Back to Selhurst Park we go to host AFC Bournemouth so TEB had a chat with Peter Bell from popular fan site Cherry Chimes to find out about their season so far and their thoughts ahead of this Premier League match up.
Q. What did you make of last season for the Bournemouth?
Last season was beyond our wildest dreams to finish ninth. We had a chance of finishing eighth with the last game but to finish inside the top ten was amazing for a club of our stature in its second year in the Premier League. As usual we had our bad runs, early in the January and February, but we picked up well and the team was much more aware to what to expect and how to bounce back from poor results.
Q. What were your hopes for the new season before a ball had been kicked?
With the new signings we had made I was looking for a finish of around 10th to 12th. I thought it would be a more competitive league this time around and to do as well as last time out with perhaps a good cup run would be more than satisfactory in my eyes.
Q. With what has been a tough start, are the fans still content with Eddie Howe in charge?
If the Cherries were bottom of the league and five points adrift there would not be many fans calling for Eddie Howe to leave. We simply would not be in the Premier league if he had not come back to the club and the last thing most of us want is to lose him and have instability. He would also be the perfect manager to get us up again if we went down so I think Eddie will be at the club as long as he wants to be here.
Q. Much was made about the signing of Jemain Defore in the summer but it has not really worked out just yet has it?
Jermain has scored just once, against Brighton. We did win that game but it is not a great return. But eight starts and four substitute appearances is also not quite what he may have expected. The competition for places is good up front and Jermain has also had a calf injury. What Bournemouth have not been doing is playing to Defoe’s strengths. He is a great finisher in the box, but the Cherries have not been getting the ball to him regularly in the box. There’s time for this to improve.
Q. How was the summer transfer window for the club and were all needs addressed in the squad?
The team is crying out for a couple of players. We could do with another right back to cover for Adam Smith rather than keep asking captain Simon Francis to shift across when Smith is injured or suspended. But more importantly we need to find a central midfielder who has goals in them. Surman has scored two goals and Arter has got one from central midfield but there is not enough power in the team through the middle.
Q. Do you expect much business by the club in the January transfer window?
Sadly, no. Eddie Howe may look to get some more young players in but they could be under 23 level and may not feature in the first team yet. The club is not usually big spenders in January and I think Eddie will be happy enough to continue the season with the players he has. If any club might be worried about Bournemouth coming to call on their young players it will be Liverpool. We seem to like them as a feeder club!
Q. Explain in no more than 140 characters how the last ten years have been for the football the club.
Ha, sensational! We should have been relegated with a novice manager in the 2008-09 season. But we survived and Eddie Howe just got better, so much so we lost him to Burnley. But he and Jason Tindall returned and it’s been upwards ever since.
Q. What do you make of Palace’s current predicament?
Palace messed up in the summer I suppose. Frank de Boer might have been a good decision but we’ll never know as he was not given a real chance to manage in the Premier League if four games is all your board were willing to give him. I think Palace did well at getting Rubens Loftus-Cheek on loan but it is the defence that seems really fragile. Perhaps some investment there is needed in January? Now you have Roy Hodgson who is fairly steady and won’t take too many risks, and I expect palace to have a better second half of the season. It might be a nervous season, but Palace have the attacking quality to survive if they can get it right.
Q. Name one player from EACH side that you think the opposition should consider a real threat.
Well, I’ve wanted Wilfried Zaha in every window and I think he would be a great addition to most Premier League teams. He just needs a bit of careful management and he could be up there with the very best in my opinion. If Palace wanted to poach one of our players I’d say Josh King is the best player to go for as he is consistent in his work rate and his finishing has come on a long way from when he joined Bournemouth from Blackburn Rovers.
Q. Your prediction?
There is never much in these games and I’m sitting n the fence with a 1-1 score line.
Q. And finally, please tell us all about your fan group along with any projects that you may currently be working on.
Well, Cherry Chimes has built up a regular readership now and it is still growing year on year. The fan base is fairly keen to see the team do well, so when things aren’t going well we just like to give them some ideas of what might help the team to play better and suggest possible changes in the team.
Cherry Chimes now works with other outlets, such writing reports for ASKFans and Fans’ verdicts for the Daily Mail to get views out about how the team is playing. So hopefully, this will all help the name Cherry Chimes get better known around town now.