Sunday, 1 January 2017

Relief for the Cherries with win in Wales

I am sure that many AFCB fans were apprehensive before the game with Swansea. A defeat would have put a shadow over the team going into the new year, and it was a tricky game to approach with Swansea having departed with Bob Bradley. AFCB prepare well though and Eddie made a few changes to ensure the side would be fresh and the way to bounce back from recent defeats is something that AFCB have had to get better at.
Afobe, Stanislas and Fraser have added some craft
in the last couple of games for AFCB.
The win against Swansea was satisfying as it drew a line under 2016. We can consider 2017 as a new start except that in this game AFCB start on 24 points and 10 points ahead of the relegation zone. The optimists will say we should be thinking 12 points off of the top six. Yet, with Eddie Howe's comments about having his Christmas ruined by defeats against Southampton and Chelsea, I must admit that I am pleased that Eddie will at least have a few hours perhaps to think that he did more than okay in 2016. Of course the clock is ticking and Arsenal await in a few days time, but it is kind of a relief that the New Year may not be immediately dominated by thoughts of AFCB getting sucked into a relegation battle.

A lot has been made of the last few games that AFCB have played before the Swansea matches and conceding three goals in four of their previous five games. It has been a porous defence and I think that is why the Swansea win feels like such a relief. Yet, if you consider that the team's goal difference is only minus five, the Cherries are in most games and are scoring regularly themselves. Only Crystal Palace of the teams below the Cherries in the table have scored more goals. But this season has been very much win or lose for the Cherries with only having had three draws. Every game seems like a massive high or a big disappointment and yet the team is eventually succeeding when all seems to be going against them.

The relief though will be short lived. Arsenal will not give AFCB so many chances and will pose more questions of AFCB's defence than Swansea did. It's all about defending well on Tuesday night. If AFCB can do that they can get something from the game. Relief could even turn into happiness.

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