Written by kirsikka
– Four at the back seems to be the formation of choice now and, given the array of attacking options we have, that makes sense. We can still lean on the five if we really need to but it seems to suit us better that we take the game to other teams this season.
– The full-backs had to play different games. Smith was solid and did a lot of work going forward that probably went unappreciated. Kelly seemed mindful of not bombing forward too much which I think made sense given they tried to target that side quite a lot.
– Tactically I think AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall got it spot on. Went after them in the first half, let them try to break us down in the second. It might have been a different story if we hadn’t scored the early goal in each period and worth noting that our first was one of the few moments in the opening period that they weren’t packed out at the back.
– It seemed a pretty trouble-free evening. I never felt worried by Forest even when they did have an occasional glimmer upfront. A safe three points.
– The L Cook/Lerma partnership in the middle is really starting to blossom. They look extremely effective together and dovetail rather nicely.
– Leaving players up for corners is causing panic for the opposition given the passing ability of the players the ball might drop to in or near our box. An interesting change.
Man of the match against Forest
— Player Ratings —
Begovic – 7
Called into action once. Dealt with it.
A Smith – 7
Loved his energy and unlucky to be often ignored by his teammates.
Mepham – 7
Solid and some good ball playing but did let Taylor goal side once.
S Cook – 7
The leader in a defence that rarely looked troubled.
Kelly – 6
Grew into the role as the match went on. A little more conservative in his attacking play but understandable given Forest’s tactics.
Lerma (off on 79) – 7
A Lerma performance. Intelligent marshalling of things even when we let them come onto us in the second half.
L Cook – 7
Here, there and everywhere. Will be very hard to dislodge if he carries on like this.
Stanislas – 8
Good finish for the first. Cool head for the second. Far more involved than on Saturday with lots of clever positional play to try and create spaces for others even if it didn’t quite work.
Brooks (off on 71) – 8 and Man of the Match
The difference engine. Glides past players like he’s playing against under 8’s sometimes and was the player to really cause panic in the Forest lines. Superb ball for the first goal.
Solanke – 7
Worked hard, never gave up, chased lost causes, held the ball up, won a penalty. An excellent centre forwards performance.
Danjuma (off on 90+1) – 7
One dummy people watching live would have talked about for years but for… Instead, Harry will just have to add it to his bank of anecdotes. Still looks dangerous in every game and must have right-backs across the Championship looking at our fixture with some trepidation.
Gosling (on from 71) – 6
Did nothing wrong.
Rico (on from 79) – 6
As with Gosling.
Riquelme (on from 90+1)
A surprising number of touches considering how long he was on the pitch!
Overall Grade: A-
Two sides to the Bournemouth display on show tonight. Fast one or two touch passes and quick movement when trying to break down a stubborn defence followed by a stubborn defence making themselves hard to break down. There could be some real mileage in this season if we can perfect both of those.
Well done to all concerned, players and management. A very satisfying performance.
The report mentions Smith. It felt at times his team-mates were deliberately ignoring him. Possibly he wasn’t being encouraged forward so Brooks had more licence, but personally don’t mind seeing a more low key game from him and Stacey coming back in when fit.
Also, the team needs to be much more conscious of the 5 subs rule and what this can mean. For me, I would be busting a gut to get 3 nil up so that I can be replaced for the final 30 minutes, and stay fresh enough to start every game. Brooks, Stan, Danjuma all could have been wrapped up ready for the weekend if we had been more clinical. That’s not a criticism of the performance, just that there are 2 sides to game management. Contrast with Norwich who had made 3 subs by the hour mark because they were 3 up (Stoke only got into the game after Norwich red card). Adding a third could have got RoRo on early, Oforborh could have replaced Lerma, and maybe Antony and Simpson could get minutes. Looking at fixtures ahead, there’s a real chance to minimise rotation of the starting 11 but get subs on earlier to benefit the whole group.
On the penalties, the whole concept that it’s okay to be given the first one because at least the later one was not given is mind-boggling. This whole concept that VAR is bad and these decisions even themselves out is ludicrous. The first penalty comes at a critical time in the game. It changes the course of the game. If it’s not given, then the whole pattern changes and the second penalty shout ceases to exist. Things don’t even themselves out. That’s a myth.