Monday, 22 September 2014

Why do the Cherries keep losing leads?

So often in the past, AFCB have had the challenge of not being able to get the first goal in a game. That particular aspect of a match has not been such a problem of late, but having gone ahead against Nottingham Forest, Rotherham, Leeds and Watford the team has not managed to turn that into maximum points in any of these games. It is something that must be playing on Eddie Howe's mind as he know that there has to be a reason why the Cherries are unable to hold on to leads.
Tommy Elphick will certainly want to captaining
the side to victory next time AFCB gets a lead.
When I spoke with Michael Dunne on his All Department's podcast, after the Leeds match, we both questioned the ability of the players to last for the 90 minutes. The relentless pace of the Championship is picking up now and it is two games every week at the moment, which is going to be shattering. While Eddie Howe has tried to get round the problem by rotating the players, they are not picking up the points. The manager has admitted himself that the players are stopping passing the ball in the controlled manner after they score having got in front in games.

It is a bit of a conundrum to sort out. Game management is something that AFCB work very hard at and yet tired minds and bodies perhaps have not been able to cope with making the right decisions in the second half of games. The points dropped have been more at home and so this is where I expect Eddie Howe to be concentrating players' minds, because they have to not be afraid or go into their shell at home having worked hard to get a lead. There is nothing wrong in trying to hold the ball up in the corners when seeing the game out and pushing up a little to keep play higher up the pitch. It seems simple, but the first natural reaction of defending a lead is to drop back and that has not been working. 

Luckily the Cherries now have a League Cup match and can play with a bit of freedom away at Cardiff City. While it would be nice to get through to the next round it would be even more pleasing to score more than one goal and to hold on to a clean sheet. That would give the team great confidence before they return to the league programme and a home match against Wigan Athletic.

1 comment:

  1. This has happened before and not even that long ago - the first season back in League one. It was a noticeable problem in the first half of the season and things only got worse after Eddie had decamped to Burnley, to the extent I was waiting for the opposition to score in the last few minutes of any game. If they did not score, it was often because they had missed an open goal.
    The team broke up at the end of that season and the problem went away.

    We also had the problem at the start of the promotion season, under Groves. I thought the problem there was that the opposition saw all those expensive players and did not start attacking until they were behind. After a few games of this the other teams realised we were crap and attacked from the start.