Written by kirsikka
A match that could personify football cliché. Bottom of the table, points deductions, negative points plays (until the earlier matches) top of the table. Unless the obvious candidates for a win are ruthless, football dictates there will only be one possible result. That was what was lacking there. We should have looked to dominate them from the first minute and stayed on it until the game was put to bed. Instead, we were tentative and let them know there was a game to be had if they wanted to chase it.
Despite all that, we still had plenty of opportunities to finish the match when in front, or equalise when behind. Chances where we didn’t even work the keeper.
You won’t win every game when you win a title but, usually, title-winning sides win matches that are in the balance where they have chances fall their way.
The first half was alright, even if the lead was probably undeserved. The second half was terrible.
I know AFC Bournemouth head coach Scott Parker had to shuffle the pack but it didn’t really work. They didn’t look psyched up for the match. The defence didn’t look as organised. I know that there were two, maybe three changes from the first choice defensive four but the defending on the corner was comical.
It looked like a midtable outfit playing against a team fighting for their lives. It wasn’t pretty. Still, the games come thick and fast now so there’s an early chance to put it right in midweek.
Leif Davis – When we looked threatening it was often due to runs he was making on or off the ball. Shaky at the back sometimes but also good at making a recovery tackle. Plus, you can be more forgiving of defensive errors if the full-back is a threat at the other end.
Room for improvement:
Jack Stacey – Forget the goals a moment (Gavin Kilkenny’s ball didn’t help him on one), until the final few minutes he was so passive going forward it was a huge disappointment.
Philip Billing – his lung-busting run aside, this was the other Billing on show on Sunday.
Morgan Rogers – I know he’s only had minutes here and there which is always a tricky ask, and it’s harsh to single him out in that performance. However, we can’t keep bringing him on if he isn’t going to have any impact at all. It feels like every time he gets the ball he gives it away. I’m sure there’s a player in there but I’m not sure if he’s a player for us right now. I’d love to be proved wrong though.
Man of the match against Derby
Waz afcb wrote…
– Chris Mepham is a liability.
– Billing is far too unreliable. Good on his day but then fails to turn up to often.
– Rogers is beyond awful, all he does is constantly lose the ball. He should be nowhere near the team.
– Stacey was very very poor today.
-if we are playing a possession game we NEED more creativity in the middle. Jefferson Lerma is a destroyer and Billing a luxury player who gets on the end of things, neither can create generally (both can sporadically.) We need an advanced midfielder who can take the ball sharply on the half-turn and look to link the midfield and attack at speed if we are ever to make this style truly effective. Right now we are incredibly reliant on the full-backs and wingers to create. Stop them from playing and we have very little to offer.
Neil Dawson added…
Three main faults in order of importance
1) Midfield energy. Lerma jet-lagged, Billing having one of those 2020 form games he occasionally has, Lewis Cook trying to cover an acre of space behind them without the legs Kilkenny or Ben Pearson has. How many times do we have to drop Gav and learn what he actually gives us, all our best performances have come with him. Anyway, those three cost us as Derby got a grip and everything came from their midfield. Think sometimes we should play the two holding midfielders. It’s weird former AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall always did, Scott Parker never does… both in my opinion, are wrong as there’s a call for both systems with some opposition.
2) fullbacks caught behind. Rooney knew that the way to attack us is to win it back and put it wide behind our advanced full-backs. It worked better than ever because Cook didn’t have the legs to get across and cover like Pearson or Gav do when they are holding.
3) that strange formation at the end. 3-4-3 which becomes 5-2-3 with disjointed players, no combinations and wholesale positional changes. We’ve done it a few times now and always looked so much worse than we ever were before. Wing-backs never work for us particularly when one is Morgan Rogers who I’ve yet to see do anything that suggests he would be worth keeping.
I think we are seeing how key certain players are for us and Mepham and Davis looking after the left-hand side of the defence is a mile away from Lloyd Kelly and Jordan Zemura. Why would you not play Steve Cook ahead of Meps. Two crucial games now to make sure we are right for Fulham. – Join the conversation, click here.