Written by NWCherries98
As much as I’m feeling very against AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall right now, there is a big part of me that thinks a lot of this is on the players. It doesn’t matter what formation you play when you have the first touch of a trampoline. A complete lack of the basic ability to control the ball and find teammates with simple passes is not on Tindall- we saw the same thing last season with Eddie Howe.
You can also factor in that, as lukewarm as our performances have been for most of the season, every other time we had a disappointing game we did bounce back with something decent the next game. I don’t know what more you can do when the players consistently need babying and picking up from bad individual performances across the board against mediocre teams. Even within games, the amount of times we’ve had a poor first half and then turned it around somewhat proves to me that, at least in some instances, the players are simply not doing what they’re told, are given a telling off, and then turn it around.
Does JT need to take responsibility for this? Absolutely, he’s in charge and the players theoretically play the way they are set out to by the manager. But some of these individual performances from these players have been absolutely diabolical. In terms of what I’d like to see next, well:
I think, on current *cough* form, this is what I would like to see. I’ve bolded the players that I would feel comfortable starting every game, and are the closest thing I can call a spine. Begovic and Cook have been good, L. Cook has mostly been good, Stacey isn’t world-class but I believe in him, to be honest, and always put in a shift, and Junior at the moment seems to guarantee some kind of goal or assist, with Danjuma providing competition there.
The areas in italics are what I would consider problem areas that need addressing, whether it be internally or through the transfer market. I don’t think Cook has a good partner in defence, Mepham has on the whole been poor, Kelly has been shunted from position to position and suffered for it greatly, Cameron Carter-Vickers has been OK but not inspiring. Ironically, and I hate to tell some of you, but Cook’s most consistent partner in terms of defence has been the departing Simpson. My gut is telling me that if we were to keep Kelly in LCB with Cook, that would eventually turn into a good partnership like it was in the Premier League.
Left Back is turning into a massive problem, but I think this has been self-inflicted in some ways. I know some of you don’t like Rico, and Friday night was a Marcos Painter-esque performance, but I really do feel that if he had been given a solid run of games in one position, he would have settled in rather nicely. But we’ve flip-flopped formations and roles so often that our defence has no identity anymore. I do not think Smith at LB is the answer, I don’t want to see it. He needs to be pushing Stacey for the Right Back slot and vice-versa. I would rather see Zemura there than Smith to be quite honest. I think we just need to bite the bullet and stick with Rico until he shows the player that I really do believe is in there, have Zemura be the backup, and keep Kelly as a CB. I might be wrong but that’s the most logical solution I have.
Right Wing is another problem area…Brooks is class, and I am hoping dropping him and the improved performance from the bench is a sign of a change in fortunes. Otherwise, I think we might struggle unless we bring someone in, is Ritchie the answer? Perhaps…perhaps not.
Finally, I don’t think we can count on Solanke to fire us to promotion, he’s simply too inconsistent and fragile in terms of confidence. I don’t even blame him that much, he’s always had the price tag hanging over him, and his general play this season has been quite good. I might be being harsh on him. King is a very good player IF he turns up, but can we count on him to do that? Surridge is too limited a player to be starting for us, hasn’t shown enough consistency to be taken seriously as an option.
These are the question marks I have with some of the players; you might agree, you might disagree. I think Pearson, by reputation alone, should replace Billing and the underperforming Lerma of the past 18 months. Wilshere is self-evident and should be the creative midfielder we need. And I’m sure that even Gosling if he doesn’t join Watford or something, will play a role with his winning combination of no skill and sheer force of effort.
These are my thoughts, am I talking any sense? – Join the conversation, click here.