Monday, 30 November 2020

Why did AFCB fail to dominate Rotherham Utd?

There have been some encouraging signs in the last few weeks about AFCB improving their game. The balance against Rotherham United though lacked a few ingredients to take the game away from the South Yorkshire side, and it was surprising that the absence of Lewis Cook and Arnaut Danjuma would make the game so much more difficult.

AFCB remain in second and have to learn the lessons of Rotherham match.

There is no guarantee that Bournemouth would have won the game if they had played a fit Danjuma and Lewis Cook, but the ability to unlock defences was not as potent as we have seen in recent games. It meant Bournemouth were not as well equipped to pin Rotherham back in their own half and the MIllers had their own joy in releasing Joe Mattock on the wing who put n some testing crosses for the Cherries to deal with.

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 will have games where they don't have their full complement of regular starters. Dan Gosling and Philip Billing did well enough, but they are different kinds of players and the balance of the team going forward had been altered. Stanislas and Solanke did well, but I think David Brooks benefits when Danjuma is on the pitch, as their double threat on both wings stretches defences, while Stanislas finds the gaps as well more easily when this approach is taken.


The inability to keep Rotherham tied down showed how much more work needs to be done on defending crosses. Bournemouth were nowhere near stopping Joe attock's cross for the first goal and there were other occasions where crosses caused problems. All credit to Rotherham, they had a real go at Bournemouth and it needed Bournemouth to find their own best cross to get Dominic Solanke free to make it 2-2. It was interesting that Diego Rico was allowed to come on rather than move Lloyd Kelly out to the left-wing, as had been done in the Reading match when Rico had been subbed. Perhaps Rico has been told that he must get his crosses in more accurately, because he certainly delivered a great ball for Solanke to score.


Whether the return of Josh King, Danjuma and Lewis Cook will give Bournemouth that extra momentum will be seen in the next few games. But the opposition in this league can surprise, as we have seen with several of the bottom six teams now having managed to get points off of AFCB and Bournemouth have another such game at home to Preston North End in their next match.


Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Cherries miss chance to go top drawing 2-2 a Rotherham


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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Cherries miss the chance to go top drawing 2-2 at Rotherham Utd

Match Report
Rotherham United 2 v 2 AFCB 
28 November 2020

Bournemouth were given a test they didn't really want at Rotherham. While Junior Stanislas scored first from the penalty spot, a couple of goals from Freddie Ladapo either side of half-time gave the Millers a 2-1 lead and the Cherries faced the possibility of a second defeat. A double change, seeing Diego Rico and Sam Surridge come on the pitch, led to Dominic Solanke heading in an equaliser, leaving Bournemouth with half an hour to try and get a winner. It didn't come and Bournemouth had to settle for the point.

Bournemouth find it hard going against Rotherham United.

Bournemouth made two changes which gave the team a less attacking feel. Out came Arnaut Danjuma and Lewis Cook, and they were replaced by Dan Gosling and Philip Billing. It was perhaps surprising that Riquelme who is an out and out winger didn't get a start ahead of Philip Billing with Danjuma being unavailable. Danjuma tweeted he would be back in the blink of an eye as it was only a very minor reason why he was out of the squad.

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

It was up to David Brooks to carry much of the running threat that Danjuma would usually bring to the game. But Dominic Solanke was putting himself about and had the first Bournemouth shot, while Junior Stanislas was also very much involved in Bournemouth going forward. Junior had the opportunity to put the Cherries 0-1 up when Solanke was fouled in the box by Jamal Blackman and he scored down the centre of the goal on 18 minutes.

Rotherham almost found a way to equalise when Begovic had to make a great tip-over save from Jamie Lindsay's header on 22 minutes. It was followed by a chance for Michael Smith who headed wide. The Millers did get back on level-terms when Bournemouth lost the ball in midfield and Mattock's cross was converted at the near post by Freddie Ladapo on 35 minutes.

Stanislas could have put Bournemouth back ahead at the end of the first half when he was through with Olosunde in close attendance, holding Junior's arm as he got a tackle in. Stanislas then came close with a shot that almost sneaked in at the post. 

Bournemouth came out meaning business in the second half with Stanislas making Blackman have to get down to save straight away, but Bournemouth found themselves 2-1 down when Freddie Ladapo scored his second with chip, come cross, that looped up over Begovic on 50 minutes.


Tindall subbed Dan Gosling and Adam Smith on 61 minutes and brought on Sam Surridge and Diego Rico. Rico crossed straightaway and Solanke headed in for the equaliser on 62 minutes.

Angus MacDonald went close with a scissor kick that Begovic saved before the follow up was flagged for offside. Solanke then missed a chance to go around Blackman in the Rotherham goal. An audacious chip from Lerma just a few metres into the Rotherham half sailed perilously close to going in with Blackman off his line, but the winning goal didn't come.


Bournemouth probably got out of jail with this result. They don't look to be the complete package without Danjuma and Lewis Cook. The run of games is hard in the Championship and it is relentless. Rotherham United are fighting for their lives and with the crosses that Mattock was putting in, Begovic had to be at his best. Junior Stanislas is playing some great football and Dominic Solanke is showing he can score goals at this level, but there are some issues in Bournemouth's defence of crosses and they were exposed in this game. Luckily Norwich City also slipped up and it just closes up the top six with Watford winning their game.

AFCB Subs: Travers, Rico, Zemura, Ofoborh, 
Simpson, Kilkenny, Riquelme, Anthony, Surridge

Rotherham United: 27 Blackman, 22 Olosunde (Clarke 64), 19 Harding, 20 Ihiekwe, 21 A MacDonald, 3 Mattock, 16 Lindsay, 25 Crooks, 8 Wiles, 24 Smith, 10 Ladapo (Vassel 89).

Rotherham Subs: 1 Johansson, 5 Jones, Clarke, 5 Thompson, 26 Barlaser, 14 Miller,
28 Jozefzoon, 7 Vassel, 9 Hirst 

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Can Bournemouth make it four in a row?

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Can Bournemouth make it four in a row?

Even when Bournemouth won the Championship in 2014-15 they only managed a run of four wins or more twice in the season and Middlesbrough and Norwich City were the teams that ended those runs. Rotherham may not have the same pedigree, but Bournemouth need consistency if they are to stretch their winning run.

Steve Cook will look to keep the winning run going.

While the media have made big news of Josh King not yet being ready to play, I expect the Norweigan striker will find it hard to get another game for Bournemouth before the transfer window opens. Jason Tindall doesn't need to make wholesale changes for this match, but he could give some of the younger players a chance to impress if he can win the game early on.


The player that is more of a miss for me is Jack Stacey. Adam Smith did well enough in the last game as cover and I don't see any changes coming in the back four. David Brooks was looking a bit more of a doubt, having put everything into the game against Nottingham Forest and I wouldn't be surprised if he was given a place to rest on the bench. If so, I'd like to see Riquelme get a start.


In the center of midfield, Tindall could give Billing or Gosling an opportunity but it is more likely he would leave them on the bench. The form of Stanislas, Danjuma and Solanke makes them sure starters for me unless they are carrying any knocks.

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

Winning four matches in a row would be a statement that Bournemouth are doing all they can to chase down Norwich City. The Cherries maybe second to surpass the 30 point mark, but they are well on target to be on for a top-two finish at the moment. Back in the promotion-winning 2014-15 season, the Cherries were in ninth place after 12 games.

Possible AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: Travers, Simpson, Rico, Ofobrorh, Gosling, Billing, Brooks, Surridge, Anthony

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Rotherham will hope Bournemouth's impressive run can be halted

Friday, 27 November 2020

Rotherham will hope Bournemouth's impressive form can be halted

Rotherham United have had a tough start to the season with just three wins so far. Ex-Bournemouth midfielder Shaun MacDonald broke his leg against Stoke City at the end of October, and the team has battled on to win one of its last five games. The last home win was a good one though with a 2-1 victory over Preston North End. 

Bournemouth look to take the top spot away 
from Norwich City when they visit Rotherham.

Paul Warne explained that Rotherham, like Bournemouth, have struggled to put in 90-minute performances, playing well in the second half of their latest game against QPR, when they were already 3-1 down at half-time. He accused his players of giving QPR too much respect, so we can expect the Millers to really go at AFCB in the first 20 minutes. While they are coming out on the wrong side of many results, they are scoring goals with Matt Crooks, Daniel Barlaser, Freddie Ladapo and Jamie Lindsay all on two goals. Warne will be hoping that striker Michael Smith continues scoring as he did when he came back into the side in their last match.

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

Rotherham's best home win was the 3-0 result versus Sheffield Wednesday in October, but they only had one win in November and remain three points above the relegation zone. It will be Bournemouth's first game at the AESEAL stadium New York Stadium since January 2015 when they won 1-5 in the FA Cup and 0-2 in the league


Injuries for the Millers apart from MacDonlad include, Kieran Sadler who is out for another two months having injured a ligament against Preston North End. Other long term injuries are winger Chiedozie Ogbene (knee) and defender Clark Robertson (fractured foot).


Bournemouth have won only two of their last five away games, so Jason Tindall will want to see the Cherries find some of their home form carrying over to this game.

Rotherham United Home Form

AFCB Away Form

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Has Tindall got the balance right for AFCB?

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Has Tindall got the balance right for AFCB?

It was hard not to have a big smile on AFCB fan's faces after the win against Nottingham Forest. It wasn't the scoreline, but the manor of the performance which really pleased me. Bournemouth played with a fluidity and purpose that we haven't seen for a very long time. This was a game that they took by the throat and mesmerised the opposition with their patterns of play and movement. I was spellbound.

Flowing football is back at Dean Court.

For once, there was no worry about Bournemouth slipping up once they had gone ahead. The players were fully engaged in stretching the play and causing as many problems as they could for Nottingham Forest. The form of David Brooks and Junior Stanislas were instrumental in the win. Both of them were prepared to come in off the wings when they needed to and they kept the forward momentum of the team going by bringing Danjuma and Solanke in to play .

Bournemouth now have a group of players who are all looking to create space and take shots away when they have the opportunity. We have Jefferson Lerma and Lewis Cooks also prepared to get involved further forward and the rotation of the ball is becoming better, because the mobility of the players is so much more dynamic. Each player is willing to play with one touch and offload the ball as soon as it comes to them, and the speed of the ball over the ground is consequently quicker than teams can get across to cover.

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

Whether the pace of the game caught up with Bournemouth's players or whether Nottingham Forest were good enough to get a spell going in the second half I am not sure. But it was also good to see the side be able to hold on to a 2-0 lead without conceding. The balance really does seem right now, and you never know which player is most likely to score, because they all have it in their capability. With a few more wins this could become a very settled side. Hitting top form now, with so many games coming up in December, Bournemouth could be looking down on all the other teams come the New Year. 


Jason Tindall may just have got his ideas through to the players better than he had even hoped. The side looks as good now as it has in many seasons and that is without some of the more high-priced players that were in the Premier League. So all credit to Jaosn Tindall. His management style is working and the players are responding to him and his relaxed style. It is good to see that he never looks anxious about preparing for games and we will see if he can keep that up, because the pressure of winning will keep growing.


Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Bournemouth look supreme in 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest

Match Report
AFCB 2 v 0 Nottingham Forest
24 November 2020

Bournemouth played the kind of football we dream of seeing them play in the first half. They took just three minutes to take the lead, when David Brooks picked out Junior Stanislas' run right down the middle and the former Burnley man made no mistake, putting Bournemouth 1-0. Nottingham Foret had to work incredibly hard to keep the score at 1-0 especially at the end of the first 45 minutes, when Brooks weaved in behind and pulled the ball back for Stanislas, who saw his shot cleared off the line. The game looked secure when Solanke went down from a challenge from Jack Colback and Stanislas grabbed his and Bournemouth's second from the penalty spot. Forest tried everything to get a goal, but the closest they came was a header from Yates that went over. Solanke might have been tripped for a second penalty right at the end, but it didn't matter that it wasn't given. This was just the 90-minute performance that Jason Tindall had been demanding.

Junior Stanislas scores his first goals of 2020-21 and helps Bournemouth to a 2-0 win.

Bournemouth made two changes with Adam Smith and Chris Mepham starting the game, while Diego Rico moved to the bench and Jack Stacey dropped out of the squad. Philip Billing also returned to the subs bench. It was also Steve Cook's 350th appearance for AFCB. Bournemouth also welcomed back Harry Arter and Lyle Taylor to Dean Court.

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

Match description

Forest start well and attack, Arter shoots over. Bournemouth have hit back straight away with Brooks finding Stanislas and he scores in the corner on three minutes. Stanislas came from deep and ran right between the two centre-halves and put the ball past Samba, very cooly. Bournemouth go 1-0 up. It looked like one of the centre-backs slipped, but Stanislas took full advantage, latching on to Brooks pass and scoring his first goal of the season.

Yates goes right through Lewis Cook. Cook is taking a long breather. Lyle Taylor has forced a corner for Forest on 11 minutes. Lerma on the break and Brooks is up with him. Forest have it back.

Kelly loses the ball to Ameobi and Arter has a shot blocked. Christie puts a great cross in and Taylor gets ahead of Mepham but heads over. 

Danjuma turns well away from Christie, and has his shot blocked by Samba at the near post. So close to 2-0. The short corner doesn't come off and Lewis Cook fires wide from distance.

Bournemouth have so much time on the ball. Christie puts a cross in but Steve Cook clears. Ameobi has a shot right at Begovic. Stanislas is working well across the midfield, getting Danjuma and Brooks involved. 

Bournemouth are buzzing around the Forest box, like busy honey bees. Ameobi has a shot blocked by Steve Cook. Lewis Cooks plays it forward to Brooks and Brooks turns and fires wide.

Ribeiro fouls Brooks. Stanislas robs the ball well for Bournemouth. Ameobi gets a good ball in but Arter heads wide. 

Lewis Cook is being given far too much space in the middle. Solanke goes for a long shot but gets no power in it.

Bournemouth are caressing the ball beautifully around the pitch. Forest are standing off too far and are not really pressing Bournemouth.

Forest get some good possession but Christie's drilled cross is stepped over and finds its way safely to Begovic. 

Solanke wins a corner. Yates is fouled by Lerma. Two added minutes. Brooks along the byline and Stanislas has a shot cleared off the line, the follow up is also cleared. Scott McKenna beat Solanke to the ball on the line.


Second half
Ameobi has fouled Lerma. Solanke keeps the ball well under pressure. Brooks, in the box, pulls it back for Stanislas but the shot goes wide. 

Adam Smith concedes a corner. Solanke goes over in the box and Jack Colback brought him down. It's a penalty. It was a tangle of legs. Bournemouth's first penalty in the Championship this season. Stanislas puts the penalty kick away 2-0 on 51 minutes. Stanislas sent the keeper the wrong way.

Danjuma wins a corner. Stanislas pulls a shot well over the bar. Danjuma then hits a shot over from distance.

Lolley passes across to Yates who soots well but Begovic makes the save, getting everything behind the ball.


Forest have a corner taken by Arter but Brooks has it. The pass to Stanislas is overhit. Bournemouth clear another Forest corner. Lolley is subbed by Anthony Knockaert on 61 minutes.

Arter has won a corner. Great header out by Solanke. Ameobi gets a deflected shot away, corner. Ameobi goes for a shot from teh corner of the box but it's a good height for Begovic who saves and concedes the corner. Knockaert hits a ball to teh far post and Yates head over in the six-yard box. 

David Brooks comes off and Gosling is on after 71 minutes. Danjuma picks up a corner.  Arter is replaced by Guerrero on 76 minutes. 

Rico is on for Lerma on 79 minutes. Gosling is carded for a foul Knockaert.

Bournemouth have a free kick in Brighton's half. Stanislas is taking it and hits the wall. Lewis Cook picks up a yellow card.

Riquelme replaces Danjuma on 90 minutes. Three additional minutes. Solanke goes down but there's no penalty. Colback clipped Solanke's heels.

Bournemouth are really slipping into their top gear now. As an attacking force, they look so confident that they are lining up to score goals. The movement and creativity is clear to see and with a clean sheet as well in this game, things are going well for the Cherries. At home, the Cherries remain unbeaten. What I liked most though about this performance is the way Bournemouth attacked on both flanks and looked equally dangerous on each side coming forward. Solanke is getting even better at holding up the ball and players are finding forward runs that are difficult to track for the opposition. Finally, it was great to see Junior Stanislas get off the mark with two goals and he is working well with Danjuma.

AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: Travers, Rico, Simpson, Ofoborh, Gosling, Billing, Riquelme, Anthony, Surridge

AFCB player ratings: Begovic 6, A Smith 6,  S Cook 7, Mepham 6, Kelly 6, Brooks 7, Lerma 6,
L Cook 6, Stanislas 8, Danjuma 7, Solanke 7

Nottingham Forest
30 Samba, 2 Christie, 5 Ribeiro, 6 McKenna, 22 Yates, 8 Colback, 31 Arter (Guerrero 76), 11 Ameobi, 23 Lolley (Knockaert 61), 33 Taylor

Forest Subs: 12 Smith, 6 Mbe Soh, 16 Jenkinson, Cafu, 19 Guerrero, 28 Knockaert, 44 Ionnou, 48 Swan 

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Forest's former Cherries must be sent packing

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Forest's former Cherries must be sent packing

Bournemouth seem to be on the right track after beating Reading, but now is when they need to make sure they are not complacent as they take on Nottingham Forest. The visit o Forest to Bournemouth will potentially see the return of a few former Cherries in Harry Arter, Lyle Taylor and Lewis Grabban. Managed by Chris Hughton, the former Brighton manager might have fewer fond memories of visiting Dean Court.

Harry Arter - one of the old boys who could be lining up against AFCB tonight.

Nottingham Forest have only won three games this season and while they have won two of their last three games those wins were at home. But it's just one point from their last three away games. Lyle Taylor is top scorer on four goals and he is now a well-travelled striker having played in Scotland for Falkirk and Partick Thistle, as well as having spells at Sheffield Utd, Scunthorpe, AFC Wimbledon and Charlton Athletic since his time at Bournemouth. He has also played 11 of Forest's 12 games and will be the main threat for Forest against Bournemouth.

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 have also seen Harry Arter move to Forest last summer. While he has only played six times for Forest, he will be pleased just to be in the squad if he can get back to see his mates at Dean Court. He was a sub in the last game against Barnsley, so could play a part in the game. 


Forest also have former Brighton player Anthony Knockaert, who has had good Premier League experience at Brighton and Cyrus Christie who was in the Premier League with Fulham. Sammy Ameobi has been a sub of late, but he has also had top-level experience of the Premier League at Newcastle and is a nifty winger. Joe Lolley was also part of Huddersfield's team and will know Philip Billing well. Jack Colback played for Sunderland and Newcastle in the past, while defender Michael Dawson, was a regular in both Spurs' and Hull's teams a couple of years ago.

Lewis Grabban has been injured, and the Forest website says he could be back to training next week - so this game comes too early for him. I think we are lucky that Grabban is not expected to play, as he would be hyped to play well against the Cherries.

Hughton is not disappointed with the amount of chances that the team is creating, but they aren't taking their chances. Take Lyle Taylor's goals out of the team and they are really struggling. We know that Hughton's teams play good possession football and they will know everything about Bournemouth's game. The first goal as ever will be important and we need to see Bournemouth make a better start than they did in their last game.


We could see Chris Mepham and Adam Smith come back into the starting line-up and the players to be rested could be Diego Rico and Junior Stanislas. Josh King is still sidelined having tested positive for COVID-19 after the international break, but Philip Billing is back in contention for this game.


Bournemouth haven't had a good record against teams in the lower half with a draw against Derby and QPR and a defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Coventry City was a good result, but Bournemouth have to keep their standards high against Nottingham Forest.

Nottingham Forest Away Form

AFCB Home Form

Possible AFCB line-up
AFCB Subs: Travers, Simpson, Rico, Stanislas, Billing, Ofoborh, Riquelme, Gosling, Surrridge

In other news, football fans in Tier 1 and 2 will be able to go back to see football games after 2 December. Up to 4000 fans at games in Tier 1 regions and 2000 fans in Tier 2 regions.

I spoke to @MrDore_ On Tour about the AFCB v Nottingham Forest game. You can watch the match preview here.

Monday, 23 November 2020

Bournemouth's four-goal second-half was something to savour

The way Bournemouth ran into trouble against Reading was not ideal and it could have been a crushing defeat, if the Cherries continued to play like they did in the first half. But when Dominic Solanke scored Bournemouth's first goal, the game took on a totally different aspect. The substitution at half-time had enabled Lloyd Kelly to play as a left-back and his cross was the kind of delivery that that had been missing in the first half. With the goal came the belief that Bournemouth could overturn Reading's lead.

Lewis Cook doesn't score many goals but he saved up 
something special for his first Bournemouth goal.

It was the speed of Bournemouth's total recovery that made the comeback against Reading so surprising. As soon as they had got one goal, they had two and the moves that hadn't been coming off earlier were suddenly cutting Reading open. It was impressive to see the movement and almost telepathic nature of the way David Brooks put Arnaut Danjuma in for Bournemouth's second goal, and from there, nobody could have expected Lewis Cook to suddenly strike his first goal for Bournemouth. It was long overdue and it was completely out of the blue. The technique and precision of the shot were devastating. As soon as it hit the back of the net there was no way Bournemouth were going to lose hold of this game.

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

It still needed a superb save from Begovic to keep Reading from getting their third goal and the contribution of Begovic can't be underestimated. It all boosts the team feeling and the collective belief that this is a team that can win promotion. Solanke is also becoming a striker that is hungry to get his name on the score sheet every game and by scoring more than one goal in a match, he will start to think he can score at anytime.


Jason Tindall will still see that Bournemouth are not playing perfectly yet. The first half was poor despite the dominance of possession. The corner routines were totally off-track. The team is not starting games with a high enough concentration or intensity. They are relying on their ability a little too much and need to add some grit to their game. Once they get that right we will start to see 90-minute performances.


Still, it was a thrilling comeback and we haven't seen that kind of determination to succeed for a long time. It makes me believe that all is well under Jason Tindall and Bournemouth can achieve their aims this season, if they can keep progressing, limit their injuries and navigate their way safely through the January transfer window.