Thursday, 11 February 2016

Chasing games is hard in the Premier League

In the last two matches the Cherries have gone behind and chasing the game is not really how Eddie Howe wants the games to go. While AFCB managed that very successfully against Crystal Palace they could not get that all important start against Arsenal when trying to level the game, and the players have to get back to seeing that they can dominate the early parts of games as it does give them them the best chance of getting points.

I know that no team has lost more points than AFCB from winning positions, but it is surely better to get an early goal than to be chasing games. The games now are more pressurised than in the early part of the season and when teams are down the bottom every goal against can seem like a hammer blow at this stage. AFCB don't want to fall into the trap of seeing games run away from them before they have found their stride and they have to make Dean Court a place that feels like it will give them points every time they turnout there.
Can AFCB make a better start in this weekend's game?
I also think it gives other teams a bit of a knock back when they see those close in the table to them already ahead at half time. AFCB need to build as much pressure as they can on the teams that are chasing them now and games like this one coming up against Stoke City will be very much about who wants it most. I don't expect the result up at the Britannia to have any effect on the players coming into this game, but in that match the Cherries did go behind and got on level terms, before losing by the odd goal. With Stoke's current run though they will be slightly fragile if they do go behind and AFCB need to take advantage of that kind of worry in the Stoke City players' minds.

Still, Stoke are a side that beat Man City comfortably back in December and in Marko Amautovic, Mame Diouf and Xherdan Shaqiri they have the quality to cause any team a difficult game. With the Potters being out of form, we just might find that Mark Hughes changes one or two in their side, but the Cherries have to be more confident to go and play their own game right from the start as we have seen they can rock the best sides when they do get an early foothold in the game. AFCB need to win more home games if they are to sit comfortably in mid-table come May.

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