Written by kirsikka
Pretty much fire and water in terms of approaches to the game. The truth is until they started desperately throwing it forward, the game was all ours. Another match we should have put to bed. A big plus point is that we held firm again to secure the win, but we will get punished for it at some point so need to start finishing these games we’re dominating.
When they finally committed men forward, it was an aerial onslaught under which we would have wilted in the past so good to see some steel there in us holding firm. When even Adam Smith is winning headers you know the defensive line is fighting hard. At the other end, we had multiple opportunities to break and end the match but spurned them all through poor passing, poor control, poor shooting, or just poor luck.
Two points clear at the top of the table after a start to the season that saw us, ten men, down is actually an incredibly impressive situation in which to find ourselves. Well done to the team.
Meanwhile, you can see the patterns that AFC Bournemouth head coach Scott Parker wants the team to play coming through. That’s also starting to look impressive. Well done to the management team.
Notable performances: Jefferson Lerma and Ben Pearson. Both gave us the bite we needed against Ogre XI. Gary Cahill for marshalling the defence so well.
Room to improve: Not an individual but our forward play in general with our finishing today. We had a lot of openings to shoot. I mean a lot. And their keeper barely had to make a save – Join the conversation, click here.
Man of the match against Cardiff
Travers 7 – didn’t have much to do. He made two very good saves (he wasn’t to know a flag had gone up) and recycled the ball intelligently
Smith 7 – in the first half I thought he was off the pace and never seemed to overlap which left Christie a bit lonely on the right. However, he defended well and created the goal with a surging run
Cahill 9 MoM – immense at the back, marshalled the defence and didn’t put a foot wrong himself. We were all concerned about Cardiff’s aerial threat but he snuffed it out. If he’d snuck in with a goal he’d have a 10. What a signing
Kelly 7 – generally defended well but made a horrible mistake in the first half, passing straight to an opponent. However, this was offset by some excellent tackles
Zemura 8 – Superb again, he was a thorn in Cardiff’s side all afternoon and defended well too. Linked well with Anthony. A couple of times his favourite step over routine came out when he could have done something simpler but I can forgive him that for all-round entertainment value. I’m excited when he gets the ball
Christie 6 – Struggled to get into the game on occasion and was often a bit lonely on the right. It was the one strange thing in the first half, there was often a big hole where in the old days there would have been an inside right. Made a couple of good runs and challenges
Lerma 8 – all-round action performance only marred by a couple of his standard wayward passes and a really tough tackle that got a deserved yellow. However, his performance after the yellow if anything was even more noticeable
Pearson 9 – brilliant performance, broke up attacks regularly and also made several box clearances late on when we needed them. Recycled the ball well and kept us moving
Billing 9 – outstanding display, only let down by his finishing! Apart from a sublime goal which seemed to go in in slow motion but even then the keeper never moved, he should have had two more and could have had four more
Anthony 8 – dynamic running, good link-up play with JZ and could have scored himself. Our left side is, dare I say it, looking like 2014/5 on steroids. Got a great reception when subbed as he came off the pitch in the corner in front of us and absolutely loved it!
Solanke 8 – plenty of good hold up play, unselfish running and also good defensive work when needed. One thing I like about him is that he never seems to give the ball away, he always finds someone
Rogers 7 – slotted in well and made one good attack
Lowe 7 – no time to judge but came on totally committed and covered a lot of ground in a short period
Scott Parker 10 – well, why not? That was as dominant a 1-0 win as you’ll ever see. The first half was quiet and we could see that we were not attacking with enough pace and getting numbers forward, especially on the right, but after half time Smithy bombed forward more and created a goal, JZ and JA created havoc, and we could have scored four or five, we were that dominant. – Join the conversation, click here.
Well, that was about as good as a football Saturday we can get. AFCB front up and win, quite comfortably, against a long-ball team of giants that we have traditionally always struggled against. Pretty much every other result then goes our way and we are sitting pretty on top of the league. Obviously, a long way to go yet, but Parkerball (whatever that actually means), is gaining momentum and it is looking good. We are not yet at the levels of the Eddie Howe team of 2015 where most of us expected us to be 3-0 up by half-time against anyone, however, there is a shed load of talent in this team, coupled with a steely determination, that means for the first time in ages I am confident of our team getting a result against anyone in this division. I might just be tempted to put a bit of cash down on the Chezzers getting out of this division. – Join the conversation, click here.