Tuesday, 29 October 2019

AFCB's defence is gaining in confidence

While there have been problems with AFCB's last few games, the defence has to be pleased with just conceding one goal in their last three games. Keeping teams out is not usually Bournemouth's strong point, so it is good to see that finally we can see that this part of the team is finding a bit of form at the back.
Ake has been making a lo of clearances and blocks to keep back-to-back clean sheets.
Most pundits have put this down to the solid centre-half partnership between Steve Cook and Nathan AkΓ©. However, while this is no doubt true to some extent, we have seen a remarkable rise in improvement in Diego Rico's game and Aaron Ramsdale has been sensational in goal. We mustn't forget that Adam Smith has also returned and has made the right side of defence far more solid.

There is no need for Howe to make any changes to his back four for the moment and Ramsdale is starting to look unbeatable. He did amazingly well to keep out shots from Pereyra and Hughes at Watford, and he is starting to make the really difficult saves look effortless. If he keeps this up, then the big teams will become rather interested in such a good young English keeper.

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Steve Cook has added much more organisation to the defence as well. He is not worried about taking responsibility for decisions and while he made not always get it right, the players around him seem to listen to him. I was really amused when Rico was told, in no uncertain terms, that he should buck up his ideas, by Steve Cook, after he tried an audacious back heeled pass in the box that saw Watford regain possession in a shooting position on the edge of the box.
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AkΓ© is also winning the aerial battles and with Rico playing such a pivotal part for the team in supplying crosses and corners, it's hard to see how Lloyd Kelley is going to get many starts this season when he is back fit, while Rico is available.

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