Saturday, 11 March 2017

Snodgrass is the man AFCB have to stop

I was watching the game between West Ham and Chelsea and although the Blues won fairly comfortably, I was impressed with the early strength of the Hammers and the crossing ability of Robert Snodgrass down the left. While Snodgrass' move from Hull City seemed a bit of a strange one at the time, there is no doubt that he is a quality Premier League player who has fitted in extremely well at the London Stadium - despite some of West Ham's own fans arguing that he does not do enough. We don't need him to be any more motivated to play well thanks!

The Cherries' player that I'd expect to be detailed to look after Snodgrass is Adam Smith. Adam has had some quieter games of late. He has had good reason not to make quite so many forward runs with the team conceding two or three goals a game, but up at Old Trafford he played well enough to keep Anthony Martial at bay. Still, I always feel that Smith looks stretched and often has to go down to get a decision at times.
Adam Smith is likely to be on Snodgrass duties.
I do see Adam as one of the bravest of AFCB's players though. What he lacks in power and strength against the strongest players he makes up with raw courage. Against Snodgrass he should be fairly evenly match in terms of stature and it is important that he doesn't allow Snodgrass to get those crosses in to Andy Carrol in the box. He'll have to do that by sticking tight and I'm sure Smith probably has the pace to beat him in a sprint.

What we don't want to see is any moments of madness from Adam. He was perhaps unlucky to give away a penalty up at Old Trafford, but he has a habit of slipping up at the wrong moment. I did like his face that was full of innocence for the penalty at Man Utd, but AFCB did well to get a penalty themselves at that ground and most decisions tend to go in favour of United in front of their home fans. What we need is some composure from Smith and a good shape at the back. When he gets the chance though I expect he'll know he can exploit Snodgrass who won't track back that often.

AFCB Possible team
Boruc (GK), A Smith (RD), Francis (CD), S Cook (CD), Daniels (LD), Fraser (RM), Arter (CD), Gosling (CM), Pugh (LM), Wilshere (FW), King (FW)

Allsop (GK), B Smith (LD), Cargill (CD), Gradel (LM), Ibe (RM), Afobe (FW), Mousset (L)

If Lewis Cook is available I'd expect him to be in the squad, as AFCB are light in central midfielders, but I've heard no news about him in the last two or three weeks. 

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