Date: 26th September 2019 at 10:43am
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Written by kirsikka

Upsets between teams in the same division happen in football, that’s one of the things that makes it so interesting. More rarely but still common enough to be acceptable, giant killings happen. For the purposes of this, that’s any team getting knocked out by a team from a lower division. Again that’s football, especially cup football, but they should be far more few and far between for each individual club.

Since we got promoted to the Premier League, our cup record now includes these results:

2019/20 – Burton 2-0 AFCB – Out to a League One side in the League Cup
2017/18 – Wigan 3-0 AFCB – Out to a League One side in the FA Cup
2016/17 – Millwall 3-0 AFCB – Out to a Championship side in the FA Cup
2016/17 – AFCB 2-3 Preston – Out to a Championship side in the League Cup

That’s four so-called giant killings in almost as many years. This isn’t news to anyone but for those pointing the fingers at the players, who rightly should be ashamed of themselves, I think this consistent record of underachievement against allegedly inferior opposition has to be blamed squarely on the management.

When a team screws up once or twice you blame the players on the pitch. When they screw up consistently then you blame the management who picked them and prepared them.

Eddie Howe is a sacred cow that nobody is looking to sacrifice, far from it, but that doesn’t mean he should be immune from criticism. The performances in the cups have often been utterly shocking, even in some of the games when we weren’t knocked out. I understand the theory of disjointed sides not playing well together except some of our opponents have also made large scale changes. Who prepared them on the training ground though?

I don’t doubt for a minute it won’t change and come January we’ll do the same thing again for the FA Cup. It’s the biggest letdown and disappointment of AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League era for me. All those years I dreamt of a cup run, never really thinking Premier League was a realistic target, and now we have a team that should be capable of it and we’re throwing it away every season.

Before anyone says it, I understand the desire the prioritise the Premier League. I can even accept it if we put out a team that makes a fist of the cup games. However, when the same capitulation keeps happening then there must be some kind of alternative middle ground.

Your say…

Neil Dawson wrote…

To me, it’s failing to understand the difference between considerable changes and wholesale changes that is baffling.

Eddie will keep saying ‘that team was good enough to win that match’ of course they are on paper but just as if you picked the worlds best eleven and gave them a game v Liverpool they would lose it’s not fair on them.

It’s like he can’t see that but we all know he is an incredibly intelligent football man so he must be able to?

Some of the passes behind opponents or to places they should have run but didn’t is all about understanding.

I thought when Eddie spoke about winning trophies this season he was going to take a slightly different approach and blend four or five first-team players into the team to help them when they get a call up but to avoid these rickets.

I fail to understand why other squads can play three times a week in Europe and cups and we can’t. – Join the conversation, click here.

 
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