Thursday, 25 April 2019

AFCB find themselves short of full backs

I had noticed Adam Smith warming up last Saturday and suddenly walking/limping off before the rest of the players in the warm up but hadn't read too much into it. A knee injury again for him is symptomatic of his start start season and so many players are picking up these knocks that there has to be something behind all the injuries.
Where have all the full-backs gone?
Adam Smith's absence created a problem in itself with Junior Stanislas needing to play at right back, but when he damaged his knee after taking a free kick on 23 minutes, Eddie Howe really did find himself short of full backs. In the end, Eddie chose for Steve Cook and Chris Mepham to both try and see how they did in the position but it didn't really work out.

The solution he didn't want to pick was for Ryan Fraser to slot back in at right back as he has done in the past. Fraser adds so much more in terms of creativity that he is wasted at right back. However, next match Eddie may have no choice to play Fraser there or to go three, because there are no signature right-backs or left backs left to pick from.

The balance of the team was effected against Fulham. Howe admitted that it nullified the team's ability to attack down both flanks, and if Fulham knew that the right side was ineffective they could concentrate their efforts better on protecting their right side against Bournemouth's attacking left side players.
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Bournemouth looked unorganised and almost strangers at the back with Simpson fitting in as a central back. It was simply too many similar players and not enough width for the team at the back.

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