As AFC Bournemouth headed into the international break off of the back of a thumping victory away to Watford, it was obvious that the international window was coming at a poor time for the Cherries.
Often the international break can come at a good time, a side might be carrying a few knocks and injuries so that week off could be good for some players to not miss any games and get some rest.
But if a side is in form, they want to ideally just keep on playing and that was the case for AFC Bournemouth.
Cherries manager Eddie Howe often likes to stick with a winning side, so many of his players between the Watford game and the home fixture against Southampton had been away on international duty, most notably Nathan Ake with the Netherlands, David Brooks with Wales, Joshua King with Norway and Lewis Cook with England Under 21’s.
In part, this appeared to affect some players, such as Brooks, King and Cook who all had off par games.
It was just one small contribution to an entire team that just didn’t click on the day.
There were flashes of ideas, a David Brooks effort looked remarkably similar to his goal against Crystal Palace, but his first-half effort against Southampton was way off target.
Callum Wilson attempted his worldie cross for Joshua King again, against Watford, it was played to perfection, perfectly weighted and timed and King headed it home…against Southampton, it spooned high, wide and not very handsome.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told afcb.co.uk…
“It (the international break) can unsettle a squad, the difficulty is you lose players and are working with a smaller group, then when the players return, you have a short time to prepare.
“But it’s the same for every Premier League club, the difficulty is that after a good run of results you want to keep that feel.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that but we didn’t lose so in the end we’re happy with a point.
We were dire and Southampton are a terrible team.
Agree with the comments about International players looking a bit jaded, Brooks, Fraser, King all a little off the pace.
Saints had a good couple of chances to snatch it near the end.
One to forget, focus on Fulham now. – Join the conversation, click here.