Date: 28th December 2019 at 7:59am
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AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told the Daily Echo

“I’m pleased with the performance, I think it was a very difficult game, tough conditions. Slight readjustment again today in our back-line with Simon Francis missing out and Jack Simpson playing at left-back.

“So those adjustments considered, I thought the players gave everything to win the match.

“It was one of those games ultimately that probably could’ve gone either way at the end. They had chances, we had chances, but I think we’ll take the point and try and build on it.”

“Regardless of our opponent and where we play, we try and be proactive and attack and take the game to the opposition. Sometimes the reality is with the quality of opposition you’re playing it’s different. We’ve done well against the big teams this year. It’s quite strange, we’ve struggled against the teams in and around us in the league. You’re looking for both.

“We have to deal with the pressure of playing here against the teams we’re expected to beat and we have to try and get points against everybody.”

Written by fritter

The most disappointing and frustrating thing for me was the poor passing, very often unforced errors. This is not about skill but (probably?) about confidence. We saw moments in the second half of very slick and confident passing and moving like we used to. Passes that had some pace and crispness to them. Jefferson Lerma is the only one who consistently passes with pace on the ball. Far too many passes are slow and easy for the opposition to watch and react to.

Passing and moving have to happen in tandem in order to have pace in attack. This puts us on the front foot.

Also in recent games, we have seen Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall vigorously waving the team forward. Why does this happen? What stops the team doing what they have presumably been told to do?

We were fortunate that Arsenal were wasteful in attack. Their shots were wayward.

Overall all a better performance, but I suspect it couldn’t get worse. It’s a step in the right direction, but so was Chelsea.

As for the next few games we have no idea which performance will show up. Chelsea and Arsenal or Crystal Palace and Burnley?

The team is having to rebalance and resettle. I suspect Diego Rico will be back Saturday but the midfield is less certain. Lerma of course. But who else. I would say Dan Gosling but the others are harder. Lewis Cook got caught on the ball several times. Philip Billing blows hot and cold. We would benefit from a settled midfield in order to build some understanding. There were times Boxing Day when it was clear that people didn’t know where each other were playing. It’s happened a lot lately. The (non) marking of Özil for the first 20 minutes or so and then was a case in point.

Lerma, Gosling and Cook or Harry Wilson?

The uncertainty spreads to upfront. Joshua King has looked more effective upfront. Callum Wilson looks off the pace, rarely challenges effectively and doesn’t hold the ball up particularly well.

I think we need the energy and leadership that Steve Cook, Simon Francis and Gosling bring. It is a regret that so few others bring any leadership to the team. Lerma leads by example and I wish a few others would follow it. The time when he ran 20 yards or so to challenge Özil and there was never any doubt who would win. Lerma knew Özil knew. Everyone knew. More of that from everyone, please.

Other teams are starting to show fight. We must do so as well.


Your say…

Neil Dawson wrote…

I was reflecting on (outside of what I usually blame) why we have seemed so disjointed the last 12 months and you have hit the nail on the head with the lack of understanding of players… how often do we keep the same team? Part of this is injuries but not all. Harry Wilson has been in and out of the line up based on how he plays one week to the next, now it’s Billing, the front four rotate based on a game by game basis (except Callum), King has played everywhere… Chris Mepham started the season then disappeared. You can then throw injuries on top of that.

The best Eddie sides played week in week out with the same players and formation – there was very little debate on here on the line up in our championship season. This year you will see fifteen different posts with fifteen different line ups. It’s been a long while since we have seen that.

Often our best performers are subs then they start the week after and are poor and it’s the person that replaces them that shines.

Its almost like he needs to get a group together and say barring injury you are playing the next eight games and just work consistently on them. – Join the conversation, click here.

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