Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Arsenal's quality just too strong for AFCB

Some times you have to hold your hand up and say that was just too good from the opposition. In Mesut Ozil Arsenal have a player that unlocks defences in a flash and he'll do it against better defenders than we have at AFCB. Still, seeing Arsenal cut through the Cherries' defence was only prominent during the last third of the match.
Marc Pugh warms up before the Arsenal match but only played 45 minutes.
While it would have been great to see what pressure AFCB could have put Arsenal under, had the Gunners not got the second goal when they did, it is those slight differences in experience and the execution of moves at key moments that differentiate the top teams from the rest. Sitting back and watching Mesut Ozil's goal without my AFCB hat on, it is easy to see that it was a great goal and made to look very simple with Giroud's excellent heel on to pass the ball back into Ozil's run. Andrew Surman and Steve Cook became spectators in that one second and the whole back line was undone. There was not much anyone could do about it and Ozil was not going to miss every time he got through.

The big difference with sides like Arsenal is that they almost switch into another mode when they see a goal chance coming. They don't get flustered or excited. It's a time of maximum concentration and ball control and they simply don't let you get a tackle in. They work it quickly and accurately and to predict where the ball is going.

I do believe the quick turnover of games in 48 hours was telling on the Bournemouth players because of the way that they play with high intensity. But it was perhaps unfortunate that Arsenal were the team to play just hours after the Boxing Day game as AFCB knew they would have to deal not only with the running energy of Oxlaide-Chamberlain and Walcott, but also the trickery of Ozil and Giroud. But it doesn't get tougher than that and the Cherries were not given a battering, which is helpful in terms of confidence. I don't think AFCB would have been able to go to the Emirates a season ago and come away with just a 2-0 defeat and have taken the game to them in the fashion that they did in that first half.  The building blocks are getting stronger for Eddie Howe's team but we know there are divisions within the Premier League. 

Transfer Gossip
Fulham's Ross McCormack is said to be a target for the Cherries this transfer window, according to Shoot. His value is said to be £11m. Later today you should also see my latest Shoot article about Dan Gosling available to read.

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