Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Bournemouth have to perk up!

Bournemouth can feel very lucky to have picked up three points in their last match against Huddersfield. For most of the game they were pinned back and relied on playing on the break to try and keep their slender lead. It was Huddersfield that looked in control of the game and Eddie Howe has a lot on his mind with a heavy December schedule to come.
No energy in AFCB performance after first 20-30 minutes.
When AFCB are clinical and are scoring some good goals on the break they look a top 10 team, but there were large moments in the Huddersfield game when they looked anything but that. They found themselves unable to make consecutive passes and looked rushed and hurried. It was almost a panic situation were they desperately tried to hang on for the win.

Asmir Begovic was by far the busier keeper and he kept Bournemouth in the game on several occasions. So what has gone wrong? Or, is there nothing to worry about? It must be puzzling Howe at how well the team can play against the top six at times and be unlucky in the results, and then see how deflated they looked against Huddersfield when they had started so brightly. There was little pressure on the ball and Bournemouth looked unable to get close enough to force any mistakes from Huddersfield in the second half. In the end, it was stand off and defend deep, which Bournemouth are never comfortable at doing well.

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It is a race against time to get the players feeling confident again before the weekend's match. They have to take confidence form the fact that they didn't play well but still won. They are not a bad team, but they can make it far harder than it needs to be at times. I do think the running that the team did against Man City had an effect on their performance on Tuesday night. Eddie Howe might have to think about a few more changes if he wants the team to perk up against Liverpool, because this latest performance was very flat after the first half hour.

If that means rest and simply talking to players and putting an arm around them this week rather than heavy training, then perhaps that will help the players go out with more freedom to play in their next match. But the home crowd also have to get off the players' backs and let them try to express themselves on the pitch without the howls of disappointment when they don't make their passes or make clearances easily.

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