Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Why can't AFCB beat top six teams?

While there has been much praise of how Bournemouth are getting closer and more competitive in matches against the best teams in the Premier League, the results this season would suggest otherwise. Perhaps it shows where Bournemouth are still well behind the best teams - in defence.
Bournemouth haven't had much luck against the top six.
Adding up the score lines against Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool the score reads 3-11 in favour of the opposition and, although two of the games were only 2-1 defeats, the Cherries have not been so effective at the back against these top sides. Playing under pressure against good attackers is what AFCB need to get better at. Whether that means there has to be a period of getting used to playing these tames and finding their weaknesses more regularly or studying videos more intently, there is work for AFCB to do to improve.

Bournemouth don't have a top six team challenge again in the league until Boxing Day, which is some relief only if they can pick up points in the games in between then and now.  There is one Carabao Cup quarter-final against Chelsea though that could be a chance to not only break the duck, but try and see if AFCB can find a better way to approach these big games. In past seasons, AFCB have always had some success against the best teams and it would almost seem a backward step if the Cherries don't get any joy against the big teams this season.
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At the moment the gap appears to still exist between AFCB and the best teams. But this season the Cherries have perhaps not been at the very top of their game when they have played these clubs. Eddie Howe has to try and find ways to be better, even if there is no doubting the quality of the opposition in these games. If AFCB play the top six and play well but still lose, there can be little complaint, but when AFCB lose and are contributing to their defeats, then there is more work to do.

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