Thursday, 10 November 2016

Anichebe's physicality was a headache for the Cherries

Right from the opening minutes against Sunderland it was clear that the slight frame of Jermain Defoe was not going to be alone. Indeed, Victor Anichebe was going to be right alongside him and became a battering ram to pin back the Cherries back line, as Sunderland sought their first win of the season.
Simon Francis will have been disappointed
on his part in the first Sunderland goal.
Anichebe was involved in both of Sunderland's goals which kind of points to the fact that AFCB just didn't get to grips with hi on the day. That he also played the second half with a cracked rib, shows the strength of the man, as he was still making Adam Smith bounce off him some five yards in the final minutes. For a big man, he also had a good touch and could turn Simon Francis with relative ease before firing into the top of AFCB's net. I was intrigued why Simon Francis had his arms up to complain when the goal went in as he could really only blame himself for allowing Anichebe to get the space necessary to get a shot in. Perhaps the initial ball in from Jermain Defoe could have been stopped, but once a striker is in the box with his back to goal the defender has to stop him from turning.

The second goal was a bad moment for Adam Smith although again the ball might have been cut out before it reached Anichebe in the box. But the striker's strength and determination to get in front of Adam Smith is what made the goal. It is noticeable that both Middlesbrough and Sunderland had a big man up front that AFCB found difficult to cope with in their last two games. While Negredo did not score for Middlesbrough he also helped pin the central defenders back. Steve Cook and Simon Francis are still coming up against different strikers each weekend and will have to find ways of meeting the challenge of these big, powerful forwards.

Visiting Stoke will be no less of a physical test. Everyone is scrapping for points and only Swansea and Crystal Palace are on a worse run than AFCB at present.

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