Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Stopping crosses on AFCB's left side

Charlie Daniels may have to do some more work on positioning to stop crosses over the short international break we have before the Championship picks up again. While the cross that came over for Nottingham Forest's winning goal against the Cherries had already seen Charlie beaten and it looked like Pugh was the last one to try and stop the cross, at Norwich it was Daniels who was left isolated and could not prevent the ball coming over to the near post for Grabban to head home. So the left side of AFCB's defence has been in question for a couple of recent goals, and it is something that the manager will have noticed.

Charlie Daniels did not play as many games as he would have expected last year and Ian Harte was on hand, as he is now, to come in when Eddie Howe wants to change things around. I still think that Harte has a lot to offer going forward from set plays, even if he may not have the legs to do quite as much as Daniels. If Ian can show that he is also stopping more crosses from coming in then he might get the vote sooner rather than later to start some games.

I'd like to see Charlie stopping more of those crosses
 from right wingers on the left side of AFCB's defence.
Daniels has to get more experience at Championship level as well though and while the team strives to keep a clean sheet it could well be one of the other defenders that makes a mistake another week. A slip, for example, by Steve Cook let in Jordan Rhodes for Blackburn's opening goal. Individual errors are usually just put down to bad luck most of the time, but when defenders are unable to track wingers and stop crosses or hold up play, centre backs become vulnerable and the Norwich game really exposed Steve Cook with Grabban sneaking in for that first goal. In essence, the centre backs need a bit of time to get in place and AFCB were caught out. But the art of blocking shots and crosses is probably not so heralded by onlookers for most of the time and it was interesting to see that Kris Temple of BBC Radio Solent was quick to say that Gosling and Arter were almost inseparable for man of the match at Norwich, and I am guessing that was more for their blocking play than what they could do going forward. 

AFCB need defenders to defend first and perhaps Ian Harte will be able to show soon that he still has plenty to offer in that respect.

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