Written by kirsikka
— Conclusions —
– Spirit. That’s what you need to fight back from two goals down and that’s what we showed. It was very encouraging to see.
– Sloppiness. A lot of it in evidence today with Rico and Kelly the main culprits.
– Saves. I’ve said before the only thing Begovic had left to prove this season was that he could come back from a bad mistake. Consider every box now checked. Bournemouth’s number one, and deservedly so.
– Solanke. I worried during the match that he was the wrong kind of striker for this formation. It simply didn’t see him involved that much so I thought maybe we needed a fox in the box who would be happy to touch the ball three times in the game and score with one of those or a target man the three behind could bounce the ball off or swing crosses into. He showed me what I know as I had to score a big line through that note I wrote on 52nd minute. I salute him, especially for his second goal.
– Scouts. Our bizarre habit of often only playing well for one 45 will confuse the heck out of opposition scouts. Play like we did in the first and they’ll think they can sit in and hit us on the break comfortably. Play like we did in the second and they’ll tell their manager not to sit in as we’ll break them down anyway so best to try and go for it.
– Reading. About as royal as Oliver Cromwell.
Man of the match against Reading
— Player Ratings —
Begovic – 7
One howler but one awe-inspiring save. Coming back from the mistake was the key for me. Also made several other decent stops.
Stacey – 6
Not his most dangerous performance going forward but did his job and the third goal was courtesy of him saving a poor cross.
S Cook – 6
Alright although the first goal was partly due to his unwillingness to make a challenge
Kelly – 5
Lots of sloppy mistakes through the whole match partly redeemed by a brilliant cross for the first goal when moved to left-back. Where is the player we saw at the tail end of last season?
Rico – 5 (subbed on 45)
A day to forget. Reset for the next match, please.
Lerma – 7 (subbed at 90+4)
All over the pitch like a man that hasn’t travelled across the world in the last couple of days. Still showing some attacking intent despite being in a midfield two.
L Cook – 8 and Man of the Match
When he carries the ball forward it changes the whole complexion of our attack as the opposition don’t know how to cover him and all the runs his quality passing can hit. As for the goal… gosh.
Stanislas – 6 (subbed at 78)
The weakest of the three in the attacking line but did ok. Simply average.
Brooks – 8 (subbed at 84)
In and out of the game at times but still managed to look threatening throughout. He’s back.
Solanke – 8
Two goals in a role where he’s mainly there to score goals and not much else. Can’t fault it.
Danjuma – 7
If he wouldn’t suck the pace out of attacks sometimes as he wants to take on a defender then he and we would be almost unstoppable. Still very good though.
Mepham – 7 (on from 45)
We looked much more solid with him in there.
Riquelme – 6 (on from 78)
A couple of nice touches but surely is in need of more minutes in a match to show what he can really do.
Simpson (on from 84)
Helped solidify us for the finish. Not enough time for a mark.
Ofoborh (on from 90+4)
Maybe a sign that they genuinely want to groom him for the first team that they’re using him as the time-wasting sub now so the mystique of coming on leaves his boots?
Overall Grade – B+
A slightly staid first half in the attacking sense and poor one defensively was blown away by the second half destruction of a Reading team who think their strength is at the back. Excellent to see as we’ll play against many worse teams that want to sit in against us.
Credit to Tindall for the half time change as it made a difference. For a couple of hours at least… top of the league, top of the league. We’re AFC Bournemouth. We’re top of the league.
Brilliant match report. Agree with virtually all of it. Agree with Cook as MOTM. He’s been great so far this season – has finally been given enough game time to show what he can do. Would be the first name on my team sheet every week.
I have been championing Solanke’s cause since we signed him. He’s a great player. Yes, he has an off day like everyone else, but he has so much to his game. He’s a victim of his early career success. He got picked up by a big club too early and has spent too long playing irrelevant football for reserves etc. Be interesting to look back in his season in May. I reckon it’s going to stack up pretty well.
On the other hand, have never been convinced by Rico. He’s only looked remotely up to it on the left of a back three (which I’m hoping we won’t be using too liberally going forwards). Was way off the pace in the PL and was a disaster today. Just seems to lack a defender’s instinct and looks uncomfortable getting forwards. Kelly must have more scuffs and air-kicks than the rest of the team put together, but looks far better at LB than CB. His cross for the first goal was the game-changing moment.
Today was the first time I’ve jumped around the living room screaming, so thanks for that lads. – Join the conversation, click here.