Sunday, 27 December 2015

Eddie Howe needs more experiences like the tight Palace game

While it may not have been the result everyone wanted on Boxing Day, I don't think the draw against Crystal Palace did the Cherries too much harm. In fact days like that are something that Eddie Howe and his team will probably learn more from than when everything goes smoothly and the team wins by three- or four-nil.

I thought Alan Pardew was very fair in his post-match summary in that it had been a tough game for both sides. It was one of those relentless 0-0 draws that perhaps could have done with more goal mouth action, but was no less intense for all the tackles and energy put into the match from both sides. On the plus side, it was another clean sheet for the Cherries that have been hard to come by and this one was against a top six side that is used to getting shots on target in away games, but they failed to do that in this match. The unbeaten run goes on as well and AFC Bournemouth are as Eddie Howe says becoming harder to beat.
AFCB will be learning all the time from tight games like the one against Crystal Palace.
The accuracy in front goal was just lacking but on another day it could easily ave been a home win. I expect that Josh King will come back into the side against Arsenal as their back four is questionable when it comes to pace and if the Cherries can get ahead there could be another exciting chance to take a scalp of a big four team.

How soon Eddie Howe can take on board the lessons of the Palace game is hard to say. With Arsenal away coming up so fast there is little time to catch breath but it was evident that there was very little space in the game against Crystal Palace who made the pitch small. It was another hard encounter as well following the physicality of the WBA game. Being involved in tight games though is something we have not seen too much of and just getting the edge of teams in these close games is something that Eddie will be keen to improve on.

Against Arsenal the pitch will be wide and accommodating for both sides to get out on the wings and the Cherries will want to round off the year and a fantastic December with another shock win.

Half-term verdict
The Observer asked me to contribute to its Half-term report on the Cherries in the Premier League you can read the article at - Premier League fan's verdict.

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