Thursday, 19 January 2017

How to lift the away day gloom?

The away record of AFC Bournemouth is a shadow of what was being achieved in 2015-16. Wins have come at Swansea and Stoke, but Eddie Howe would have expected a better return from the 10 away games than eight points. Defeats at Hull and Middlesbrough were also against teams that have had poorer starts to this season and they are games where AFCB can ill afford to drop points.
AFCB walking out at Stamford Bridge this season.
Sitting nine points above the relegation zone may seem healthy at the moment, but the club would only sit 14th in the table if we were judged just on its away performances. The upcoming away games against Everton, WBA and Man Utd don't offer much hope of an improvement in AFCB's points capture as all three teams have better home records than the Cherries.

Another fact that Eddie Howe can't ignore is that the side has often had good starts in away games and yet has fallen behind and has been unable to recover in some games - Hull City and Burnley. Even in the two drawn away games against Watford and Crystal Palace, the Cherries had scored first and failed to hang on to all three points. Half time talks and second half subs have not been instrumental in getting the Cherries the points, and there has been a trend towards conceding goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half of late.

In essence the team has been playing well for periods of games, but has ultimately not been able to keep its foot down for the whole 90 minutes in many games. There have been a few exceptions like the Swansea game, but building on a lead has been a weak point for this Cherries side. 

There may have to be a change in the way AFCB approach away games. Being more solid is not easy, but the Cherries have to find ways of defending better when they are away from home.

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