Date: 29th November 2020 at 8:54am
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Written by kirsikka

Rotherham United v AFC Bournemouth – Match Report – Click here.

There’s a saying that goes something like never get into an argument with an idiot as they’ll drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. You could repurpose that for today but replace the argument with scrap and idiot with street fighter. Why AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall decided to eschew quality on the ball to try and go toe-to-toe I’ve no idea but not only did it fail as a tactic he wasn’t nearly proactive enough in trying to change it.

There’s nothing wrong with a different approach if you think the opposition present a unique challenge. Rotherham were effective and good at what they do but in matches like this, we should be the ones setting the unusual challenge to the opposition. Against a team set up to harry, niggle, be aggressive, play it long and get crosses in we need to zip the ball around so fast we leave them too dizzy to jump for the high balls. Instead, we arrogantly tried to match them and were left the losers on the balance of play and chances if not the final score.

– Begovic, Solanke and Stanislas were the only positives from this match. Bego’s saves were awesome but even he would have to question about some of the crosses he didn’t deal with that maybe should have been his.

– There’s no advantage getting results against all the top six if we then drop points to most of the bottom six. This has become a worrying trend now. Is it over-confidence or something else?

– The old maxim of never change a winning team may not be possible in the modern game but changing the system when a team is flying and you have the perfect replacement which would have allowed you to keep the formation the same is a little bizarre. In my opinion, JT’s worst performance since he took over (remembering I missed the Wednesday match and only saw half of Derby).

– Billing. If he could play for 90 minutes like he played for 3 minutes he’d dominate the Championship. As it is, someone needs to find out what’s up with him as that wasn’t in any way acceptable. Until that’s resolved, Ofoborh surely has to be a better option if we really need an extra Central Midfielder on the pitch.

I don’t particularly enjoy digging out an AFCB player and I don’t give a rats bottom about his languid style. I do care when he contributes close to nothing outside of that one short period. A goal poacher might get away with that. A CM can’t.

Man of the match against Rotherham









— Player Ratings —

Begovic – 8 and Man of the Match
A point today thanks to him. Still, work to do on dealing with crosses but brilliant shot-stopping.

A Smith (off at 61) – 5
Never looked comfortable defensively and offered little to nothing going forward. Caught out of position for their first goal that allowed the cross to come in.

Mepham – 5
In a match where header after header is lost to the opponents in the middle of the defence, you have to look at your CB’s and ask questions. Not a good day.

S Cook – 5
See Mepham.

Kelly – 5
Hasn’t grown into the LB role over the past couple of games but it took King in his famed ‘not fit to wear the shirt’ period about 6 or 7 matches to adjust to his new position. That’s the sliver of hope to which I’m now clinging to with this experiment.

Lerma – 6
Was in the battle but wasn’t dominant. I’d have put money on him bruising his way through the aggressive tactics but it never really happened.

Billing – 4
Would have been a 3 if it hadn’t have been for those three minutes. They’re also extra frustrating as they showed what he can do.

Gosling (off at 61) – 6
Was all around the park in the first half without ever really taking control of the midfield. Still, a few of the decent moves that did happen in the first 45 came from him winning back the ball or setting things in motion.

Brooks – 6
After the sublime came the distinctly average. On the few occasions the match allowed, he was a cut above but most of the time looked like someone’s little brother hiding away whilst the older kids had a punch up. Let down a bit by the formation but still needs to impose himself more on these games.

Solanke – 8
The only outfield player to emerge with pure credit. Battled and harried all match. Another penalty on the back of his doggedness and a good finish for his goal.

Stanislas – 7
The good stuff that did happen often went through him. Seems to be playing into form so hopefully his fitness can keep up with the schedule. That second half Brooks interchange almost made me weep for our formation from the last match.

Surridge (on from 61) – 5
As it Rocky V. Not a good one. Needs to take his chances if he wants to force Tindall into a setup that has a space for him.

Rico (on from 61) – 7
We looked a better team when he was on the pitch, although that may also have been the formation change. Still, an assist inside two minutes is worth an extra point.

Overall Grade: D-
Blimey, that was a depressing watch. Kudos to Rotherham who absolutely did a job on us and will rightly feel aggrieved that they didn’t pick up all three points. JT totally dropped the ball in changing the formation, trying to out-battle Rotherham and then not changing things soon enough when it clearly wasn’t working.

Even in the closing minutes with not a lot happening on the pitch, there was no sign of Riquelme. I think he might be a tad hacked off tonight. I know I would be if I was him.

Every manager has ‘learning days’ and hopefully this is one for Tindall. Nobody is stamping their authority on this division but that’s only because we’ve dropped silly points after doing the hard work. An opportunity missed.

Your say…

Johnny Comelately wrote…

I agree with your scores. Billing was awful, Kelly still looks average at best, so casual at times he’s like a Billing Mini-Me. Solanke, Begovich and Stanislas were the only ones who could walk away with their heads held high. – Join the conversation, click here.

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