Thursday, 11 August 2016

How can AFCB improve their clean sheet record?

Last season AFCB recorded seven clean sheets in the Premier League. It is not always seen as the glamorous part of the game, but every time a team can obtain a shutout it guarantees a point and AFCB were amongst the lowest teams to record a lot of clean sheets.

While much of the onus is put on the goalkeeper to play well to get the clean sheets it was always a rare event for Artur Boruc or Adam Federici to have been given a quiet game. The protection that the keepers are given is also important and while Boruc, Federici and Allsop made 90 saves last season between them the total of 67 goals conceded should be a number that AFCB try and reduce in 2016/17.
It's not simply a question of changing keepers, there are lots of
contributory factors that led to AFCB's poor goal's against column last season. 
Blocks and interceptions are something that Leicester City did extremely well last season and this is where AFCB can improve. The signing of Nathan Aké in particular I believe will be a positive move in reducing the pressure on those clean sheets. He is very much a defender that is happy to take the ball when being closed down and his distribution is usually strong, but we need him also to battle and scrap for the ball and his time at Watford has improved his game in this respect. Watford are always very good at protecting their 18 yard box and switching from defence to attack quickly and with the forward players that AFCB have now brought in there is every possibility that the side will be looking to exploit this pace when they can win tackles in and around their own box.

The first game will give an indication of who Eddie Howe believes is his best 11, but even if Nathan Aké finds himself on the bench for the opener against Mn Utd, I can see him very quickly becoming an essential starter that reads the game better than some of the established AFCB players.

English Football League draw
The EFL draw was made last night for Premier League teams to enter the competition and AFCB landed an away tie to The Shrimps - Morecambe Utd.

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