Friday, 7 February 2014

AFCB don't look out of place in the Championship

The season is moving on quickly now and the last series of games at Dean Court have been a real pleasure to watch. While a win did not come against Leicester City there is no doubt that the team did really well against a team that is likely to be promoted this season. They also mastered the conditions against Huddersfield and against Watford I believe AFCB were very much the better side.

Eddie Howe's tactics have had to change a little because the pitch is not as beautifully flat and fast running as he or the ground staff would probably like. The balls up to Rantie in the first half against Leicester were perhaps not how Eddie wanted to play but he saw it as the best chance to disrupt Leicester by playing that way. I am hoping that AFCB can get back to their fluent passing game quickly as the weather hopefully picks up and the pitches improve.  

Simon Francis will be all out to ensure he keeps his place in the team.
There were a couple of times when Mr Vardy managed to break AFCB's back line and beat the offside trap which means there is still some work to do there. But in the main, the defencive side of the game has been pretty good from the Cherries. Elliott Ward and Tommy Elphick have a good understanding and have been unlucky not to get some clean sheets of late. 

I do still question whether Simon Francis could do with a bit of a rest having played in every game this season. Adam Smith is a good enough replacement although it will take him a few games to get that understanding perfect with the rest of the back four. Still I would like to see if he has become a better player since we last saw him and if he can add something extra to the team.

The league position indicates that AFCB are doing okay. They are on their way to safety and while the next few games are not easy I am hoping that they will get the odd win, as the narrow defeats and the point scoring draws are not going to be enough to ensure there is not a close finish this season. Last year the points needed were a record high to stay up and it looks like it may be a close call for one or two teams this time around and I would prefer not to see the Cherries involved in that. But I do believe with the additions made to the team in January that Eddie Howe should have enough talent in his team to see them lining up in the Championship again next season. 

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