AFCB Vital Blogs

Vital Verdict – AFCB v Swansea City

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Written by kirsikka

A match that saw two Swansea teams show up. 15 minutes of neat pass and move play that pinned the Cherries back and had me worried followed by 75 minutes of diving, sly digs, off-the-ball antics and more. Probably the most unpleasant team I’ve seen us play for many a year, and the ref let them get away with it.

Not sure what’s going on with refs against us of late but it’s getting a bit tiring. Today was an outrageous performance from the man in black.

Horrible to see Swansea escape censure but delighted we put them to the sword where it really mattered. 4-0 and comfortable after that initial flurry. In fact, it should have been even more such were the chances we created.

Onto us, and a great turnaround after the midweek showing. Davis struggled at the start but given his lack of football, you’d give him the benefit of the doubt. The more the match went on the better he got.

Both wide players were totally on it this match, along with Solanke and Billing, and their defenders were completely unable to cope with the high press and work rate we showed.

A very satisfying performance. Genuinely excellent.

Positives:
Anthony was back to his early-season form. Great creativity and frightened the life out of them. The only thing Christie is lacking is a goal. Solanke’s finishing is the sign of a man in form. I could mention more but for his first start at LB since 2018 (according to Kris Temple) a big shout out to Leif Davis.

Negatives:
We have to be careful not to react to the provocation as it seems, when we get all over a team, it’s a tactic being tried to disrupt us and we nearly fell for it today.

I’d also be asking questions of the refs as there have been a few matches of late where the other team is getting away with murder and we’re being penalised for much lesser offences. Feels like a pattern of late and we shouldn’t be afraid to address it otherwise it might not change.

Man of the match against Swansea

Anthony

Anthony

Davis

Davis

Solanke

Solanke

Billing

Billing

Your say…

AFCB_Liam wrote…

Superb performance. Classic rope-a-dope start and then from the goal onwards we were as good as we’ve been all season.

Even in that first 20mins or so, apart from the penalty shout, we were solid. In other seasons we would have conceded in that flurry.

Great to see JA get a couple and look more clinical. Solanke really should have had a hat trick today, and HOW has Christie still not scored?!

The most pleasing thing is our work rate off the ball. The midfield hunting in packs is a delight to watch.

Very little to complain about except the ref who lost the plot.

Great to hear a rousing Red Army rendition in the first half. A performance on and off the pitch to make Nonny proud.

Waz afcb added…

A few things were pretty obvious for me:
-Having a natural left-footer with pace at left full-back made an enormous difference, it can’t be understated just how better balanced the side looked today. For those of you who genuinely believe that playing a right-footed centre half at left-back didn’t have a huge influence on the result on Wednesday, give your heads a wobble right now. The first and second goals don’t happen today if Mepham is playing left-back. The first because having a natural left-footer there opened up the angle for the pass to Anthony, the second, well that’s pretty obvious. That’s two goals that don’t happen if Mepham is at left-back, imagine the impact a left-footer could have had on Wednesday.
-On Davis, he struggled massively in the first half from a defensive viewpoint, grew into it a lot more in the second though and looked solid enough defensively. We’ll forgive him a shaky opening after so long out. Attacking wise he was absolutely superb, the assist was magical but even putting that aside, his engine to get up and down the flank was phenomenal. He has a hell of a cross on him and must play from now on, it’s his place to lose because you can’t drop him after that.
-today showed how important Anthony is to this side, and bizarrely I’m not referring to his work on the ball despite the two goals. I’m talking about his work off of the ball. His ability to press and the intelligence of his positioning and body shape when doing so is absolutely top-notch. This is very important because when you’re a side like us who implements a high press, all you need is for one player not to be doing it correctly and the whole front five of the team can be bypassed. We saw this on Wednesday numerous times. I rate Lowe as a player, but his pressing on Wednesday was erratic and not to the required intensity, his body shape when doing so was also not correct on a number of occasions. We got played through a number of times because of this. So Anthony must start.
-we are a better team with Kilkenny in it. Even if he’s having an off day the speed he moves the ball at and his ability to take the ball on the half-turn is essential to maintaining our tempo. I honestly think he should start every game. If we need to tighten things up towards the end of the game bring Pearson on. In all honesty, though, I think Kilkenny does a very underrated job defensively. Personally am more interested in asserting our game on the opposition as opposed to trying to nullify their’s.
-very good to see Lewis Cook back and I believe he could also compete with Kilkenny for this role.
-Stacey is the best right back in the league.
-Swansea are the nastiest side I have ever seen us play. The moment things weren’t going their way they threw themselves on the floor at every opportunity, comically so at times. The ref seemingly being mentally challenged didn’t help matters either.
-Russel Martin should probably stop trying to play total football with a goalkeeper who panics every time the ball is at his feet hahahaha that’s 9-0 in total against his teams now – Join the conversation, click here.

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