Written by Rodmorg
With the two previous fixtures in the third round of the FA Cup resulting in 3-0 defeats away from home, Bournemouth had the privilege of playing at home this season. And although the opposition was not in League One, fans were expecting a better standard of performance against Premier League opposition; that being Brighton, the team that were beaten 2-0 against The Cherries exactly two weeks ago.
As per usual, Eddie opted to rotate the side for a cup performance. With Artur Boruc in goal, Nathaniel Clyne was given his debut on the right side of the defence, alongside Steve Cook, Jack Simpson and Diego Rico. In midfield, Andrew Surman came back into the side as captain, alongside another debutant, Kyle Taylor, with legend Marc Pugh and Jordon Ibe occupying the wings. Ryan Fraser started alongside Lys Mousset up front. A mixture of first-team starters and youngsters filled the bench such as David Brooks and Charlie Daniels for the scenario if things go downhill.
Brighton looked destined to win by only a singular as Bournemouth dominated possession and Brighton sat back – so much that it took roughly twenty minutes for Boruc to have a touch. Brighton invited early pressure from Bournemouth as Ibe juggled past the defence only to have his worthy attempt be blocked. Debutant Clyne fed Fraser a glorious cross in, only for the winger to stump the ground as the ball drifted past the Scotsman.
The tempo did then take a massive twist over the proceeding quarter of an hour as an excellent pass by Steve Cook allowed Ibe to drive forward and dance his way through to pick off a shot that fell kindly to Mousset from 8 yards out. With an open goal in front, he skied the ball. An astonishingly poor attempt.
Bournemouth paid for the missed glorious opportunity as Brighton took the lead, a poor header by Cook fell to KNOCKAERT, who drilled past the former’s legs and into the net. No chance for Boruc to save. And only a matter of minutes later, BISSOUMA unleased a powerful shot past a diving Boruc from 30 yards out to make it 0-2. The opposition had an excellent chance to pile further misery on Bournemouth but Locadia missed from only 6 yards out – with the assistance of poor defending from Simpson and Cook.
Half-Time: AFC Bournemouth 0-2 Brighton
Eddie rolled the dice at half time as star man David Brooks came on for Kyle Taylor. A certain move that was intent on providing some creativity to the match.
The second half started off to a rocker as Surman smartly passed to PUGH who cut inside from his usual left side and bent a beautiful ball past Steele into the top right corner.
With Bournemouth looking on the front foot and more likely to peg back Brighton again, the away side extended their lead with ANDONE scoring undefended from a corner routine.
Brighton began to sit back and hold their lead as Bournemouth continued to press. From a Stanislas cross, David Brooks unleashed a rocket of a ball – only to be palmed away magnificently by Steele. Pugh had an opportunity to curl in another from a similar position he scored from but it went agonisingly wide. Noticing that there was a chance for The Cherries to pull two back, Eddie threw on Stanislas for Ibe and Daniels for a poor Rico.
Frustrations started to incur on the side as the more experienced players, that being Surman, Pugh and Cook, all picked up cards for rash challenges. The final one had an excellent opportunity to cut back the deficit with a looping header to the top left, with it being pushed away heroically by the goalkeeper.
Full Time: AFC Bournemouth 1-3 Brighton
Artur Boruc – 5: Didn’t have much to do and conceded three from three on target. Perhaps could have prevented the second from going in. Average distribution.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6: Looked a little lost on the right hence quiet. Did provide a good cross to Fraser early on which he should have put away, made no mistake so a good debut for him.
Steve Cook – 6: Error caused the first goal but grew into the game and possessed great heading and tackling ability, especially in the second half. Could have had a goal to his name if not for good goalkeeping.
Jack Simpson – 5: Looked very naïve early on and nervous in possession. Did grow into the game but, similar to Cook, showed poor defending for the first goal.
Diego Rico – 3: Defensively and offensively atrocious. Had some opportunities to put in some decent crosses (one from a corner and another from Surman) that resulted in an opposition goal kick or throw. Needs to heavily improve in his defending and crossing ability.
Jordon Ibe – 4: Another one of those days for Ibe. Has some matches where he is brilliant and others being extremely poor. Did look creative in the first half, however (as I keep mentioning) he runs into space and stops, usually losing out in possession. Looked very selfish on the ball, looking for a shot or a chance to have an assist when it would have been better to pass.
Kyle Taylor – 6: Didn’t have much time on the pitch but, similar to Simpson, looked nervous on the ball.
Andrew Surman – 7: Average in the first half but far better in the second half. Played some great balls cross field and once again had some good intelligent passing, one of which resulted in a goal for Pugh. Seemed to have his confidence boosted when Brooks came on.
Marc Pugh – 8 – MOTM: A beautiful goal by Pugh who had a positive character for most of the game. Seemed to be doing Rico’s job in defence and had a great opportunity to score another. Man of the Match for me and deservedly so.
Ryan Fraser – 5: Very clumsy on the ball. Planted his foot in the ground like a gardener and spade in the first half, and should have scored. Quiet overall but didn’t help with a lack of support from Ibe and Mousset.
Lys Mousset – 3: The complete opposite of his showing at Chelsea a few weeks back. Had plenty of time to put away the ball in front of an empty goal but couldn’t fulfil the job of a striker throughout. Completely outplayed today. Had extremely poor positioning too.
David Brooks (Kyle Taylor 45) – 7: Brought creative talent to the pitch when in dire need of a turnaround. Had an excellent opportunity to score but was denied by a good save.
Junior Stanislas (Jordon Ibe 70) – N/A
Charlie Daniels (Diego Rico 78) – N/A
Overall Team Rating – 4:
Brooks, Surman and Pugh looked like the only ones motivated in that match, ironically it was reflective in their performances. Defensively we were outplayed in the few opportunities the opposition had. Offensively only Pugh looked destined to score, and he did. Brooks gave some light when he came on, and could have scored, but overall a below standard performance.
So another poor performance in a Cup match. Where we usually look strong, in attack, we were poor. The midfielders who played today (bar Ibe), performed quite well but defensively it was a shambles too. Once again, the opposition was very clinical. Picking out some statistics for today’s game and Watford’s on Wednesday show that we conceded 6 shots on target and 6 goals conceded. Is this down to poor defending? Most likely. Is it down to bad luck for us? Most likely not. This is another game where we have been on the front foot for most of the game and have come out with a loss or draw. It is down to poor defending and poor finishing by us.
This leads on to the tactical aspect of the match – Eddie got it wrong again. I praise him for providing opportunities to some who don’t get a first-team chance, such as Simpson, Mousset and especially Pugh, and also for handing debuts to Clyne and Taylor, both of which were okay. They only need some time to gel into the side. Given that Clyne only joined yesterday it was evident he isn’t familiar with his role in the side yet, which completely acceptable, and he made no mistakes too. A solid display for the new right-back.
One critical point which probably paved for the loss was his pick of substitutes. Considering the recent results of Cup matches and how significant substitutes can be (as seen in Brooks today) it is, without doubt, he got it wrong with his selection of substitutes. With Nathan Ake, Charlie Daniels and David Brooks being the only first-team starters on the bench, this resulted in no recognised striker being in the 18 selected except Mousset. Not having the likes of Callum Wilson or Josh King on the bench means there is no proper backup for scoring goals, and reliance is mostly upon Mousset – who had an awful game. In all, it’s common knowledge to have a back-up striker in any circumstance, and it is beyond doubt that the result may have changed if the likes of Wilson or King were on the bench. I’m sorry Eddie but that’s a poor move.
Finally, in regard to player performances, Pugh has once again proved that he can put on a good display when called upon. It’s such a shame for me that he doesn’t play week in, week out! Surman and Brooks put in good performances despite the youngster in an unfamiliar position. It’ll be interesting if both Surman and Brooks start against Everton on the 13th. Fraser put in an unusually below-par performance and Rico, Ibe and Mousset seem to lack any sort of consistency when it comes to playing well.
Overall, Eddie made a good decision to give some “fringe players” the opportunity to have a chance. Some performed really well while others did not. We were poor defensively with another clinical display by the opposition and poor in finishing ourselves. Eddie made the wrong move by not having a recognised striker on the bench. Once again, we crash out in the third round of the FA Cup.
I used to look forward to FA cup games 1st round onwards and have seen some great games with lots of passion from the team or the team that beat us, but mostly great games from the great cup run along with knocking out Manchester United.
Nowadays it is all about the League resting players when we beat Manchester United they had the first team out so it gave us even more reason to feel good if it had been a team like we have put out today people would say oh well it was only Manchester United reserves.
Where has the magic of the cup gone? Teams only playing teams with so many changes it is not fair on the paying fans home or away fans when teams make so many changes after all these players get paid enough.
Also, it is not fair to fans wanting a cup run, we will never win the league, but a good cup run would do the team, fans and town a world of good. – Join the conversation, click here.