Sunday, 1 March 2015

A better day at the back for the Cherries

The match against Blackburn Rovers was destined to be a battle that was mainly played in Rovers half of the field. That perhaps gave the Cherries defenders a bit more time at the back to make sure they were organised and could keep a clean sheet, but there was a good deal of pressing by the wing backs high up the pitch that could have been exploited and the Cherries will have been well pleased to finally get another shut out.
AFCB's defenders got it right against Blackburn.
You have to go back to the home match in late-January against 10-man Watford for AFCB's last clean sheet and it has been a real reason for the team dropping so many points in recent games. The back four in that time has seen little change with only Adam Smith managing to get his way into the team there for a start apart from the usual incumbents. I have felt that Artur Boruc has come under more pressure of late and we saw that again in the Blackburn match when he did not come for a back pass and got a real telling off from his defenders. Communication on the pitch is really important and sometimes the keeper has to bark his orders and give that back four no doubt that he is commanding that box and has everything under control. Indecision simply isn't helpful and when Artur is on his game he puts that confidence out there for others to feed off, but when he is slow to distribute the ball and clear his lines it does unnerve players.
Full concentration please Artur.
Steve Cook has been back to his best recently and it has been good to see him coming out with the ball from the back a little bit more again. He and Tommy Elphick are well adjusted to life in the Championship now and there is not a lot that they have not seen before or haven't been able to deal with, but getting clean sheets has not come easy and Eddie Howe may wonder why? The top teams will look to keep clean sheets now and it is something that will always give the Cherries a point or more if they can do it and in the last frantic weeks of the Championship it could be that keeping the goals out will be what decides the final places.

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