Monday, 31 March 2014

Blistering first half hours are hard to come back from

The Cherries have found a winning formula that is just a pleasure to watch. The amazing thing is that so many of the players have hit top form at the same time and they are doing it with such panache. It has happened so quickly that it is hard to believe, but great to see. What has been a shock is to see how the team has performed in the first half hour of the last two matches against Leeds and Birmingham.
Yann is looking especially good at Dean Court.
Getting out of that starting box fast is something that wasn't really happening earlier in the season. We had particularly slow start against Millwall, but AFCB have been in most games with a chance of getting points after the first half for most of the season. 

Hitting teams hard early on has really been a signature though of the last month and while it is one thing to know that you need that first goal it is quite another thing to get it. But AFCB are building momentum with the quick starts and knocking teams over in the first half hour. It is what the Leicester's and QPR's of the division have been doing for much of the season and it only happens if you are taking those early chances.
Pugh has been upping his shot percentage.
It's the inclusion of Yann Kermorgant from the start that has given the team a new way of playing. He stands out as a player that has a great understanding of everything that is happening around him and that awareness in the final third is perhaps the key that was missing for some of Bournemouth's earlier games this season. I also think that AFCB's wingers have been on top form of late. While we are not always seeing Coulibaly, Fraser and even Smith, they are all pushing for places and that has stepped up the performances of Pugh and Ritchie. It is the speed of these players on the counter in the first half hour that has been paying off with Francis especially adding his pace and crossing power to proceedings.
Ryan Fraser may be able to slot a few more goals away this season.
I am sure that the number of shots are also much higher on the first half hour now as Ritchie and Pugh along with Grabban are taking more early shots rather than overplaying around the box. It is of course much easier to control games when the team is winning after a good first half and Eddie Howe probably likes to have less to say at half time these days. Long may it continue.

No comments:

Post a Comment