Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Cherries could find that Pompey are back on the up

I don't think many clubs slip down the leagues has been quite as spectacular as Pompey's fall. While they flirted briefly with relegation for a while last season they pulled out an inner belief to mount a bit of a late surge up the table. But League Two is still where they are and while there are no guarantees I actually hope that Pompey do start to climb their way back up the leagues to bolster the number of southern teams in the higher divisions. They seem always in a rebuilding phase and the third change of manager in six months in the summer has marked another phase in the club's search for stability and better results. So are they up to giving AFCB a bit of a surprise?
Fogden could be in action against the Cherries tonight.

I think Portsmouth have a great chance of not only giving the Cherries a hard game although recent encounters might suggest that the difference between the teams has not closed as much as it might in recent years. Perhaps last season they turned the corner though. They took in players such as our own Wes Fogden and since then have added Craig Westcarr, Paul Jones, James Dunne and former Cherry Danny Hollands. Alex Wynter is a young defender signed on loan from Crystal Palace and Miles Storey is another notable loan signing from Swindon. Whether Andy Awford can get this group of players to combine well in such a short period of time will be the challenge, but a fresh look Portsmouth should be able to leave some of the baggage they have been carrying behind them so that they can press on now.

The AFCB match is likely to be their biggest pre-season game as they have been averaging crowds of 800-2500 for the other summer fixtures. If Andy Awford can get them playing well though the home crowd will soon turn up for Pompey's matches and playing AFCB may well spark off some of the fire that we are used to seeing in Pompey sides. I was down at Portsmouth Harbour at the weekend and it is the first time in a long time that I have visited the city and yet not seen a single Pompey shirt on view. Somehow I reckon the support for Pompey will be pretty vocal tonight though when the Cherries arrive at Fratton Park.

Scunthorpe to give Addison a go

It has been a pretty tortuous time for Miles Addison at AFCB. He has been club captain and even got a string of games in the 2012-13 season, but as soon as he got injured he never regained his place in the side and Eddie Howe must be pleased that he can now move him on even if only for a month. 
Miles is back in the frame to play some games, but this time at Scunthorpe.
While it seems Miles has been around for ever, it may surprise some to hear that he is still only 25. Like just about everybody though I always felt he was too slow at the back and Eddie Howe is clearly looking for more agile and composed players on the ball. Yet Miles may find that he is a dominant player at the back for Scunthorpe in League One, where he might have a bit more time and know how to be one step ahead of some of the forwards he will be up against.

There was no real place for Miles at AFCB and a loan deal was always likely and I hope he makes the most of this chance to start a fresh. If he does come back in a months time I wonder how he would feel about Baily Cargill getting the nod in front of him? Football can be a cruel game and I don't think any player expects to be out of favour until it actually happens to them. All you can do is keep your head down and keeping working hard and to be fair Miles is a pro in that respect. A loan will give him the opportunity to enjoy playing again at a good level and should get him in the window for a longer move in January I would imagine.

Both Stephane Zubar and Miles Addison were at the club before Eddie Howe's second managerial period at AFCB and it has taken a long time for either player to play any kind of football even at Development level. It makes you realise that whoever the Cherries sign on long contracts is a risk and that while signings are always craved by supporters home grown talent may work out better and more cost effective if of course you can hold on to that talent or cash in on it at a profit.

The observant ones among you may have seen that there is a new tab on the blog called Kyle's Cups. Following Kyle Cotter's World Cup reports he has kindly offered to follow various cup competitions this season. In his first report he looks at Hull City's Europa League opponents on Thursday - FK AS Trencin 

Monday, 28 July 2014

AFCB have work to do

Eddie Howe did not disguise the fact that the Cherries still have much work to do after their defeat against Southampton. I thought the team selection was certainly not as strong as it might have been in the first half and for the first hour the Cherries really struggled to make a persistent threat on the Saint's goal. So Eddie Howe will look to see where improvements can be made.

In defence the team is getting used to having Benjamin Buchel in goal and if the injuries to Flahavan and Camp persist it may be that he has to start some league games this season. That is a big step up for the Lichtenstein keeper from playing Development squad football. This may have been playing on the manager's mind and the reason for giving Benjamin more time on the pitch at Dean Court in front of a big crowd.
AFCB still need some more organisation.
Adam Smith could have said to be slightly at fault for the Saint's goal in that he could not beat his man to the flying header, but the back four did keep the chances for the Saints down. It is in midfield where I felt the Cherries were struggling. There needed to be more power in the central positions and Gosling and O'Kane may need more time before they feel comfortable playing together there. I still believe Arter is the first choice central midfielder, because he drives the team when he is on the pitch. Whether MacDonald can get more of a go before the start of the season we will have to wait and see. The different combinations tried in training may not be the same as we see on match day and there is still time for Eddie to tinker a little with players in different roles.

The message from this weekend though is that for all the previous games high scoring, the Cherries are not the finished article yet and that should keep players keen to impress. I expect Eddie learnt a lot from the Southampton game, certainly more than he did from the Dorchester match and that is not necessarily a bad thing even if we like to see the team always win.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Have the Cherries saved their best kit until last?

The new Cherries third kit was launched on Friday, the club’s resident replica expert Gareth Davies gives his thoughts on the new design and history of Bournemouth’s third kits...

The Third kit really has been worth waiting for. AFCB photo.
For many years, third kits were considered an afterthought, as most were commissioned due to a one off kit clash and never marketed for sale. They were often identical in design to a teams away shirt with just the main colour altered. Things changed in the early 90’s though as clubs looked to maximise revenues by selling more replica shirts and also designers became far more adventurous regarding colour schemes and designs. This threw up more clashes between clubs which in turn heralded the need for third shirts to be used far more frequently.

The Cherries didn’t have a third shirt that was marketed for sale until the 2001/02 season when TFG Sports produced a bright yellow outfit which wasn’t universally popular due to the teams lack of success whilst wearing it! It was used in the play-off winning campaign the following year too, again with limited success and when TFG departed Dean Court in favour of the disastrous Bourne Red deal, there was no third shirt made available for supporters to buy until 2006/07 when yellow returned again!

It was a massive sense of déjà-vu, as once again supporters were sceptical about the design and the team didn’t pull up any trees wearing it. It must be noted that this shirts period of use coincided with a time when storm clouds seemed to permanently reside over Dean Court so even if Bournemouth had taken to the field in a sublime offering, it would have probably gone unnoticed such was the turmoil during the Kevin Bond era.
Matt Ritchie models the new Third kit shirt. AFCB photo.
Once the Bourne Red deal was thankfully torn up post administration in 2008, JD Sports became kit supplier and under their Carbrini brand, a smart striking white third shirt was used for three seasons before Fila replaced them. Their first third kit which was ivory in colour, was a stunning effort of simplicity and gracefulness and this shirt lasted for two seasons, albeit with a different sponsor in Energy Consulting during its second campaign of use, after they replaced Focal Point.

Last season saw one of my favourite designs used for the Cherries third kit, the diagonal sash. A clever use of our principal red and black colour scheme from the designers as they were used on the sash with white the main base colour. It wasn’t used an awful lot which was a shame as I preferred this to the black away offering which was a decent effort, but not in the same League as the third.

Onto this current season and after receiving some sceptical criticism from some quarters, the club have continued with JD Sports but have returned to Carbrini. I touched on why this was a good move for the club in my piece I wrote about the away shirt and after the release of the third kit on Friday, my feelings have been totally justified as the new kit has received some of the most positive reviews ever seen after the issuing of a Cherries uniform.

I have to say this surprised me somewhat as I thought the feedback would be mixed as the design or the like has never been seen at Dean Court before. The fading from one colour to another doesn’t always work. Take the Nike template used by Barcelona last season and for Charlton this, yellow into orange just looks ghastly, like a tequila sunrise that has been made with too much orange juice, whereas blue into black makes for an excellent composition. The club crest takes on the main base colours with the makers branding and sponsor being white meaning that none of these are lost within the main design, further enhancing this kit’s credentials to be considered one of our best productions in recent times.

Coupled with the fantastic away kit, we have got two stunning efforts in one season that could and probably should be put in the masterpiece bracket. Many wouldn’t have predicted this when the return to Carbrini was announced, even more so after the release of the home kit was done so to mixed reviews because black features more prominently than red. For me it should have been the other way round but I am being picky here as the home shirt is perfectly acceptable, not the best ever, although certainly not the worst. Its main trouble undoubtedly being that it’s in such esteemed company.

We shouldn’t complain though as not many clubs can even profess to have individual bespoke designs from their suppliers - so in that respect we are way ahead of most - let alone a decent home shirt and two wonderful change offerings.

Follow Gareth on twitter: @garphied

You can now vote for your favourite kit that has been released for the 2014/15 season. See the side panel on Cherry Chimes to get your vote in. 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Wimborne Town take on AFCB Development squad

AFCB's Development squad have been putting in the games this pre-season and the local match against Wimborne Town should enable a few more players make their claim to be considered for the first team squad. Wimborne play in the Calor Division One Southern League. Playing at Cuthbury, the Magpies have a ground capacity of 3250 with 275 seats. They finished up 13th last season and will be keen to give the Cherries a hard game.

Stephen Purches has seen his side play well against Hamworthy Recreation but were well beaten by a Poole side that kept a clean sheet against the Development team. Arguably Purches will want to see his young side get back to winning ways and with Zubar on other duties at Cambridge Utd there is the chance for another young player to come into the team in defence. I have not seen much of Josh O'Hanolon play up front but he is going to be pushing for a start along with Jayden Stockley.

Wimborne's last outing was against Verwood who they beat 1-0. Poppey fans may remember Scott Arnold who plays at right back for Wimborne and Jordan Cole at left back. Other former-Bournemouth FC players at the club include midfielders George Webb, Ollie Phillipson-Masters and John Blake. They also have Bill Maybury who was once at AFCB along with former-Cherry Aiden Sainsbury.

Prices for this afternoon's game can be found on the Wimborne Town site on this link.

Saints comfortably squeeze out Cherries 0-1

Match Report
25 July 2014
AFCB 0 v 1 Southampton FC

There were a few surprises in the Cherries team to play Southampton and I had especially expected that Lee Camp would have made it back to full fitness for this game. Still it was good to see Benjamin Buchel make his full first team debut at Dean Court. Cook and Elphick would resume their central defence partnership, while Callum Wilson had the chance to show home fans what they could look forward to up front next season as he started alongside Yann Kermorgant. O'Kane also got his opportunity which I felt he needed if he was to show that he was in consideration for the Huddersfield match. For those like me not at the match it was very pleasing that Southampton,having sold out their ticket allocation, put a live screening on their YouTube Channel so that many fans could watch proceedings for free. Tadic and Pelle were Saint's new signings that would start.

An interesting Blue shirt and shorts and yellow socks number was worn by the Saints, but AFCB were looking good as usual in their traditional red and black home strip. Former Cherry physio, John 'captain' Kirk's passing was remembered with a minutes applause and AFCB's treatment room is to be named after him.
Away fans in the South End and AFCB players on the pitch.
Picture taken by Damien Hill in the Family Stand.
Pugh was the first to make an impression winning a corner after three minutes off Clyne. Ward-Prowse and Tadic were connecting well on the left in the first few minutes for Saints. Isgrove next won a corner for the saints off of Adam Smith. A header from Yoshida flashed across the six yard box but went harmlessly past Bournemouth's goal. Elphick then took out a Saints player in the box with a push but nothing was given. Fonte and Kermorgant went down next and Yann needed treatment and was angry about the challenge throwing his shin pads down on the ground, which amused the commentators on the Saint's live streaming channel.

The Saints were having the majority of the possession. Isgrove was tackled by Smith as he was closing in on goal. Ramirez then shot over the bar. Another corner for Saints, but Buchel caught the ball with 14 minutes gone. Smith was brought down by Isgrove and AFCB had a free kick from half way to relieve some pressure. Pugh then won another corner on 18 minutes. Gosling and O'Kane were starting to come into the game a bit more now.

The first and only goal as it turned out came on 20 minutes with Clyne down the right and his cross was well met with a superb flying header from Lloyd Isgrove ahead of Smith to make it one nil to the Saints. At this point the live feed went down for me so it was back to picking up news from the AFCB live blog.

Buchel then made a good save from Pelle who was close to making it 0-2.  I finally had the live stream back as we approached half time. The Cherries look a bit light in midfield and the Saints seem to be able to come down either flank almost at will. Wilson was now playing more on the left but has not seen much of the ball. AFCB had a handball appeal turned down, but I did not see who the offender might have been. Ward-Proswe gets a shot away from 20 yards but Buchel saves well with 37 minutes gone.

AFCB are back on the attack. McQuoid and Kermorgant win a corner and O'Kane has a shot blocked before Daniel's shot is saved by the Saint's keeper. Kermorgant is next to have a go shooting wide on 40 minutes. McQuoid is getting in crosses but the Saints are clearing any danger.

Second half
Ramirez went off at half time being replaced by Cork and Matt Ritchie replaces Wilson and McQoid moved up front alongside Kermorgant. Ritchie turned his man in the whole and hit a good shot just wide early in the second half. O'Kane is starting to find his range with a cross field pas to Pugh. Meanwhile, Pelle was playing some beautiful touches and looked a good buy for the Saints.

AFCB were having trouble keeping the ball. Creatively, Matt Ritchie looked the Cherries best hope, but the team were short of ideas going forward. Cook was looking AFCB's best player at the back, very calm when under pressure.

Six subs came on after 70 minutes as the game slowed. Junior Stanislas tried to save the game when he finished a move, but it was swiftly disallowed. While Whitfield and Matthews joined in towards the end they could not change the result either. AFCB had to admit defeat against their nearby rivals as they went down 0-1.

I thought the Saints were easily the better team on the day. I am not sure why the team was not a bit stronger 11 at the start, but perhaps Eddie was giving a few a chance to see how they did as pairings. Without anyone managing to control the centre of midfield for the Cherries, the Saints pinged the ball about well and looked threatening for large periods of the game. Still, Buchel played well and perhaps Eddie Howe is now thinking that he should be the main back up to Lee Camp this season rather than Flahavan. Matt Ritchie still looks AFCB's spearhead for many of the attacks, while Gosling is not yet at his best for me. I don't think Wilson really had enough chances to really impress, but maybe the Cherries will regain some momentum against Portsmouth and Swansea.

Buchel, Smith, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, McQuoid, Gosling, O'Kane, Pugh, Kermorgant, Wilson.

AFCB subs
Francis, Stanislas, Pitman, Whitfield, Ritchie, Harte, Arter, Matthews and Cargill

Saints XI
Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Targett, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Tadić, Ramírez, Isgrove, Pellè.

Saint subs
K. Davis (GK), Stephens, Hooiveld, McCarthy, Flannigan, Cork, Reed, McQueen, Sharp, Mayuka, Gallagher.

Friday, 25 July 2014

All eye's on Eddie's starting line up against Saints

This week we have heard a bit of bad news that Ryan Fraser sustained a heavy tackle against Dorchester that forced him to be substituted towards the end of the first half, while Shaun MacDonald and Simon Francis also picked up minor knocks. This adds to the slight worries that Elphick was rested for the Dorchester match and TK who had a groin strain. But the better news is that Lee Camp is reported to be likely to start against the Saints.
hopefully Lee Camp is back in the starting line up for the Saint's visit.
Eddie Howe has been quite variable in his team selections so far in pre-season although he usually starts the first half with a very strong line up. The Southampton match is important though for giving his main players a taste of football against a team that will keep the ball well and will punish mistakes. That may well mean that Eddie picks his strongest team that is available to start but if Francis has to be rested it might be a chance for Adam Smith to really put his name forward to get a regular place in the back four. It takes a lot though to keep Francis out of a line up and so I'm guessing that he'll still start.

I also believe it is a game where Eunan O'Kane needs to be heavily involved if he is to be among those likely to start up at Huddersfield. At the moment though I think he could be on the subs bench. There is pressure up front too where Kermorgant, Wilson and Pitman have all been hitting the goals and Ritchie is perhaps favourite to start ahead of Junior Stanislas who is hopefully fit again to take part.

Fraser's injury is likely to give Marc Pugh a good opportunity to be selected on the left, but it is good to hear Ryan will be back in training next week. I can see Eddie Howe looking to think about which players are able to add something special at this point and everyone has to be giving their best in training this week.  

AFCB line up could be:


FRANCIS                                 ELPHICK                COOK                         DANIELS    

RITCHIE                           ARTER              GOSLING                          PUGH

KERMORGANT                                WILSON

Possible subs could include:
Buchel or Flahavan, Ward, O'Kane, Cargill, Harte, Whifield, Smith, O'Kane, MacDonald, Stanislas, Rantie, Pitman, McQuoid

I also so a tweet from Tom Coull at Southampton FC today that said the game should be able to be seen on their YouTube channel if all goes well.