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.

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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.

PL Preview: Bournemouth vs. Man Utd

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  • Man Utd won 1-0 at Old Trafford on Dec. 13
  • United 5-0 after losses this season
  • Man Utd leads all-time 8W-3D-2L

Manchester United looks to get off the mat after a stunning home loss to West Bromwich Albion at the weekend when it visits Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Manchester United rebounded from its previous five losses by a combine score of 10-2.

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This is United’s match-in-hand on chasers Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. The Red Devils’ 71 points betters Liverpool by one and Spurs by three.

Bournemouth would like to finish top half, and enters the day three points back of 10th place Newcastle United despite playing one more match.

What they’re saying

Bournemouth’s Simon Francis on the club mindset“We are in our third season in the Premier League and don’t go into games being too naïve any more. I think you can be a victim of that in your first season because you don’t know what to expect at times.”

Manchester United’s David De Gea on rebounding from WBA loss“It was a tough one to take. It was a real blow and we’re all a bit down. It was such an unexpected defeat. But the good thing is we have got a game coming right up on the back of this defeat. It’s a real chance to lift ourselves and get back to winning ways.”

Prediction

A Red Devils rebound, though a second-tier team just gets over the line in a 2-1 win.

Premier League Preview: Sunderland vs. Bournemouth

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  • Sunderland won 2-1 on Nov. 5
  • Fourth meeting since 1990
  • Sunderland leads all-time 5W-3D-1L

Sunderland looks to keep its faint hopes of Premier League safety alive by managing a season sweep of Bournemouth when the two sides meet at the Stadium of Light on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).

The Black Cats are a mess, having lost to Tees-Wear Derby rivals Middlesbrough on Wednesday and living 12 points back of 17th place Swansea City.

Bournemouth battered Middlesbrough 4-0 last weekend to move seven points clear of the drop zone, and can finish the day in the top half with a win up north.

What they’re saying

Sunderland boss David Moyes on calls for him to quit“I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose. There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”

Bournemouth captain Simon Francis on Sunderland’s woes“It just show how things can happen when clubs are not run properly. If we do lose Sunderland from the Premier League it will be a real shame. They are an enormous club and playing at grounds like theirs is the pinnacle of anyone’s career.”

Prediction

The Black Cats haven’t quit, but manage two fewer points than they need, all but heading for the Championship after a 2-2 draw.

West Ham United 3-4 Bournemouth: Wilson, Cherries labor for first Premier League win

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  • Cherries get hat trick from Callum Wilson
  • Each team converts a PK
  • Randolph continues to concede vs. Bournemouth
  • Cresswell, Jenkinson struggle at outside back

Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth Cherries have their first Premier League goals and win after a thrilling 4-3 win over hosts West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.

Callum Wilson scored thrice for the Cherries and Marc Pugh added a fourth in the match, while Cheikhou Kouyate, Modibo Maiga and Mark Noble netted for the Hammers.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

The Cherries took a lead in the 11th minute, when Aaron Cresswell was beaten on the right by Simon Francis, whose cross found Callum Wilson as the Bournemouth attacker stepped in front of stationary Winston Reid to hammer the ball home.

Wilson doubled the Cherries’ lead when Cresswell made an awful first touch back pass. The 23-year-old darted into the 18 to meet the loose ball and buried it to make 2-0.

It should’ve been 3-0 deep into first half stoppage time, when Wilson laid a square ball through the 18 to Gradel, but the Ivorian’s belted shot was parried by Darren Randolph.

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Noble converted a penalty just after halftime, as Josh King collided with the West Ham midfielder in the box. Noble went down fairly easily, and then took a class PK to make it 2-1.

The equalizer came from Kouyate, who first-touched a rebound into the side netting to level things in the 53rd minute.

Pugh restored Bournemouth’s lead when he cut back on a sliding Carl Jenkinson before unleashing a harsh curling ball around Randolph, who has now allowed 15 goals in his last three matches against the Cherries.

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Jenkinson then took a red card when he was turned around by Gradel, and had to grab a hold of him to thwart a breakaway.

Wilson buried the PK and it was 4-2, but only for a minute. Maiga walked into the box and wrong-footed Artur Boruc to make it a one-goal game.