Written by AFCBade
Seems like a perfect storm at present. Need people to stay calm and not go over the top.
The thin margin between success and failure in this league – look at how Watford have turned the corner and now Manchester United are favourites for top 4 despite us beating them just a few weeks ago.
Let’s not forget how far removed we are from Eddie Howe’s preferred way of playing; he likes established playing patterns and continuity but we are missing the experienced leaders on the pitch that were able to hold together the playing style.
In contrast, we are now fielding one of the youngest starting line ups in the Premier League with Aaron Ramsdale 21, Dominic Solanke 22, Philip Billing 22, Harry Wilson 22, Lewis Cook 22, Chris Mepham 22, Jack Stacey 24 but inexperienced etc. Premier League is as much about mental strength as playing capability; Even Steve Cook had a bit of a mare against Brighton and he is more experienced than some of the youngsters.
Eddie needs to think about his own tactics too – continually letting Moy run the show was crazy. I would like to think Jefferson Lerma would have helped but maybe getting Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas back in midfield would help shore things up with their experience.
It is very easy to go over the top when you see where we were at the start of the season and now where we are. But as you say, fine lines in the Premier League this season. Some of our defeats have been just the one goal. I think the fact Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser have been so off form has been the biggest problem so far and that needs to be fixed asap.
We have looked fairly solid at the back, even with the injuries. I don’t think we are missing Adam Smith at right-back for example, however good he is. Any team would miss Nathan Ake of course, although Meps has looked much better in his place. I also would have loved to have Lloyd Kelly at left-back, even though Diego Rico has done *ok* generally.
The squad is very young because that is the type of player we need to look at. That will always lead to inconsistencies and then you need the more experienced players [ Cook. Ake, Dan Gosling, Lerma, Callum, Fraser etc ] to really hold their levels. Not all have.
Agree Eddie has dipped a little this season for whatever reason – leaving Mooy to do what he liked was shocking! All he said in the interviews was what a good game he’d had! I would have changed formation inside the first 15 minutes and put someone right on him, I’ll never understand why that didn’t happen.
But ultimately, I still can see a mid-table quality squad. We need as many fit as possible, for certain players to get their form back quickly and for that vital confidence to return. I’d also love to see a wildcard signing up top, whether its an Ollie Watkins or Jarrod Bowen, that kind of player who can come in and play with pace and confidence. – Join the conversation, click here.