Thursday, 5 November 2015

Eddie's still looking to get the balance right

Eddie Howe is still looking for the best way to set up the team with what he has both at home and away. He will have thought he had it right when the game kicked off at St Mary's, but it was not tilted in a way that would see AFCB able to have a threat of their own, as well as stave off attacks from the opposition. The Cherries are still in transition and looking to get the balance between a defensive and attacking team right.

In some ways you could say that the 2-0 defeat at Southampton was an improvement on the Man City away performance. There were no real individual mistakes though in this game, even if Distin was out powered for the second goal. It was more a case of quality delivery and execution on the part of Southampton. What was disappointing was the inability of the midfield to get up with Murray and to provide any sustained possession in the first half.
I think Josh King will look a different player if he can just get off the mark.
We are used to seeing Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels find their way up to and beyond the half way line and to overlap, but Pugh and Ritchie were having enough difficulty in getting into the opposition's half let alone the full backs. That was in some way down to a need to stay compact having suffered heavy defeats in the last few weeks. It's not the Cherries' natural game and Eddie Howe may have to rethink what he does away from home, especially after the dramatic improvement in the second half.

What Howe needs is options and with Tomlin, King and Stanislas now offering that there is a need to work out what will keep the team playing on the front foot when up against the strong teams. AFCB have difficulty in getting clean sheets, but they are not going to win many games if they simply try and defend for 90 minutes either. 

My latest Shoot article is now online - The Premier League is relentless

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