Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Cherries' defence is still finding it hard to keep the big teams out

Going two goals down against a top side just doesn't give AFCB a great deal of chance to comeback every time as we found out last weekend. I thought the players did better than they have for a while in keeping the clear chances down against them in the first 40 minutes although there were times when Liverpool could have made more of the misplaced passes that AFCB gave them.
AFCB are still looking for a way to upset the best teams on a more regular basis.
I am not sure if it is the nerves or just the thought of how games have gone before that gets into the players' minds when they take on the big sides, but there is something there that has stopped the team performing in its usual way against sides like Liverpool. That is strange when you consider that the Cherries have won away at Stamford Bridge and fought so hard at home to beat Man Utd earlier in the season. Those games came right on the back of each other and the confidence then was strong. The main aim of the team was to attack teams and I wonder if that energy is what gives the team it's best chance of winning games.

When AFCB diagnose and pull apart what has gone wrong at the back it often seems to be a series of errors that leads to the goals against. As a team they have to find ways of defending better as well as individually. I saw some heroics in the way that Steve Cook through himself in the way of shots from Ojo and Randall in the first half and his chest must have been rather red after blocking a series of powerful shots. It's not that the side are not trying to block of get in the way of shots, but the standard of their own passing has dropped and by giving possession to top sides they are eventually being undone.

So I'd like to see the side keep the ball better than it has of late. Whether that means changing a player in midfield or not is something Howe might consider. Certainly Pugh looked more comfortable running at defenders than Gradel did against Liverpool. Taking pressure off of the back four though is a must against Chelsea and staying in the game past half time must be an initial aim for the side.

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