Written by Druss_the_Legend
I love Eddie Howe and would happily have him manage AFC Bournemouth into his 80s but he needs to hold his hand up following the game with Newcastle United. He got it very very wrong.
The selection of Jordon Ibe after 2 years of woeful performances for starters. I’m sure the usual defence will come on about how the team were poor. It is funny how many of our great players play poorly when Jordon is in the side. It was 10v11 from an hour before kick off. Eddie Howe cannot keep making the same mistake again and again.
The Adam Smith injury was awful but the game was away from the Cherries before then. If anything Charlie Daniels brought better balance.
The injuries will be pointed at (quite rightly, any team losing Smith and Jefferson Lerma will not be as good) but the tactics from the start set us up to lose.
Neil Dawson wrote…
We always looked strong with Ryan Fraser and David Brooks on the wing and Joshua King with Callum Wilson, surely putting Lys Mousset in for King was, therefore, the best way?
We have a strong first team with mediocre back up. That’s not unusual for a small team really…who wants to be a long-term reserve for a team outside the big six?
Eddie Howe has stopped trusting Mousset which means he has gone backwards from last year. (This may well be Mousset’s fault so don’t take it I am blaming Eddie). He doesn’t even start cup games.
Jordon Ibe has also gone backwards. I don’t understand why he plays when he was so abject in the cup games. No point in giving cup success up to see the reserves if you don’t follow through by picking the ones that shine.
Jermain Defoe is incapable of playing for us and Eddie doesn’t trust him either. Did he touch the ball against Newcastle?
This means when King and Junior Stanislas aren’t available our ability to keep the ball and stretch teams with pace is gone.
Ibe needs to go out on loan and if we can’t get Mousset firing we need another striker in the January transfer window.
Starting with Jordon Ibe means we are a player down from the start in terms of the way we play. The game passes him by. This has a knock on effect on the game. It means that everyone else has to work harder and cover more.
I’d still prefer 3 in centre midfield. Dan Gosling, Jefferson Lerma and Lewis Cook. The latter isn’t up to holding the midfield together yet. He makes too many mistakes. Give him the support and space to create, which he can do. He has good vision and appreciation of what is going on around him. He offers a lot and sees the pattern of play.
The key is 11 players working for each other. Pressing. Tracking back. Mistakes are fine but you have to look at overall contribution. Look at dead ball situations, Ibe doesn’t know where to go and is often standing in space marking no one. He frequently loses sight and track of the player he is supposed to be marking. That is his game. Its how he plays.
I wish he had done well and come good like so many others. Sadly I think he is in the same category as Tokelo Rantie and Benik Afobe. OK in some ways but not good enough for this team. He has had two chances recently against Norwich and Newcastle and has taken neither.
And, yes, I’d have Marc Pugh in the side instead of him if it came down to a straight choice. Pugh will cover and work for the team. He tracks back and marks. When things are going badly that is what we need.
I thought we played much better second half in some ways, but Newcastle were happy (ish) to let us play and hold on to what they had. We couldn’t break them down. We missed Lerma and King. We are not as good without them.
We are now a team that no one talks about in terms of relegation. That is huge progress. But I am sure that Eddie will not be complacent. Two seasons ago Stoke and WBA were safe, mid-table teams.
Let’s not get above ourselves. A top 10 finish would be terrific. Top 8 brilliant and top 6 unbelievable. I have already seen more good performances this season so far than the whole of last season.
We have 20 points and knew that November and December were going to be a test. For what its worth I think losing really impacts on these players. Let’s hope Arsenal are on the receiving end next game.
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