Thursday, 5 December 2013

Can AFCB climb back up the table?

It has been a really sobering week. A point against Brighton at home and a lesson in putting the ball in the back of the net by QPR has taken AFCB's season in the wrong direction. Worse too, even the clubs below the Cherries are getting incredible wins, no doubt buoyed by the Cherries' plummeting slide down the table. Can Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe see a way to halt the slide? Yes, I think they can!

It is not that the players are putting less than 100 per cent in, we can see they are giving there all. Sadly, it's just not enough at the moment against the really good sides. Eddie made changes to the team again for the QPR game as O'Kane had probably done a lot of running in the Brighton match and Surman and Macca should have made AFCB harder to breakdown in midfield.

Is it time to see Yennaris?
Francis again looked slow to react for the second goal and I now wonder if Eddie Howe could bring in Nico Yennaris for the Reading game. While Yennaris could also play in midfield, I'd like to let Francis have a break. Cook and Elphick also showed defensive frailty against Charlie Austin's class. Up front Pitman looked ineffective on his own and Rob Green was hardly troubled all night. Rantie and Grabban did not look any better to me when they came on, so there is a real issue of getting our strikers used to putting the ball in the back of the net.
Francis' position may be under threat.
Francis and Daniels, AFCB's full backs found it hard going against QPR.
The positives are that QPR are a side that will exploit weaknesses better than most teams that AFCB have to play in the league. AFCB were stretched and managed by a team that will probably be in one of the top two places come the end of the season. And yet there was a period when the Cherries pushed Rangers back before and after half time. The problem is AFCB are not scoring when they do have dominating periods of a game. They need a goalscorer with a fearsome reputation. Unfortunately, they cost a lot of money and it remains to be seen what our Russian owners can do in January.

Still if AFCB can avoid defeat against Reading and can keep their spirits up, I do see some very winnable games in December. If they can beat the teams in and around them like Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday and Yeovil Town the table will start to look very different. Those kind of games are AFCB's must win games and so far the Cherries have done well against the teams in the bottom third. The points are very close in the table and a couple of back to back wins make a huge difference. If AFCB were showing no promise I would be worried but they are capable of winning games in this division. 

There will be a large contingent of AFCB fans going up to Reading. We have to sing our hearts out again for the team. They need to know we are still with them no matter who is selected to play.

Michael Dunne has released his All Departments podcast so have a listen on his website - All Departments. It is also posted on the panel on the right hand side on Cherry Chimes, look for the All Departments logo.

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