Saturday, 24 March 2018

Bournemouth have to learn to play with expectation

The big sides manage to play with expectations every week more or less. For Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal it is nothing knew, but Bournemouth just are not yet adjusted to consider themselves as being favourites for a Premier League game. And yet against WBA, who had not win in seven games Bournemouth knew they were expected to win and the players found it hard to deal with that when they got on to the pitch.
AFCB fans have become used to seeing the Cherries
upset the odds. Now they want them to really challenge the
best over a season and put themselves higher
up in the Premier League.
WBA had some players that can hurt teams but Jay Rodriguez and Salomon RondΓ³n should not have given AFCB players sleepless nights having played Spurs the week before. It was unlikely to be a pretty game and while WBA were bound to try and spoil Bournemouth's play by being physical and getting the ball forward quickly, it was up to AFCB to find away to compete and to be honest they struggled for much of the game.

Every game is a difficult match in the Premier League, and the fact that AFCB still could not keep a clean sheet against the bottom side in the league proved that. Yet, the Cherries have to start to believe that they are a team that is now established in the Premier League and as such to get the the next level and challenge for the top eight places they need to play with the pressure of expectation and not fear that outsiders as well as fans expect them to get a result.

The difficulty is that AFCB have enjoyed being the underdog all they way up the football pyramid and now that they are at the top table there are still many clubs in the top 20 who should beat AFCB if finances were all that mattered. But AFCB probably won't be perceived as a club that has real long term Premier League aspirations until it has built its new stadium and can attract a bigger fan base. AFCB are not so far away from doing that and if they can compete at the level where they can finish in the top 10 for the next couple of years the expectations may grow even further.

1 comment:

  1. We need a bit of perspective here :
    WBA have got top players in most of the key positions (eg Rondon and Rodriguez are as good any strike partnership outside top six). They will continue to give teams a tough test until the end of the season. their problem is that Pulis basically left them high and dry - with an all-out defensive system and total reliance on corners and free kicks. But modern football is all about possession - so eventually their luck was bound to run out.

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