Match Report and MOM v Palace

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#1
Prime Time Crime Time

After thirty long years of waiting, doomed Spanish soap-opera Eldorado can finally justifiably state it is no longer the worst showing on BBC prime time tv. That honour now sits firmly with AFC Bournemouth who took us on a slow scenic railway journey from mediocrity to clueless in 96 minutes to forget on the Beeb tonight.

So much had changed, the strange sites of hasmats in the 'crowd', drinks breaks, piped crowd noise, black lives matters protests - it was a surreal experience and the watching fans craved normality. Thankfully the players had that covered and rolled the clock back to pre-covid days with a clueless, dispassionate, limp performance that took us back to the halcyon early 2020 days of Bush fires and floods. For 96 reassuring minutes it was like this bug had never happened........

Eddie started with Brooks back playing off Callum with King relegated wide again to his obvious frustration and Harry on the other flank where he has looked so lost for most of the year. The rest of the side was as expected with maybe the exception of Cook ahead of Gosling.

The game lacked energy and zip from the off aside from the odd nice touch from Brooks and some comfortable play from Lerma. From pretty early on you could see that we were still set up to counter-attack and any hopes Eddie would have used the extended break to commit more men forwards was quickly ruled out. He was sticking to the game-plan of the last two years. Palace are a similar counter attacking side (just with a better defence) and Zaha cut in and shot just over on their first break.

The early goal we didn't want to conceded came when Brooks nudged Zaha on the edge of the area. MILIVOJEVIC is a renowned free-kick taker and his execution with his right foot was superb catching Ramsdale slightly on his back foot as the ball bent and dipped into the top corner. Bournemouth looked shell-shocked - no other side can fall behind so often to a first shot on target. Its a real sucker punch and it showed as the team settled into a pattern of awful passing and lack of movement.

The worst thing that could have happenned was a crushing second blow but it came. Harry Wilson's inability to track an overlap is so well documented it was probably in the Doomsday book and he reverted to type to allow an intricate move to completely catch him out down the left and AYEW to score with ease on Van Aaholts pull back. It was game-over really, we knew it, the players knew it - only Crystal Palace and the watching millions had hope of a come-back.

The first half played out in a predictable pattern (bored writing this hope you are not bored reading it) with nothing to report. No shots on target once again in a first half.

HT Bournemouth 0 Palace 2

The second half saw Harry give way for Danjuma and he looked lively to be fair in places. Unfortunately Palace had absolutely no reason to attack having found themselves in the rare position of scoring twice. That gave us a lot of possession against a deep sitting team - guaranteed Bournemouth frustration.

The players came and went - King limped off probably never to be seen again, which brought the goal machine Solanke to the touch-line, bouncing up and down like a horse racing jockey and with all the same aerial ability. He was soon on and had one moment where the goal loomed, his moment beckoned - that prime time TV thunderbolt he had dreamed of since a kid. The nation shuffled towards the edge of its sofas.... Bournemouth fans picked up the newspaper......Dom made his usual mangled foot connection with the ball that just about made the touch-line somewhere between the corner flag and the goal-post.

The only threat, Brooks, dropped with cramp and was replaced with Stan enjoying an injury free spell since March.

That left one question. Would Bournemouth complete another game without a shot on target? There's been a few and its always an impressive stat for a home side. It was looking likely then Ake ruined it, rising above Cahill to cushion a soft header straight into the hands of the keeper.

After that Palace spent the game running into the corner flag and Bournemouth spent the game passing to them. Zaha and Cahill missed good chances to make it worse - thankfully they didn't. That brought an end to a game so bad that even though i've had my refund and didn't use petrol I still feel cheated.

FT Bournemouth 0 Palace 2

Ramsdale 6 - Maybe could have got a better hand to the first goal - not much else to do.

Stacey 5 - Never comfortable against Zaha and no cover from Harry
Cook 6 - Pretty intimidated by Benteke but held firm
Ake 6 - Good football playing out from the back
Smith 5 - Too often cutting in and not great for the second goal.

Harry Wilson 4 - Obviously has to play.... there can be no other reason.
Lerma 6 - Battled hard and looks like he wants to win at least. Misplaced passing.
Cook 5 - some nice plays but he didn't dominate the game.
King 4 - just not interested that wide and deep - and wasted.

Brooks 7 - Some nice touches but tired early.

C. Wilson 4 - Poor touch, uninvolved - game play does not suit him.

(Danjuma 6 nice touches, Solanke 5, Stan 5)

MOM - I am going to give it to Brooks - he wasn't great but he showed some entertainment.

Verdict

I was struggling to get enthusiasm for this game. I've been so bored watching us this year but was hoping that it would have changed. The problem was - deep down - I knew it wouldn't have. Once Eddie gets on a thing it is so difficult for him to change it. I hoped that he would go back to the high pitch possession, overlapping risk taking football that made him God here but I feared that he would persevere with sitting deep and trying to play on the break. Surely he had the mind-break and the time to try something different. He didn't. Clearly the players don't get it either which means for the first time in Eddie's reigns we have players playing below their ability and not above it as so often before. That's sad to watch and it clearly bewilders him which is also sad to watch.

So what went wrong. A few things - which seem obvious to me and worries me why they are not obvious to our coaching team.
1) If you want to play on the break pace is key. Having only one player in your front four with pace and playing him deep means this will never work - and it didn't.
2) Playing two right footed players on your left flank will mean the play will continually come in field and compress. We were absymal on that flank all game - but Smith and King are two of our best players - they are just being wasted tactically. Meanwhile £20m of left-backs sat in the stand.
3) Harry Wilson has shown time and time again he is not a wide player in the PL both offensively and defensively. Why have we not spotted this? Lampard had him sussed and sat him behind the forwards where his slide-rule passing and thunderbolt shots come to the fore. We have wasted his loan all season.
4) Callum Wilson has contributed nothing much this season. King is a much more lively centre-forward if you want to play on the break....we could have gone with King up top and Danjuma and Brooks in a three, Lerma, Cook and Gosling behind them. Now it looks like we may be without Josh anyway - kicked off the pitch in a wide midfield role.
5) If you want to play defensively you need a strong defence as you will be inviting people on. We have never had a good defensive record so for us to do it means we concede the same amount of goals as when we were gung-ho just without scoring any at the other end. It is also mind-numbingly boring. I don't even like watching my football team anymore!

Three months of thought, planning - an opportunity to turn it all around and nothing changed. All the same mistakes, nothing picked up by the analysts or the coaches no partnerships just eleven players playing a system that doesn't suit them and they clearly don't like.

Thats the recipe for relegation. I keep hoping for change but if we didn't get it after three months of reflection I can't see it coming for Wednesday. Our only hope, and I'm determined to leave this report on a hope is that at least after a performance this bad we might rip up the book. A hard fought unlucky defeat and we wouldn't have. Come on Eddie - go back to your roots man.
 
#5
I’m sorry but I just don’t agree with playing Smith at left back. It is crazy to play our best right back out of position. Rico, by no means the best left back in the league, is solid enough, and his set pieces often bang on the money! Just looks so imbalanced to me having Smith on the left. Assuming King and Billing are out would like to see us go 4-3-3 next time....
Rambo
Smith
Cook
Ake
Rico
Lerma
Gosling
Brooks
H Wilson
C Wilson
Danjuma

Don’t give any defensive responsibility to H Wilson, and get Smith and Rico overlapping from the back on their natural sides.
If we are going to go down let’s go down having a proper fight at it!
 
#6
The only hope we had is that the team that had showed some guts and desire in the last seven or so games turned up raring to go. Instead we got the abject shite from the two months prior to that. This was the same boringly depressing performance as at Selhurst Park, which was one of our worst performances this season - which says something.

I really can't see them getting out of trouble, to be honest they deserve to go down. I also can't see me watching many more games for the rest of this season either. I don't particularly like this version of football and our performances aren't worth putting up with it for.
 
#8
Prime Time Crime Time

After thirty long years of waiting, doomed Spanish soap-opera Eldorado can finally justifiably state it is no longer the worst showing on BBC prime time tv. That honour now sits firmly with AFC Bournemouth who took us on a slow scenic railway journey from mediocrity to clueless in 96 minutes to forget on the Beeb tonight.

So much had changed, the strange sites of hasmats in the 'crowd', drinks breaks, piped crowd noise, black lives matters protests - it was a surreal experience and the watching fans craved normality. Thankfully the players had that covered and rolled the clock back to pre-covid days with a clueless, dispassionate, limp performance that took us back to the halcyon early 2020 days of Bush fires and floods. For 96 reassuring minutes it was like this bug had never happened........

Eddie started with Brooks back playing off Callum with King relegated wide again to his obvious frustration and Harry on the other flank where he has looked so lost for most of the year. The rest of the side was as expected with maybe the exception of Cook ahead of Gosling.

The game lacked energy and zip from the off aside from the odd nice touch from Brooks and some comfortable play from Lerma. From pretty early on you could see that we were still set up to counter-attack and any hopes Eddie would have used the extended break to commit more men forwards was quickly ruled out. He was sticking to the game-plan of the last two years. Palace are a similar counter attacking side (just with a better defence) and Zaha cut in and shot just over on their first break.

The early goal we didn't want to conceded came when Brooks nudged Zaha on the edge of the area. MILIVOJEVIC is a renowned free-kick taker and his execution with his right foot was superb catching Ramsdale slightly on his back foot as the ball bent and dipped into the top corner. Bournemouth looked shell-shocked - no other side can fall behind so often to a first shot on target. Its a real sucker punch and it showed as the team settled into a pattern of awful passing and lack of movement.

The worst thing that could have happenned was a crushing second blow but it came. Harry Wilson's inability to track an overlap is so well documented it was probably in the Doomsday book and he reverted to type to allow an intricate move to completely catch him out down the left and AYEW to score with ease on Van Aaholts pull back. It was game-over really, we knew it, the players knew it - only Crystal Palace and the watching millions had hope of a come-back.

The first half played out in a predictable pattern (bored writing this hope you are not bored reading it) with nothing to report. No shots on target once again in a first half.

HT Bournemouth 0 Palace 2

The second half saw Harry give way for Danjuma and he looked lively to be fair in places. Unfortunately Palace had absolutely no reason to attack having found themselves in the rare position of scoring twice. That gave us a lot of possession against a deep sitting team - guaranteed Bournemouth frustration.

The players came and went - King limped off probably never to be seen again, which brought the goal machine Solanke to the touch-line, bouncing up and down like a horse racing jockey and with all the same aerial ability. He was soon on and had one moment where the goal loomed, his moment beckoned - that prime time TV thunderbolt he had dreamed of since a kid. The nation shuffled towards the edge of its sofas.... Bournemouth fans picked up the newspaper......Dom made his usual mangled foot connection with the ball that just about made the touch-line somewhere between the corner flag and the goal-post.

The only threat, Brooks, dropped with cramp and was replaced with Stan enjoying an injury free spell since March.

That left one question. Would Bournemouth complete another game without a shot on target? There's been a few and its always an impressive stat for a home side. It was looking likely then Ake ruined it, rising above Cahill to cushion a soft header straight into the hands of the keeper.

After that Palace spent the game running into the corner flag and Bournemouth spent the game passing to them. Zaha and Cahill missed good chances to make it worse - thankfully they didn't. That brought an end to a game so bad that even though i've had my refund and didn't use petrol I still feel cheated.

FT Bournemouth 0 Palace 2

Ramsdale 6 - Maybe could have got a better hand to the first goal - not much else to do.

Stacey 5 - Never comfortable against Zaha and no cover from Harry
Cook 6 - Pretty intimidated by Benteke but held firm
Ake 6 - Good football playing out from the back
Smith 5 - Too often cutting in and not great for the second goal.

Harry Wilson 4 - Obviously has to play.... there can be no other reason.
Lerma 6 - Battled hard and looks like he wants to win at least. Misplaced passing.
Cook 5 - some nice plays but he didn't dominate the game.
King 4 - just not interested that wide and deep - and wasted.

Brooks 7 - Some nice touches but tired early.

C. Wilson 4 - Poor touch, uninvolved - game play does not suit him.

(Danjuma 6 nice touches, Solanke 5, Stan 5)

MOM - I am going to give it to Brooks - he wasn't great but he showed some entertainment.

Verdict

I was struggling to get enthusiasm for this game. I've been so bored watching us this year but was hoping that it would have changed. The problem was - deep down - I knew it wouldn't have. Once Eddie gets on a thing it is so difficult for him to change it. I hoped that he would go back to the high pitch possession, overlapping risk taking football that made him God here but I feared that he would persevere with sitting deep and trying to play on the break. Surely he had the mind-break and the time to try something different. He didn't. Clearly the players don't get it either which means for the first time in Eddie's reigns we have players playing below their ability and not above it as so often before. That's sad to watch and it clearly bewilders him which is also sad to watch.

So what went wrong. A few things - which seem obvious to me and worries me why they are not obvious to our coaching team.
1) If you want to play on the break pace is key. Having only one player in your front four with pace and playing him deep means this will never work - and it didn't.
2) Playing two right footed players on your left flank will mean the play will continually come in field and compress. We were absymal on that flank all game - but Smith and King are two of our best players - they are just being wasted tactically. Meanwhile £20m of left-backs sat in the stand.
3) Harry Wilson has shown time and time again he is not a wide player in the PL both offensively and defensively. Why have we not spotted this? Lampard had him sussed and sat him behind the forwards where his slide-rule passing and thunderbolt shots come to the fore. We have wasted his loan all season.
4) Callum Wilson has contributed nothing much this season. King is a much more lively centre-forward if you want to play on the break....we could have gone with King up top and Danjuma and Brooks in a three, Lerma, Cook and Gosling behind them. Now it looks like we may be without Josh anyway - kicked off the pitch in a wide midfield role.
5) If you want to play defensively you need a strong defence as you will be inviting people on. We have never had a good defensive record so for us to do it means we concede the same amount of goals as when we were gung-ho just without scoring any at the other end. It is also mind-numbingly boring. I don't even like watching my football team anymore!

Three months of thought, planning - an opportunity to turn it all around and nothing changed. All the same mistakes, nothing picked up by the analysts or the coaches no partnerships just eleven players playing a system that doesn't suit them and they clearly don't like.

Thats the recipe for relegation. I keep hoping for change but if we didn't get it after three months of reflection I can't see it coming for Wednesday. Our only hope, and I'm determined to leave this report on a hope is that at least after a performance this bad we might rip up the book. A hard fought unlucky defeat and we wouldn't have. Come on Eddie - go back to your roots man.
Loved the first 2 paragraphs!
 
#9
I’m not sure I’d be questioning the LB for a goal that was created from a cutback down our right flank.
As I was talking about Smith being at left back,when I don't think he should be,the fact he didn't spot his man,Ayew making the run towards the ball,entitles me to.But yes you are right our right side were to blame aswell
 
#12
As I was talking about Smith being at left back,when I don't think he should be,the fact he didn't spot his man,Ayew making the run towards the ball,entitles me to.But yes you are right our right side were to blame aswell
I just don’t think a LB should be tracking his man all the way across the box like that. Normally you communicate to one of your teammates that you are passing him on.

Now it could be Smith’s fault that he failed to do that and by coming so far out of position, the other defenders assumed he still had his man but either way, I’d have liked to have seen some of the other defenders show more responsibility
 
#13
Where’s the fire, the pace, the commitment - gone, gone, gone. It’s just boring. I’m convince the serpent entered the dresssing room last summer when Callum Wilson got his £25m contract. Why him - other players must have said. Suddenly the “band of brothers” are no more. Within a few weeks Wilson had stopped scoring and the team were playing like zombies, as they still are. It’s too late now, but I can’t help thinking another manager might at least kick them up the ****************. Solanke looked so useless again tonight, what a waste of money. The dream is over. Great match report btw.
 
#15
You could have saved yourself the effort of writing a new report tonight Neil by just cut and pasting any of your other ones from earlier in the season (except that Brooks played).

Same turgid football we have suffered pretty much all season. It didn’t work before the break, as we saw from being in the bottom three, and it won’t work now. Very sad.
 
#16
I just don’t think a LB should be tracking his man all the way across the box like that. Normally you communicate to one of your teammates that you are passing him on.

Now it could be Smith’s fault that he failed to do that and by coming so far out of position, the other defenders assumed he still had his man but either way, I’d have liked to have seen some of the other defenders show more responsibility
That was his man,he had no one else to mark,he looked twice behind him to see Ayew,but then failed to react,plus his team mates were all facing the other way.How could he pass him on to his team mates when he didn't even spot his run himself,as he was looking at the ball again.He is the best right back at the club,play him there.I wonder what the left backs are thinking when they are dropped for a right back
 
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#17
Prime Time Crime Time

After thirty long years of waiting, doomed Spanish soap-opera Eldorado can finally justifiably state it is no longer the worst showing on BBC prime time tv. That honour now sits firmly with AFC Bournemouth who took us on a slow scenic railway journey from mediocrity to clueless in 96 minutes to forget on the Beeb tonight.

So much had changed, the strange sites of hasmats in the 'crowd', drinks breaks, piped crowd noise, black lives matters protests - it was a surreal experience and the watching fans craved normality. Thankfully the players had that covered and rolled the clock back to pre-covid days with a clueless, dispassionate, limp performance that took us back to the halcyon early 2020 days of Bush fires and floods. For 96 reassuring minutes it was like this bug had never happened........

Eddie started with Brooks back playing off Callum with King relegated wide again to his obvious frustration and Harry on the other flank where he has looked so lost for most of the year. The rest of the side was as expected with maybe the exception of Cook ahead of Gosling.

The game lacked energy and zip from the off aside from the odd nice touch from Brooks and some comfortable play from Lerma. From pretty early on you could see that we were still set up to counter-attack and any hopes Eddie would have used the extended break to commit more men forwards was quickly ruled out. He was sticking to the game-plan of the last two years. Palace are a similar counter attacking side (just with a better defence) and Zaha cut in and shot just over on their first break.

The early goal we didn't want to conceded came when Brooks nudged Zaha on the edge of the area. MILIVOJEVIC is a renowned free-kick taker and his execution with his right foot was superb catching Ramsdale slightly on his back foot as the ball bent and dipped into the top corner. Bournemouth looked shell-shocked - no other side can fall behind so often to a first shot on target. Its a real sucker punch and it showed as the team settled into a pattern of awful passing and lack of movement.

The worst thing that could have happenned was a crushing second blow but it came. Harry Wilson's inability to track an overlap is so well documented it was probably in the Doomsday book and he reverted to type to allow an intricate move to completely catch him out down the left and AYEW to score with ease on Van Aaholts pull back. It was game-over really, we knew it, the players knew it - only Crystal Palace and the watching millions had hope of a come-back.

The first half played out in a predictable pattern (bored writing this hope you are not bored reading it) with nothing to report. No shots on target once again in a first half.

HT Bournemouth 0 Palace 2

The second half saw Harry give way for Danjuma and he looked lively to be fair in places. Unfortunately Palace had absolutely no reason to attack having found themselves in the rare position of scoring twice. That gave us a lot of possession against a deep sitting team - guaranteed Bournemouth frustration.

The players came and went - King limped off probably never to be seen again, which brought the goal machine Solanke to the touch-line, bouncing up and down like a horse racing jockey and with all the same aerial ability. He was soon on and had one moment where the goal loomed, his moment beckoned - that prime time TV thunderbolt he had dreamed of since a kid. The nation shuffled towards the edge of its sofas.... Bournemouth fans picked up the newspaper......Dom made his usual mangled foot connection with the ball that just about made the touch-line somewhere between the corner flag and the goal-post.

The only threat, Brooks, dropped with cramp and was replaced with Stan enjoying an injury free spell since March.

That left one question. Would Bournemouth complete another game without a shot on target? There's been a few and its always an impressive stat for a home side. It was looking likely then Ake ruined it, rising above Cahill to cushion a soft header straight into the hands of the keeper.

After that Palace spent the game running into the corner flag and Bournemouth spent the game passing to them. Zaha and Cahill missed good chances to make it worse - thankfully they didn't. That brought an end to a game so bad that even though i've had my refund and didn't use petrol I still feel cheated.

FT Bournemouth 0 Palace 2

Ramsdale 6 - Maybe could have got a better hand to the first goal - not much else to do.

Stacey 5 - Never comfortable against Zaha and no cover from Harry
Cook 6 - Pretty intimidated by Benteke but held firm
Ake 6 - Good football playing out from the back
Smith 5 - Too often cutting in and not great for the second goal.

Harry Wilson 4 - Obviously has to play.... there can be no other reason.
Lerma 6 - Battled hard and looks like he wants to win at least. Misplaced passing.
Cook 5 - some nice plays but he didn't dominate the game.
King 4 - just not interested that wide and deep - and wasted.

Brooks 7 - Some nice touches but tired early.

C. Wilson 4 - Poor touch, uninvolved - game play does not suit him.

(Danjuma 6 nice touches, Solanke 5, Stan 5)

MOM - I am going to give it to Brooks - he wasn't great but he showed some entertainment.

Verdict

I was struggling to get enthusiasm for this game. I've been so bored watching us this year but was hoping that it would have changed. The problem was - deep down - I knew it wouldn't have. Once Eddie gets on a thing it is so difficult for him to change it. I hoped that he would go back to the high pitch possession, overlapping risk taking football that made him God here but I feared that he would persevere with sitting deep and trying to play on the break. Surely he had the mind-break and the time to try something different. He didn't. Clearly the players don't get it either which means for the first time in Eddie's reigns we have players playing below their ability and not above it as so often before. That's sad to watch and it clearly bewilders him which is also sad to watch.

So what went wrong. A few things - which seem obvious to me and worries me why they are not obvious to our coaching team.
1) If you want to play on the break pace is key. Having only one player in your front four with pace and playing him deep means this will never work - and it didn't.
2) Playing two right footed players on your left flank will mean the play will continually come in field and compress. We were absymal on that flank all game - but Smith and King are two of our best players - they are just being wasted tactically. Meanwhile £20m of left-backs sat in the stand.
3) Harry Wilson has shown time and time again he is not a wide player in the PL both offensively and defensively. Why have we not spotted this? Lampard had him sussed and sat him behind the forwards where his slide-rule passing and thunderbolt shots come to the fore. We have wasted his loan all season.
4) Callum Wilson has contributed nothing much this season. King is a much more lively centre-forward if you want to play on the break....we could have gone with King up top and Danjuma and Brooks in a three, Lerma, Cook and Gosling behind them. Now it looks like we may be without Josh anyway - kicked off the pitch in a wide midfield role.
5) If you want to play defensively you need a strong defence as you will be inviting people on. We have never had a good defensive record so for us to do it means we concede the same amount of goals as when we were gung-ho just without scoring any at the other end. It is also mind-numbingly boring. I don't even like watching my football team anymore!

Three months of thought, planning - an opportunity to turn it all around and nothing changed. All the same mistakes, nothing picked up by the analysts or the coaches no partnerships just eleven players playing a system that doesn't suit them and they clearly don't like.

Thats the recipe for relegation. I keep hoping for change but if we didn't get it after three months of reflection I can't see it coming for Wednesday. Our only hope, and I'm determined to leave this report on a hope is that at least after a performance this bad we might rip up the book. A hard fought unlucky defeat and we wouldn't have. Come on Eddie - go back to your roots man.
Well we all know that the BBC have a massive left wing bias so it's hardly surprising we struggled to stop Palace down that side.
 
#19
The most annoying thing is that we’ve had 2-3 months to reflect on how we might change things, getting players back from injury, and then we just revert to serving up the same old crap that has done nothing for us all season.
Howe has the right to take us down for all he has done with us, but this has been a huge stubborn failing on his part, and yes the players have been disinterested, but the blame lies at his door
 
#20
Neil mentions about the counter style and the disappointment of continuing to use it last night and potentially into Wolves and beyond. And I largely agree, the fixation of our play to that style has been very harmful.

However if anything using that style actually makes sense at Wolves, more sense certainly than using it in a must win home game such as last night. So I can't see it changing

Thing is, we got those results against Brighton and Villa by playing more on the front foot, it just took a bit of momentum in the game and motivation from the crowd to get us to up the tempo and play that way. I'm wondering if this lack of tempo and deep sitting is more down to a lack of confidence, rather than specific tactics.