Sunday, 15 November 2015

The midfield five is not yet bringing results

There has been a change in the way AFCB have been set up for games of late. The 4-4-1-1 formation has been cast aside in favour of a five-man midfield against Man City, Spurs, Southampton and Newcastle. The alteration was arguably made to try and make the team more solid and to protect the back four more, but it has not provided any wins. In fact, even with the extra man in midfield, AFCB are finding it hard to keep clean sheets.

It has been rare that Eddie Howe has set up the team at home with five in midfield, but he did so against Newcastle ,which are arguably one of the teams that would have been less able to cope with the Cherries' attacking 4-4-1-1 formation. Whether that was to give Steve McClaren something else to think about, or just a decision based on the players available is hard to tell at the moment. However, if the decision was made because the team need more confidence in winning the midfield battles, then there is much work to do in getting the players believing that they can still play their positive passing game with a four-man midfield.
Packing the midfield may need some refining.
The fifth-man in the middle of the park has not shortened the amount of goal attempts from the Cherries, but for some reason the team is not making decisive decisions in front of goal. The players are getting into the box in good numbers at times though, as we saw against Newcastle. But teams are not finding it as difficult to defend against the Cherries and Eddie Howe needs to find a formula which creates more problems for the opposition. Having Gosling, Arter and Surman in the middle of the park may be necessary for many away games, but they have not played that many games together yet and getting the best out of a five-man midfield is something that may need refinement, especially when subs are made.


  1. Only City away and Newcastle have we started with 5 in midfield, and we battered Newcastle, it was freakish that we couldn't score. I'd certainly stick with it, we looked far more likely to score with King's pace stretching teams and Artery/Gosling getting in the box than we did with King and Murray together.

  2. I think it was five in midfield after an hour against Spurs when O'Kane came on for King and against Southampton in the first half Eddie just started with Murray up front on his own.