Sunday, 2 August 2015

Cardiff match showed Cherries must tighten up

I have been watching Eddie Howe's team selections with great interest in recent weeks. At the back there has been much experimentation and while results have in the main been good it won't have pleased Edie to see the team let in three goals at home against Cardiff City. Such matches with the Bluebirds have typically been open games in recent meetings, but there is need to see why the Cherries were conceding with the swift attacks of Cardiff last Friday night.
The season opener will demand a strong defensive
 performance as well as attacking intent. 
The centre backs on the night were Sylvain Distin and Baily Cargill. It is a credit to Sylvain that on the night when the team was on the wrong side of a five goal match that he came out as the sponsor's man of the match. He did make some good clearances and made a stunning tackle in the box during the first half when Cardiff looked sure to score, but he'll need to show that his positional play and work with other centre backs is up to scratch for the Premier League games.

For Baily it is going to be a learning curve at the moment. He was probably a little disappointed to see his header land at a Cardiff player's feet for their second goal and Simon Francis was about to let out some frustration, when I think he saw that it was Baily who had guided the ball back across the six yard box, and decided to just hang his head down instead. Tommy Elphick or Steve Cook might have got both barrels, but it is important that the senior players help the younger ones out and don't upset their confidence. They can always go back to the training ground and advise on where matters might have gone slightly wrong later.

Adam Federici has had a strong pre-season, but he won't have been pleased to have been beaten so many times either. He certainly did not have much chance with Joe Ralls' piledriver but he'll want to show that it is difficult to get shots past him. With both Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels playing in the Cardiff match as full backs the Cherries might have thought that they would have stemmed the flow of Cardiff's attacks better, but the blue shirts penetrated with their long passes from the sides and caught AFCB out on more than one occasion. Now Eddie has to decide who has made the grade for that first game against Villa, while also doing more work on defensive duties.

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