Written by kirsikka
– Tactically the Luton manager wanted to make this game about hard work rather than good skill on the ball whilst AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall aimed for the opposite. Tindall lost out, even his changes had little to no effect.
– Everyone can have a bad game but it’s not great when you see six or seven put in below-par performances. If we weren’t in a lockdown situation then I’d be asking if the players had a secret Christmas party last night.
– There are times when it seems like our players feel they should be too good for the opposition players at this level and can waltz through them on their own. It needs to be made absolutely clear to our lot that they’re at this level for a reason, as are the players on the other team, and whilst they might have some technical advantages they still have to get the basics right if they want to win every match.
We also need to build the partnerships back up as too many times we look like a bunch of people having a kickabout in the park who’ve never met before.
– We ground out a draw. Whether that’s enough at the end of the season time will tell. More worrying for me isn’t the result as much as the level of performance on display.
– I’m more and more coming around to the idea that Begovic might be our player of the season so far. I’d say it’s between him and Lewis Cook at the moment. Well done Asmir, you’ve put many doubters in their place myself included.
Man of the match against Luton
— Player Ratings —
Begovic – 8 and Man of the Match
There wasn’t a lot to do. However, that second save in the first half was absolutely top draw and even the initial one would probably have broken through the glass wrists of AFCB keepers past.
A Smith – 5
A tired performance maybe. Offered almost nothing going forward which was what we needed from him today.
S Cook – 7
Fifth clean sheet on the trot. Restricted them to not a lot despite them being very much in the game.
Simpson – 7
For me, his best match yet. Looking more and more assured. Carry on progressing and maybe he’ll keep out the walking wounded when they come back from injury.
Kelly – 5
Lerma – 5
Disappointing all over the park.
L Cook – 8
Much of his best work was defensive which tells it’s own story. Still looked very good and excellent commitment in not shirking 50-50s but couldn’t quite make anything happen going forward. Best AFCB outfield player by far.
Billing (off on 57) – 5
A let down after his recent good form. No driving at the Luton lines and little impact of note.
Brooks (off on 69) – 5
Repeatedly poor ball control in ways we shouldn’t be seeing from a player of his ability. It can’t be blamed on the opposition so I don’t know how to explain it. In the team to create. He didn’t.
Solanke – 6
Never looked like it was going to work for him today. Dribbled into cul-de-sac’s a few times. Frustrating.
Stanislas (off on 57) – 6
Little to no impact on the game.
Rico (on from 57) – 7
At least tried to create some partnerships and make things happen on the left flank when he came on.
Surridge (on from 57) – 6
Struggled to make an impact. Never gave up but didn’t really do much either.
Riquelme (on from 69) – 6
In many ways, a tailor-made situation to show his quality and stake a claim. All the other protagonists misfiring or injured so given minutes to shine as the main man and change the game. He tried but apart from linking up with Rico never really threatened.
Overall Grade: C-
It’s still a point, and a point away from home. However, this isn’t a game where you can say it wasn’t our day as we barely showed up. We got drawn into a bitty, low-quality slugfest back and forth with endless cheap fouls going both ways. Rather than trying to change that footballing narrative, we seemed content to let it play out.
We often moved the ball around at the pace of an asthmatic snail. I bet the Luton players and manager, who will no doubt have watched some of our previous matches and been prepared for something very different, couldn’t believe their luck. A very generous Christmas present for them. In fact, on the balance of chances created, they were undoubtedly the better side.
As the famous quote once went, if that match had been played in your back garden you’d probably have closed the curtains.
A shame since other results meant we could have pulled away from the pack but instead have given a nice fillip to Norwich.
Still, Merry Christmas one and all. I hope you all get to enjoy it in some manner or other despite the latest announcement.
Jimmy 306 wrote…
Really like your report told it like it was, poor to say the least. Looking at the stats 60% possession no goals, 16 shots only 2 on target. Sounds a bit like my school reports should have tried harder has the ability but does not make the effort. I know they have played a lot of games in a short period but these guys are professionals. There is little excuse for not giving your best. Maybe next time will be a lot better. Merry Christmas to all.- Join the conversation, click here.