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If AFC Bournemouth could score when they wanted we would be winning every game, and by a ridiculous margin. Who wants to lose 2-0,when you can score when you want? We want to be winning 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 or at least 5-2 or 7-6 to make a match more exciting.
It was only recently that we lost our record of scoring in every game. That’s a run of 13 games where we scored at least a single goal. Looking at that those thirteen games we scored a single goal in ten games while the remaining 3 fixtures saw AFC Bournemouth score 2, 3 and 5 goals.
Out of those 13 games we won 5, drew 2 and lost 7. Not a brilliant haul, but much of what we would have expected at this time of the season. Along the way we beat FA Cup holders and ex Premiership side Wigan, came from 2-0 down against Millwall, got creditable draws away to Notts Forest and Middlesboro. Plus, we narrowly lost to Leeds and Leicester. Admittedly, there has been a few hiccups along the way, Watford and Huddersfield away and more recently Bolton at home.
The last performance got the natives restless saying we simply didn’t test the keeper enough. It was a poor performance by the Cherries usual standards, and perhaps the worse game we have seen at Dean Court this season. But, the opposition were little better, with a lucky first goal, we are sure he mishit it, otherwise Cook would have blocked and the second was almost inevitable.
Looking at the stats (source: BBC Sport) against Bolton we had 67% possession 20 shots and 4 on target. Bolton had 14 shots and 4 shots on target. So it would seem honours were very much even. So it would seem that defeat wasn’t so much based on testing the keeper, but keeping out the shots on goal. Something the Bolton keeper obviously managed to do better.
Keeping clean sheets has very much been AFC Bournemouth’s problem. There is the obvious scenario that every team starts the game with a point and if the other team doesn’t score we would walk away with at least a point.
So, not scoring goals, remember has only happened once in 14 games, is not really the issue. The problem lies in defence. If we could stop the opposition scoring more than one goal we would have gained an improved points haul. In fact, if we had only let in one goal in the games we lost by a single, or drew, we would be on 23 points and sitting in the play-offs.
Lets hope the imminent return of Matt Ritchie will add a more attacking threat, along with the soon to be Rantie goalfest and, much improved defending with a succession of clean sheets.