Thursday, 15 December 2016

Why have back-to-back wins been elusive for AFCB?

I can't put the reason for AFCB's failure so far to win back-to-back games simply down to the team's own inconsistency. I believe it is a more complicated reason than that and I don't put it simply down to players being injured at in opportune times as the side managed to go on a run of games last season even when it had been riddled with injuries to lead players. So why hasn't it happened yet?
Can AFCB get that elusive back-to-back win by beating the Saints?
I'd say a look at the league table may give a few clues. Looking at the teams that AFCB have played after a win we are including sides such as Watford, Spurs, Arsenal and Burnley. Not many would have said the Cherries would be favourites to win against all of those sides and when you look at some of the teams that have beaten AFCB it seems strange that West Ham, Middlesbrough, Hull City and Sunderland have really been struggling to get wins against other sides. Were they good on the day or were the Cherries' simply under performing on such occasions. Arguably it will have been a bit of both, but had AFCB lost to Leicester City in their last game, AFCB would have been significantly closer to the relegation zone. When you have nine places separated by just six points as it was before last night's games, then there's is probably not a lot between the sides. 

Consistency is probably also helped by having a regular goal scorer in the side - look at Chelsea with Costa, Man City and Aguero, Arsenal and Sanchez etc - but AFCB's have been spread around the team and Callum Wilson is only equal 15th, as I look in the table of top goal scorers this season on 14 December. Some 13 teams have at least one player that has scored six or more goals so that is a lot of teams that have a more regular goalscorer than AFCB, but perhaps many of them are not getting many goals from elsewhere in the side.

We may have seen some huge goal scores in games like AFCB's win against Hull City but even the tigers have been able to beat Southampton and Stoke City that aren't viewed by many opposition fans as teams that are easy to knock over. We may be saying different things after next weekend, but the sides above the Cherries all have some big name players and even AFCB now have Jack Wilshere playing for them. The gap has closed and the sides below the top six are capable of beating each other on any given day. It makes for a league that is more difficult to predict the right results from one week to the next but in my book that makes it far more appealing.

Every team can see that they can survive this season. They just need to go on a run of two or three games to be out of trouble and yet as we have seen just getting two wins in a row is far from simple if you are not a top six team. As I write this, out of the last 10 games - not counting last night's games - the only sides to have won two games in a row are Sunderland (who are bottom), West Ham, Stoke City and WBA. So AFCB are not alone in having this problem. 


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