AFC Bournemouth captain Simon Francis believes that the Cherries have not picked up enough clean sheets during the 2017/18 campaign and that is why the side have fallen short of their own expectations.
The Cherries management and players had made it clear that the target for this campaign was to better the points tally of last season.
With just one game remaining, away to Eddie Howe’s former side Burnley on Sunday, the Cherries can reach a maximum of 44 points, 2 short of the 2016/17 total of 46 points.
Francis believes that one of the reasons behind this is the lack of clean sheets.
AFC Bournemouth spent in the region of £30million on goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and central defender Nathan Ake from Chelsea during the summer.
Ake swept all of the player of the season awards, but despite his individual consistent performances, AFC Bournemouth have kept just six clean sheets from 37 games, with three of those coming in successive games in November.
In comparison, last season, AFC Bournemouth kept ten clean sheets.
Francis told the Daily Echo…
“The clean sheet was massive for us. It has been a long time coming.
“We haven’t kept enough clean sheets and that is probably the reason why we haven’t picked up enough points…”
“…Over the past few weeks, we might have thought we were safe, subconsciously.
“That kind of mindset can dip into your brain and you think it is going to be okay. We showed the right mentality to win the game.”
Tinpot Club wrote…
This was our average positions during the game against Swansea
It certainly looks like a back 3 with Daniels much further forward than the rest of the defenders. I did notice King drifting over to the right many times during the game. So it might well have been a 3-4-2-1, but equally, it might just have been just been how the game developed – ie King doubling up on a weak Swansea left side and Daniels able to get forward more now he’s back playing with his mate (Marc Pugh).
Either way, I agree on the point of fluidity regardless of what the formation actually was. I still feel that greater fluidity came from the positional sense of Surman and Pugh, allowing the other players round them more freedom. – Join the conversation, click here.