Monday, 12 January 2015

Cherries just slipped off their high standards for once

Eddie Howe summed the Norwich defeat up quite simply as, "We were not at our best today." But AFCB at their best have been untouchable for other teams in the Championship and to fall from those high standards perhaps left only a tinge of disappointment in the manager's voice. On reflection though, he knows that the team were not going to win every game to the end of the season and the players were competitive and gave their all as always.

Taking out the Norwich goals for the moment and just looking at what AFCB achieved on the day with their play and their movement going forward you have to say they were not able to create as much as they have in recent weeks. I credit Norwich City and the way they set up for much of that. Simon Francis was not the dominant force that we have become used to seeing and Arter and Surman found themselves out numbered at times in the middle. It was the initial quarter of an hour that set the tone for the match and Norwich were doing most of the pressing early on.
Pugh came close to adding to his goals.
The quality that AFCB needed to see was in and around the box, but apart from the goal in the 18th minute, the Cherries failed to really cut Norwich open enough. One good opportunity did come to Marc Pugh just on the D when he volleyed over for what would have been a spectacular goal, but the level of passing for the move was not so easily replicated. Callum Wilson did not find much space while Brett Pitman struggled to get involved enough to have much impact.

AFCB did have some periods of pressure with sustained passing in front of the Norwich defence and the start of the second half looked like it would see more opportunities created. The goal that Norwich had scored though in the first half though was a tad unfortunate to put it mildly. The intensity that AFCB played with at the start of the second half though was something that they need to do to get a result, and yet the second Norwich goal was said to have "deflated" Bournemouth's players. It was a shame, but some times you have to credit the opposition and I thought Norwich controlled the game at times particularly well.

All Departments has released its podcast reviewing the Norwich match and it can be listened to on the All Departments' website or you can listen by scrolling down the right hand panel on Cherry chimes until you come to the All Departments' sound bar.

It is the last day to vote on whether Eddie Howe should play his best 11 for the FA Cup tie against Aston Villa or rotate the squad. See the side panel on the blog to vote.

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