Tag Archives: AFC Bournemouth

Memorable Matches: AFC Bournemouth 4-3 Liverpool FC (December 2016)

Goalscorers: Sadio Mane 20, Divock Origi 22, Callum Wilson 56 PEN, Emre Can 64, Ryan Fraser 76, Steve Cook 78, Nathan Ake 90

Teams:

AFC Bournemouth: Artur Boruc, Adam Smith, Nathan Ake, Steve Cook, Simon Francis, Harry Arter, Dan Gosling (Benik Afobe 75), Jack Wilshere, Junior Stanislas (Ryan Fraser 55), Josh King (Jordon Ibe 45), Callum Wilson

Liverpool FC: Loris Karius, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Lucas, James Milner, Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi, Sadio Mane (Adam Lallana 69)

Referee: Bobby Madley, Attendance: 11,183

Liverpool FC arrived on the south coast in December 2016 on a 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions. Jurgen Klopp’s side were the closest challengers to league leaders Chelsea. They were expected to dispatch AFC Bournemouth fairly comfortably, having won three meetings against the Cherries in 2015-2016. That was despite missing Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho and centre-back Joel Matip due to injury.

The match was going to the formbook at half-time as the Reds charged into a 2-0 lead. Sadio Mane opened the scoring, scrambling the ball home in the 20th minute. Two minutes later, Mane had a big part to play in the lead being doubled, robbing Harry Arter of possession. He found Jordan Henderson and the LFC captain played a ball through for Divock Origi. Origi avoided a rash challenge from Artur Boruc and guided the ball into an empty net.

Eddie Howe’s side needed a response in the second half. He brought Ryan Fraser off the bench for Junior Stanislas and within 60 seconds of his arrival, the deficit had been reduced. Fraser was brought down in the penalty area by James Milner. Callum Wilson kept his composure to make the scoreline 2-1. Despite that intervention, Liverpool still looked in command and restored their two-goal advantage midway through the second half. Again, the dominant Mane was heavily involved, dispossessing Nathan Ake and teeing up Emre Can for a beautiful curling shot into Boruc’s net. With a 3-1 lead and job seemingly done, Klopp elected to bring Mane off. As soon the Senegalese was withdrawn, Bournemouth’s game sparkled into life with what turned out to be one of the most breathtaking comebacks of recent times in the Premier League.

Fraser scored his first-ever Premier League goal on 76 minutes with a shot from the edge of the area which Loris Karius could have done better with. Two minutes later, it was 3-3. Steve Cook controlled the ball with his back superbly, turned like a forward and thumped the ball into the net to level the scores. Bournemouth looked like the more probable winners and the comeback was complete in injury-time. Cook tried his luck again. Karius made a complete mess of the strike, fumbling the ball straight into the path of the gleeful Ake, who tapped home to send the Vitality Stadium into scenes of euphoria.

Bournemouth would finish a fantastic ninth in their second Premier League season whilst Liverpool still managed a top-four finish but this collapse would be an indication that Klopp’s team were not the finished article yet.

Advertisements

The Managers: Eddie Howe

Premier League Clubs Managed: AFC Bournemouth (2015-PRESENT)

Having just turned 40, 2017-2018 is only Eddie Howe’s third Premier League season. He rejoined the club for a second spell as manager in 2012 and has achieved already so much. Eddie is considered one of the brightest English managers in the game at the moment.

In his playing days, he operated as a defender, winning two caps for the England Under-21s in 1998 and spending the majority of his career playing for AFC Bournemouth. He was Portsmouth’s first signing in 2002 under Harry Redknapp, when Pompey paid £400,000 to Bournemouth to sign Howe.

Wretched injuries restricted him to just two appearances for the club and he even had a loan period with Swindon Town which saw him fail to play for them. Bournemouth took him back on-loan at the start of the 2004-2005 campaign and the move eventually became permanent. After over 270 league appearances, he retired from playing in 2007 as knee problems eventually took their toll and he moved into coaching with the reserve squad.

Saving Bournemouth from extinction

He did have a brief spell away from the club in 2008 after Kevin Bond was dismissed as manager but Eddie returned quickly into a youth coach role under new manager Jimmy Quinn. When Quinn was fired himself on New Years’ Eve 2008, Howe became caretaker manager. Even though he lost both of his matches in interim charge, he was given the job permanently in January 2009 and despite starting the season with a 17-point deduction due to being in administration, he managed to keep the League Two club in the Football League.

2009-2010 saw him make his first significant mark with promotion to League One achieved despite the club still being under a transfer embargo. Peterborough United made an approach for him but Howe turned the job down, saying “My heart is here and I think everybody knows how much I love the club.”

In January 2011, with Bournemouth doing well back in League One, several clubs made approaches, seeing Eddie’s clear talents. Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic were both very keen to acquire him but once again, he turned down those approaches. However, five days after resisting those clubs, Burnley came in for him and compensation was agreed between the clubs. After taking charge of his 100th match in a 2-1 loss at Colchester, Howe told his players he was leaving, unable to resist the chance to manage at an ambitious Championship club.

A tough challenge with Burnley

When he arrived, Burnley were 10th and only six points off the play-offs. They improved to eighth place but disappointed in his first full season at Turf Moor, struggling to 13th spot in the final standings. However, he did bring in the likes of Ben Mee, Kieran Trippier and Sam Vokes to the Lancashire club and set them in good stead for the future.

On a personal basis, things were very tough. His mother passed away and he felt he needed to be closer to his family. With the Clarets sitting 16th in the Championship table in October 2012, he left the club for personal reasons and returned to Bournemouth with the Cherries sitting in the bottom four of League One. Whilst he was away, major investment had gone into the club to improve the stadium and training facilities.

There was an instant impact on Eddie’s return to Dean Court. He won three of his first five matches back and the club steadily improved to a point where promotion from League One looked like a distinct possibility. Sure enough, AFC Bournemouth’s promotion to the Championship was confirmed in April 2013, finishing runners-up to Doncaster Rovers.

Taking The Cherries up

The foundations were now in place for a serious promotion push to the Premier League. 2013-2014 was an excellent starting point, finishing 10th and just six points shy of the play-offs. In 2014-2015, he secured Bournemouth’s ultimate dream and guided them into the top-flight just seven years after they nearly went out of business. A 3-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers secured the south coast’s side spot in the Premier League.

On promotion, he told BBC Radio Five Live: “It shouldn’t be them thanking me; it should be me thanking them. It is a family club and deserves its moment in the sun.”

A few days later, Bournemouth were confirmed as champions of the Championship, winning 3-0 on the final day away at Charlton Athletic, whilst Watford, who were favourites for the crown, drew at home to Sheffield Wednesday. He was crowned LMA Manager of the Year for his wonderful efforts and was now looking forward to the Premier League adventure.

There was a tough start with just two league wins in the first four months of the campaign and hefty back-to-back losses to Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. However, December saw amazing victories away to champions Chelsea and at home to Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United. They were virtually safe by early April and finished 16th in the final standings.

Although there were rocky moments in 2016-2017 including a worrying winless run between mid-January and the end of February, Bournemouth finished the season strongly and broke into the top 10, finishing a fantastic ninth.

In 2017-2018, despite losing their first four matches, the Cherries are looking more settled now with recent wins over Stoke City, Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town.

Eddie Howe is set for a long and successful career in management. He has already achieved so much in the game and has plenty of potential to go much further. Bournemouth are lucky to have one of the finest managerial talents in the game.

Premier League Files: Callum Wilson

Premier League Career: AFC Bournemouth (2015-PRESENT)

He is still only 25 and that means Callum Wilson should have plenty of time to demonstrate his true potential. Sadly, two wretched injuries whilst playing in the Premier League with AFC Bournemouth suggests that his time could unfortunately be limited. That would be a real shame for a player who has shown a ruthless approach to finding the back of the net when he is free of injury.

Born in Coventry, Wilson started his career with his hometown club and made his professional debut in 2009 during a surprising League Cup reverse to Hartlepool United. Naturally, it took time for Callum to remove the raw edge to his game. Loan spells in the non-league with Kettering Town and Tamworth certainly did no harm to this.

In 2013-2014, he established himself as a regular in the starting XI at Coventry City. Wilson was often one of the bright sparks in a club that was often lurching from one crisis to another thanks to dreadful running of the club by its owners. He finished the third-highest scorer in League One with 22 goals and earned himself a place in the League One PFA Team of the Year. That was despite spending two months on the sidelines due to a dislocated shoulder. He won three gongs at the club’s end of season awards and developed an excellent partnership with his strike partner, Leon Clarke.

Coventry knew that this form was always going to make Wilson a transfer target, especially with their precarious financial situation. He joined AFC Bournemouth in July 2014 for £3 million and made an immediate impact, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-0 thumping away at Huddersfield Town. He scored 20 league goals and these strikes helped the Cherries’ win promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.

Wilson made AFC Bournemouth history in the club’s third Premier League match. He opened the scoring at Upton Park against West Ham United to score the south coast side’s first goal in the Premier League. He didn’t finish there. Wilson went on to score a hat-trick; the first treble of the 2015-2016 Premier League season.

Further goals followed against Leicester City and Sunderland. There was even talk of Roy Hodgson watching him closely for a possible England call-up. Sadly, a cruel twist of fate would await Wilson. In late September, he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the early stages of a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City. It was a sickening blow for player and club.  It was the third serious ligament injury of Bournemouth’s maiden season. Wilson would be out of action for six months but made his return in early April, arriving as a substitute in an away win at Aston Villa.

He was keen to ensure 2016-2017 would be an impressive season but much of the same story would follow. There were goals against Liverpool FC and Arsenal but in February 2017, another luckless injury in training would stop his second Premier League campaign in its tracks. Unbelievably, it was another ACL and this time, in his left knee. It has meant another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Callum Wilson will be hoping to feature soon in the 2017-2018 Premier League season. If he can stay clear of these dreaded setbacks, he is a sharp shooter and an excellent finisher which would benefit Bournemouth significantly in what looks like a relegation battle in their third PL campaign.