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Let’s Talk About…AFC Bournemouth


Following Swansea’s 2-1 win at Coventry, they face another away game this weekend. This time, a trip to league leaders Bournemouth is on the horizon. The Cherries have won 11 and drew 4 of their first 16 games, although they suffered their first defeat on Wednesday.

They opened their season with a 2-2 draw with West Brom. This was followed by back-to-back wins over Nottingham Forest and Birmingham, before draws with Blackpool and Hull City. Bournemouth enjoyed a run of four successive wins over Barnsley, QPR, Cardiff City and Luton Town. They suffered a disappointing draw at Peterborough but bounced back with a run of five wins on the bounce, beating Sheffield United, Bristol City, Stoke City, Huddersfield and Reading. However, they suffered a shock home defeat to Preston on Wednesday.

Their transfer window

First team arrivals

After failing to achieve promotion last season, Bournemouth had a sensible transfer window, relying mostly on free transfers.

The first incoming saw Emiliano Marcondes arrive from Brentford. The 26-year-old Danish midfielder scored the second goal against Swansea in last season’s play-off final. He has scored one in six games for Bournemouth, although he has spent much of the season on the bench.

Keen to sign a backup keeper, Orjan Nyland made the switch from Norwich City. The Norwegian has made one league appearance, with Mark Travers the first-choice between the sticks.

They added experience to their back four, bringing in former Chelsea and Crystal Palace defender Gary Cahill. The 35-year-old was part of a Chelsea side that won two Premier League titles, one Champions League, two Europa Leagues, two FA Cups and one League Cup. He also picked up 61 England caps. He missed the first two games following his arrival in August but has not missed a single minute since.

Their first of two signings requiring a transfer fee saw Ryan Christie complete a £2.5 million move from Celtic. He has been a regular since his arrival, starting 10 out of 11 games. He provided assists for both goals in a 2-1 win over Luton.

Later that day, they announced the signing of Jamal Lowe from Swansea. The Jamaican international only joined the Swans last season, scoring 14 Championship goals after arriving from Wigan for a cut-price £800,000. However, he left Swansea after a year, with Bournemouth paying a reported £1.5 million to secure his signature. So far, Lowe has scored two goals in 10 appearances for his new club.

Midway through October, Bournemouth completed their sixth and final permanent signing, with Robbie Brady joining on a free transfer. The experienced Irishman spent four years at Burnley. He is yet to make his debut for The Cherries but could feature this weekend.

On top of their six permanent acquisitions, Bournemouth also brought in two players on loan. Firstly, they welcomed left-back Leif Davis from Leeds United. The 21-year-old has struggled for playing time, making just one start and a further three substitute appearances. He has not featured in the league since August.

They also brought in Morgan Rogers from Manchester City. Much like Davis, the young winger has also struggled for game-time. He has made nine appearances, but all-but-one have been from the bench.

Notable First-team departures

Had his career not been blighted by injury, Jack Wilshere might still be a regular for Arsenal. He joined Bournemouth in 2020 after failing to re-ignite his career at West Ham in a three-year spell. This was his second spell at Bournemouth, after he spent a season on loan at the club in 2016-17. He made 14 Championship appearances for the club in 2020-21 but was released in the summer.

Experienced goalkeeper Asmir Begovic also departed following the expiration of his contract, joining Everton as their backup keeper. The Bosnian international joined Bournemouth from Chelsea in 2017, starting all 38 games in his debut season. He went on to make 107 league appearances for the club before departing in June.

In late July, Diego Rico returned to his native Spain, joining Real Sociedad for £1 million. The 28-year-old left-back made 71 appearances for Bournemouth between 2018 and 2021.

Also leaving the club was Sam Surridge, a player familiar to Swansea fans following his loan spell in 2019-20. The striker scored four goals in 20 under Steve Cooper, before Bournemouth recalled him in January 2020. He joined Stoke in August for £5.5 million.

Midway through August, highly-rated Dutch winger Arnaut Danjuma joined Villarreal for an estimated £21.15 million. He has scored five in 10 La Liga games, as well as two in four Champions League games.

Their captain

While many have come and gone, Steve Cook has provided a decade of service to Bournemouth. He first arrived in 2011 on loan from Brighton, before completing a permanent move later that season.

Then in League One, Cook made 26 appearances for the club in his debut season, before playing 33 games as they achieved promotion to the Championship. Two years later, he played in all 46 games as Bournemouth won the Championship title, winning promotion to the top flight for the first time in their history.

He remained a regular throughout their four seasons in the Premier League and played in 42 of the 46 Championship games last season.

Their manager

With 18 England caps and nearly 500 league appearances, Scott Parker enjoyed an impressive playing career.

He started at Charlton Athletic, where he played 128 league games in a seven-year spell in the first team. His impressive performances in midfield earnt him not only his first England cap, but a move to title-chasing Chelsea.

He joined The Blues for £10 million in January 2004. However, he struggled for game-time with the likes of Claude Makelele and Frank Lampard occupying the starting roles. His chances of featuring were reduced even greater following the arrival of Arjen Robben and Tiago Mendes in the summer of 2004.

He departed Chelsea in July 2005, joining fellow Premier League side Newcastle for £6.5 million. He spent two seasons with the club, scoring his first goal against his former side, Charlton. He missed the end of the season with illness, ruling him out of the 2006 World Cup.

He was named club captain in 2006 following Alan Shearer’s retirement. They won the UEFA Intertoto Cup that season, in what proved to be his final for the club. He departed in the summer of 2007, joining West Ham United for £7 million.

Following West Ham’s relegation in 2011, Parker was understandably sought after. He made four Championship appearances for the club in 2011-12, before completing a permanent move to Tottenham.

Parker was named Tottenham’s Player of the Year in his debut campaign, but an injury saw him miss the first half of the 2012-13 season. He struggled to re-capture his place in the side, returning to West London the following summer.

He joined Fulham for an undisclosed fee, where he spent the remainder of his playing career. The Cottagers were relegated during his first season, but Parker stayed at the club for three seasons in the Championship.

Following his retirement, Parker returned to Tottenham as the Under-18s coach and Club Ambassador. However, he returned to newly-promoted Fulham in July 2018 to become a first-team coach. This saw him reunite with former manager Slavisa Jokanovic. He remained in his role despite Jokanovic’s sacking in November 2018, with Claudio Ranieri taking over.

Three months later, Ranieri was sacked, with Fulham heavily embroiled in a relegation battle. Parker was appointed as caretaker manager but was unable to steer them to safety. They finished 19th, joining Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town in the bottom three.

Despite suffering relegation, Parker was given the job on a permanent basis. They bounced back to the top flight at the first time of asking, beating Brentford in the play-off final in 2020. However, their return to the Premier League was short-lived. Following a disappointing season, Fulham were relegated. Parker departed the club by mutual consent.

Later that day, Parker was appointed as Bournemouth manager, leaving one Championship club for another. Under Parker, Bournemouth have had an excellent start to the season, while his former club Fulham also find themselves in the automatic promotion places.

Previous meetings with Bournemouth

Tuesday 8th December 2020 (H)

After 16 games, Bournemouth and Swansea both found themselves in the top six. Swansea were sat in fourth while Bournemouth were just a point off the top of the table in second.

The Swans were the hosts but spent most of the game on the back foot. Bournemouth dominated possession and had the best of the chances, but Freddie Woodman made a string of saves to give Swansea a valuable point.

Final score – Swansea City 0-0 AFC Bournemouth

Tuesday 16th March 2021

Three months on, third place Swansea travelled to The Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth, who found themselves in seventh. Unlike the reverse fixture, Bournemouth had no trouble in front of goal in the second meeting between the two sides.

The hosts took the lead in the ninth minute through Phillip Billing. The midfielder scored an excellent volley to give the visitors a lead.

An unfortunate own-goal from Joel Latibeaudiere gave the visitors a 2-0 lead shortly before half time.

Morgan Whittaker had a few opportunities to halve the deficit for the Swans but was denied by Asmir Begovic. Then with three minutes to go, Arnaut Danjuma heaped further punishment on Swansea, giving Bournemouth a 3-0 lead.

This result saw Swansea miss out on the chance to move level on points with second-place Watford, while Bournemouth closed the gap on the play-offs to two points.

Final score – AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Swansea City

Match Preview

Swansea’s midweek win at Coventry will give them confidence ahead of one of the toughest games of the season. The hosts have lost just one game this season, suffering a surprise 2-1 home defeat to Preston on Wednesday. This ended an incredible run of 10 games unbeaten, with nine wins and a draw in that span.

Russell Martin once again has a fully fit squad to choose from. However, he suggested that rotation may be necessary this weekend, given the notoriously busy Championship schedule. Michael Obafemi could start, while Flynn Downes will likely return to the starting eleven following several substitute appearances.

Wales international David Brooks remains unavailable as he battles Hodgkin Lymphoma. I wish him the best of luck with his treatment and hope for a swift and full recovery.

Elsewhere, Lewis Cook will not feature as he continues his recovery following a ruptured cruciate ligament.

Only Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ben Brereton-Diaz have scored more goals than Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke. The English forward has scored 11 goals this season. Swansea striker Joel Piroe is fourth on the list with nine goals, after scoring the winner on Wednesday.

Expect a tough game, with both sides playing a possession-based style. Swansea will need to be wary of Jamal Lowe, given their track record of conceding to former players. A draw would be seen as an excellent result.

After next weekend’s international break, Swansea return to Championship action on Saturday 20th November, with a home clash with Blackpool.


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Matt Williamshttps://mjwwrites.wordpress.com/
My name is Matt Williams. I am a 24-year-old journalism graduate and aspiring sports journalist from South Wales. I am a fan of Swansea City, and regularly write about the team on my own personal blog. I also support the Carolina Panthers, and I am an avid follower of the Welsh national teams in football and rugby.

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