Thursday, 25 April 2013

Is Brett right in saying the Championship will suit AFCB's style of play?

After the post-match celebrations of the weekend and the initial jubilation of the day had calmed down a bit, I was very intrigued to hear Brett Pitman say that he felt that the Championship would suit AFCB's style of play. 

Brett's comments were a great insight into how he sees the task ahead of the Cherries now that they have won promotion from League One - not phased seems to be the message of this team. The challenge of the Championship is something they are going to relish.

One commentator in a weekend paper said that Bournemouth were good value for going up "because they pass teams to death!"

I'm not sure we quite do that, but teams do get tired playing against AFCB's quick passing game, and we were a strong second half team this season as other teams wilted against the onslaught.

AFCB players have found League One a difficult league to get out of and they did seem to struggle against some of the big named teams who tended to stifle games, block our creative play and looked for the set piece to steal the match. Doncaster were master craftsman at this particular kind of game and if you look at Sheffield Utd's season they hardly set any goal scoring records but had a stern defence, which in their case led to too many drawn games.

So what have we learnt about AFCB's tactics under Eddie Howe and where do they need to improve if they are to do better than just survive in the Championship? When I look at our wing play and our flying wing backs on both flanks it is evident that Howe does aim to get at teams from the wings and get behind defences. We haven't the heading power of some teams, but Steve Cook and Tommy Elphick have come up with a few headed goals this season and they may well improve on their tally next season.

It has also been a feature to see Harry Arter and Eunan O'Kane being prepared to run with the ball and go at the heart of defences and I feel this tactic can be extremely effective when teams are so used to us playing it wide and suddenly find that we have changed to a more direct game. It will be exciting to see what Ryan Fraser will also be able to do at this level and if he can add even more running power to the Cherries' formula.

I also hope Howe continues to work with the defenders as 53 goals against is something that we can try and improve upon with Ryan Allsop now having a better understanding with the back four every game.

Certainly teams with good wingers and creative passing have done well in the Championship this year and AFCB must set out to try and emulate the likes of Brighton and Watford if they are to do well in that league.

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