 against Watford. Still 0-0 in the Aston Villa game.

David Brooks is fouled in his own half. Davies is fouled by Brooks. Bournemouth are getting after Everton.

King and Wilson almost get through the Everton defence with some intricate passing.  Gosling makes a clearance. Solanke is through the middle he passes the wrong way, when Brooks was clear!

Rico clears a cross from Richarlison. Walcott crosses but Richarlison's header is weak and off target for Ramsdale to claim. Everton are coming more into the match. Arsenal are now 3-0 up on Watford.

Walcott gets away from Rico who makes a mistake and Sigurdsson has a shot from distance, but it's high and wide on 35 minutes. Davies gives away a free kick.

King kicks it high in the air and Gosling tries to keep it alive but is tackled. Brooks puts in a cross that's too long. King gets passed Coleman but Davies stops him.

Bournemouth are right on Everton as soon as they get the ball. It is forcing mistakes form Everton. Callum Wilson fouls Gomes.
Coleman is passed Rico, Walcott is down the right and Kean has scored on 41 minutes. He stayed onside. 1-1 Bournemouth didn't defend that at all well.

Another ball in from the right from Digne and Kean heads at Ramsdale. Watford have got a goal back at Arsenal. Solanke wins a free kick on the left.

Rico takes the free kick and Solanke puts Bournemouth back in front on 45 minutes 2-1. Great header, just beat Lerma to it.
Brooks square to Solanke and Keane blocks the shot. Three minutes of added time.

As it is Bournemouth will still be relegated with Watford losing 3-1 at Arsenal and West Ham drawing 0-0 at Aston Villa. Villa would stay up by a point from Bournemouth in 18th and Watford in 19th place.

Pickford can't get to Solanke's header
Second half
Kean gets a cross in but Kelly clears for a corner before Richarlison. Ramsdale catches the corner. Callum Wilson has a drive from the long ball and Pickford saves well to his left. Strong left foot shot from Callum Wilson.

Adam Smith blocks well. Ramsdale gets down well to drop on a cross from Coleman. Brooks goes on a run and gets into the box. He's down and just didn't shoot in time.

Kean in the box has lost it. Everton sub Walcott and Coleman. On come Gordon and Sidibé on 58 minutes.

Everton get a move going. It brushes Kelly's arm but no penalty, through to Ramsdale. Kelly blocks from Kean on the edge of the box. Bournemouth hanging on here.

Kean with a header right at Ramsdale. Ball in from the right and Richarlison has it with his back to goal, but Solanke comes back to rescue Bournemouth.
Solanke is subbed by Billing and Brooks is replaced by Stanislas on 64 minutes. Smith puts a cross in, Stanislas crosses but is blocked. 

Watford are back to 3-2 at Arsenal. Gosling has a shot that goes over. Drinks break. Everton make three subs on 70 minutes off go Davies, Kean and Digne. On come Bernard, Calvert-Lewin and Baines.

Bournemouth are set up 4-5-1 now with just Wilson up front. Josh King in front of goal and Callum Wilson has been tackled when he was staring down the goal. Baines came flying in and stopped Wilson from extending the lead.

Everton get a corner at the other end. Callum Wilson fouls Sigurdsson. Callum Wilson wins a free kick on the left of Keane. Stanislas does some trickery on the left. He plays a one-two with Rico and goes past Gordon and Keane to make it 1-3.

How we need West Ham to score against Aston Villa. Callum Wilson is tackled in the box. Villa have scored. Bournemouth need West Ham to score two now. Grealish has probably kept Villa up at Bournemouth's expense.

It's 1-1 at West Ham. Bournemouth still have hope. Everton corner is cleared. Harry Wilson is coming on and off goes King on 88 minutes. 

Stanislas is making a nuisance of himself. Quick passes with Billing and he has a corner. Four minutes of added time. Long ball to Calvert-Lewin but he can't control it. Callum Wilson to Harry Wilson who shoots wide.

Ramsdale catches the ball. Full time.

Villa have a 1-1 draw at West Ham, Bournemouth are down along with Watford and Norwich City.

We couldn't have asked for anymore from Bournemouth. The players gave it their all and it was great to see Solanke get another goal. He was almost the hero. To win away at Everton for the first time and first away win of 2020 was a great effort. Junior Stanislas almost put the gloss on the score to add to King's penalty and Solanke's headed goal, but as comfortable as this win was, Bournemouth have been uncomfortable all season. Too few goals, conceding too many and a lack of fight in the early restart games have tripped Bournemouth up. It's the Championship now. Perhaps a rebuild will be good for the club and some of the high earners we will say farewell to.

AFCB: Ramsdale 7, A Smith 5, S Cook 5, Kelly 7, Rico 5, Brooks 6, Lerma 6, Gosling 5, King 8, C Wilson 6, Solanke 7

Cherry Chimes MoM: Josh King just edges it for me

AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: 1 Boruc, 5 Aké, 14 Danjuma, 16 L Cook, 17 Stacey,
19 Stanislas, 22 H Wilson, 29 Billing, 44 Surridge

1 Pickford, 23 Coleman (Sidibé 58), 5 Keane, 32 Branthwaite, 12 Digne (Baines 70), 21 André Gomes, 26 Davies (Bernard 70), 11 Walcott (Gordon 58) 10 G Sigurdsson, 7 Richarlison, 27 Kean (Calvert-Lewin 70)

Everton Subs
3 Baines, 9 Calvert-Lewin, 19 Sidibé, 20 Bernard, 22 Stekelenburg, 31 Neves Virgínia,
34 Baningime, 42 Gordon, 50 Simms