MATCHDAY: Can AFC Bournemouth push Martinez out the exit door?

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Game of the season? The 3-3 draw at Dean Court back in November had all the drama that makes football the beautiful game.

The perfect comeback needs a winning goal for AFC Bournemouth, but a last gasp draw gets about as close as you can. When the first-half whistle blew it looked like it was game over and three points for Everton. Seventy-nine minutes in there was little to suggest the drama about to come. Smith’s 25-yarder gave the Cherries hope, but it all looked to be in vain as the clock ticked down. Eighty-seven minutes in and it was finally time for Everton to see the three points transform into one.

Cherries fans were happy with a draw, Everton fans weren’t. But more was to come. Five minutes of injury time, surely time for a winner. And, that’s exactly what Everton fans thought as they invaded the pitch after Ross Barkley had squeezed the ball under Allsop. Get back in your seats, there’s more to come. After around five minutes of celebrating order was restored. Not for long as King crossed for Stanislas to nod home a 97th minute equaliser, the crowd went wild.

Five months later both teams are safe and on the same points. Not sure who will be the happiest 🙂



The form guide is pretty poor reading for both sides. The Cherries have struggled in recent games, but add in the fact that they have played Spurs, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea and lost, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Add in we beat Aston Villa and that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Everton got well and truly beaten by bitter rivals Liverpool and grabbed three draws against Southampton, Palace and Watford.
If ever there was a team Everton would want to be playing (apart from Aston Villa) at the moment then it would be AFC Bournemouth. Out of form and already safe (unless a miracle happens). But the 4-1 scoreline against Chelsea doesn’t fully reflect how AFC Bournemouth played that day. Created plenty of chances but couldn’t take them. Plus, Fabregas was on fire and Chelsea took their chances. We think AFC Bournemouth won’t be as easy to beat as some of those in blue may think.


So, now it’s onto the inevitable stab at the final score. We have haven’t beaten Everton this season, but the games have been close and Everton’s fluctuating form means that there is every chance that a result is on the cards. Conversely, the Cherries form, has taken a bit if a dive, but if they turn it on today a win could be on the cards. For us it’s very much a game where the team who turns up and hits the ground running from the start will be the winner. If both are at it, perhaps a repeat of the drama at Dean Court in November could be repeated. So, lets go 3-3, it can happen again. But in reality we think it will be 2-1 to Everton.

WISHFUL WIN: 5-1 (King, Cook x3, Wilson)
HEART DRAW: 2-2 (King, Wilson)
HEAD LOSE: 2-1 (Wilson)


The mighty AFC Bournemouth always try to give their very best, but the sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Eddie Howe said we have been good in parts in recent games and today he is looking for the complete performance.


We take a closer look at the stats between the two sides in the easy-to-digest form of infographic courtesy of KICK OFF.
Everton v Bournemouth - Kickoff Predictions
Everton v Bournemouth - Recent Form H v A
Everton v Bournemouth - Recent Form Overall


Q. AFC Bournemouth will play Everton for the third time this season. What do Everton fans think of what they have seen of AFC Bournemouth?

In general I would say that Everton fans have been impressed with the play of AFC Bournemouth. Eddie Howe was able to bring in some very good players at the start of the season and the club has continued on their upward trend. One thing that has impressed me is how well the squad plays together. There do not seem to be any individuals who must stand out, they all play the same style of football and it’s both exciting and effective. The Cherries have shown great resilience in their first Premier League campaign and have surpassed the coveted 40-point mark with three matches left to play. Assuming things stay the same, they are going to be a club that will be interesting to follow next year.

Q. The game at Dean Court earlier in the season ended 3-3. Do you think we are in for another dramatic ending and what do you think the score will be?

This should definitely be another competitive match. The Cherries are going to want to continue their work and finish strong in their first campaign in the top flight. If Martinez has not completely lost the team, some of the players may be motivated to push themselves and end the year on a high note in an attempt to save their boss’ job. Each club is coming off some difficult matches. Everton was crushed 4-0 in the away leg of the Merseyside Derby last week and then followed that up with an exit from the FA Cup in the semifinal to Manchester United. Bournemouth are coming off of a pair of losses themselves so both sides should be looking to right the ship.. The score may not be as high but there should be a couple of goals. I’ll go with a 1-1 draw.

Q. Everton have underacheived this season. But, who should we look out for on matchday?

That is a correct statement. Everton have greatly underachieved based on the talent that they have. The obvious choice of a player to watch this weekend is Romelu Lukaku. He is currently in a scoring slump having not scored in his past five league matches. Like John Stones, Lukaku is always rumored to be leaving the club and moving to a larger side in the next window. If there’s any truth to that, Lukaku is going to want to put in the effort and finish the campaign strong. With nothing else to fight for this season, Roberto Martinez may also give some of the youngsters a shot at playing so for Everton fans, it will be a good chance to see what the future may hold.

Q. As the season draws to a close are there any AFC Bournemouth players you would like to see make the transfer to Goodison in the summer?

If there’s one thing that Everton proved this year, it’s that they need help in the defensive half of the field. I’d like to see a fully recovered Tyrone Mings in the royal blue Kit next year. Everton do have several promising prospects on defense but Mings would help strengthen the back line. Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines are nearing the end of their careers and have both struggled with injuries as of late. Byan Oviedo has also suffered from injuries since joining the club and John Stones is constantly rumored to be leaving for a bigger (read: well-moneyed) club with a claim to a Champions League spot. With all of that instability, the Toffees can use all the help they can get.

Q. Earlier in the season we asked ‘Would you be happy to have Eddie Howe to replace Roberto Martinez? This has been rumoured in the press. Do you think Martinez should go and who should replace him?

At the point the general consensus is that Roberto Martinez must go and the sooner the better. There are a lot of big names rumored to be tied to the role. They range from Manuel Pellegrini to Jose Mourinho to a David Moyes return. The list also includes outliers such as Jurgen Klinsman and Eddie Howe. The staff at Royal Blue Mersey have been putting together prospective manager pieces over the past couple of weeks ( and I happened to have written the profile for Eddie Howe. Opinions of Howe as a replacement is mixed amongst the RBM readership. Out of 362 votes, 35% voted that they would like Howe as the next manager, 44% voted no and 22% were unsure.

Personally, I think Howe needs to be in the discussion and should be interviewed if the interest is mutual. He’s guided AFC Bournemouth to promotion on a shoestring budget most seasons; mostly by identifying quality players who fit his system. His teams also play an enjoyable style of football that is aesthetically pleasing. Most important, he’s proved that he can build and maintain a squad that is competitive in the Premier League. However, he has been with AFC Bournemouth since his youth days (with a couple of short detours). If Howe is going to leave, it has to be the right job and I’m not sure that he will feel that way about Everton.


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