Sunday, 14 December 2014

Second half questions still surface for Cherries

Despite all the euphoria of AFCB going top of the Championship, fans are right to worry about the way that AFCB conceded their goals against Cardiff City at Dean Court. The Cherries were cruising at half time. They had a 3-1 lead courtesy of a quick reply to Cardiff's first goal when Steve Cook slipped to give Kenwyne Jones the chance to get Cardiff on the scoreboard, but the game would have a dramatic second half.
Steve Cook had an unfortunate slip that led to
Cardiff's first goal, but he has been great for AFCB this season. 
That might not have been such a big issue, because an individual error is gong to happen every now and again in games and AFCB had shown their superiority in the first 45 minutes. What was an issue was that Cardiff were able to get right back into the game early in the second half when a set piece offered them an easy route back into the game. At 3-2 the match is then up for grabs and AFCB have proved on too many occasions that a goal lead at home in the second half is not a position of strength for them.

At 4-3 our fans might have been sitting a little nervous too as there were still 12 minutes of normal time left and Sean Morisson was making the art of scoring look pretty simple against the Cherries' defence that was not first to the ball when the crosses came in. Is it a question of lack of concentration? I don't think so anymore. Is it a lack of height in the team? Possibly, but the players that are on the pitch must make strong challenges when they are defending these free kicks and corners into the box. It is an issue that has been clearly highlighted now and as Jason Tindall said in his post match interview "it is disappointing". AFCB knew the threat from direct play that they faced against a powerful Cardiff side but they were unable to deal with it.

Going for the game in the first half certainly gives the crowd an early lift at AFCB and it is always preferable to going behind. Whether the players run out of steam though or have a soft under belly is something that Eddie Howe now needs to address. It is almost like when the team is in control and well ahead in a game they switch off or stop doing the things that have given them the lead. Inviting pressure onto the back line though is a recipe for conceding goals and if AFCB can stop that weakness they will begin to romp away with the Championship. I am very aware that Elliott Ward is not far off coming back into contention for a place in the squad and if he can apply a bit more pressure in the centre back positions we might just see AFCB find a way to stop the comebacks that so many teams have started to achieve in the second halves at Dean Court.

No comments:

Post a Comment