Tuesday, 2 August 2016

No back three experimentation for AFCB

I was wondering if we might at least see one half of AFCB playing with three at the back this summer. It is a useful option when the team goes down to 10 men and at the moment with so many defenders struggling to make it back in the selection list it could provide a method to cover the problems Eddie has in sending out a back four.

The three centre-halves almost pick themselves with Daniels, Aké and Francis. But the wing-back system is much preferred by Eddie and to see Nathan Aké up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his first Premier League game for AFCB against Man Utd would not be an easy task. So all the preparations have been for four at the back with different players put in at right back.
Steve Cook and Charlie Daniels at White Hart Lane.
Packing the midfield is still something that AFCB will try and do against a Man Utd side who will look to control the game there. Josh King is very good at falling back in when things get overrun in midfield and Eddie could start with three central midfielders in any case.
Simon Francis awaits a header.
The defence is where AFCB have there problems though. Covering up with midfield players and experimenting with players out of position is not good in the long-term and it was interesting to hear when questioned after the Reading match about the need for another central defender that Eddie Howe dismissed the thought that he had targeted a signing already. All he was keen to stress is that the team would be strong enough at the start of the season. What I did get from the way Eddie was that by batting away such questions is that he does feel pressure about his defence, and that could indeed lead him into the market again, even though Steve Cook, Brad Smith and Adam Smith have added to the number of fit players. 

Either way, a back three is not something that I expect AFCB use in the Premier League this season unless they happen to go down to 10 men and it is a game Eddie still thinks they can get something from offensively.

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