Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Picking up points

While the AFCB fans have come back to reality now following such a sensational game at the weekend there is still a big job for the Cherries to do if they are to stay in the Premier League. Being in the bottom three has not affected the way the team has gone about its business, and at this stage it is small steps being taken to improve the situation in the table. There is still a need to land three points soon, and that task is not going to look easy with the fixtures coming up.
A great draw can sometimes feel like a win.
Far from putting a downer on the point earned against Everton at the weekend, Eddie Howe pointed out that there is defensive work to be done. The Everton goals went in with little resistance and the Cherries have to defend much better if they are to start picking up bigger points. There was a feeling that the game had slipped away from AFCB when Ramiro Funes Mori thundered his header past a stagnant bunch of Bournemouth defenders from a corner on 25 minutes. There was almost a sign of resignation when Lukaku made it 0-2, with Steve Cook just brushed aside by the strength and determination of the Everton striker.

With Federici limping, the passing game looking fragile and Francis surprisingly wondering himself how he can head the ball right at an Everton attacker, when he had time to clear quite comfortably, it was hard to see where the Cherries were going to find the courage to get back into this game. Yet, they held out to half time and that was a major achievement not to concede any more before Eddie Howe could reorganise them.

The injuries to Federici and Cook had unsettled the team and the players stopped doing what had been so effective in the first 20 minutes. We have said it numerous times that the Cherries are best going forward and at teams. When they are pressed at the back they are making mistakes. I'm hoping that the team starts talking more at the back and starts covering each other better. When isolated the individual at the back can find himself in trouble all too soon and the back four have to make the angles for each other to help them get the ball up the pitch safely. Marking from set pieces is still a problem and I'd also expect a lot of work on defending corners this week, especially with Ryan Allsop potentially extending his time in the team, unless an emergency loan is arranged or Boruc or Federici are deemed fit to play.

The bottom line is that AFCB have to find a way of defending better if they are going to get a win. Until they do that they will always be playing catch up in the league table.

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