Tuesday, 28 July 2020

First goal-itiss - did it contribute to AFCB downfall?

Steve Cook was clear that he felt a lot of the poor results that AFCB had in the season were not helped by conceding the first goal. Even when Bournemouth did score first that didn't always hold on to a lead. It was curious how well the team could play at times when they were really up against it, like at Man City and Everton and yet they couldn't perform at home after the restart with the exception of the Leicester City game, when even then, they didn't score first.

The first goal didn't come often enough for AFCB.
I am not sure what was happening in the players minds after the restart. They still had a good opportunity to beat the drop, but only mustered seven pints from nine games which is relegation form. West Ham pulled in 12 points, as did Brighton and Aston Villa won 10 points, only Norwich and Crystal Palace gathered less points than Bournemouth and Watford, who bot took seven points.

Scoring first was perhaps on the teams mind, but it just didn't happen. The crushing free kick that was struck by Crystal Palace's Milivojevic completely deflated any confidence that had been gained from the pre-restart games with Chelsea and Liverpool. it was a downhill spiral from then conceding first goals to Wolves away and Newcastle at home. The Man Utd defeat was different because the players did score first and came out fighting - they were just beaten by a better team. The writing was on the wall by then, but still Bournemouth could have saved themselves. The failure to either beat Spurs and Southampton at home proved very costly. The away form had been bad all of 2020, so it was likely to turn at some point and Everton was a game where Bournemouth couldn't afford to have nerves. They duly delivered, just too late.

Of course, Bournemouth were considered a team that made great comebacks in previous seasons, but these didn't materialise in 2019/20. The worry is not for me that the first goal didn't always come, but that the players are perhaps burnt out and will soon have to play again as a new season gets underway.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Bournemouth just weren't good enough

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