Friday, 6 December 2019

Pedestrian AFCB need to move it up a few gears

The match against Crystal Palace will not live long in the memory. One fan said to me that Bournemouth don't know how to stretch teams when they have the man advantage and the Crystal Palace game kind of underlines that. Bournemouth have become a good counter-attacking team, but they are not finding it as easy as they have in the past when they have had the majority of the possession.

Confidence takes a hit at Selhurst Park.

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There was a point in the game at Crystal Palace when I thought, AFCB needed to try something different. They seemed set in their passing and kept trying to get down the sides without having the odd shot from range, or even letting Crystal Palace come out and have some ground, before trying to press, when there was better chance of a successful break with room in behind their defenders. The press was on all the time and it just meant that Palace could back up their lines of five and four, and wait for Bournemouth to commit too many players forward. They set the trap and Jeff Schlupp executed the perfect ending for Palace.
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The match against Liverpool will be very different. Liverpool with be coming onto the Cherries and it will be a case of whether Bournemouth can counter-attack well, and if they can even get a breather from the Liverpool attacks. It will be a good video to show the players after the game as when Liverpool come up against stubborn sides that sit in, they find ways of going up a gear or two and trying a long ball or a shot from range just to break up their pattern of play and make the opposition make a mistake.

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Bournemouth still have to do more to push and probe sides into making mistakes. Eddie Howe admits his team have been too predictable. Whether it is the combination of players who are currently fit, or Eddie's game plans, something has to change. Liverpool will be a stiff examination, but if Bournemouth don't go up several gears against Klopp's men they will have even more doubts about how this season will pan out for AFCB. 

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