Tuesday, 26 April 2016

There are things AFCB can take out of the Chelsea game

It may not have been comfortable viewing to see the Cherries go down to another home defeat last weekend. Seeing the score tick over to 1-4 was a bit of an unbalanced score from where I sat as while Chelsea were far and away the best team, there was not such a big gap in the chances created or the possession stats.

Eddie Howe was quick to suggest that he was fairly pleased with the first half despite coming in 1-2 down. I can see where he is coming from in that the team did not buckle this time when they went behind and with a bit more luck they could have easily gone into the break on level terms had Grabban slotted his chance away. On such instances games are decided and had the game been that bit tighter it would have been fascinating to see a second half with AFCB a little more in the ascendancy.
Lewis Grabban could have made the game far
 tighter had he slotted away his first half chance.
Yet, by the time Wilson and Afobe entered the game it felt like it was more of a salvage operation even though the score was still only 1-2 at the time. It may not have been the best move in the end to bring both strikers on as the Cherries soon fell another goal behind. I am sure though that it was intended to be a positive move to try and win the game and it is a shame that it did not work out this time. The real feeling that I got from the game was that AFCB are not such a good side without Harry Arter and in these big match the team needs his energy to stop the opposition from having too much time on the ball.

Eddie Howe must know that the central midfield area needs strengthening and that he needs another ball winner, but his options are limited for the remaining games to do much about it if Arter remains sidelined. 

The other fact that AFCB can take from the game is that they clung on better and for longer against a top side and probably had more penetration against Chelsea than any of the other sides they have played since beating Aston Villa. The side still needs to find a little extra in its home matches next season, but at least the team is not playing with fear or feeling inferior when it steps out at Dean Court.

The Back of the Net podcast is out today - listen at Back of the Net.

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