Callum Wilson, Josh King, Junior Stanislas and even Adam Smith have all added to the AFC Bournemouth scoring charts this season.
The strikers were struggling at the beginning of the season, but Wilson and King are now showing the kind of form we know there are perfectly capable of. Both scored against Watford, both got their second goal of the season. The Watford game was the first game of the season where we have scored more than one goal.
The team have slowly eased into the playing style that was absent at the beginning of the season. There is now more urgency in their forward play, Wilson is back to being the menace he was before his long-term injury and Josh King has grown into a striker who knows he belongs at Premier League level. Now we are looking likely to score in every game, we are now providing a threat. But you only need to look at the GD column in the Premier League table to see where are weakness lies. We are seven games in and we are already on minus 5. We are eight points along with Leicester and Watford, but it’s our GD that is keeping us at the bottom of that pile. And, we have Spurs to come very soon and we know what happened last season.
We have tightened up at the back, but obviously not enough. Do we want to sacrifice our attacking principles for a more defensive approach? I think that’s what Eddie Howe was trying at the beginning of the season, so the answer would have to be no. Attack, attack attack, we at TFTSE Towers want action and goals. As long as we get one more than the opposition it’s job done.
It’s not going to happen every game and one area where we are still vulnerable is set pieces. An area where we thought we would be strong considering our manager’s playing days position. This is often a path to goal for many teams, especially those with less finesse than the Cherries. A good example was the second against Watford.
WATFORD GOAL 01 – Daniels at fault?
The first goal saw Charlie Daniels get rolled (he should have done better) and when he did Deeney was picked out with pinpoint accuracy and it’s 1-1.
We are not blaming Daniels specifically for the first goal but the fact he was beaten on the touchline presented Watford with an opportunity to present a second ball. Daniels looked too tight and could have fouled the player to give them a free-kick. But, once Daniels had been beaten, surely Deeney was the obvious man to pick out and someone should have been on him. Only Cook was anywhere near him.
WATFORD GOAL 02 – Who’s marking who?
At set pieces there is more opportunity to get prepared. AFC Bournemouth had seven players in the box and we were done by a simple ball to the man at the front of the line. We know how to defend but we need to put it into practice.
MUST DEFEND BETTER, MUST DEFEND BETTER, MUST DEFEND BETTER…
We know its fine margins and split-second timing and sometimes it is perfect placement and pure skill that gives the opposition a goal. But positioning is critical and the less opportunities the opposition get the less chance they have of scoring. We know keeping a clean sheet every game is not possible, but the less free-kicks we give away and the better we defend them the more points we will get. Simple. Get on it Eddie