Simon Francis

Bournemouth
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What we love about Bournemouth

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Bournemouth.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, we focus on a club living in its golden age: AFC Bournemouth.


Bournemouth
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Eddie Howe, club legend: Bournemouth’s manager started with the club’s academy in 1994 and spent just a few short seasons away from home (Portsmouth and Swindon Town) during his playing career. He took the manager’s seat at age 31 and only left for a brief stint with Burnley. He’s overseen all of Bournemouth’s promotions from League Two to the Premier League, and has kept the club safe for four seasons into the 2019/20 relegation scrap. Once the cherubic upstart manager of a new Premier League club, the 42-year-old Howe is the second-longest serving manager in English football behind Wycombe Wanderers’ Gareth Ainsworth.

They are making the most of their golden age: Winning the Championship in 2014/15 was a major accomplishment, but the Cherries’ stubborn refusal to be relegated has allowed it to solidify the club’s future with five top-flight seasons of big Premier League money. While the Cherries are yet to climb above ninth in a given season and could certainly go down this season, they’ve built an incredible foundation that should keep them relevant for a long, long time.

Bournemouth
Steve Cook has played more times for Bournemouth than any player in its 121-year existenceW (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Club heroes still here: Callum Wilson joined the Cherries in 2014 from Coventry City for less than $5 million and scored 20 times in the promotion-winning season. Joshua King came from Blackburn a year later and has scored 48 times for the Cherries. Both players have been linked with moves to Premier League powers but have thusfar resisted transfers to sit second and sixth on the club’s all-time goal board. Ten of the club’s top 25 players in number of appearances are still in black and red stripes including the top two all-time: Steve Cook (329) and Simon Francis (324).

And some of them are checking in on those made vulnerable by the coronavirus: The Cherries care deeply about the fans who’ve made this journey through the ranks with them, and club leader Cook will be among those ringing up the Bournemouth faithful to make sure they are well and help them in their battles to maintain a positive spirit.

COVID-19 season suspensions leave questions for transfer targets

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When USMNT fullback Reggie Cannon signed a new deal with FC Dallas, both sides knew the 21-year-old was not long for Texas.

But suspended seasons in Europe raise questions as to when the transfer window will open this summer.

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Speaking in a conference call, Cannon said “the goal was to be transferred this summer” but that he’s focused on the more serious health issues caused by the coronavirus suspensions.

“Regardless of if it happens [this summer] or not, I don’t think it’ll hinder my career at all,” Cannon said. “It’s God’s timing, I have to trust in him and have faith, which I do. At the end of the day, I know my future is over there, whenever that may be. I just have to be patient and kill it at FC Dallas. Dallas is my priority and what I care for right now. That future is great and I’m looking for it, but right now I have to give 100 percent to Dallas.”

Cannon has 11 caps for the USMNT and 72 first-team appearances for FC Dallas. He turns 22 on June 11, the same age as DeAndre Yedlin when the Seattle Sounders man headed abroad.

For every up-and-coming player looking to get into a top league in Europe, there are a bevy of installed talents hoping to keep their spot.

Bournemouth captain Simon Francis wants to keep the Cherries in the top flight, and says he’s got something to prove before becoming a free agent this summer. From The Bournemouth Daily Echo, citing The Sun:

“We have nine games left and if in those matches I need to prove that I can still cut it at this level, then so be it.”

Francis’ contract expires June 30, but he’s not just curious about his own deal. Bournemouth is in a relegation fight, and what happens with guys like him, Charlie Daniels, Andrew Surman, and star winger Ryan Fraser.

“Would you sign a short-term contract with the club you are currently at and commit your short-term future? Or do you think, ‘No, this club wants me for next season, I’ll hold off’? … If the season does go beyond June 30, we are going to need Ryan (Fraser) because he would play a massive part in our fight to stay up.”

Finishing European seasons by June 30 would still be likely if the league kicks back into action at the end of April. We’ll see what it means for hundreds of players if the calendar turns to July.

10-man Bournemouth hold on to beat Villa

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Bournemouth won 2-1 at home against Aston Villa in a massive moment in their battle against relegation as they’ve secured back-to-back home victories in the Premier League.

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Philip Billing and Nathan Ake put Bournemouth into a commanding position at half time but then Jefferson Lerma was sent off and Villa’s new Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta made it 2-1, but somehow Bournemouth held on for a victory late on.

With the win Bournemouth move up to 16th on 26 points, while Aston Villa have 25 points.


3 things we learned

1. Bournemouth digging deep at home: The Vitality Stadium is a tight little ground and it needs to become a fortress if Bournemouth are going to stay up. Eddie Howe has been under pressure but back-to-back wins against Brighton and Villa in two six-pointers have eased some of that. The Cherries have fought their way up from the fourth-tier to the PL and they need to fight just as hard and regain that spirit to stay in the top-flight this season.

2. Villa should not be worried: Jack Grealish drove them on in this game and Villa should have grabbed a point. Perhaps their heroics of reaching the League Cup final in midweek played its part for Dean Smith‘s side. Yes, they are in a relegation scrap but Samatta grabbed his first goal, Keenan Davis looks good and they deserved more from this game. All in all, Villa shouldn’t be too worried.

3. Lerma needs to learn: Two bookings cost his team and Lerma’s discipline is a big concern. He is a fine player when he isn’t worried about kicking people and his partnership with Billing has been a plus point in Bournemouth’s season. Lerma needs to calm down and stop putting his team in poor situations with cheap bookings. If he can curb that, he can continue being a destroyer. But cheap yellow cards hamper his game.

Man of the Match: Aaron Ramsdale: Bournemouth’s goalkeeper came up with some big stops late on and even though he got it wrong on Villa’s goal, he couldn’t do much more. Heroic display from the 10 men.


The Cherries surged into a 2-0 lead at half time as the Vitality was rocking.

Billing gave Bournemouth the lead after Dan Gosling gets a head on Simon Francis‘ cross to play in Billing, who slotted home.

Ake then made the most of a mistake from Pepe Reina as he failed to deal with Harry Wilson‘s initial shot.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] . 

Jefferson Lerma was then sent off for picking up a second yellow card as Villa sensed their chance to launch a sensational comeback.

After they went down to 10 men, Callum Wilson came close as he flicked just wide for Bournemouth.

But Villa came on strong as Matt Targett‘s shot was blocked on the line and then they pulled one back.

After good work from Jack Grealish a shot from Kennan Davis deflected into the air and Samatta headed home to make it 2-1. Game on.

Grealish and then Davis both went close as Villa poured forward in search of an equalizer but Ramsdale stood tall and Bournemouth held on to spark wild celebrations at the final whistle.

Arsenal moves past Bournemouth to reach FA Cup fifth round

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Bukayo Saka had a goal and an assist as Arsenal beat Bournemouth 2-1 in FA Cup fourth round action on Monday.

The result seals another trip to the South Coast, as the Gunners will visit Portsmouth in the fifth round.

Saka and Eddie Nketiah were the goal scorers as Arsenal did the job without Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and David Luiz in the Starting XI.

Sam Surrridge scored for Bournemouth in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time. That gave a tension to the other four minutes of stoppage which did not exist in the rest of the match.

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Saka drifted into the 18 to wallop a Gabriel Martinelli layoff into the upper reaches of the goal, the ball zipping from post-to-post with fury.

The 18-year-old Saka picked up an assist on Arsenal’s second goal, his cross seeing its way to Nketiah for a straight-forward finish in the heart of the 18.

Saka now has three goals and six assists in 23 appearances for Arsenal this season.

It wasn’t strictly positives for the Gunners, as Shkrodan Mustafi was stretchered off with an injury in the 62nd minute.

Bournemouth got one back when Simon Francis‘ cross was dummied by Dan Gosling, Surridge using a clever touch to set up his shot past Emiliano Martinez.

It’s Surridge’s first senior goal for Bournemouth, though the 21-year-old has managed 29 goals between Yeovil Town, Swansea City, and Oldham Athletic.

Bournemouth beats punchless Chelsea to end losing streak

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Bournemouth snapped a five-match losing streak in a place that feels like home, toppling Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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Chelsea’s attack was woeful and Bournemouth needed VAR help to get Dan Gosling‘s winner on the board.

The Blues fall for the fourth time in five league matches, and have seen their Top Four cushion slip to a maximum on five points.

Bournemouth gets some relief, rising 14th with 19 points.


Three things we learned

1. Bournemouth still loves the Bridge: Chelsea has now lost to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge three times since 2015. The Cherries have back-to-back victories over the Blues for the first time ever. These are good things for Eddie Howe, and it was a much better show than the loss to Liverpool.

2. VAR helps Cherries to win: Gosling’s winner was a clever bit of football, the back-to-the-goal midfielder looping over Arrizabalaga. The linesman’s flag was up but Gosling had beaten the fray of people and an offside-appearing teammate had nothing to do with the play. A quality finish deserving of a winner.

3. Poor attack weakens Top Four cushion: Very poor from Chelsea’s attackers as a whole, with Willian the only players truly in-form on the day. Tammy Abraham was the best of an otherwise poor bunch, with Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount poor as starters and Callum Hudson-Odoi and Michy Batshuayi nearly irrelevant off the bench.

Frank Lampard hinted earlier this week that the club still needs to replace Eden Hazard. Transfer ban lifted, his men did little to convince him otherwise on Saturday.

Man of the Match: With respect to Simon Francis and Jefferson Lerma, the honor goes to Gosling for his creativity at outsmarting the Blues back line and beating Arrizabalaga.


Mason Mount’s sloppy touch betrayed a 26th minute Chelsea attack set up by Willian.

Christian Pulisic nearly nodded home at the back from a very tight angle in the 39th minute, one of few moments of danger for either side.

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Bournemouth regrouped at the break and Chelsea’s defenders had several strong moments in keeping shot attempts from reaching Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Pulisic led a charge into the right that led to a corner kick, and the Blues won another off a Willian shot.

Aaron Ramsdale made an incredible stop on Emerson‘s solid point-blank header of a Cesar Azpilicueta flick.

Gosling thought he’d scored in the 84th minute with a clever shot, but the offside flag was raised.

VAR fixed that, and the losing streak ended in London.