Wednesday, 25 September 2013

AFCB's end-to-end games are value for money

While I am a mad enough AFCB fan to enjoy them playing in any game I have to say that the end-to-end character of matches that seem to be happening with the Cherries in the Championship is a joy to watch. In recent seasons I have seen the team pay well and be devastating on the break, but now there is a new aspect to their menace and its driven by their ability to play keep ball. It is not only pretty to watch it's extremely effective when the team can string 20 or 30 passes together.

Keeping the passes short and sharp is a great weapon if AFCB can keep the momentum going. The spaces they created against Middlesbrough was quite something to see in that first 20 minutes. They have that ability to pull players around all over the pitch when they are really fizzing the ball to each other.

Tommy Elphick likes to mix his passing a bit.
We saw Tommy Elphick try and get away with a few longer passes from the back which did not come off. That resulted in some of the end-to end play as did Pitman getting caught out on the half way line for Middlesbrough's third goal, although I would say that was more due to the ball played into him when he had a player ready to step in on his blind side. But you have to vary things a bit to catch the opposition off guard and it this thinking of all aspects of the game that our players have taken on board that fascinates me. That is Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe getting them to play the way they want and "being brave", as they say.

If in doubt, Wardy know's what to do - row z.
Receiving the ball and shielding it well is something that that team did well and we have players in Arter, O'Kane and MacDonald who I think do that especially well. I am no longer fearful of them being apprehensive about going to any one else's ground. But the team has only had one away win at Doncaster. Next month they will be severely tested at Leeds, Forest and Leicester. I wonder if these will be high goal encounters. If they can knock the ball about at the Riverside with confidence they can do it anywhere. It may be like a school boy game when it gets to the last 10 minutes and rather frantic but at least that keeps me in my seat to the end of the game.

Finally, a bit of reflection - well done to the AFCB U18 team that got a winning result against Plymouth yesterday and unlucky to those who also played against Argyle in the U21 Premiership Cup. It looks like we will have to hope for a good run in the FA Cup this season. 

1 comment:

  1. As an armchair Cherries fan, I find your posts provide a great perspective of how the players are actually playing. You don't often get that from match just to say thanks, and they are appreciated.