It’s finally happened. We managed a game where we didn’t concede three. Sadly we didn’t score three, or get three points.
Before the Watford match it had been six games where a three hadn’t appeared in the scoreline. Before that it was nine out of the last 10 games that hadn’t featured a three. Conceding goals is still our biggest issue and against a team who couldn’t score in open play this was amplified even further.
Eddie Howe knows what’s wrong. We can score goals and our attacking style of play contributes to this, but it also contributes to the goals scored against us. But, if we can’t stop a team scoring at corners we will be even more screwed.
6 THINGS WE LEARNT FROM AFCB v WATFORD
01. TYRONE MINGS IS NO FRANCIS
Tyrone Mings got his second Premier League start of the season, again not played in his favoured position, and once again he looked nervous. He is tall and athletic, ideal attributes for the Premier League, but undoubtedly lacks experience at this level. He didn’t seem to get much guidance from others. He looked like a stranger, a gatecrasher at a party, trying to make friends with Cook and Daniels. He has talent, but he needs help on the pitch, nurturing it before he will come good. Dropping him for the next game won’t help his progress, but we need Francis, so he will have to wait his turn, and hopefully in the right position next time out.
02. WE CAN’T DEFEND CORNERS
As we alluded to earlier, defending is proving to be a sticky wicket at the moment. Our style of play is based on attack and not so much on defence. But, it’s all about striking a happy balance. We don’t want us to change, we want us to learn to defend better. Watford rarely threatened to score from open play. But, at corners it was different. Silly mistakes were further compounded by eventually giving away a corner for the first goal and the second, what was Boruc flapping at. Would a man at the back post of helped? Probably. But, this is the last line of defence. Get the ball out before it gets anywhere near the goal-line.
03. WE CAN’T SCORE MORE GOALS THAN WATFORD
It was almost inevitable that the game would end in a draw. We have never beaten them in the Premier League and didn’t look like doing so on Saturday. We managed to score the same amount of goals again, and I would imagine as the away team would have been the happier, but probably annoyed as they were in front twice.
As least goals bring banter and there was more entertainment in the crowd than on the pitch. A reminder of our 6-1 loss was counteracted with chants of ‘Championes, Championes…’. Wonder who would be the happiest with those outcomes :-). Flares on the pitch were great, though they did stink and isn’t yellow a cowards colour? Crowd and chants 2 Football on the pitch 1.
04. JACK WILSHIRE: WILL HE EVER SCORE?
Eddie Howe seems to be undecided where to play Jack Wilshire, in a defensive role or an attacking role. He was back on defensive duty against Watford and while he shone (again) we feel this role restricts him too much. If Arter is playing Wilshire will almost inevitably play in the middle behind the striker. In our opinion where he is most effective. Take note Mr Howe, we do know what we are talking about 🙂
05. HARRY ARTER: WHERE ARE YOU?
Alright, alright we know he was on the bench, but he never got off it and we really could have done with him dominating the midfield. Was he getting a rest? Though after the game he wouldn’t have been playng for another 10 days. Rumours were Howe rested him because of family matters. Not sure how true that is, as I don’t know him personally. But, if his mind is elsewhere then give him a proper rest and some time off. Or, does he have a niggling injury. Whatever the reason, we want (or is that need him) back.
06. AFOBE IS OUR BEST STRIKER (AT THE MOMENT)
Callum Wilson is still struggling for any type of form. Every time we used to see his name on the teamsheet we got excited, not so any more. We still hope that he will reproduce his form from previous seasons, but it simply hasn’t happened. Why? We have no idea and we are not going to speculate, but every time we wish for the Callum of old.
This means that when we need a striker to produce the goods we are relying on King and Afobe, with Afobe being the main point of attack. Is he as good as Wilson? He is at the moment and looks the more likely to score goals. Would love to see him and Wilson both in form and both on the pitch at the same time. They would be (as the Americans say) AWESOME.