AFC Bournemouth travelled to London to face Queens Park Rangers, once again under caretaker manager Jonathan Woodgate.
Thierry Henry and David Wagner appear to be the leading contenders for the permanent position unless Woodgate can manage to persuade Maxim Demin, Neill Blake and Richard Hughes otherwise…
Woodgate made numerous changes for this one, overloaded the side with central midfielders, broke up the recent solid partnership of Cameron Carter-Vickers and Lloyd Kelly to introduce Chris Mepham to a back three, played the Cherries only attacking threat Junior Stanislas as a wing-back and dropped fan favourite Sam Surridge for on-loan Southampton veteran striker Shane Long.
After the match, Woodgate told Sky Sports…
“I have no idea what’s happening with [the next manager]. We’ll just have to see what the board say next.
“Obviously it can be unsettling for the players and fans, but there’s nothing we can really do about it. I’ve just got to get on with it, keep my own counsel and do my best for the club.”
On the formation and team selection, he told the Daily Echo…
“I thought we were very good and it was the right shape to play, without a question.
“Coming to this place, they play their formation really well – playing with a (back) three also – so we matched them up.
“But it was the right formation to play, there was no question about that.”
Man of the match against QPR
"We could have been a couple ahead at half-time"
— BBC Radio Solent Sport (@solentsport) February 20, 2021
I wouldn’t go as far as not trying, however, it is clear there is a huge lack of leadership and possibly football intelligence during the game.
We can play nice stuff and they are clearly talented but there are no partnerships anywhere on the pitch, there is no balance within the team and when it comes to confidence, we seem either to refuse to try and beat a man or if we do, then have to go on and try and beat the whole team – what happened to beat a man, create space, pass to a teammate and move into the next pocket of space?
We look very solid and half-decent up until the final third and then nothing. I appreciate we have injuries and sold Wilson/King but we are desperately lacking up top and width.
On Saturday, Smith was our main attacking threat, we need to go back to 4 4 2 ASAP.
I hope whoever comes in addresses our shortfall going forward. Bring back Richard O’Kelly. – Join the conversation, click here.
Individual errors from a hard to like group of individual players.
A solid setup that worked well for the first 45 to get us in the game, needed more changes and an earlier second.
If Billing, Long or Smith take their chances to give us the lead its a different game.
I find this squad increasingly frustrating.
Change of formation meant problems from the start.
Long was isolated and was never going to be able to hold the ball up and wait for…?
Stanislas not putting a shift in. Hasn’t worked for the team for many matches.
Billing playing up top on the right looked okay because it meant he didn’t have to do any of the midfield graft that he doesn’t do anyway. When Surridge came on and Billing had to play deeper into midfield it allowed QPR to overrun us.
Danjuma came in and was a luxury player, no concept of the team or playing for others.
Wilshere needs quality around him and Lewis Cook huffs and puffs but isn’t able to control games. Lerma has improved but needs others to make themselves available.
Mepham, enough said.
But the manager picked the formation, and this is what he is left with. I thought we played the Wednesday team with this match in mind. QPR had a tough midweek match but got stronger as their subs came on. Woodgate didn’t do the same. Failed his audition.
Need to create a strong spine and let the Stans, Dans and Philips of the squad be left in the reserves until they show they are willing for the fight.
Groundhog day performance, seen it all too often in the last 2 years. So many cast changes and the script has become stale and predictable. 3rd director but the same repetitive show. : )
Making 2 good chances in the first hour, spurning them both leaves us vulnerable to the defensive mistake we seem obliged to make. Suddenly a team content with 0-0 has a 1-0 lead and only 30 mins to stop us from scoring 2 to win. We’ve got all the attacking talent but limited attacking intent. One of the most talented group of individuals I’ve seen wear a Cherries shirt, one of the most average and disappointing teams I’ve seen in Cherries shirts. – Join the conversation, click here.
Some big results and here's the table 👀
— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) February 20, 2021