AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes his defensive unit could improve on their recent collective performances.
From the opening 15 games of the 2016/17 Premier League season, the Cherries defensive record is the 12th best in the division with 4 clean sheets and 25 goals conceded.
That’s a ratio of 1.66 goals conceded per game.
That record however looked a lot better prior to the Arsenal game, where the Cherries conceded 3, then another 3 against Liverpool and another 3 against Burnley.
At that stage of the season the Cherries had conceded just 16 goals in 12 games at a ratio of 1.33 goals conceded per game.
With AFC Bournemouth facing two of the top flights biggest clubs the goals conceded column was expected to take a hit, but the forced defensive shuffles have also played a part.
Adam Smith was firstly suspended which saw Simon Francis revert back from centre back to right back with Steve Cook asked to shift from left centre back to right centre back to accommodate Nathan Ake at the heart of the defence.
Charlie Daniels was also injured, which has seen Brad Smith, Adam Smith (following his return from suspension) and Nathan Ake all fill in at left back.
Howe told the Daily Echo…
‘We`ve looked solid this season, But in recent games we`ve conceded some goals, so you can`t turn a blind eye to that.
‘I think it`s a collective thing throughout the team, we`re looking to make sure we go into this game with a better defensive mentality.
‘Individually we`ve been OK., but maybe as a unit we haven`t been as strong as we would want.’
Neil Dawson wrote…
Short term we need to restore first choice back four and put Ake in the position Chelsea want him to play…central midfield. Persevering with the one paced Gosling at the expense of doing this is sheer madness.
Not sure why Eddie has started this bizarre experimentation but let’s knock it on the head for next two home games please. – Join the conversation here.
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