Tuesday, 9 February 2016

88 seconds to forget

The AFCB players knew it would be a tough game against Arsenal but going 0-2 down in under half an hour was simply not in the game plan. They needed to have their customary fast start and if possible get a goal up in that first 15 minutes, but Arsenal were more than a match for anything the Cherries had and while the initial plans had to be discarded there was no easy way back into the game this time.

It was the speed of the two goals that really hurt. My friend Tim Ashton, sitting in front of me, reminded me that the first goal had gone in at just about the same time as the match up at the Emirates. That game was certainly still fresh in the memory banks  and I'd be surprised if it was not also a feeling that the players also had at that moment. Harry Arter explained in his interview that the Cherries were still angry that they had conceded the first goal and that may well have led to the second goal. Top sides don't let you off the hook and AFCB have to keep their focus whenever a goal goes in at either end.
AFCB players only fell down on a couple of incidents against Arsenal.
For Arsenal, the goals could not have come at a better time. At 88 seconds apart it gave them a big cushion and took away any nervousness that they might have had coming to such an awkward ground. With the crowd then silent, it was easier for them to control the match and it was simply going to be a question of whether the Cherries had enough about them in their attacking abilities to get something on the scoresheet. When you look at the stats though and how hard Petr Cech was worked you'll only see four AFCB shots on target as against Arsenal's 10. 

The double goal knocked the Cherries harder than I have seen for a while, but the encouraging thing is that they did not buckle and kept playing in their usual manner. The score might have been much higher if this game had come earlier in the season. Now though, AFCB are finding ways to compete and fight against top sides.

On another day they might have got a goal and it will be made clear this week that they have to hit the net against Stoke in their next game.

All Departments
To listen in to a full review of the Arsenal game, click over to All Departments where there is a careful picking over Flamini's challenge on Gosling and a diagnosis of how AFCB are playing at the moment. You can also listen in by scrolling down the side panel on Cherry Chimes where you can click on the All Departments sound bar.

Premier Talk
The Premier Talk tab has an article entitled 'Are you sitting comfortably' in support of the stand that Liverpool fans last weekend to protest about the continued rise in match day tickets.

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