Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Where are Bournemouth's great defenders?

Fans always want their players just to be so proud of the shirt they wear that they do everything to make blocks and keep balls out of the net. I'm sure AFCB's players are trying their best to do that, but they are making too many mistakes. While there are some last gasp blocks, there are also some slack passes in the box and little energy exerted to get in front of players at times to make it difficult for the opposition. As good as Bournemouth were against Man City, they were out of sorts against Leicester.
AFCB couldn''t stop their first away defeat of the season at Leicester.
You can't win every game and it's hard to go away from home and get points, but this Bournemouth side haven't started this season with not enough grit and determination to get the points they wanted. The matches have come and gone quickly in August and the total of four points from four games is just about enough to keep the club out of the bottom three.

Why have the back four not improved? Okay, Charlie Daniels is injured and Tyrone Mings has been sold, but new signing Jack Stacey and out of favour Diego Rico can't get in the starting eleven, while Lloyd Kelly has been sidelined from pre-season. Bournemouth simply have not invested well enough in top defenders and Howe has been forced to play players out of position, because of the injuries.

Far from having a settled side, it is a ramshackle display all too often. While Ramsdale has done well to get the number one spot in goal, he is gong to make some mistakes. More importantly he needs players in front if him that are putting their foot in. Getting caught over the top was happening for the defence in pre-season and it has continued, as we saw for Leicester's first goal.

There are no quick fixes here. Bournemouth need to concentrate on getting a back four  or three that are capable of working well enough to get some clean sheets and there has to be a more settled back line - so many changes are not helping. Still, I don't see why Jack Simpson is on the bench when others are making basic mistakes. I admit some of this is down to injuries, but it is important that AFCB's luck changes soon. 

AFCB still play with Adam Smith and Steve Cook who were part of the team that won promotion in 2014-15. They should be under pressure to be keeping their places but I don't see that. Leicester bought defender Caglar Söyüncü in the summer from FC Freiburg who was fantastic against Bournemouth last Saturday - so quality players are out there, but AFCB's defence has only really been improved by Natahan Aké in my opinion since 2015. 


  1. We never look happy with 3 central defenders in the team.

  2. AFCB still play with Adam Smith and Steve Cook - that is part of the problem. IMHO, Adam Smith is a better defender as a left back than he is as a right back, fine going forward but key role as a defender is questionable. Steve Cook, totally displaced by AKE, finding his place as a RCH, looks good with "the desperate lunge/sliding tackle" - but should we not be asking why he goes in this way. Not exactly cool calm and collected - now beaten by any kind of pace. Maybe 442 suits us best. We are looking like we will exceed again the number of goals against, 70+. Best now to revolutionise the defence and ideally add some craft to the midfield. Bearing in mind players returning from injury. 442 Ramsdale/Travers [little to choose between them. Stacey-Mepham - Ake- Kelly; Brooks-Lerma- L Cook - Frazer; H Wilson - C Wilson. Subs include King -Scrimshaw-Smith-S Cook - Simpson - Billing.
    As for Ibe, Solanke, Rico, I just do not think this is the right club for you. We need to be ruthless to survive and now the end is near for Gosling, Frances and Surman, Daniels - thank you very much for your loyalty time to move on. Whilst we may engage a few for roles within the club, most recently Cox -(WHY?) the most pressing need is for one or more defensive coach. So where does that leave JT?