Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Lee Camp will be a big hit at Rotherham

Like many AFCB fans I am sad that the Cherries have parted company with Lee Camp. It was always expected to happen when Adam Federici was signed in the summer and Lee's position at the club looked surplus to requirements. But Lee was immense when he first came to the club and gave the Cherries the kind of confidence at the back that saw them establish themselves comfortably in the Championship in 2013-14 after Ryan Allsop had found it difficult to hold down the keeper's position. 
Lee Camp was fabulous for AFCB in the Championship.
Lee has been a great servant to the Cherries and has always been a great shot stopper. The need for him to continue playing first team football though is clear and he deserves to go to a club where he will be the number one. While the Cherries have had tremendous success and Lee has been a big part of that, he will soon start winning points for the Millers.

It was no doubt a favour to Lee that the Cherries cancelled his contract to enable him to join Rotherham Utd yesterday. He had been linked to other clubs over the summer and Huddersfield were said to have been interested in signing him as well as Bristol City earlier in the window. While he has chosen to join a club at the foot of the Championship table, he'll see it as a challenge to start getting clean sheets. We wish him lots of luck.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Gradel out for six months and more signings for Cherries

Max Gradel could be out for as much as six months, according to reports from TalkSport. The Ivorian international only joined the Cherries this summer but his match against Leicester City ended with a torn cruciate ligament injury that is likely to force him out for most of the season. The knee injury is just one of a number of injury worries for AFCB – there is no news yet on Tyrone Mings and Charlie Daniels who also sustained injuries on Saturday.
Max Gradel is thought to have a long term injury after being assessed.

Meanwhile, it has been a hectic morning for the Cherries in the transfer market. While the only player to have a medical is Glenn Murray, there has been news of Tomas Andrade of River Plate agreeing to a loan move for the season to the Cherries and winger Diego Perotti of Genoa is said to be another target for AFCB. Will Buckley at Sunderland is also of interest to AFCB because of the situatio with Max Gradel.

Norwich City also made a bid for Steve Cook this morning that was rejected but there are possible moves for Kermorgant, Camp and Rantie. The De Guzman deal looks like it’s off though.

Transfer update:
9.05 Glenn Murray has turned up at Dean Court for his medical
9.34 Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves interest in signing Yann Kermorgant on loan
9.44 Huddersfield linked to Lee Camp
10.47 De Guzman loan deal off
10.55 Norwich bid for Steve Cook rejected
11.05 Midfielder Tomas Andrade set to move on loan from River Plate to AFCB
11.15 AFCB linked with move for winger Diego Perotti of Genoa
11.45 Talk Sport announce Gradel could be out for up to six months
12.16 Will Buckley at Sunderland could be a possible replacement for Max Gradel being sidelined

14.23 Sky Sports News Mark McAdam reports:
“There will be at least two more players joining Bournemouth between now and the window closing at 6pm. I know they are in close talks to sign a left-back and possibly a winger. Frustrations over Norwich striker Lewis Grabban – who Norwich insist is not for sale - have forced the Cherries to switch their attention to Sampdoria striker Eder. They have a private plane waiting to bring the player to Bournemouth if necessary.”
14.38 Josh O’Hanlon one month loan move to Chester
15.04 Norwich were hoping for a swap deal with Steve Cook swapping places with Lewis Grabban but AFCB said no deal.

17.30 Joe Bennett, a 25-year -old left back, at Aston Villa is reported to be a six month loan signing target for AFCB
18.50 AFCB cancel Lee Camp's contract so that he can sign for Rotherham Utd

Who do Cherries need on deadline day?

The fans always want one more signing and while the injuries have complicated the final moments of the transfer window for Eddie Howe it is likely that there will be more than one addition to the squad come 6pm tonight. All the talk though has been about strikers and midfielders coming to AFCB.

Things certainly started moving last night. Crystal Palace have been rather keen to hold on to their players and even though they have strengthened. Alan Pardew looks set to keep Dwight Gayle but Glenn Murray has been allowed to talk to AFCB for some £4 million. As long as personal terms and the medical is passed Murray should be revealed as a Cherries player later today.

One signing that has been quite a tussle between the Cherries, Everton, Hamburg and Sunderland is Napoli's midfielder Jonathan De Guzman, who is set for
a season loan move to AFCB with the option to buy him next season, but the midfielder was said to go missing yesterday when he was supposed to catch a plane for his medical at Dean Court. Apparently he wanted more time to think over the move.I expect we'll hear more on this later today.

But what other signings might AFCB make today - Charlie Austin, Lewis Grabban?
Eddie may have his eyes on more targets yet.
The need for another striker of note is perhaps the tantalising signing that may just be out of reach if the left defensive side of the team is now more important to reinforce. Man Utd were suddenly made favourites to land QPR's Charlie Austin over the weekend, but the connection with the Cherries has never really died down despite Eddie Howe saying it's is not possible for the club to bring him to the Vitality stadium. Such a statement from the manager was so strong that I feel those that have stacked their money on it happening may well be disappointed by the end of this evening - but I'd love to be proved wrong. The Daily Mirror seems to have the Austin move nailed on for AFCB.

Do you want him back? AFCB fans' conscience might be tested if Afobe 
goes to Norwich and Grabban is surplus to needs in East Anglia.
More likely perhaps is the return of Lewis Grabban, despite his foolish attempts to force a deal through last week which only ended in him being suspended. Whether Alex Neil would want rid of the striker now is intriguing, because of the baggage now surrounding Lewis Grabban - is he really wanted at Carrow Road anymore? His previous history may not make him among the most popular returnees if Eddie Howe decides to go back in for him. Norwich could play hard ball as well just to remind Lewis that he must honour his contract with the Canaries. Any deal is perhaps dependent on Wolves, who have repeatedly turned down Norwich's target - Benik Afobe. Unless the Afobe is allowed to talk to Norwich, there could be no move for Grabban.

It is a tough market out there and deals are seldom simple. So it is at this time that Eddie Howe may also be thinking if he can attract an extra player by giving a club a player or two in return to secure a new signing. That could mean loan moves for players like Stanislas, MacDonald, Camp, Rantie (a loan target for Reading, says the Bournemouth Echo) or Kermorgant. It should be an exciting day and if no one comes in but AFCB keep their current squad I will not be too disappointed with that.

If AFCB can put funds into the Development squad to bring on home-grown players for next season I would be even prouder of the club. But the financial implications of falling out of the Premier League are now so huge that if it means the club needs to sign more players in this window then so be it.

Out today - Cherry Chimes' September Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month, plus a special Newsletter article entitled Tactical battles have to be won.

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Monday, 31 August 2015

Murray's agreed fee - a ticket to Premier League survival?

It has been reported in several national and local papers tonight that a fee of £5 million has been agreed for Glenn Murray with AFCB. The news of this agreement with a day to go of the transfer window should enable the transfer to be completed in good time tomorrow, but while Crystal Palace fans may be sad to see one of their strikers go, it may be that by allowing Murray to join the Cherries the South London club has given Eddie Howe's team exactly what they need to ensure they will line up for the 2016/17 season in the Premier League.

The desire for a proven striker at the top level is certainly something that encouraged the pursuit of Glenn Murray and while Palace have been reluctant to see Murray move to another club, the deal is going to be met with pleasure on the south coast. It immediately takes a bit of pressure off of Callum Wilson and gives the Cherries a new cutting-edge that will enable them to score even more goals in and around the box with the kind of striker Murray is. The Cherries have not got a predator like striker and Murray's ability to pounce on balls in the box and his heading power should add a new dimension to what we have seen at Dean Court of late.

Sky Sports have been explaining that the reason why the move did not go through earlier in the summer is that the Cherries really wanted the player on loan, but that Palace would only let the striker depart if a transfer fee was involved.

Tomorrow we'll ask if there is any other players AFCB are likely to try and sign on deadline day!

Cherries' squad depth already being tested

The mounting injury list is going to need some frantic work by Steve Hard and his team to get the numbers off the treatment books and back in training. The left back situation is clearly the major worry having seen Charlie Daniels having to come off at half time in the Leicester match and Tyrone Mings stretchered off with a knee injury just six minutes later.

Charlie Daniels may well be the quickest of the injured players to recover.
Adam Smith can of course play at left back even if it is not his strongest position and Filippo Costa could provide cover if the Cherries needed to extend the period that Daniels and Mings are out but the early signs are that Charlie Daniels' knock might be not as severe as first thought

The left side of the field is certainly stretched though with Max Gradel also likely to need time out to recover from his left knee injury. While Junior Stanislas has not been involved in the Premier League squads he may just get his chance now.

We also heard from the Bournemouth Echo that Harry Arter had a minor operation on his groin in Germany to sort his long absence out and the midweek match against Hartlepool had resulted in a hamstring strain for Josh King as well as a problem for Dan Gosling. Luckily the scan for Gosling was clear and he is likely to be back in training fairly soon.

The importance of having a first rate physio section though is being underlined and keeping the players fit is going to be vital. While there is time to bring in loan signings, the club will also want to not dilute the strong squad spirit too much and morale within the camp has to remain high. That can probably be helped if the Cherries can deflect attention away a bit with a new signing, but bringing in players will be a battle in the next few days with every club looking to strengthen. Once again Charlie Austin is strongly linked with the Cherries with rumours of him now having a house in Sandbanks and the Daily Mirror stating that the striker is Eddie Howe's top target.

All Departments' review of AFCB 1 v 1 Leicester City is now out - you can listen on the side bar of Cherry Chimes or visit the All Departments' website to find other ways to listen.

Look out tomorrow for the Cherry Chimes' September Newsletter which brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them in AFCB's first month in the Premier League, plus a special Newsletter article entitled Tactical battles have to be won

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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Mings was just unfortunate

You have to feel for Tyrone Mings having waited all this time to make his Premier League debut at home and only seeing six minutes of the game before he sustained an injury that saw him stretchered off against Leicester City. While Tyrone will have been delighted to get on the pitch his luck certainly was no better than Charlie Daniels and it looks like AFCB fans are going to have to wait some time before Tyrone stretches his long legs out on the left wing again.
Tyrone was reported on crutches shopping yesterday,
so just maybe he will not be out for as long as first feared. The details on his
scan should be made public soon.
What action Tyrone did see was pretty much limited to seeing Robert Huth give him a hand off after Callum Wilson had seen the ball blasted at him when he was on the ground. He did get to make a few touches and ventured into the Leicester half, but it was hardly a Premier League debut to saver. It will be the road to rehabilitation now for Mings and while that might be difficult in itself he will probably be in a way a little comforted by the fact that he won't be alone as there are plenty of AFCB players that are in a position where they could be missing some games.

Such periods though come to all professionals and like we have seen with Harry Arter it is not always as simple as one hopes when making a diagnosis and regaining fitness. Let's just hope that Tyrone makes a speedy recovery and gets to compete with Charlie Daniels again soon as that competition was certainly making the left side of the field much stronger for AFCB. 

Look out tomorrow for the Cherry Chimes' September Newsletter which brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them in AFCB's first month in the Premier League, plus a special Newsletter article entitled Tactical battles have to be won

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Injuries marr Cherries' draw against strong Leicester side 1-1

Match Report
29 August 2015
AFCB 1 v 1 Leicester City
Attendance: 11,155
The second Premier League game - AFCB v Leicester City.
AFCB must be wondering what the Premier League is all about after they almost had it sussed in this match. One-nil up and just five minutes to go and having seen three left sided players have to be replaced through injury, it had already been a hard afternoon, but one slip in midfield by Eunan O'Kane and a race against the pace of Jamie Vardy and matters would soon see Vardy lining up a penalty as Steve Cook mistimed his challenge in the box. Artur Boruc did his best by getting fingertips to the penalty shot, but the ball was blasted into his top left corner and Leicester had earned a draw having fought back from a first half strike from in form Callum Wilson, who had burst the back of the net in the 24th minute with a spectacular overhead kick that had given the Cherries the lead. So honours were even but the injury count was less even with Charlie Daniels, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel likely to be sidelined for some time now.

A big Eddie Howe flag in the North Stand.
Leicester were second in the league and confident before kick off.
The captains sort out which end to kick towards for their teams.
There are more pictures on the Match Day Gallery tab.

The team selection was a shock in that Lee Tomlin won his first start in the Premier League while Josh King did not even make the squad line up. Marc Pugh had to be content with the sub's bench again despite having scored in the previous match against West Ham. 

Jason Tindall gives the team news.

Leicester were paying AFCB a bit of respect by playing just Vardy up front with Albrighton and Mahrez on the wings when it might have been expected that they would have started with a more attacking strike partnership up top.

Megan and James give a preview interview of 
what we might expect from Leicester City.

Lee Tomlin wins his first Premier league start. 
This match was certainly keenly contested and as early as the first 20 seconds Max Gradel found himself in the book having displeased referee Neil Swarbrick with his challenge on Riyad Mahrez. Leicester had started well with Schlupp getting crosses in and AFCB's back four looking a bit jittery, even if Kante was not able to capitalise on it when he was in the box. 

Lee Tomlin was receiving the ball well and was always aware of where Wilson was making his runs. But Leicester looked just as promising going forward with Vardy up front and Albrighton on the wing. Leicester won the first corner, but Gradel soon levelled the count up with one up the other end. Mahrez latched onto a cross from the left from Albrighton and thought he had scored but was caught just offside. Lee Tomlin then made a tight turn to send Wilson on his way and another corner was won with 12 minutes gone, but getting a shot on goal wasn't a possibility. 

Leicester were building well in the game and keeping better possession than I'd seen in their previous games. Jamie Vardy hit a shot over after 16 minutes and to be fair the Foxes were looking good at this point. Andy King was mopping up a lot of the ball in midfield even if he tried to do so with his arms in one instant and a loud cheer of 'handball' went up.

AFCB were about to apply some pressure though with Daniels pushing up the left and having a shot, come cross, that went just wide of Schmeichel's left post. The Cherries goal though came soon after with Surman winning the ball and Gradel and Daniels joining with Tomlin. The ball lofted up towards Gradel in the box and while he could not get much of a head on it, the ball broke off of Robert Huth to Wilson who watched the ball's flight onto his right boot, as he attempted an overhead kick, which lashed the ball past Schmeichel's right hand and into the top corner - 1-0! 

There was a good chance for AFCB to extend their lead when Lee Tomlin was brought down on the edge of the Leicester box by Kante, although it was questionable whether the challenge was actually inside the box. Gradel took the kick but Schmeichel punched it clear.

The home crowd were getting a bit frustrated with some of the decisions though as Lee Tomlin was said to foul King. Still AFCB were keeping possession well and were in front. But on 40 minutes Charlie Daniels went down injured. While he soldiered on, he was certainly in discomfort but just had to last for a few minutes more before half time arrived with the score at 1-0.
AFCB subs warm up.
Cherry Bear at half time.
Half time scoreboard.
Second Half
Both teams made substitutions at half time with Daniels being replaced by Tyrone Mings who made his Premier league debut and Leicester's star man Riyad Mahrez being withdrawn for Shinji Okasaki. It was a wild start to this half with Robert Huth deciding that Callum Wilson falling over outside the box deserved him belting the ball against the striker for winning a free kick. Huth then handed off Tyrone Mings and a bit of a confrontation broke out with nearby players and the referee needed to calm things down with Robert Huth accepting a yellow card. Gradel floated the free kick in but it evaded all of AFCB's players.

Tyrone Mings had seen a bit of action down the left wing but he didn't find it easy to miss the attention of Drinkwater who chased him down and left him clutching his leg while play went on. Mings could not continue though and the stretcher came on for him after just six minutes of the second half. Adam Smith became the third left back of the day for AFCB.

While Leicester were winning corners, the Cherries looked comfortable enough at making clearances. Wilson was keeping Morgan honest at the other end and all we seemed to be missing was some shots on goal. More bad injury news was on the way though as Max Gradel now had to come off, hobbling with an injured left leg on 66 minutes. Marc Pugh was his replacement.

Leicester were sensing that they were well in this game now with a chance of getting something and Schlupp came mighty close with a run down the left and a shot that Artur Boruc did really well to keep out on the angle.

Leicester's midweek hat-trick sensation Joe Dodoo replaced Marc Albrighton on 72 minutes and AFCB were now really scrapping to keep control. O'Kane was yellow carded for a tug on Drinkwater and Okazaki was making things difficult for the back four. Pugh was doing more defensive work while Ritchie was also not such an easy outlet with Leicester pushing for a goal.

AFCB fans might have thought it would be their day when the game went into the last 10 minutes and Dodoo had a clear air shot which could have proved costly, only for Schlupp to then tried his luck again as he hammered a shot that flew very close to Boruc's left post. 

All seemed well until Eunan O'Kane trod on the ball in the middle of the pitch with the on looking Kante quick to win the ball and feed Jamie Vardy who accept the gift. His strong run to the left side of the box had three AFCB players around him. With Elphick twisting and turning and unable to get a tackle in, the lunge from Cook took Vardy straight out - a clear penalty! Artur had been great all game and guessed correctly to his left but the power was too much in Vardy's shot and the Foxes had levelled - 1-1.

Right on 90 minutes Leicester brought on Benalouane for de Laet to see the eight minutes of extra time out. Schlupp picked up a yellow for disagreeing with a decision, but the ball was soon back in the Cherries' box and Pugh's clumsy challenge on Vardy could have been adjudged a foul, but AFCB finally had some luck and nothing was given.

There was just one last attempt by Wilson to out sprint Huth and while he went down in the box the referee soon turned away as he was not going to give anything, despite the calls for a penalty.
Full time.
The players just after the whistle.
A tough day for Steve Cook.
Eddie was pleased the Cherries got something from the game.
The Cherries know that they have played well in their four matches and probably should have won more points than they have. Yet a draw against a team in second place is not a bad return on a day when they had to make so many changes because of injuries. It upset Eddie Howe's plans for tactical changes and the rhythm of the team was not as good in the second half. Leicester were always in the game and although chances were very few it always appeared that they might get something. The table does not look at all shabby though for AFCB who have now picked up a point at home and came very close to getting a clean sheet against an unbeaten side. Moreover, Callum Wilson is quickly growing into a formidable Premier League striker.

AFCB: Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels (Mings 45, Smith 57), Ritchie, O'Kane, 

Surman, Gradel (Pugh 67), Tomlin, Wilson

Cherries' Subs
Federici, Distin,  Mings, Smith, MacDonald,  Pugh, Kermorgant, 

AFCB Rating: 

Boruc 8, Francis 6, Elphick 7, Cook 6, Daniels 7, Ritchie 6, O'Kane 6, Surman 8, Gradel 7, Tomlin 8, Wilson 9

Leicester City: 
Schmeichel, de Laet (Benalouane 91), Huth, Morgan, Schlupp, Drinkwater, King,
Mahrez (Okazaki 45), Kanté, Albrighton (Dodoo 71 ), Vardy

Foxes Subs
Schwarzer, Benalouane, Fuchs, Inler, Okazaki, Dodoo, Ulloa

Referee watch: Neil Swarbrick 4/10 gave one penalty probably missed one or two more. Booking a player in the first minute is really all you need to know.