AFC Bournemouth advanced to the quarter-finals of the Football League Cup with a narrow 2-1 victory at home to Norwich City.
The Cherries as usual for the cup competitions made numerous changes to hand chances to the likes of Junior Stanislas and Jordon Ibe.
Whilst the former, as always impressed, scoring the opener, the latter flattered to deceive much to the disappointment of the Dean Court faithful.
Norwich City briefly got back into the contest, but two minutes later Steve Cook restored AFC Bournemouth’s lead and place in the final 8 of the competition.
On the one hand, a lot of these players get the one chance to impress but at the same time, it‘s hard to impress if you make a great pass or run and your teammates totally don‘t expect it and we end up losing possession or not creating a clear-cut chance.
It‘s only a fair chance for these peripheral players to impress if the team as a whole has the right understanding. Not sure what the answer is, we lack competitive fixtures to bed in our cup selections. And as has been mentioned, if by some fluke we reach the final one season, would Eddie Howe then play a full strength team to win the silverware or would we persevere with our skin of the teeth selection?
I suspect the latter since it would be unfair to deprive the cup team of their chance for glory right at the death and Eddie values fairness pretty highly.
I think cup competitions were a lot easier when we were in the lower leagues. Success in the cups was a real ambition back then whereas now the cups create multiple dilemmas for Eddie and his staff and we as fans get frustrated by the selections and performances but at the same time can understand why they do what they do. Pretty sure our “reserves” are not too happy about the situation either.
All in all, it’s pretty unsatisfactory but at least we scraped through to the next round and hopefully a further chance for this team to impress and improve.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told afcb.co.uk…
“…We looked disjointed, maybe due to players coming in who haven’t had enough games, but we lacked a sharpness and fluency that’s usually there. Overall, it was a disappointing performance but we withstood the pressure and found a way to win. It’s great to be in the next round…”
“…It would be really nice for us to advance in the competition. We’ve made this step again and now we want to try to go one more and the motivation is huge to get to the semi-finals.
I thought Fraser was superb when he came on, full of skill and pace, created numerous chances, there’s a guy at the very top of his game.
As others have said, Pugh was terrific.
Thought Franno and Cooky were good in defence.
Very impressed with Norwich, played some lovely stuff, got through us several times.
Boruc looked sharp, one point-blank match-saving stop.
Oh, how we missed L Cook and Lerma in midfield.
Very enjoyable second half.
Rhodes should have taken it to pens but he missed. Thought it was in.
Stanislas’s strike the difference between the sides. Clinical.
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