AFCB Vital Blogs

Vital Verdict – West Brom v AFCB

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Written by kirsikka

The starting XI for the last two matches has been the logical choice. This time the only questions were if anyone was fatigued and should Dembele come in for Anthony. Scott Parker kept the same team.

The defence was all over the place at the start. Lacked strength and leadership across all four of them. The first goal was a real team effort of bad play – poor strength from Zemura. Bad marking in the middle. A shanked clearance attempt from Kelly. A weak challenge from Smith.

As for the second… when your defence gets done for pace by Andy Carroll you know it’s going to be a bad night. Bad judgement on the through ball from Phillips and Smith again looking weak.

Bruce had them all pushed up for our goal kicks and we didn’t have the intelligence to lob it over the first row into the extra space, instead insisting on playing it out short still. It’s fine to have a plan but you need to show some footballing brain and adapt to conditions.

At half time we could justifiably have subbed six at least. That’s how bad we were. I was hoping Cantwell would come on in the break, something I’d come to regret later.

Kris and Willo started going on about the lack of attempts on target halfway through the second half but from an early point, I was already thinking it smelled of Peterborough – openings created or shots taken but failing to work the keeper and looking terrible as a result.

Solanke, Smith, Billing and Zemura were all guilty of not getting good chances on target. Wild long shots from many, including Kelly, Solanke and Zemura. I’m all for having a shot as L Cook showed at the weekend but they need to come with the vague region of the goal. 0 attempts on target from, I guess, about 20 tries takes some doing.

We’ve had some peak Parker performances lately. This wasn’t as aimless as some of the worst performances but it was a long way from the last two matches.

I know he’s been out most of the season and L Cook shows what a run of games can do but Cantwell was once again shocking in his time on the pitch. I really hope he can turn it around but based on what I’ve seen so far I wouldn’t want us to sign him.

I thought Anthony was a little unlucky to come off. In the first 45 our best play came with him down the left and this then switched to the right when he moved over their in the second. Until he went off after which that clever interplay disappeared.

All that said, points on the board and games in hand allow you to have off days and make mistakes. Reset, refresh the line up from some of the options and take the game to Sheff Utd at the weekend. No major harm done. Yet.

Hard to point the finger too much at Parker this time. The players let him down.

Positive performances:
Nobody stood out consistently. There were pockets of good play but everyone had poor elements to their game tonight.

Room for improvement:
Lerma: Probably his worst performance in an AFCB shirt.

Christie: Probably his worst performance in an AFCB shirt. (same words, different player).

Phillips: That was not good. Carroll had him on toast.

Several others could easily be here…

Man of the match against WBA

Billing

Billing

Phillips

Phillips

Anthony

Anthony

Lerma

Lerma

Dembele

Dembele

Solanke

Solanke

Christie

Christie

Someone else

Someone else

Your say…

Sandman2 said…

WBA are a dreadful football team and they comfortably beat us. Need to get a grip for a much tougher game on Saturday. I do sometimes wonder if these players actually want to get promoted – whenever they are given an opportunity to put some decent daylight between 2nd and the rest they bottle it. Kelly and Phillips were very lazy tonight, might be time for Cahill to come back in to sort out the defence.

Allen added…

I agree with the sentiment that a bad day at the office happens every so often, but what slightly worries me is that we had a few warnings about playing short pass triangles in our 6-yard box from goal kicks and it wasn’t until we were 2-0 down as a consequence that we stopped. If Cahill isn’t injured we could really do with his experience, leadership and footballing intelligence for the final run-in. In my opinion, most of our poor performances come from trying to overplay the ball at the back.
It is really important now that we don’t lose the 6 pointers to Forest, Sheffield Utd and Middlesbrough. We’ve got some very hard fixtures coming up.
WBA left out their 2 best players, had a half-empty stadium because of how terrible they have been and we were at full strength, I was confident of the win until Kris Temple said that Keith Stroud had refereed us 12 times previously and we had won all 12 games, this was bound to be unlucky 13.
As mentioned earlier Anthony did quite well and was unlucky to be subbed, but Dembele looked like our most dangerous player when he came on. Andy Caroll was probably MOM which says a lot.

Monmouthred wrote…

The reality is Nottingham Forest still have to win another 6 games ignoring Fulham and our fixtures for a minute. It’s unlikely that will happen because football isn’t played on paper.

That will still only mean we needed 11 from 8 games, obviously, in that scenario NF game is pivotal.

I think we will lose at Sheff Utd, so it’s going to get more anxious. The turnaround time from last night always concerned me and now I suspect we will finally have to play without Solanke now.

That said we are well capable of winning the required games, just as likely we’ll go and win at Sheffield now!

Regardless I would still always take 8 points clear with 8 games to go. If Forest catch us then fair play to them.

The same goes to Fulham, two tricky games and they pick up 6 points, deserved Champions now. – Join the conversation, click here

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