Monday, 15 July 2013

Has AFCB enough quality in both boxes?

Eddie Howe mentioned some time ago that the difference in the Championship compared to League One is mainly the quality you need to have in both boxes. It is clear that Howe wanted a bit more grit in defence with the additions he has brought in. Harte is not afraid of putting a few tackles in and Ward will be strong in the air. That's not that I don't rate Cook, Elphick, Francis or Daniels but with the teams we now face we have to make sure the best pairings for each particular match are the ones chosen. What may suit one game might not work in another as well.

I have been trying to think of what work in and around the penalty box at either end Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall will have been getting players to try out. I haven't been to any of the practise sessions, but I expect that the moment the work is more running and close ball work to get the touch back. When the fitness is back it will be the time to experiment more on defensive structures and attacking formations - we have already seen some of this in the West Ham game. I would like to see our central defenders get more headed goals this season from corners as we have seen that they can do it.

Looking at the Championship last year there seemed to be a lot of goals conceded from corners and free kicks. AFCB's marking will have to be up to scratch. There were times last season when we got away with things that we might not at this level.

The strikers too will need to be sharper. How many times did we see AFCB create some fantastic chances only to put the ball wide or blast it over the goal? It was more than just a handful. And that creative side is something that I hope does not diminish in the Championship. I want us to play our football not be intimidated by what the opposition might do and simply try and prevent them from carrying out their plans.

A lot of that decision making process will have to come from the players. When to go, when to mark and when to gamble. As they play more games in the Championship I would hope the warning signs for danger become more apparent and when they know they are on top and can look to push their advantage home. With only a few new signings it should be clear for the team to build on what they did last year. It's not that they have to get to know how six or more players are going to play. I think that will be an advantage in our early games over some teams.

Coming back to the need for quality players in both boxes. I am sure Pitman is able to provide a cutting-edge but I'd like another proven striker to share the burden. Grabban, Tubbs and Thomas may find they are not automatic choices to start. Maybe Coulibaly is the answer?

1 comment:

  1. In a word, NO!! THREE quality wingers, but only Pitman who IMHO is not that great in the air. Eddie will have a plan I'm sure