Tuesday, 29 December 2015

If only AFCB could defend corners better

It's not hard to see where Arsenal found an achilles heel in AFCB's defence. The organisation on set pieces was simply lacking and for that reason it might be good news to hear that Tommy Elphick is getting closer to making a comeback. Even the captain's absence though is not an excuse for players switching off when they have some of the best headers of the ball lining themselves up at corners. The Cherries will be on corner duty for sure this week.

I was talking to a couple of Arsenal fans before the match and they were saying how teams will have worked out what AFCB do well and how they have been conceding goals in the first half of the season. Analysis of the Cherries certainly highlights problems against teams that can get a run on our defenders in the box and it's not something that is new. We've known it for a long time.
Charlie Daniels found it hard going against
Arsenal but he'll have learnt from that game.
Players like Sylvain Distin have been added to the squad to try and share their knowledge and experience of such situations but there is a point when the players have to do it on the pitch in some of the biggest stadiums in the country. They seem soft goals when you look back at them and if the Cherries can start to shut those attempts on goal out they will become a much harder side to beat. It sounds simple but putting into practise is clearly much more difficult or no side would ever concede from free kicks and corners.

There may be a few concerns about no goals for in the last two matches, but it is perhaps more of a puzzle for Eddie Howe to have seen his side defend so well against Chelsea and Crystal Palace, and to then to see them unable to stand up to Arsenal's aerial power at set pieces. Every time a corner came in against AFCB after that first goal it was nervous at the back and perhaps it would help the team to think more positively when they have conceded a corner - to think this is a chance to win the ball and make a fast break. At least all the players would be looking to spring away and get the ball clear and if every player can be faster than his man to the ball then defence can quickly turn into attack.

Leicester will have watched the Arsenal game and will be trying to see if they can test the Cherries now from free kicks and corners and these top teams don't need any gifts to make it easier for them.

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