Tuesday, 29 March 2016

What can Eddie learn from Spurs?

There are some harsh lessons to learn from the latest defeat. AFCB have not let many first 10 minute goals in this season and playing catch up we know is not the position that the Cherries want to find themselves in. If it happens again it won't be such a shock, but the Cherries will know that they have to be switched on from the very start of these next few contests.
Eddie has lots to contemplate after the last defeat. 
It is very difficult to also control the tempo of the game when you don't have the ball. The match stats are fairly dramatic with just 37 per cent possession for the Cherries against Spurs. No shots on target is a measure of just how dominant Spurs were when they mustered 17 shots. There was basically only one thing for AFCB to do - to try and stem the flow of Spurs' attacks.

Perhaps two up front was the wrong option this time. Eddie was harder on himself than he has been in a while in his post-match interviews, but it was certainly a shared defeat. He may have felt with recent performances that AFCB were ready to take the game to Pochettino's side, but AFCB were well of the pace and that is what was so surprising. Losing narrowly to a good Spurs side would not have caused so much sole searching, but this was a game where Eddie will have to step back and look at it very carefully.

What has worked so well in the recent run did not get going at White Hart Lane. If confidence has been hurt then it may be that the next few games will see the formation closer to what we saw after half time in this game with the extra man in midfield. Player availability will be key though and at home it is important for the side to push forward in games. The results against the top sides at home have seen a draw against Leicester City and a win against Man Utd, but how much harder will it be to get something against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea at Dean Court? 

This is probably the biggest test in Eddie Howe's managerial career of this season now as getting so close to safety without actually being confident that you have definitely done enough means the pressure remains high and some answers need to be found quickly.

International Cherries
Shaun MacDonald got a run out after 61minutes of the Welsh international friendly with Ukraine. He played in the number 10 role but was unable to do anything to prevent Wales from losing 1-0. Matt Ritchie is likely to be involved in the Scottish friendly with Denmark tonight.

Also out today is the Back of the Net podcast 5.5 - A Quick Peep.

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