Written by Jules
Summary for me of the game was a disappointment but a few rays of hope if we can get things right. For the first 20 minutes, many must have felt we were in with a chance of victory. That all seemed to change with their first goal. Psychology. I’ll come back to that in a moment.
Full back pace is something definitely needed. Not just pace when running but the pace of thought. It concerns me. Simon Francis was quick although sometimes he struggled when up against players that could turn him because they were more nimble, but on a one on one, for pace, he was pretty good. He was also excellent getting forward and could play nice one-twos. Never thought I would say that! But, he was part of the team spirit and brought much to the game.
Steve Cook’s groin may be another problem which needs addressing as is Nathan Ake playing out of his best defending position and Chris Mepham caught in two minds (twice). I have to say though, that their first goal was erm….superb if it wasn’t offside, and it probably wasn’t.
Forwards. Yes. Could do with them hitting form. Let’s hope that the Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson partnership will build again. Apart from the first 20 or so minutes, we did look lacklustre upfront. I really couldn’t see a goal coming from anyone out there. Has Wilson lost pace? Surely there used to be more to his game? Not criticising him. He’s an England forward and superb talent.
So it’s easy to identify key areas, as many have done. Or key individuals ditto. No, overall in these and all other areas (I’ve bypassed midfield ) I get the feeling that TEAM SPIRIT needs to grow.
I think this is key to resolving all the above problems. It makes someone caught in two minds quicker of thought, and gives any player more pace. So many relatively new players haven’t really gelled as a team, or with the team. It takes leadership on the field to make it happen too. Who was captain against Leicester! One of the reasons Southgate was keen on Mings was because of his commanding presence (shouts a lot and orders and directs with finger-pointing and arms waving). Dilly dallying in and around our penalty box when a tackle will suffice, or simply boot it out has to be the tactic.
People are saying they can’t wait till Lewis Cook and the others come back. Well, that’s fine, they are undoubted talents (and I would love to see them playing too) but we can also read comments on this forum when they were ineffectual or started well but drifted out of the game. It’s ok having the talent and the squad can thrive on it but above all, there has to be team spirit and leadership. ABOVE ALL ELSE. If the collective minds aren’t on their game, then forget it. NO talent in the world is going to make us play better.
How to remedy that big question of team spirit is up to the gaffer. How do you shape individuals into a team that fights, works, dies for each other?? He was clearly disappointed and I’m sure Eddie Howe has it in him to sort it out. He is a golden boy still and has time for more life’s experiences to shape him too. We all grow and learn from experience but more often than not need a mentor. So another question is, who is mentoring Eddie and Jason?
Hopefully, it will come good again soon. We’ve had a reasonable start compared to the season before last and we’ve played possibly two of the top 4 already (Leicester and Man City).
AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale told the Daily Echo…
“…that’s not the Bournemouth which I know and the Bournemouth which any of us know.
“We were very disappointed with that performance (against Leicester City)…
“…It wasn’t the Bournemouth fighting spirit which we have shown over the past two or three seasons – and four, five, six seasons before that.
“We have just got to push and give everything but we didn’t. We just sort of folded and that’s not something which we do, it’s something we are going to have to work on.”
Toronto John wrote
Very uncomfortable feeling over here. Yes, they should have been down to 10 men, announcers saying if that isn’t a red card on VAR, what’s the point of VAR. Martin Atkinson on the board, decision impossible to explain.
But, this team is showing signs of “quit” that we were not seeing two seasons ago. Fraser gives up ball, Fraser just stands there watching it go the other way. Solanke and Ibe come in as subs, look like they never trained together. King and Wilson just look sour. Backline running around desperately, making mistakes. Lerma and Billing look good until both get yellows.
This team, under these circumstances, would never produce the 4-3 Liverpool comeback.
LCFC being tagged as a possible top 6 team, but these are the teams that we have to perform against, or we are destined for another season of lower-mid-table mediocrity (or worse).
September will be critical to our mood. Three* winnable games results required.
Heresy: Has Eddie lost this room?
Edit – * make that four games, including the League Cup. – Join the conversation, click here.