Date: 25th April 2021 at 11:10am
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AFC Bournemouth returned to Dean Court off the back of seven consecutive victories, an eighth would equal a record set under Eddie Howe during the Cherries promotion push from the third tier in 2013.

The visitors were Brentford, with play-off aspirations of their own. Also unbeaten in seven, but with six draws along the way.

AFC Bournemouth manager Jonathan Woodgate made four changes for this game, moving away from the regular first-choice XI, one change was forced upon him with Lloyd Kelly set to miss the remainder of the regular Championship season through an ankle injury. He was replaced by Diego Rico at left-back.

Adam Smith also came back into the side with Jack Stacey dropping down to the bench, the other changes were David Brooks and Ben Pearson out for Junior Stanislas and Jack Wilshere.

After the match, Woodgate told Sky Sports

“To win seven games in a row is a fantastic effort but it had to come to an end at some point.

“I can’t fault the players’ effort. Maybe we ran out of steam. I thought when they went down to 10 men we would win but they defended well.

“We had opportunities in the first half but the final ball and the decision-making was not good enough. I have said even when we have won games that we need to be better. We need to keep improving. We learn every game we play.”

Man of the match against Brentford

Wilshere

Wilshere

Begovic

Begovic

Rico

Rico

Someone else

Someone else

NWCherries98 wrote…

Utterly embarrassing, one of the worst performances of the season. Make no mistake this is not a meaningless game and could be very damaging for the rest of the season psychologically.

Woodgate showing shades of being a poor manager carried by a group of individually talented players feeling themselves for a month or two. Horrendous substitutions. I question the point of changing a winning team for the hardest game in the run. Stanislas was atrocious, Wilshere was pretty bad too to be honest. How did Stanislas last the entire game?? Why did Brooks and Pearson not start? Seems very arrogant.

Brentford are a good side, but the lack of effort from the players in certain games is worrying, and it’s hardly fallen out of the sky from nowhere. We know this is what they do.

Your say…

Gloria Hunter wrote…

That was poor. Also, breaks down JW’s excitement about the team having momentum and helps give Brentford more momentum and confidence. I understand the pragmatism in resting Pearson and Brooks before the probable play-offs when our chances of automatic promotion were very slim. The last thing we want is injuries and fatigue. I have a few frustrations though:

1. Why not make changes sooner. It was clear at half time things were not working. I’d have brought Pearson on for Jack then and maybe Brooks for Stan.

2. Why take Philip Billing off and replace him with Brooks? Strange one that as Billing, Brooks, Arnaut Danjuma and Dominic Solanke have been linking up well.

3. Replacing Jack with Sam Surridge made little sense. This left Jefferson Lerma alone as an out and out midfielder.

4. If we are going to rest players a little, why not change Arnie for Rodrigo Riquelme in the second half if clearly, the result was not the priority. Arnie is as injury-prone as they come and we NEED him to have a hope of promotion.

So, some strange and inconsistent decisions there.

I’ve said this before. Not sure why we brought Jack back to Bournemouth other than that our captain and then manager loved him to bits. Sure, he was a star and has great potential for skill but isn’t there and was always going to be a massive risk that I don’t think we should have taken. Pearson was a great buy, granted but then letting Gosling go, that was a mistake I think. He makes up for his lack of skill with graft, enthusiasm and goals, and he may well have helped a major competitor get automatic promotion now. I’m not going to blame Jack because he’s not match fit and his career has been affected by injuries but I think it was silly to bring him back to Bournemouth. He hasn’t added anything… and was never really going to I think.

 
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