Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Has Eddie Howe hit upon the right balance for the team?

The Cherries played with a fluency and unrestricted movement against Hull City on both wings, that was a big step forward for the team. Moving Jordan Ibe to the left wing aided the ex-Liverpool man's game and he was very direct in his running, which was a platform for much of the side's solid attacking basis.

Matching a solid back line and still having a strong threat going forward has not always been easy to achieve with this side. I believe that Eddie Howe thinks he is very close though to getting the set up as he wants it, with all the different elements starting to operate on the same wavelengths. I was particularly drawn to watching Andrew Surman and Jack Wilshere during the Hull City match. While it took Jack a while to get some good touches and getting found by the team, when he did, he was excellent at just adding momentum to moves. Meanwhile, Surman was always happy to drop back and set up the move again from the back when AFCB found their way blocked. He is excellent at making himself available as a passing option and it allowed other players to filter in ahead of him when necessary.
Jordan looks more at home on the left wing.
There is more management about the team in that when players find themselves slightly out of position, there is more attention from teammates in trying to lend a hand and covering, which is what the best teams are so very good at. I don't see AFCB having one individual that is stopping opposition attacks in a way that Leicester City did with Kante last season, but there is a more intense appetite for AFCB's players to get the ball back quickly once they have lost possession.

The creativity of the side is also gathering strength and yet I see the most creative player for the team at the moment being a certain player that has been coming off the bench - Josh King. His instinct to seize upon winning the ball high up the pitch is really what led to some of the late goals we saw against Hull City. I'm just glad he plays for AFCB as he must be a nightmare for defenders when they see him closing your options down just to make a pass to a teammate.

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