Monday, 8 September 2014

Cherries must improve on their first half hour

I know we have only had five league games so far this season and it might be a bit early to have an in depth look at stats, but I am sure that those who need to know at the club are already starting to take a close look at one or two numbers. We have already seen some great stats being revealed by Michael Dunne in the MatchDay programme this season and now I am just going to give you a quick reminder of what is happening in font of goal at both ends of the pitch.

Timings of the six goals against the Cherries in the first five league games.
AFCB have a positive goal difference which is great and have had a couple of clean sheets. All very good, but a look at the timing of the six goals that have gong in against the Cherries shows quite a clustering which may not be coincidental. I am particularly drawn to the period of matches between 15 and 25 minutes when from the five league games that the Cherries have played, four goals have gone in. Most of those were done by the savage first half that Blackburn Rovers gave the Cherries a few weeks ago, but mid-way through the first half does not appear to be a strong period for AFCB. Lewis Grabban at Norwich added to that early cluster scoring in 15 minutes at Carrow Road. The other two goals that AFCB have conceded are also paired up nicely between the 65th and 75th minutes - the Forest comeback!
Timings of AFCB's 9 goals in the first five league games.
So what have AFCB been doing at the other end? It turns out that AFCB are not far behind the top teams in terms of goals scored. Only Forest and Watford have scored more on 11 and 13 respectfully, but nine goals is not a bad return from five games. The good news is that if you look from 30 minutes onwards the Cherries are banging in goals fairly regularly, right up to the 90th minute courtesy of Mr Cook at Blackburn. What is clear though is that apart from Pugh's first minute goal at Huddersfield, the team has struggled to get on top of teams in the first half hour of games at least in terms of registering any goals and that also corresponds to the period when AFCB have been conceding the most goals so far this season. Somehow, I expect that such a detail has been seen by Eddie Howe and he will be asking his players to make a better fist of things in that first half hour of games. 

Creating chances does not seem to be a problem. Taking them is something that Callum Wilson and others need to keep doing, but having played only two home games I would suggest that we have not seen the Cherries really open up teams apart from Huddersfield in the first game of the season. They will be looking to up that goal record in the first half you would imagine against Rotherham and Leeds Utd in the next two games.

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