Match Report and MOM v Naarwich

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#1
Arnie Terminates Canaries….

Bournemouth and Jason’s unbeaten start to the season moves on after Norwich strode into town and strode back out again with another Danjuma special leaving them empty handed. It wasn’t the easiest watch with Bournemouth still adjusting to a new formation and Norwich full of passing football that meant we had long periods of chasing the ball, but three points is three points and keeps us in touch with the division pace-setters.

As expected Kelly missed out with Rico coming in at left centre back and Smith moving to wing-back. Billing came back after Gosling’s poor show at Boro and Danjuma switched to the centre in a new 3-5-2 line up which gave the three in midfield that the team seems to have missed in the opening games.

The first half was full of pretty football by both sides but not over-brimming with substance. Norwich were missing their two best players Cantwell and Bendia both pending moves. Brooks for us was ‘ill’ which will make the more conspiratorial fans wonder although King made the bench. As a result all the pretty build ups lacked end product although Norwich enjoyed richer possession and Bournemouth played increasingly on the break. Our best chance was created and smashed by Solanke but Krul saved well. The big Dutch stopper also foiled Stacey’s downward header. At the other end Begovic turned in an uncharacteristically decent performance and smartly denied Hernandez and Rupp.

It looked like it was going to take something special to score and it came when Lerma found DANJUMA who brilliant let the ball run across him to get a yard and then fired unerringly into the bottom corner with his left foot from the edge of the area. Two home games – two worthy match winners so you feel a little that there is no crowd for our fast rising St John’s Ambulance mens’ favourite player.

HT Bournemouth 1 Norwich 0.

The second half was largely dominated by Norwich but again with little end quality and Cook and Rico in excellent form denying space and blocking. There were a couple of penalty shouts but both were ridiculous – the sort of decisions only given to Manchester United by VAR but absent in all other forms of football. Their possession was relentless though and Bournemouth were suffering with an out ball – Solanke in particular showing the reactiveness of a pub crowd at 10pm curfew times. The much maligned 20m ‘hit’man had a golden opportunity as well to bury the match but he headed Danjumas cross softly into the air from 6 yards and over the bar when it was easier to score. Picture the closed eyes kid at school that hated heading if your stream went down.

So the game remained technically on a knife-edge but in reality I never thought Norwich would score as they brought on a succession of average strikers who were no match for our back three. In contrast we were able to bring on King who looked majestic with some bursts down the wing and some great time wasting meandering as the game ran it’s course.

There were a couple of minor cardiac arrest moments with Pukki stretching for a cross and Hugill heading wide but it was generally a calm finish with Bournemouth even pushing for a second in injury time.

FT Bournemouth 1 Norwich 0

Begovic 7 – Excellent saves and one moment aside assured handling and kicking.



Mepham 6 – Calm and steady, not hugely noticeable.

Cook 7 – Excellent marshalling and positioning.

Rico 7 – More suited to a defending role than a wing back IMO.



Stacey 6 – Quieter of the two wing-backs but tidy.

Cook 7 – Excellent first half in deep role – caught more often in 2nd

Lerma 6 – More advanced and gave press energy slight lack of quality

Billing 6 – Some useful foot ins but doesn’t hugely effect a game.

Smith 7 – Burst around with energy but needs to be on right side.



Danjuma 8 – Some real moments of quality including the main one.

Solanke 5 – Gave it away, lacked intelligence, missed a sitter, subbed.



Verdict

At the start and end of a season points are more important than performances. There is no doubting that and as a result we have made a good start. What we now need to see is if this team grows into each other and becomes an effective unit. At the moment we look like some quality individuals playing a formation that doesn’t produce much. As a result our games are getting settled by special moments rather than effective team domination.

We (some of us) put up with low possession at home when Eddie changed to it because a) it was the premier league and b) it brought the odd amazing result that lived in the memory. At any other time of this club 36% possession at home would not have been welcomed and the only other manager to try it – Pulis – got short shrift. When journos called for Pulis type managers during Eddie’s dodgy spells in the Prem the fan-base rightly pointed out they would rather lose playing Eddies bravery than draw or win with West Brom/Stoke levels of possession at home.

That’s my worry. 36% possession to a poorer side than us…….at home. This needs to change – unless our perception of the type of football we want to watch has? Football is about getting at people, getting on the ball, making magic. Today was efficient and dull and relies to much on a moment of magic and other teams not making use of 64% of the ball. So while a glance at the league table is reassuring this team has to develop a joy of playing and an identity if it is to entertain us and ultimately succeed. Let’s hope we are cracking on with working that out and I’m sure we are.

I think a switch back to a back four would facilitate this – our wing backs were so deep again today and it left huge gaps on the flanks that allows teams to strangle the middle. This wouldn’t be bad if we had players in the midfield that were able to operate in small spaces but of the four central midfielders on the books only Cook can do that and as is often discussed – erratically. Billing and Lerma aren’t small space players so the final ball is often laboured and predictable.

All of these are things for new managerial teams to work out and I’m sure they are on it. We need to get higher up the pitch and we need to create over-laps and use space on the edge of the area much better than we are. However – it is a results business and todays excellently organised defence and the ability of Danjuma to conjure means the effective start to the season continues. With Coventry up next it could be ten points out of twelve which would put a smile on all our faces
 
#2
I think we can get away with not being on top of our game because this is generally a poorer league. But then look at Blackburns results since we beat them. This team isn't (yet) up to the standard of 2014-15 but if we can keep pulling of wins then maybe confidence will grow.

I'm hopeful we can strengthen but recognise that Covid has made that more difficult.
 
#3
Tbh I think you can put the possession stat down to us sitting back in the second half to protect the lead, I didn’t think it was necessary to sit so deep but at the end of the day it got the job done. At half time the possession stats were roughly 50-50 and I thought we actually played some good football and created a couple of very good opportunities through good passing moves.
On a side note:
-a 7 for Steve cook today and a 5 for Solanke are incredibly harsh. Cook was immense, reading of the game and positioning. While Solanke held the ball up and linked play well in the first half, a lot of our attacks were built around him. Yes he missed another sitter, but if you watch it back I think you’ll see that his all round game was pretty decent.
 
#5
Decent outcome with defence looking much more solid. BUT - sorry to bleat on about this - we miss a ball-holding midfielder and this is the underlying reason possession stats are so poor. None of our current midfielders play this role, so our circulation in the middle third constantly breaks down. Key recruitment issue IMO.
 
#6
Thanks very much for the report Neil. Probably spot on even if tactics are rather subjectively argued by some. Certainly some quandaries for JT and his coaching team.
Results are, as you indicate, sometimes more important than performance, so we should be happy with the 3 points today.
Good to see that King featured, though who knows what the future holds for him or indeed any others that are touted for moving on. Early days and we should on balance be happy for now
 

Topfarrier

Fans' Favourite
#7
Tbf i can only see us getting better.....we haven't been outstanding but we've got a decent points haul.....once we adjust to being in this league and the new system we'll start to motor.....i think you have to take into account that amidst all the change at the club we've overcome a very tricky start fixture wise.....it could easily gone the other way so full marks to the players for their attitude ....no big time charlie's among them it seems.
 
#8
Tbf i can only see us getting better.....we haven't been outstanding but we've got a decent points haul.....once we adjust to being in this league and the new system we'll start to motor.....i think you have to take into account that amidst all the change at the club we've overcome a very tricky start fixture wise.....it could easily gone the other way so full marks to the players for their attitude ....no big time charlie's among them it seems.
Totally agree. We were all saying how tough these first three games would be but somehow we won both home games and got a draw away without really clicking. We will only get better from here on in, we are still learning about this league. JT is still learning about his squad, which formations work with which players etc.
It wasn’t always pretty but we made a great fist of a tough start, so plenty of cause for optimism !
 

NWCherries98

Fans' Favourite
#9
Yeah, plus hopefully JT will have learnt from the Boro game that a more open, attacking formation will be a better fit for these types of games. Tbf to him it was only his 2nd game of the league and he clearly wants to bed in this 3 at the back system.
 
#11
For me Steve Cook was outstanding particularly in the first half. It was almost as if he had heard some Prem transfer rumours about himself! LOL

Dom did snatch at a great chance and seemed to have a lot more time with the chance than he probably thought. His first touch control was pretty good though. Even Willo was impressed with one particular first touch when the ball was blasted up to him. The problem after that was trying to find players in support, especially when we sat back deep for a twenty minute spell in the second half!

I wish Danjuma woukd calm down a little bit up to the transfer window LOL! If he keeps that up we will have a queue of Prem clubs after his signature in no time!

King showed his class at the end with a mazy run in their half to run the clock down where their defenders couldn't get anywhere near him! LOL!

A great start to the season so far and long may it continue!
 
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#12
Tough game and great to get the win. Should have been more at HT and, if it had been, I think the second half would have been more comfortable. Of course we didn’t score in either game vs Norwich last season.

Think JT deserves great praise for the start we have made. Could easily have had a relegation hangover but morale seems good and JT is showing a flexibility in tactics. The championship requires teams to grind out results - we didn’t do last season
 
#13
For me Steve Cook was outstanding particularly in the first half. It was almost as if he had heard some Prem transfer rumours about himself! LOL

Dom did snatch at a great chance and seemed to have a lot more time with the chance than he probably thought. His first touch control was pretty good though. Even Willo was impressed with one particular first touch when the ball was blasted up to him. The problem after that was trying to find players in support, especially when we sat back deep for a twenty minute spell in the second half!

I wish Danjuma woukd calm down a little bit up to the transfer window LOL! If he keeps that up we will have a queue of Prem clubs after his signature in no time!

King showed his class at the end with a mazy run in their half to run the clock down where their defenders couldn't get anywhere near him! LOL!

A great start to the season so far and long may it continue!
LOL
 
#14
I'm hoping that JT is mixing his tactics up to suit the opposition,i can't see the point of playing like that against Wycombe for example.
To be fair though,these first 3 games have been tough,beating a free scoring team who look like they will be up there or thereabouts,a tough away game that we would have won if Solanke could finish against this divisions Burnley,and a home game v a team that were with us in the Prem.
Steve Cook MoM for me ,didn't put a foot wrong,an easy 8 out of ten.
 
#15
Have we learned anything about Tindall or our squad that we didn't already know? I guess we ditched the 4 man midfield. We persisted with Bego but his choice of saves is questionable. So far Goalanke is not impressing in his finishing. Teams come and dominate for large parts of the game.

Questions
Did Tindalls subs make any real change?
Is playing players out of position a necessity or an option?
Is Goalanke going to light up the championship or should we start Surridge?

More q's welcome
 
#18
Until Leicester City won the league, I always assumed that most often the team that dominates possession would win the match. Although, of course, occasionally, a team wins against the run of play. Isn't it great, when we won't let the opposition get a sniff of the ball.

But let's compare our 36% possession yesterday with two other matches. West Ham won 4-0 with 37%. Leicester managed a 5-2 victory with 28%.

If you were to ask Guardiola and Espirito Santo and they may tell you that they lost because they conceded more than they scored.

It's goals that count!
 

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#19
Until Leicester City won the league, I always assumed that most often the team that dominates possession would win the match. Although, of course, occasionally, a team wins against the run of play. Isn't it great, when we won't let the opposition get a sniff of the ball.

But let's compare our 36% possession yesterday with two other matches. West Ham won 4-0 with 37%. Leicester managed a 5-2 victory with 28%.

If you were to ask Guardiola and Espirito Santo and they may tell you that they lost because they conceded more than they scored.

It's goals that count!
To me it boils down to what you are happy watching. Some people just want to win.... that’s fair enough! Personally I like to be entertained and see my team try and keep the ball and dominate the game. Especially when they have a better squad than the opposition.

I get bored watching 30 odd percent possession at home. That’s not Bournemouth football to me.
 
#20
To me it boils down to what you are happy watching. Some people just want to win.... that’s fair enough! Personally I like to be entertained and see my team try and keep the ball and dominate the game. Especially when they have a better squad than the opposition.

I get bored watching 30 odd percent possession at home. That’s not Bournemouth football to me.
I agree, I want us to have the ball and go forward and attack and score. This what Bournemouth football should be about.

But after the dullness of last season, with our new manager, players out (and, hopefully, some in), the need to settle in to the championship and the training pitch atmosphere of matches, right now, I want results.