We saw Parker-ball at its worst in the first half (the boss himself admitting we were well off the levels) lots of aimless possession around the back and four of the five midfielders running forwards off the ball every time the back four had it leaving only Kilkenny to receive it and get easily swamped and easy to pass around. When you throw in a left-back trying to master right-wing it all becomes too messy for words and it showed. Our defence was excellent though and made sure this mess did not turn into anything more serious.
It needed switching up and the arrival of Pearson to help hold the midfield was key -as was his long forward pass to Dom – hopefully, the team will have seen the benefit of this as opposed to endless square and backwards passing. We had another player deeper but it made us more attacking as we had another link between the defenders and forwards.
With this and players in their natural positions, it switched up into a better affair and ended with some superb football and people looking far more comfortable. The kids continue to impress – you would look now and say it shouldn’t be them first to be dropped when new players inevitably arrive. They play with freedom and energy. Parker has a slight dilemma I think. Away from home two holding midfielders works better – at home it’s probably two attacking midfielders. Managers don’t like to chop and change personnel though so think he has a choice between a fit Pearlo and a fit Marcondes to make. A good problem to have. I think we still need flank and attack reinforcement although great to see Dom and Jaidon off the mark – richly deserved for their work rate in the opening three games. I’d love to see Jaidon go at people more and hope this goal gives him the confidence to do this in the next home game.
The important thing while having a thread-bare squad was not to get adrift of the pack. Even the worst-case against Blackpool won’t leave us that and the best case could leave us top. Not a bad start at all for Scottie with reinforcements to come. Not pretty today but a Bournemouth side that can scrap out a result? We will all take that for a change – without wanting it to become too permanent.
Travers 7 – Smart saves and safe handling
Mepham 7 – Stuck to defending and did it well
Ibsen Rossi 8 – Another imperious display in the air and safe on the ground.
Kelly 7 – Captains defensive performance a little dodgy with ball at times
Zemura 9 – A real superb energetic performance attacking and defending.
Davis 5 – Debut to forget but not his position so not fair to judge.
Marcondes 5 – Some strange positioning and things not coming off.
Billing 6 – Another good shift with some appalling shooting
Kilkenny 7 – Kept trying to make things happen and brave
Anthony 8 – Loving his work rate, skill, and sharp finish.
Solanke 8 – Worked his socks off, linked well – great finish.
(Pearson 7/Stan 7 – both pivotal to win and goals).
MOM – Zemura, just, for me today shading it from the other youngsters. He was just outstanding all over the park and a joy to watch that level of energy.
I thought we started playing well long before the substitutions – both in chances (Anthony’s 2 attempts and Billing’s first shot) and overall control. Partly due to the advanced and narrow position Zemura was taking up. But once Stan and Pearson had come on we looked decidedly solid.
Marcondes was possibly unlucky to come off first – I thought maybe Parker didn’t want to embarrass Davis by taking him off first on his debut. – Join the conversation, click here.