Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Clean sheet delight for the Cherries

The Cherries had certainly not kept enough clean sheets going into the Chelsea game. Even when getting strong draws against Swansea and Everton they had let in five goals which did not suggest that they could go to a place like Stamford Bridge and keep Chelsea from scoring. Yet, as we have seen a clean sheet gives any team the basis of a much better chance of winning a game.
Steve Cook and Adam Smith were among the players that
helpd get AFCB that second clean sheet.
There were moments when the Cherries were tested and Boruc in particular. Gone was the nervousness though that had made defeats against Spurs and Man City all too routine for these sides to take advantage of. This was a performance that had real backbone about it from the Cherries. At times you could say that it was not pretty, and exhausting to watch. But it made the win seem all the more pleasing as AFCB had come through the test and had not shipped a silly goal like they probably would have done a few weeks ago.
Artur Boruc took huge comfort from the fact that the team had kept a clean sheet. His adrenalin was running high all game. You could see he was pumped to do well and to give that bit extra to his team mates who were battling so strenuously in front of him against great players. But Boruc raised his game too. We saw a keeper of high international quality in between the sticks for the Cherries on Saturday. He made some of the saves look like second nature to him, clawing the ball away and catching cleaning, anticipating the direction of the ball and trusting his instincts that were certainly on high alert all game.

For a goal keeper it is may be more difficult to keep calm when the opposition attacks. For the defence, there can also be panic but you often have time often get back into position and contribute again if you have been beaten or passed. AFCB worked hard to  protect each other when someone had been beaten and it is that trust in each other that might start bringing more clean sheets now. While the personnel may have switched and the roles of Francis has changed, there may be a back four and keeper now that can provide the stability that Eddie Howe has been looking for ever since Tommy Elphick had to come out of the side.

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