Monday, 16 April 2018

AFCB were too passive to get anything at Liverpool

Eddie Howe said every player has to be at their maximum when they go to places like Anfield. But said far too many of AFCB's players weren't at it and while there may be a reason for that in how the Cherries approached the game, Howe knows he can't have indifferent performances in this league and expect to pick up points.
AFCB have to be more aggressive against Man Utd than they were against Liverpool.
Liverpool are a great team but AFCB made their task a bit easier than it might have been. An early goal was always what AFCB needed to avoid and while they couldn't do that they did enough to frustrate and get in at half time still in the game. I kind of expected a much bigger performance in the second half. And while AFCB played better and did not concede an early goal in the second half, there wasn't much pressure being put on the ball when it was in Liverpool's possession and without that spark as a team, AFCB gave a flat performance.

The team did find a bit of their game though when Callum Wilson and Andrew Surman joined the game. I guess Liverpool could take their foot off a bit by then, but the calming influence of Surman and the nuisance value of Wilson gave AFCB something to hang on to for the first time in the game. There were some late opportunities created late on with Gosling perhaps having the best chance to score, and Wilson coming close. But where was that on the first 80 minutes? If the game plan was to keep it tight and have a go in the last 20 minutes when perhaps Liverpool would tire, then Eddie Howe got it wrong.

Whatever we say about AFCB's performance, Liverpool are a big proposition for any team at Anfield at the moment. Damage limitation is not something that we see Eddie Howe teams set out to accomplish, but I think this game was that kind of a match where AFCB did not challenge hard enough and gave a bit too much respect. I don't expect to see a repeat against Man Utd.

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