Ahead of Tuesday's Capital One Cup clash against
Bournemouth, we caught up with Cherries' fan Peter from the Bournemouth blog
He gives us his views on
his club's season so far, Tuesday's game and more. You can also follow Peter on Twitter @PeterBell19.
to start than with Bournemouth's 8-0 win over Birmingham City at St Andrews on
Saturday, I'd imagine that result will live long in the minds of Cherries' fans?
I don't think our fans thought
we would give Birmingham such a thumping before the game, even if
Birmingham have got a terrible
home record. It was only a year ago when AFCB were hit for six against Watford
and lost 5-1 against Huddersfield - those kind of results hurt and are never
forgotten. To beat Birmingham
8-0 is just incredible, but I do feel they didn't make it that hard for us. Most
of the matches in the Championship are close affairs and while the Blues only
had 10-men for most of the match, the Cherries are on a good run and our
strikers are in form. I went to St Andrews last season but missed this game, so
I was actually a bit gutted not to be there to celebrate with the rest of the
It's been an
excellent start to the season for Eddie Howe's men, currently sitting fourth in
the Championship and of course still in the Capital One Cup.
Were Bournemouth fans expecting a good season prior to kick-off back in August?
I predicted that we will come
11th this season, following up a 10th placed finish last season. A pre-season
poll on my site predicted 7-12th as the most expected finishing place. There are
so many good teams in the Championship and our budget is a lot smaller than
most. Second seasons are also usually harder and while we lead the division in
the first two games we have been down as low as 15th, so there are no easy
There has been a quiet, but
growing optimism among the fans that AFCB could be one of those teams that could
get into the play-offs, but having sold Lewis Grabban in the summer nobody knew
if Callum Wilson would be a success. Bringing in Artur Boruc on loan until
January in goal as well has given the team much more belief that they can get
clean sheets. Finally, with Eddie Howe managing the team, the fans always feel
that we can spring a surprise or two.
question, can you realistically achieve promotion to the Premier League?
Well, I am told that
Bournemouth's conurbation (comprising Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) is
now the largest area in England to have a league team that has never played in
the Premier League. We only average crowds of 10,000 though and the club has
only ever had five seasons in the second tier of English football in its 122
year history. However, we have a manager who is Premier League quality, a
chairman who puts his heart and soul into the club, a Russian owner who has
given the club the financial power to be competitive, and a group of players and
fans that aspire to be in the Premier League. There is a feel good factor around
the club and it's been there since we survived a -17pt start in the 2008-09
season to stay in the league. Eddie Howe has come back to complete his mission
to get the club in the top tier, and if you look at his record, you wouldn't
back against it.
What was the
reaction among supporters to drawing Albion?
At this stage of the competition
we just wanted a home draw. The fact that it is against WBA is good, as a
Premier League outfit coming to
are the kind of games we want to have on a regular basis. The WBA team is far
more experienced than our players so it is a tough assignment, but our recent
run in the cup and league can only give our players confidence. WBA also play an
attractive passing game and I believe tickets have sold well for the game,
despite it being a mid-week fixture. I only hope that Alan Irvine does not put
out a completely unrecognisable team.
The success of Bradford in reaching the final two seasons ago showed that smaller clubs can
prosper in this competition, is it something Bournemouth will be aiming to
repeat or are all energies concentrated on the Championship?
We feel it is a game our team
can win, especially if Alan Irvine does play some of the players who do not
regularly feature in WBA's first team. I think Eddie Howe will also rest players
as our goal has to be firstly to win promotion if we can. Having said that, to
win through to the next round would be a record achievement for our club and we
like breaking records at the moment. While we have had big clubs in the draws
for cups, the team has not really excelled in recent years in cup competitions.
It is unlikely AFCB would go much further in the cup than the last eight, but
What sort of
approach and tactics can Albion expect to face from Bournemouth on Tuesday?
AFC Bournemouth will not sit
back but will come straight at WBA. Our full backs and wingers are well-known
for their crossing abilities and the speed of our passing may surprise WBA fans.
Up front, we are also very pacey. I expect Tokelo Rantie to play who just may be WBA's worst nightmare! He needs to prove he should play more often so he will be
very keen to have a chance to show his worth. Brett Pitman is also in great form
and will nail anything that is loose in the box. Just be hopeful that Eddie Howe
rests Callum Wilson as he is on fire. We should line up 4-4-2 at home, but
during games we often change formation when needed. If AFCB have a weakness I
would say it is from set plays and I just hope we don't give away too many free
kicks and corners.
Most Albion fans will know very little about the Cherries' squad, who are your
most influential players and who will Alan Irvine's men need to watch out for?
I don't think we know too much
about many of WBA's fringe players either. Well, I expect most WBA fans have
been picking over the reports of the Birmingham thrashing and they should know
that Marc Pugh and Matt Ritchie are our first choice wingers. Midfield is likely
to see some changes for us and I would not be surprised if we see Eunan O'Kane
stopping attacks coming in at our back four. Your fans may also know Dan Gosling
who played for Newcastle
and Everton. He has scored in every round of the cup so far and may come in
again for Harry Arter who is suspended. I have mentioned the forwards already,
but if we do change the wingers look out for both Ryan Fraser who is a nippy U21
Scotsman who is alarmingly quick and also Junior Stanislas, who came to us from
Burnley in the summer and was previously at West Ham.
been many meetings in recent years admittedly, but are there any stand-out
memories from previous Albion v Bournemouth games?
I remember WBA coming down in
2011 and beating us 1-4. It was a game when Roy Hodgson was Albion's manager. I
just remember the game running away from us. WBA were too strong and you were
much the better side on the night. Albion got an early goal and never really
looked back, although Steve Lovell scored for us after half time. Lee Bradbury
was our manager then and not the most experienced. It was probably one of Lee's
biggest games up until that point. Pugh, Arter and Flahavan who played that day
are still at AFCB, along with Elliott Ward who was on the bench.
in the Premier League? Any thoughts on Albion?
Most of my personal viewing over
the Premier League is looking at games when the Saints get hammered, but that
has not happened too often this season. Don't you just love local rivalries! I
like Liverpool as it was the team I followed in my boyhood, and I think Brendan
Rodgers is a fab manager who had some very kind words about AFC Bournemouth and
Eddie Howe when we played them last season in the FA Cup.
I have been impressed with WBA
this season and it looks like the club is ready to make the next step up to
perhaps get a top 10 finish. The selection of Alan Irvine as manager has worked
out really well and he certainly has the team playing well. If we lose to WBA,
it will be no disgrace for sure.
thoughts on Tuesday's game?
I am in two minds about the
game. The team selection from both sides will be very intriguing. If WBA get an
early goal I think the
Midlands side should go onto win, but I don't expect that to happen. I see our
good fortune continuing with a couple of goals - one in each half to see AFC
Bournemouth making a bit of history.