AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth: Sometimes Fairytales Do Come True

I can’t claim to be a real fan of AFC Bournemouth, in fact if the truth be told I can’t even claim to be a real football fan.  Yeah sure I took my son to a quite a few Bournemouth matches when he was younger and the club was bouncing around between the bottom two tiers of English league football.  The Cherries , as AFC Bournemouth are fondly known were often dreadful and never far away from disappearing altogether as financial worries almost broke them.  My son never lost his love of the club and is a season ticket holder.  He was at last nights match when something remarkable happened.

AFC Bournemouth won promotion to the elite tier of English football, the Barclays Premier League.  For the first time in their history AFC Bournemouth will spend next season rubbing shoulders with the mega-rich clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.  The story is made all the more remarkable by the story that underlies their incredible rise to the top tier.

Just seven years ago AFC Bournemouth were bankrupt, in administration, and they started their league campaign on an incredible minus 17 points after a points penalty for being in administration.  AFC Bournemouth’s fans kept them alive by putting money into buckets and by becoming the UK’s first community club.  They were in severe danger of dropping out of the football league.

In desperation the club turned to a former player, Eddie Howe and appointed him as the clubs manager.  Howe was untried and at 31-years-old this was his first managerial appointment.  Incredibly with a team built on loan signings and free transfers AFC Bournemouth not only overcame that 17 point deficit, they thrived.

Since those dark days Eddie Howe, with backing from Chairman Jeff Mostyn, and much later from a new Russian owner Maxim Demin, has steered AFC Bournemouth through the leagues.  Incredibly in their 92 year history this season was just the clubs 5th season in the second tier!

Howe has moulded AFC Bournemouth into a formidable football team.  They play open attacking and attractive football, they are the top scorers in all of English football and they defend well.  They work incredibly hard and they play a passing game that the great Liverpool sides of the 1970’s and 1980’s would have been proud of.  They also did it without spending huge sums of money on players.

AFC Bournemouth is a club built, moulded and developed on a shoestring.  The majority of the first team playing squad were with the club in the third tier two seasons ago.  Howe has largely funded his purchases through sales of players.  It may be that the Russian owner will make cash available in a bid to ensure premiership survival but as a club I suspect that Bournemouth will live within their means.

They have seen all too clearly what happens to clubs who live beyond their means.  South Coast neighbours Portsmouth are now a disaster club after spending huge sums and paying huge wages in a bid to establish themselves as premier league regulars.  They are now in the 4th tier and struggling just a few years after winning the FA Cup.

AFC Bournemouth will make some signings of course, but I am certain Howe will only buy if he is 100% certain that what he buys is better than what he already has.  I don’t anticipate big names with the associated big wages.  Howe will bring in a few players who will strengthen an already very good squad and he will move on those who don’t fit the style of play he wants to see.  He will also get rid of players who don’t fit the work ethic he has built at AFC Bournemouth.  Howe’s team will have no room for passengers.

Ironically AFC Bournemouth’s status as a small club may well work to their advantage.  They do not have the prestige or the facilities to attract the sort of player who will cost a huge fee and demand wages running to 100K a week and more.

I think AFC Bournemouth have what it takes to survive in the Premier League.  With a handful of good signings, a great work ethic and a desire to work for the team I think they will surprise a few people.

AFC Bournemouth’s story really is a fairytale come true.  I very much doubt that the story could be repeated in any other sport or in any other country.  AFC Bournemouth may not survive with the big boys but you can be sure that they will continue to play football as it should be played, in a style that led to football being branded as “The Beautiful Game.”  Their football will win them lots of friends.

Lets get back to the music [Video] – Tarantism (explicit lyrics)

Warning this video contains language that is not suitable for young ears or the workplace!

Tarantism are one of those great bands who have been around for years on the alternative music scene in the UK.  They are a brilliant live band.  Gotta love em.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

SE Solar Stage Launch

A Post A Day Photo Challenge – April 28 2015

Hi folks, I am taking on a challenge to post a photograph every day for a full year startingon New years Day.  Please join in by uploading a photograph of your own and leaving a pingback here :)

This past weekend I made it to my first music festival of what promises to be a very exciting season.  More about that later but here are a couple of shots from the weekend.

SE Solar Stage Launch

Beach & Pompey-2

Weekly Photo Challenge – Movement

This weeks photo challenge is to express movement.

Movement is something I want to experiment with a lot more in the coming months but here are a few ideas that I had.

The feature image captures the clouds and movement of the sea using a 10 stop neutral density  filter to allow a long exposure time.

The first shot shows the sea breaking against the rocks whilst seagulls swoop around.  A fast shutter speed was used to capture the splashes.

Beach 03 March-4

The second shot shows my dogs splashing around in the sea, again a reasonably fast shutter speed was needed to capture the splashes.

Worbarrow Bay

Worbarrow Bay

The final shot is of post-punk rock band Slaves.  This was a very difficult shot as low light, no flash and the need for a very fast camera speed to freeze movement and coping with the smoke to grab good focus is a challenge for any photographer and his to her equipment.

Slaves Portsmouth Pyramid Centre

Slaves Portsmouth Pyramid Centre

The Villanovas

A Post A Day Photo Challenge – April 27 2015

Hi folks, I am taking on a challenge to post a photograph every day for a full year startingon New years Day.  Please join in by uploading a photograph of your own and leaving a pingback here :)

The Villanovas at the Larmer Tree Breakthrough Music awards

The Villanovas

The Villanovas

Cassette Boy – Emperors New Clothes Rap.

You might not have seen this or even have heard about Cassette Boy.

I think it’s fair to say he is no fan of The Conservatives or the United Kingdom Independence Party.  He is therefore OK in my book.

His mash-ups are really very creative.  Check this out

Lets get back to the music [Video] – The Pogues

This is one of the songs that started my love affair with punk in General and the Clash in particular.

In my humble opinion this song is one of the best anti-war songs ever.  It is very stark and moving and especially poignant as Anzac Day fell last Saturday.