Thursday, 6 April 2017

Fighting spirit is well and good at AFCB

It would have been easy for the Cherries to take their punishment at Anfield having been given a bit of a demonstration in possession football from Klopp's side in the first half. The control and ambition of the Liverpool players just prevented AFCB from playing their normal game for most of the match and yet, rather than feel drained from the quality of the opposition, AFCB grew in courage towards the latter stages of the contest, and the massively encouraging fact for Howe will be that the side took it's tiny window of opportunity and got the draw the player's efforts deserved.
All the players are working hard for each other.
This was a match that was going to be just as hard as going to Old Trafford or the Emirates for AFCB. The players though certainly relished it rather than hid from the prospect of going head-to-head against a top three side. Liverpool were surely stunned by the early goal that they conceded and it tipped the balance of the evening to build further hope in the Bournemouth players that they were not only worthy advisories, but virtually had a hoodoo over Jurgen Klopp's side, given the earlier win against them this season.

Liverpool are a strong side, even without Mane, Lallana and Henderson. Yet, I felt that had that kind of quality been available to start or come off the bench, it could have been harder in the Bournemouth players' heads to think they could win. But when you don't see such names on the team sheet, it must be a boost for any team about to take on Liverpool. 

That spirit of defiance is building now strongly in AFCB's boots. They were soft and rolled over a bit too easily at the start of 2017, when games didn't start working out they way they had hoped, but now the players are digging in. Fighting just to get hold of the ball and using their heads a bit better to know when to take their time and when to speed things up. This was very much like a chess match of attrition, and the Cherries were certainly holding on at times, but when a team comes away with a battling point like this, it makes that team spirit all the stronger and AFCB are in a very good place at the moment. 

1 comment:

  1. Our full-backs are now playing more compact, with additional protection from the wingers. This is cutting out the supply of easy crosses.
    Howewever, we might want to think about having a defender on the far post goal-line for corners. Liverpool were a fraction from poking home (usually from angled headers) on five or six occasions !