Monday, 31 October 2016

Did the Spurs point take more out of AFCB mentally than Howe thought?

Eddie Howe admitted that the players weren't where they needed to be for the game against Middlesbrough. The medical stats can tell you only so much and while the team will ave been positive going into the game there was something lacking from AFCB's levels in this defeat and I just wonder if the good run they had been on has taken a lot out of the players mentally and emotionally which made this game just one too many.
AFCB were not quite at the races against Middlesbrough.
The worry was that Howe indicated that the players might have not been up for the game in some respects and there could be valid reasons for this that we don't know about. Certainly several of the players were not at it as the fans like to put it and that is not characteristic of Howe's sides. It was a hard encounter as expected. Boro were without a home win and needed to get clear of the bottom three so they had great incentive, while AFCB's ambitions might have been more low key having come down from the high summit of putting six past Hull City and achieving a draw with Spurs.

It might not have mattered who AFCB had played last Saturday, they may just have been drained from all that had gone before. One of the ambitions this season was to take points off of the top teams and that was finally achieved, but then to play a side that was geographically a long trip and also a side that needed a different mental approach being nearer the foot of the league, seems to have taken the edge off of what AFCB's players were doing so well. The zippy passing, quickness of thought and eagerness to rip through sides just wasn't really there against Boro.

It is difficult for a manager to understand some times I suppose, specially when training might have looked good. But the very best teams find it difficult some times and the rotation of the squad is the key to often improving matters when the side falls flat. While the subs had been waiting for such a chance it may have come as a bit of a shock to them as well that the side were 2-0 down against a team that couldn't win at home before this game and to lift the team would have needed something special. On the day there was no moment of magic for AFCB, it had been sucked out of them by the Ramirez show before half time.

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