Friday, 27 January 2017

Do disgruntled Cherries perform better?

There was more of a spark to AFCB's game having gone a goal down to Watford in a first half that could largely be forgotten after the Hornets had taken the lead. Some of that spark though was engineered perhaps by a few of the players bickering with each other on the pitch, which is seldom seen by this side. There isn't always a lot of shouting going on and without that commanding personality to galvanise everyone, it can look divisive when a player not usually talkative on the pitch starts to have a go at someone else who has just given the ball away.

Unhappy Cherries is not always a bad thing if it gets them playing better.
Jack Wilshere said it was good to get such matters out in the open and that it shows the players care when things are not going right. In a way I think the way it started against Watford was an annoyance at how things were reoccurring, like they had against Hull City - a good start, then a falling away. AFCB did not want the game to run away from them again and at half time there must have been a good deal of talking to come out the way they did for the second half.

I was wondering at half time what players like Harry Arter and Simon Francis might be thinking from the sidelines. I see these two players as the big influential players, when the side needs to grab hold of a game which has escaped their grasp, and neither of them were on the pitch against Watford. So it needed the other players to stand up and get back into the game which they did with some fine play from Adam Smith on the right wing and Josh King's punishing finish. From there on it felt like AFCB were in the game and had left behind all the sloppy passing from the first 45 minutes. They had found that stimulus to play better and quicker. It needed something to pull the Cherries out of their torpor and it was pleasing that when Watford went ahead again that the side didn't fold but gained strength from conceding by launching even more attacks. 

The sideways passing is something that has entered AFCB's game as they have come up against better defences, but they are more effective when they attack teams with more forward passing. The team shouldn't need to get disgruntled though before they lock into that forward-passing game and that all comes with belief in themselves that they have the control and ability to unlock defences no matter what the score is at the time.  

Transfer news: Aston Villa and Birmingham are keen on Max Gradel. AFCB have been checking the form of the Southampton manager's son Paulin Puel, says the Echo.

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