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added 18:10 - Dec 3
Good periods when we were well on top, other times we could have conceded again. Would have liked to have seen us put the game to bed when we were very much the better side. Overall we seem to be getting it together at a time when we will need to be at our best.
added 18:31 - Dec 3
Good end-to-end game for the neutral but the last five minutes or so saw a few squeaky bums in the Saints ranks. Overall a good performance but Pied took most of the first half to settle. We dominated possession for so much of the first half but never threatened then a stupid lapse led to their goal (might have been a foul when they stole the ball). The pressure in the 10 minutes before we scored was electrifying but as soon as the goal was scored we took the foot off the pedal and relaxed for a bit. Another five minutes of that intensity and Bournemouth might have crumbled. No one had a bad game but, equally, no one was exceptional. People will be clamouring for Charlie to start again next week but to be honest he looked like he needed a month's rest at half time. Yes, I know he scored and that's what he's there for, but he did precious little else and was so often off the pace that his so-called threat was never much of a worry for AFCB. Maybe time for Gabbiadini to get a run-out with the new-look Saints.
added 19:07 - Dec 3
Certainly a match of two halves and the removal of Ward Prowse at HT transformed the team. After that Pied had more support on the right and he was able to play a normal RWB role without fear of getting caught forward out of position as he was often in the first half but boy did we miss Cedric. Their goal would not have happened if Pied had been back and covering his man.
Hoedt has learned a valuable lesson in that no matter how good players think they are there is no place for show boating in the PL. Still, we should stick with him as otherwise he looked very composed and with Virgil playing well at last, we looked solid in the middle and Forster looked all the better for it.
Up front Austin was threat but he can't do the job on his own, lobbing crosses into the box in the hope that he will get his head on more than one a match is a very limited strategy. Others have to share th burden of scoring but today It seemed to me that Boufal was starting from too far back all the time and rarely got inside the box. This puzzles me because a player of his ability and skills will create havoc in the box with defenders scared to tackle his mazey runs but the bench never seems able to work this out.
Overall this was a game we had to win to help build momentum and move forward but we never looked like doing so even when dominating in the second half, for sure lots of possession and huff and puff but we created very little against what frankly was a pretty poor side who will be in the relegation battle at the end of the season.
Yet another let down for fans. I am not happy with a point nor the constant managerial whingeings that the PL is a tough league and every match is really difficult.
added 19:43 - Dec 3
It was good to see a return to form by Forster, Romeu and Redmond. To balance that there was some lazy football in the first half from JWP, Hoedt and Boufal. The draw was a fair result and there should be a mention for Jonathan Moss , probably the least fussy and most fair referee in the EPL. The penalty shout against Boufal could have gone either way and probably would have gone to Bournemouth if they had been one of the top six but no-one could argue about Moss's position at the time of the appeal, which I believe he got correct.
added 11:04 - Dec 4
I though the ref got both pen decisions right. He (in retrospect) didn't but I'm getting sick of "there was contact" therefore it was a pen. What has become of the game!
At the other end, if that was hand ball we will have to take charging the ball down out of the game as well as tackling.
Actually suspend players that "go looking for a pen" and sort out the shambles of the offside rule and we might have a decent game once more!
added 12:33 - Dec 4
Frustrating again. Play well for periods, sit back or let the opposition take control, fall behind, get back into it, sit back and then panic a bit at the end.
We do not seem capable of seeing off any opposition and killing games, when we are on top. Yes we were a bit more direct at times yesterday, but before and after we scored, we should have really taken a grip on the game and gone for it. Instead we get level and sit back.
I have spoken before about (Everton aside) always carrying 2/3/4 players in every game and this was evident again yesterday. JWP put in one good cross that Austin should have scored from, but apart from that, did little and was rightly subbed at HT. Maybe being dropped has had the right level of impact on Redmond, as he did well when he came on for JWP and got an assist. Davis was far too negative, like he is programmed to pass backwards when away from home, but we saw what he is actually capable of last week. Boufal was so frustrating. He has so much skill and ability, but still does not seem to be able to make the right choices. His control, shooting, passing and skills were definitely amiss and he frequently helped break up our play for Bournemouth. Hopefully he will rip Arsenal to shreds on Sunday !!
Charlie Austin should have had a hatrick with those 2 headers, but he needed someone up top with him, as there were so many opportunities to feed a fast striker in the 2nd half, but we know Austin doesn't have the pace.
Bournemouth's penalty shout was a blatant dive. I watched it many times from many angles and he plants his left foot down and springs forward, expecting contact much earlier. To get so low and with that leg movement proves it is a dive and he was virtually horizontal when the very minimal contact happened.
Oh well, probably a fair result in the end, but can't help thinking what might have been if we had actually gone for it a bit more.
Hopefully Arsenal will have an off day on Sunday, as despite losing 3-1 at home to Man U at the weekend, then managed an incredible 33 shots and 16 of those were on target. FF might be a busy man - shame they don't have to play all their stars in the Europa game on Thursday !!
added 14:37 - Dec 4
Playin JWP and Davis when there are some better options available proved to be some kind of madness.
Lemina, who got used to the Prem within one game, on the bench. Hojbjerg, who played some great Football the last two games, benched too.
Gabbiadini, who would be a more attacking Option and would mean we got two Players on the pitch able to score Goals.
Hoedt's mistake was immense, but Davis played his part in playing a looped backpass, that wasn't necessary. Again.
JWP is a kid playing with adults, who can only compete in a game without duels. So, free kicks and Corners.
Apart from that Little criticism, it was an entertaining match with probably a fair outcome. This is not a reason to be entirely happy, but it didn't ruin my day neither.
Pellergino could be even more adventorous, let's hope he will somewhen...
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