The Bournemouth View
It is one final trip to South Coast this weekend for the Eagles to take on Bournemouth so TEB had a chat with our pals at Cherry Chimes to find out about their season so far and thoughts ahead of the game.
Q. Let us kick off with your views on our meeting earlier in the season at Selhurst Park.
It was a bit of strange game. Bournemouth should have had their first goal at the corner disallowed as there was blocking to enable a free shot for Jermain Defoe. Of course, I was not too impressed with the decisions for the Palace penalties either. Wilfred Zaha made sure he went down pretty easily as soon as he saw the opportunity. Scott Dann’s goal was excellent though, and the way Bournemouth’s defence was pulled around was very clever. Palace gave the Cherries problems at set pieces. Dann always scores against us – please tell me he is injured!
We thought we were back in it when Defoe launched his rocket from a ridiculous angle to make it 2-2, but we know who went down in the box again with time running out. It felt like justice to us when Christian Benteke missed the penalty. I doubt he’ll get to take one against us this time.
Q. How has the season gone for Bournemouth since that game?
We’ve had some amazing results in beating Arsenal and Chelsea, but it has been a bit of a grind at times and the big 4-1 away defeat to Huddersfield was certainly a reality check if we thought things were becoming easier. The disappointing thing is that the team has not been keeping clean sheets, but on the other hand it is thirteen games in a row when the team has scored every time they have taken to the field. So don’t put any money on Bournemouth having a 0-0 draw.
Q. Did the club do the business required in the January transfer window?
January was really quiet for us. There were no incoming players and all Eddie Howe did was move on some of the players that were not getting games. Lewis Grabban went on loan to Aston Villa having been at Sunderland in the first part of the season. Benike Afobe went to Wolves on loan and I can’t see him ever playing for Bournemouth again after his comments of finally being back home and crying on his way to the Midlands. Connor Mahoney is also getting some game time at Barnsley in the Championship and goalkeeper Ryan Allsop is playing on loan at Lincoln City. So, Eddie Howe did not splash out in January and now we are getting quite a few injuries which is a bit of a problem.
Q. Several clubs were looking to sign Jermain Defoe but Eddie Howe secured his return to the club but has it turned out to be a disappointing signing?
Jermain found it difficult to play his game early on in the season because he wasn’t getting the ball in the areas where he could hurt teams. It’s no good asking him to hold the ball up on the half way line against six foot plus defenders. He needs to be in the box and running at defenders. Bournemouth just weren’t finding him with crosses or when he was in the box and when he got injured against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup, it was best to play Callum Wilson.
Now Defoe is back fit I expect him to force his way back into the team and he is great to have around anyway as his experience is good for the other players, and he is an infectious character. He is in a good place now and might go on a run of goal scoring after his one in the last match.
Q. Who would be your player of the season both for your club and for the Premier League as a whole?
For Bournemouth the player of the season is Nathan Aké by a country mile. He was a player that we had on loan in the first half of last season and Bournemouth broke their club record to sign him. He has been worth every penny of the £20million and with Nathan at the back you always feel he will get his foot in and stop attacks.
I’d have to pick Mo Salah for player of the season elsewhere as he has scored an amazing amount of goals and it has been a while since Liverpool have really played like a team that could challenge at the top of the table. Take Mo Salah out of that team and I think they would not be half as good. He has kept fit this season but I’d be interested to see what happens when Klopp has to do without him for ten games. Who wouldn’t want Salah in their team though? Great player. But next year I’d not be surprised if it is Leroy Sane at Manchester City, move over Kevin De Bruyne!
Q. Explain in no more than 140 characters how the last ten years have been for the club.
Sensational rise. Club won promotion quicker than expected but momentum carried the team there from the day when Howe returned in 2012.
Q. What have you made of Palace this season?
Palace had a dreadful start and I wasn’t sure Roy Hodgson was the best choice to come in and sort things out, but he has done well and the fans seem to like him. Injuries then made it more difficult for Palace to get the points they needed over the winter months, and now they have to hit top form again to avoid the relegation places. They have been unlucky against United and Liverpool so we know that Palace are in good form, even if results have not been great for them of late.
Q. Name a player from EACH side that the opposition should be concerned about?
We are going to chain Wilfred Zaha to the bench if we can. A few chains around him might slow him down a bit. Perhaps we can also send him some old Easter eggs to make him a bit ill on the day?
Jermain Defoe has just come back in form at the right time for us. Eddie Howe could well give him his first start in 2018 on Saturday. He is eager to get goals – you can tell in his interviews.
Q. Your prediction?
I really can’t see a 0-0. I can see Palace having a blinder and beating us 1-3 if they get a good start, but Bournemouth tend to find something at home when they need it, so I will predict a 2-2 scoreline.
Q. And finally, tell us a little about your site and any projects that you may be working on.
Cherry Chimes turned five-years-old in February and it has been busier this year more than ever. The blog has just ticked over two million visits so it’s been pleasing that it is still attracting fans. The most recent addition has been the Chimes to Camera video feature which gives the chance to see close ups of my chin as I commentate on the action on the field. You might even see me celebrate if we score.
As I have Caribbean ancestry, I am hoping to play a part in supporting the Jermain Defoe Foundation organisation JDF Cup in May with proceeds going to vulnerable and homeless kids in St Lucia.
There has been talk about Cherry Chimes penning a book as well on Eddie Howe, but I’m only at 17,000 words yet. I’ll want to hit 100,000 words before I’ll let anyone look at it though.