Match Report and MOm v Watford

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#1
Three Three Thriller kicks off 2019

A small fire delayed the game but there were more flames on the pitch than in whatever small device headed towards the Dixons in the sky. Seldom have we seen a first half like it with both sets of fans running through every emotion known to human-kind.....twice.

It wasn’t a game for the managers with a New Years hangover approach to marking in both sides but it made for cracking fun in the stands. Two nil down and three two down Bournemouth kept at it and really should have nicked the points, once again a Watford keeper saving his best for us.

The arriving fans had an extra fifteen minutes to ponder a traumatic incident...yes the announcement that Stanislas would be trying his hand at right back. With the surprise return of Gosling in midfield and Fraser back up front. Big Jeff was also back in midfield. Rico, Surman and Ibe stepping down.

The game started well for Bournemouth, some great interplay seeing Brooks bend one on to the top of the net. Stan was overlapping well and it was settling into a nice game for the home team before disaster struck. King was at fault completely leaving his man to overlap and cross to the back stick where DEENEY had peeled away to head home unmarked. Soft goal again to concede.

Bournemouth looked stunned, once again a team having scored with their first shot on-target. Worse was to come...the goal provoked a break down in passing accuracy and Gosling was the worst effected. His dreadful backpass fell short and Delofeu broke to be denied by Cook only for the ball to fall to DEENEY to calmly fire a second.

A pivotal moment for the team this in the season. Slump to a morale sapping defeát or roll sleeves up and put it right were the two options. Fraser should have done better from Stans cross when he fired at Foster from six yards. The home side were whipping up some great play though but were being fouled at regular opportunities by a feisty Watford side.

This did give a series of free kicks though and boy did we look dangerous for once this season with set pieces. Fraser had been poleaxed but picked himself up to float a great ball for Cook to head back across goal. Gosling nearly atoned for his error with a bullet header goalwards but Fosters reaction save was imperious. AKE was on hand though to bury the rebound.

Game on, and the equaliser was soon here. Fraser was the architect again with a free kick that WILSON rose to flick a fantastic header over Foster for his ninth of the season.

The Bournemouth fans were loving it and in great voice but the Champione song was barely at second verse when Watford bloody scored again. Once again it was a goal that defied belief when a routine high ball wasn’t dealt with and Deeney knocked down for SEMA to fire a low drive into Begovic near post.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get crazier Stans break and cross entertained more dummies than a Selfridges window before FRASER fired home at the far post. King then headed inches wide again from Stan in a move that would have brought the roof off.

HT Bournemouth 3 Watford 3

The second half was always likely to be anticlimactic and so it proved. Both defences had clearly had a half time talking to and were much more attentive. Bournemouth were also much more in the ascendancy, the excellent Brooks and Lerma (shooting aside) were prompting continually and King was giving us a long overdue strong game. The rhythm was back and it was vintage Bournemouth night game with the crowd part of every kick.

We really should have won it, Foster incredibly denying Wilson with a point blank save from another Fraser set piece and Ake narrowly heading wide in a frenzy of attacks.

King was the man who should have won it, twice delaying shots in tight spots to allow Foster to make great blocks. At the other end Watford had little pressure as they dropped deep but an awesome tackle by Cook denied Capoue and Begovic was off his line well twice.

Ibe and Mousset arrived but this seemed to suck the pressure rather than deliver more. Lys in particular needs to learn not to foul as much when his team are in possession. I think a neutral would have thought a goal would have been harsh on either side.

Ft Bournemouth 3 Watford 3

Begovic 6 - beaten at near post but solid.

Stanislas 7 - enterprising forward play but still learning defensive side
Cook 7 - very strong tackling and held his own v Deeney
Ake 7- good goal and quick across ground.
Daniels 7- moving display and relationship with crowd. More solid.

Fraser 8 - ever lively with assists and goals again.
Lerma 7 - some great driving play and passing. Shooting woeful.
Gosling 6 - awful back pass, poor 1st touch, battled well.
Brooks 8 - ever involved, clever and big workrate.

Wilson 6 - poor hold up play but took goal well.
King 7 - buzzed much better than of late.

Mom- I will give it to Brooks ahead of Fraser (just). I used to think Brooks delivered magic moments but not enough normal moments. Today to me was a real sign he can do both at high energy for 90 minutes. Simple balls, hard running, tackling and brilliance all combined, the top players do this week in and out and he can become one I’m sure.

Verdict.
Any worried Bournemouth fans should be happy tonight. My worry in the recent games was not the dodgy defence (we know we have one) it was the lack of the attacking verve and movement that characterised the start of the season. The best form of defence when you don’t have a great one and all that...being attack.

Tonight we saw it back at its best. Playing into feet in the box, carving things up with quick interplay and lung busting overlaps. Individual errors stopped us winning this game but they can’t persist (he says for the eight match Report in a row!).

Stan was pivotal tonight. I’ve given him flack recently so important to balance. Eddie clearly craves playing 4-4-2, particularly when his side are struggling...it’s what our DNA demands. He can’t risk Ibe there, he rightly doesn’t want to lose Fraser to the deep so it was a brave call to bring Stan there. To his credit Junior, without truly grasping the positional aspect, gave Eddie that option and attacked brilliantly as we knew he would with extra time. With this shape back we had the double ups to hurt teams outside that is Eddies constant effective Plan A.

How you work on individual errors I don’t know. It is probably a confidence thing and hopefully today’s performance plus a rest for a few from this manic spell next week will help. Surely we will also see a right back arrive and potentially another forward if Defoe moves on.

Welcome to 2019. Let’s hope it continues in this vein of entertainment.
 
#3
Thanks Neil, excellent report and spot on re Stan. He worried me first half but grew into the game, that cross for Fraser’s goal was first class and second half he looked very dangerous. At 0-2 you’re right, many teams would have folded. I feared we were looking at a potential 0-4, such was Deeney’s dominance. Eddie had his subs warm up at that point and I thought yep, please do something Eddie, bring someone (anyone!) on to steady the ship but do you know what, he did nothing, he trusted his players and they came good. The second half pleased me more than anything. We didn’t score (Foster was outstanding) but my we looked back to our best. Can’t wait for the rest of the season!
 

drd

First Team
#5
Cant argue with any of that Neil. Credit to Gosling for playing the full 90 having allegedly being nowhere near fit a few days ago!
Brooks is the real deal. Probably the most gifted player we have had
 

Garbo

UTC Legend
#6
Begovic 6 not that busy a night really despite three goals conceded
Ake 8 usual dependable self and an important goal to give us some momentum
Cook 8 Didn’t let Deeney roughing up bother him too much
Daniels 6 Got beat often' and passed poorly from defence better going foreard
Stanislas 6 did okay in a strange position for him
Lerma 7 battled and showed his quality and value to the team
Gosling 5 rushed back too soon? His passing was lacking at fault for one of Watford’s goal by passing straight back to one of their players
Brooks 8 energetic and drew many fouls from their thuggish players,again showed some great skill on the ball
Fraser 7 scored but missed a sitter too, some of his final balls were below par,but got assist for Wilson goal
Wilson 6 looked tired and slower than usual, took his goal well though
King 5 made too many wrong decisions on the ball and wasted two great chances to score

All in all a gritty fightback
The ref was terrible and how Capoue and Decouri stayed on the pitch I will never know?
Our defending could see us dragged into the relegation mire if we are not careful. Full backs needed it would seem on both sides not sure why Mings doesn’t get a run in the team?
 
#7
Brooks was Wilshere-esque with the ball at his feet and moved at twice the speed... great showing. Gosling probably not fully fit - made a good effort but first touch lacking. What will Eddie do to find a ball-hugging midfielder who can play with Lerma???
 

Red_Dez

First Team
#8
Firstly, hats off to the lads, with all the fixtures over the past couple of weeks I’m sure there were some tired/bruised bodies and heads going into the game, coupled with the injury to Franno and Daniels personal circumstances it would have been easy to have laid down feeling sorry for ourselves and taken a beating being 2-0 down so early, the attacking verve and desire to get back into the game was a credit to every one of them. Wilson’s header was sublime, had to be given the way Foster played tonight.

Josh King badly needs a goal, the first half header was pretty poor really and he seemed to take a lot of touches for his second half chances whereas if he was more confident the finishing would be more instinctive, let’s hope something goes in for him soon.

Steve Cooks last ditch tackle inside the last 15 or so was fantastic.
 

SlowDownDerek

Fans' Favourite
#10
Could agree more with your assessment Neil.

Brooks was my MoM - he is an incredibly skilful player who has a magic touch.

Daniels did well and Stan was excellent considering he was out of position. Still got an assist too.

I'd agree that Gosling's was a 6/10 performance because although there were plenty of moments of severe crapness he never hides or goes missing in games like this - he's got to cut out the mistakes though.

Their keeper let in three and was still their best player by a distance - says it all.
 
#11
Begovic 6 not that busy a night really despite three goals conceded
Ake 8 usual dependable self and an important goal to give us some momentum
Cook 8 Didn’t let Deeney roughing up bother him too much
Daniels 6 Got beat often' and passed poorly from defence better going foreard
Stanislas 6 did okay in a strange position for him
Lerma 7 battled and showed his quality and value to the team
Gosling 5 rushed back too soon? His passing was lacking at fault for one of Watford’s goal by passing straight back to one of their players
Brooks 8 energetic and drew many fouls from their thuggish players,again showed some great skill on the ball
Fraser 7 scored but missed a sitter too, some of his final balls were below par,but got assist for Wilson goal
Wilson 6 looked tired and slower than usual, took his goal well though
King 5 made too many wrong decisions on the ball and wasted two great chances to score

All in all a gritty fightback
The ref was terrible and how Capoue and Decouri stayed on the pitch I will never know?
Our defending could see us dragged into the relegation mire if we are not careful. Full backs needed it would seem on both sides not sure why Mings doesn’t get a run in the team?
"Our defending could see us dragged into the relegation mire if we are not careful."
Are you Minty in disguise?
 
#12
I know people don't like to compare last season to this (22 games vs 21 games), but, this time last season we were 6 points behind where we are at now. Based on our results from last season we are only 3 points worse off (let's say it is the Burnley away result), and we are 11 points of relegation this season, compared to 1 point last season. So all things considered (after picking up a point today vs zero points last season) we are doing ok.
 
#13
Great write up Neil. Brooks was my MOM as well. He just seems a cut above everyone on the field.

I hope the refs start to protect him before he gets killed.
 
#16
Begovic 5.5 - Couldn't do much about the goals and the defense infront but again 3 shots on target 3 goals conceded.
Stanislas 7 - Did better today at RB as he wasn't losing the ball 30 times a game and did well 2nd half.
Ake 7 - Reacted quick for goal, some good moments, some iffy ones aswell.
Cook 5.5 - Thought he really struggled with Deulofeu's pace and Deeney physicality and aerial threat 1st half.
Daniels 5.5 - Did ok going forward at times but defensively again suspect.
Gosling - 4 - A mad game from him, not fully fit and was flagging badly 2nd half I don't how he lasted 90 I was urging Eddie to bring Surman on and it was hard not to laugh when he was trying to track back on a counter near the end it was like he was trying to run through water . At fault for Deeney goal, some mad challenges.
Lerma - 6 One the ball back well at times but some terrible shooting on display, one from 45 yards.
Brooks 8 - Great composure, pace and directness.
King 5 - Just not in the game again, has to do more.
Wilson 5.5 - Apart from the goal I was a bit disappointed with his performance aswell, needs to use strength more and work his way into the games.
Fraser 7.5 - Quick and direct and rounded of a good team move with a goal.

I think we should've won in the end as their defense was as bad as ours but Foster made some good saves. Watford dealt with any crosses pretty badly and there were so many 2nd balls that fell to Gosling and Lerma on the edge of the box that we really needed an attacker to be on. Good fightback but we really need to be clinical if we're going to concede every time opposition has shot on target. 1 point closer to safety though is good as after 20 mins it looked dire.
 
#18
Good report Neil, I agree with the ratings, except a 7 for Daniels which I think is a touch generous. He tracked back well 2nd half but didn't offer a lot going forward (unlike Stan) and was poor positionally for their first goal and a bit wasteful in possession.

Agree with a 7 for King. I thought he did well unlike others on here who've been quite critical. He was often given the ball in cul-de-sacs with no easy out ball so had to hold on to it. For his 2 chances in the box he was very unlucky as both almost went through Foster. For the 2nd one he did brilliantly to turn away from the defender and create space to shoot. He's not at his best but improved massively after the first 20mins.

This game really showed how much confidence impacts football and our team in particular. The difference between when we were 0-2 down and 2-2 in our entire play was amazing. Even simple passes across the back 4 at 2 down were always a yard behind their target. 2nd half the passing was much crisper.

Great to see Ake, Fraser and Wilson back on form and Brooks was pure class.
 
#19
Pretty much a unique game, really. Neil's marks for last night (with which I mostly agree) average 7/10 across the back nine players - and yet we conceded three goals.

The errors which led to them were made by players who compensated in other ways, and the encouraging thing is that, apart from the goals, Watford barely had a sniff, with Bego being a spectator for large periods of the second half.

Just a shame we weren't more clinical going forward, a final score of 6-3 would have been more reflective of the play and the chances created.

Agree that Brooks was a star (also thought he was excellent against ManU), but my highlight of the night was undoubtedly Cookie's perfectly timed tackle which stopped an almost certain goal; brave and brilliant in equal measure
 
#20
I was stunned Eddie picked out Dan Gosling for credit in the after the match interview, he was a liability all night and lucky he was not sent off, so I agree with the 4s in the reviews above. Some great performances from the rest of the team and understand why Charlie might not have been at his best.