Wednesday, 9 September 2015

What have AFCB learnt from their first four games?

With the first mini break now coming towards the end and with a string of internationals having been played, it is time to take a quick look back and remind ourselves is what it has been like for AFCB to dip it's toe in the Premier League with the first four games already having passed by. What constitutes a good start may be different for some clubs, but for AFCB the need to feel competitive and not get beaten too heavily was certainly important to inspire confidence and to get the fans and players thinking about winning points and being consistent.
It's not all child's play in the Premier League, but it's
possible to make your way up the league - just ask Filbert the Fox.
That first requirement has been met. Four points is a good return and better than many other clubs have achieved. Being out of the bottom three is always healthy at any stage and while AFCB have seen leads slip in games they have shown resilience in the win at West Ham, and in not losing the match against Leicester City. Sometimes it's good just not to get beaten, but what has been beyond the team so far is to keep a clean sheet.

Yet, I find myself thinking that the defence and keeper have played really well in all four games which indicates the quality that they are up against is just much higher now. To keep Coutinho quiet though at Anfield was some performance, and when the stars come to play AFCB it is vital that the players don't give them any extra respect, just because of who they are. The Cherries are heroes themselves and developing stars in their own right.  

The players should have learnt that they also have to try and stay on their feet. You wonder if Steve Cook had not made his challenge on Jamie Vardy in the 85th minute of the game with Leicester would Vardy have scored from the angle he had? 

Defence has been an area where the team has had to up it's game. The Villa goal from a corner was a reminder that set pieces are more like penalties for some of these teams and AFCB will be desperate to improve further. So far they have conceded in every game and with six goals against them only Sunderland (10), Norwich (8) and, can you believe it, Chelsea (9) have a worse number of goals conceded. 

What makes this a problematic season for all the teams has already been signalled. Four games in and every team has at least two points. Moreover, no team has lost all four or even three of their games. This looks like it could be one of the tightest Premier League seasons when it comes to which teams will be battling to stay up. The game against Norwich now looms large and AFCB will be keen to get some points ahead of one of the teams that has just come up with them.

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