Tuesday, 25 June 2013

It's a foul game at times

There are no prizes for guessing the player who commits the most fouls in an AFCB shirt. Yeah, you thought it was Mr Arter didn't you? Well actually, you are wrong according to the Npower League stats it is Matt Ritchie on 51 fouls compared to Harry's 42. Matt must have picked up quite a few fouls playing for Swindon Town before he came to Bournemouth. Still Harry did pick up 12 yellows and one red compared to Matt's 8 yellow cards.

Arter not the biggest culprit of the unfair tackle,
now there's a surprise.
But at times, teams need a ball winner or go-getter who pressurises others into mistakes and without this hound-like quality, that Arter possess, it would be hard to get the upper hand on some teams. His scurrying around is designed to unsettle the opposition, but our players are well down the list of top those who committed fouls.

So what of discipline in the Championship, can Bournemouth expect an easier ride? Well the stats look fairly similar. Cardiff and Hull who gained promotion don't really feature too highly among the sides committing the most fouls, but Crystal Palace had the top two offenders in Glenn Murray and Mile Jedinak.

It seems usual for forwards to be the main culprits with Dave Kitson having topped the League One stats, so perhaps the midfield hard men get a bit of a raw deal in terms of being tarnished as the big foul merchants. It's simply not the case. It's the strikers who are not the best tacklers more often than not.

AFCB's game is not really based on aggression though and it is most likely that we will be the recipients of poor challenges more often than being the ones handing them out. Eddie Howe says that the teams in the Championship try to play more football so it may well be the case that Arter and Ritchie will set about things slightly differently at times, but it's important that our ball winners come to terms with the pace of the Championship right from the start. The art of tackling well is something that they will be aiming to do.


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