Date: 3rd January 2021 at 11:28am
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Written by kirsikka

Stoke City v AFC Bournemouth – Match Report – Click here

– Tactically this was a mess in an attacking sense. You could see AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall obviously tried to sort it out at half time from the way they came out and played for the first five minutes of the second period. When things then reverted to type he should have made a change rather than sitting hoping something would happen for so long. We’re lucky Stoke were so poor going forwards.

– We have to find a way to deal with the press, especially on our left. We’re going to get punished soon if we don’t sort it out.

– Good to see the brave choice to bench a big name like Brooks and, even better, that it seemed to get through to him as he was a different player than of late when he came on.

– Three at the back is fine but you have to push the wing-backs forward or you end up with this huge gap to the attackers and no width. That first half was a tactical masterclass in how not to play the formation.

– I worry for Surridge. We know he’s an enthusiastic big lad but that doesn’t mean when he’s playing we need to treat him like Supa or play like we’re in League 2. He’s not and we’re not. It’s an insult to his skills, and the skills of the rest of the team, that we so often hoofed it forward, presumably because he was on the pitch.

– I want to draw a distinction between the two Lewis Cook long balls that landed out of reach of defenders and in the path of attackers making runs and the longs balls everyone else was lumping forward for the big defensive units to swallow whole like peanuts. The first was head up, spot the run and a precision pass at distance. The second was utter dross I’d have been disappointed to see from Willo in the 80s.

– Stoke are where they in significant part due to the goals of Tyrese Campbell. With him out injured, they’ve been toothless. The three at the back should have been able to deal with everything but still lost a lot of headers from crosses into the box. Poor quality from their attackers often saved us rather than good defending.

– It was a cold winter evening away in Stoke and we got three points. For that we can be thankful.

Man of the match against Stoke

L Cook

L Cook

S Cook

S Cook

Rico

Rico

Stanislas

Stanislas

— Player Ratings —

Begovic – 7
Had little to do but on those rare occasions, he was called upon he was there.

A Smith (off on 86) – 6
Too withdrawn for a wing-back in this formation. Tactical?

S Cook – 6
Clean sheet but too many headers lost in the area for me to be completely comfortable. Luckily they were rubbish upfront.

Simpson – 6
See S Cook

Kelly – 6
Problems with the press that needs addressing urgently.

Rico – 6
See Kelly and Smith.

L Cook – 7 and Man of the Match
When there was a rare spark of quality, he was usually the instigator.

Stanislas – 7
Took his goal well so gets a bump for that but was anonymous in the first half.

Lerma – 5
Poor control. Poor passing. Poor. Exactly the kind of play for which Gosling normally gets pelters when he has a match like that.

Solanke – 7
Desperately tried to make things happen and very nearly did a couple of times.

Surridge (off on 71) – 5
I feel this is harsh on him as it was often what was happening further back in the pitch that meant he couldn’t influence play. However, where Dom fashioned his own luck Sam drifted into obscurity.

— Subs —
Brooks (on from 71) – 7
By no means perfect and made mistakes on the ball but at least was involved from the moment he got on the pitch and tried to make things happen. It’s a generous 7 in the same way Surridge was a harsh 5.

King (on from 86) – 6
Only on for a short time but looked interested. Welcome back to the King we remember, before we shortly wave goodbye. Probably.

Overall Grade: B
There’s a bonus to that grade from picking up the three points, as I said after Brentford it’s a results business.

Still, it was a really dull match that I think Tindall should have tried to influence more and I was disappointed that he left it so late. However, it worked so who am I to judge?

Four league games coming up in which we’d hope to get results so it’s a big month ahead. Would I take four more snooze-inducing performances that garner twelve points? Probably.

Your say…

Steady Eddie 1 wrote…

How on earth did Stan get the actual MOM award.?? Even he didn’t know when awarded the trophy. Lewis Cook is thriving at this level and is head and shoulders above most of the division in his position.
The match was Really not a great watch, but three very welcome points. Just shows how the division works, played much better against Brentford and got nothing. UTC – Join the conversation, click here.

 
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