Match report v Huddersfield

#1
--- Welcome To The Thunder-Dom ---

A football stadium without fans is like the Tin Man, lacking it’s real heart. So the big news of the day was the return of Bournemouth fans to a match for the first time since the defeat against Liverpool in March. The sound of Nonny’s voice ringing around the stadium was an early Christmas treat and the difference in atmosphere and the anticipation it created was wonderful to see and hear.

Jack Simpson also made his first league appearance for the Cherries since that fateful day at Anfield, in for the injured Mepham as Lerma came in for the suspended Rico with Tindall opting for three in the middle of the park with Kelly moving to left back.

The opening exchanges were back and forth with little threat in either direction. The high press from Huddersfield seemed to be creating problems for several Cherries players with the ball lost a few times to the tactic early-doors.

After 7 minutes a strong Lerma challenge on the halfway line won him the ball with space opening up in front of him along with runs from Brooks and Solanke. Head up, he played it through to Brooks who dragged defenders around him as he closed in on the Huddersfield area and shaped to shoot only to them slip the ball to Solanke whose dart behind his distracted defender left him closing in on goal. His one touch and then glorious dink over the keeper to make it 1-0 was the sign of a striker in form and the mark of something we haven’t been able to label him since he came here – a goalscorer. Wonderful to see.

Four minutes later Brooks and Lewis Cook tried to play their way out of defence after the Cherries repelled a set piece only to give it away. A quick pass from Huddersfield left Bacuna driving centrally at the AFCB area with space to unleash a shot. The strike took a wicked deflection off Simpson and seemed to be heading into the corner only for Begovic to fling himself with a hand stretched out a hand like a meat platter to force it away. Excellent keeping.

The value of that was apparent one minute later at the other end when Lerma pressed the Huddersfield defence and they passed short allowing him to intercept on the corner of their area. He fed the wide open Solanke in the area who took one touch and then battered the ball into the far corner of the net.

It was two heavy blows but Huddersfield didn’t choose to close the hatch and try and slow the game down, instead pushing forward and it nearly paid dividends when some neat passing sliced open the Cherries defence and ended with another save from Begovic.

Then on 20 minutes a fairly innocuous looking cross in from Lerma was skilfully plucked out of the air by an outstretched Daddy Long-legs foot from Solanke. Surrounded by defenders, his second touch was to lay the ball back to Brooks who was loitering with intent at the edge of the box. The Championship’s November Player of the Month unleashed a curling drive with force that left the Huddersfield keeper rooted like a tree.

3-0 and the Terriers looked terrified of our attacking prowess. Meanwhile three times Solanke had taken two touches in the box resulting in two goals and one assist. Brooks was everywhere, popping up one side or the other and dragging players out of position with him as they tried to cover his threat.

Kelly and Smith were both getting forward on their respective flanks and, after a slightly nervous start, Kelly was growing into the game with some good defensive work as well as offensive.

The half broke down with neither side maintaining a period of sustained pressure but the Cherries still created the best remaining chances. An excellent Billing interception allowed him to play through Stanislas who, in turn, laid it on for Brooks only for him to side-foot wide when well placed. Then moments before the break a wide free kick pinged in by Stanislas was flicked goalwards by Steve Cook only for the keeper to pull off a good save.

No doubt delighted with what he’d seen, Tindall kept things the same at half time whilst Huddersfield changed their keeper due to an injury picked up when making that late stop.

The visiting team came out of the traps when the whilst blew, no doubt having endured a half time rocket or two, and a shot after 45 seconds required Begovic to be alert but he was prepared and well positioned to keep it out.

After that it was a mostly quiet first fifteen of the second period. Then the Terriers exchanged smartly on the edge of the Cherries box leaving a striker through on goal but with the trigger about to be pulled, Kelly flew in to put in a majestic block and prevent the deficit from being reduced.

Multiple subs started to be made by both teams as the game started to resemble an amorphous blob. Sloppy play combining with smart intercepting being the starting point for most chances.

With a first senior career hat-trick in his sights, Solanke drilled a shot from outside the area just past the post. I wanted to make a point of this as since joining he’s picked up a reputation as a player that can’t strike the ball cleanly. It’s amazing what confidence can do as he absolutely belted this as clean as a whistle.

Then on 66 minutes Stanislas picked the ball up near the halfway line and started dribbling at the Huddersfield defence. Their tackling made it look like he was running at them with a live landmine at his feet but that doesn’t detract from the shimmies and pace at which he went straight at goal past four players and slotted home. Scintillating stuff to make it 4-0.

Three minutes later it was Solanke’s turn to run at the Huddersfield defence at pace who were starting to look as organised as a herd of cats. He passed to the wide open and recently subbed on Gosling who laid it perfectly to his fellow replacement Surridge to fire home for the Cherries fifth in what was turning into a rout.

This prompted Tindall to bring off Solanke for some much needed rest, although he would no doubt have preferred to try and secure his hat-trick. In front of a capacity crowd his departure would have received a prolonged standing ovation but it was great that even reduced numbers got to see this performance.

Since signing for the Cherries his struggles have been well documented but from the tail end of the PL season he’s really grown as a player, even if those matches have been behind closed doors. He’s now done it in front of the first returned smatterings of the Dean Court faithful and bestrode the pitch like a mythical giant.

The remainder of the game could have seen more misery heaped on the visitors as several chances were spurned or saved. However, the main noteworthy moment came on 85 minutes when Zemura came on for his league debut along with the previously unheard of 16 year old Ajani Burchall who is the third youngest player to ever make his bow for the club.

It’s hard to draw any conclusions from those few minutes on the pitch as Huddersfield were a team in utter disarray but he certainly didn’t lack confidence, picking up the ball and trying to make things happen several times.

The last hoorah for the match and a suitable example to where things had descended was Steve Cook dribbling from one end of the pitch to the other and nearly making it all the way through with only his final touch being too heavy which allowed the keeper to reach it first.

A day at the office you’d like to replay every week if you can. We mustn’t dismiss Huddersfield’s decision to rest key players allied to other crucial men being injured. It was a seriously weakened opponent that went onto the pitch but the Cherries showed no mercy in putting them down.
 
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#2
--- Conclusions ---

- Solanke’s progression continues apace. Earlier in the season we were talking about his hard work and help in the build up play to bring other players into the game. Now he’s being ruthless in the danger zone and looks a real goalscorer. As someone that’s given him a hard time in the past, I’m as pleased as punch for him.

- I’m wary of the three in midfield being viewed as a universal panacea since this was a much depleted opposition and so we’ll face stiffer challenges. However it proved very effective, especially in the way Lerma and Billing closed down and intercepted through the whole match. Hat tip to JT.

- The difference between 1-1 and 2-0 over 60 seconds is enormous so Begovic’s save continues his excellent form and was crucial in how the game developed.

- Top scorers in the league so far this season. It may not be the all out attack of our last campaign in this division but it’s sure as heck proving effective now we’ve built up a head of steam.

- There’s something special and enjoyable seeing youth team players graduate to the first team. Let’s hope Zemura and Burchall go on to have excellent careers in our red and black. Congratulations to both.


--- Player Ratings ---

Begovic – 7
One crucial and outstanding save and a couple of other neat ones.

S Cook – 7
Clean sheet? Check. Striker in pocket? Check. Maradonna dribble the length of the pitch? Almost check.

Simpson – 6
Looked shaky at the start but solid the longer the game went on. Also had a dribble but panicked when he got near the opposition box!

Kelly – 8
Once he’d got over early jitters at the Huddersfield press he looked very good and made lots of incisive forward runs along with a couple of excellent defensive interventions.

L Cook – 7
Controlled the midfield from the back although this game was more about the players further forward and wide.

A Smith (off on 87) – 8
Best performance of the season from him. Energy and guts. If anyone else thought about easing off he wasn’t taking his boot from their neck. Great to have him back!

Lerma – 8
I’ve no idea how many interceptions he made but it was a lot. All over the park and even finished the match as our right back and managed to look dangerous there.

Billing (off on 64) – 7
Another very good showing from the big man. He could be very hard to displace from this midfield now although I’m not sure how we accommodate all of them.

Stanislas (off on 87) - 8
Part of an attack that caused chaos in the opposition ranks throughout and one solo goal that will make AFCB highlights reels for years to come.

Brooks (off on 64) – 8
Back to his quick touch best. They didn’t know how to stop him.

Solanke (off on 71) – 9 and Man of the Match
The Huddersfield defenders will have nightmares about him. Suddenly looks the complete striker. Bring on the rest of the season!

Surridge (on from 64) – 7
Well taken goal. He has some goals per minute ratio this season now!

Gosling (on from 64) – 7
An assist in short order of coming on and didn’t loosen our grip on the midfield despite the way the match broke down after all the subs.

Riquelme (on from 71) – 6
Desperate to impress but struggled a little during his time on the pitch.

Zemura (on from 87) and Burchall (on from 87)
Too little time for a mark. Disconcerting to see a player don our colours that’s younger than some of my pants.


Overall grade: A+
Five goals in front of the first home fans this season and a clean sheet, there’s really no other grade possible. I still want the caveat that they rested players and had a bad injury list but you can only beat what’s in front of you. In the Dean Court colosseum we were lions tearing them to shreds.

Solanke was like some kind of Mad Max mercenary mercilessly massacring their meek resistance. Play like that on a regular basis and Dean Court will be his. The Thunder-Dom indeed.

I thought a different setup would have been better prematch but Tindall got it spot on. Well done that man and well done that team. I can’t wait for Tuesday and even more fans at the next match, let’s hope for more of the same!
 
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#3
I actually thought Stanislas had a poor and quiet game, hardly involved and pulling out of challenges left right and centre. Was saying as much and wondering if he could be subbed, moments before he slalomed through half the Huddersfield side to score! What do I know.

Solanke has confidence and aggression dripping off him, a real turnaround. Clinical with his finishing today caps the improvement.

Brooks did what he does. Got kicked around all game, yet caused problems. Took his goal well.

That 3 man midfield all did their job. A few hairy moments but they were asked to do different jobs at different times by JT in terms of pressing high or sitting deep and they adapted well.

Kelly and Simpson both looked unsettled and error prone at times. Cook really helps them, the leader. And those runs upfield! Kelly should have scored late in the first half, looked easier to score but he missed his connection. That was probably Smith's best game this season.

Begovic pretty solid. Great save first half. One second half shot he pushed out into a dangerous area but fortunately nobody there to turn it in.
 
#6
Great report. The one part I’d strongly disagree with is that a rating of 6 is very unfair on Simpson. His passing early on was dodgy for sure but rustiness is to be expected, when’s the last time he played a full game? Defensively I thought he didn’t put a foot wrong. Guy needs and deserves a bit of support.
 
#7
Great report. The one part I’d strongly disagree with is that a rating of 6 is very unfair on Simpson. His passing early on was dodgy for sure but rustiness is to be expected, when’s the last time he played a full game? Defensively I thought he didn’t put a foot wrong. Guy needs and deserves a bit of support.
I would also question how Simpson gets a 6 but Kelly gets an 8.
 
#9
Great report. The one part I’d strongly disagree with is that a rating of 6 is very unfair on Simpson. His passing early on was dodgy for sure but rustiness is to be expected, when’s the last time he played a full game? Defensively I thought he didn’t put a foot wrong. Guy needs and deserves a bit of support.
A 6 is a purely average grade, it isn't in any way a bad mark. It means the player did their job without any major mishaps to mark it down or anything extra good to bring it up. He started shakily and if he'd carried on like that would have been a five but he recovered well so took it back to a six.


I would also question how Simpson gets a 6 but Kelly gets an 8.
Kelly was a very tricky one. He had a similar start to Simpson looking vulnerable but also turned around the basics of his performance. He then also performed two excellent defensive interventions, the block in particular was excelllent covering of someone else's mistake and stopped a probably goal. That edged him to a seven for me.

At the same time he was a genuine threat going and up and down the wing, almost always available as an option and tried to fizz in a few crosses. Was it enough to get him up to an 8? Well I originally had him as a 7 but upgraded to an 8 at the last moment with the edit when I read through after posting. So he's about as marginally over the line for it as you can get. I wouldn't argue with anyone that thought he was a 7.
 
#11
A 6 is a purely average grade, it isn't in any way a bad mark. It means the player did their job without any major mishaps to mark it down or anything extra good to bring it up. He started shakily and if he'd carried on like that would have been a five but he recovered well so took it back to a six.




Kelly was a very tricky one. He had a similar start to Simpson looking vulnerable but also turned around the basics of his performance. He then also performed two excellent defensive interventions, the block in particular was excelllent covering of someone else's mistake and stopped a probably goal. That edged him to a seven for me.

At the same time he was a genuine threat going and up and down the wing, almost always available as an option and tried to fizz in a few crosses. Was it enough to get him up to an 8? Well I originally had him as a 7 but upgraded to an 8 at the last moment with the edit when I read through after posting. So he's about as marginally over the line for it as you can get. I wouldn't argue with anyone that thought he was a 7.
Fair comments and thanks for taking the time to do reports.
 
#12
It seems to me that Kelly can be a difficult player to give a score to.

He has great ability and good athleticism, plus a knack of putting in “where did that come from?” last ditch blocks. He is also someone I never worry about when face to face with a tricky winger or forward - Lloyd watches the ball not the man and rarely lets his man get past him. But he also is prone to brain fart moments when he loses concentration, forgets where he is or plays a thoughtless pass. So, at times a 9 and at other times in the very same game a 4.

What will be interesting over the course of this season is if he can eradicate those decision or concentration errors. If he can I think he could become a top, top player. And even if he doesn’t he would still be pretty good.
 
#14
How many times in any league could you say we're not really deficient in any areas of the pitch, how many other players from all champ clubs would you swap?
Apart from adding some backup, do we really need anyone else for this league?
For cover for injuries it even looks though we can turn to the U21s and perhaps even the U18s. The last time we were in the Championship we didn’t really have those options. The investment in our academy really seems to be bearing fruit. Max’s statement that we are looking to build a team based around youth is starting to seem very astute. JT also seems more willing to give youth a chance than Eddie ever was.
I really wouldn’t expect us to be very active in the January window if we manage to keep everybody we have here and healthy.
We really can win this league as we are. It is in our hands barring any major disruptions.

:utc:
 

Garbo

UTC Legend
#15
Begovic 8 a crucial save at 1-0 and a couple of other stops
Smith 7 good game and some good link ups with Jeff
C
S Cook 7 solid and good defensive display albeit against a weak attack
Simpson 7 some confident headers away and sound on the ball
Kelly 7 clever defending at times and solid
Stanislas 6 great goal but he showed some poor passing and link up play for most of the game
Lerma 8 bossed the midfield
L Cook 8 totally in control of the midfield
Billing 7 good display and some neat touches the ref never protected him from some bad tackles
Brooks 7 Played a part in two goals including the one he buried so well, tends to go down easy and think the ref thought that too
Solanke 9 lots of energy and power two well taken goals motm performance
JT showed some nouse today with his selection and tactics...great that he gave Buchall some minutes!
Did what we had to versus a poor HT side
 
#16
For the first time in a long period I feel that every AFCB player gave their all. I know that some were not quite awesome but they all deserve a lot of credit. Shades of the Championship winning season?
 
#18
--- Conclusions ---

- Solanke’s progression continues apace. Earlier in the season we were talking about his hard work and help in the build up play to bring other players into the game. Now he’s being ruthless in the danger zone and looks a real goalscorer. As someone that’s given him a hard time in the past, I’m as pleased as punch for him.

- I’m wary of the three in midfield being viewed as a universal panacea since this was a much depleted opposition and so we’ll face stiffer challenges. However it proved very effective, especially in the way Lerma and Billing closed down and intercepted through the whole match. Hat tip to JT.

- The difference between 1-1 and 2-0 over 60 seconds is enormous so Begovic’s save continues his excellent form and was crucial in how the game developed.

- Top scorers in the league so far this season. It may not be the all out attack of our last campaign in this division but it’s sure as heck proving effective now we’ve built up a head of steam.

- There’s something special and enjoyable seeing youth team players graduate to the first team. Let’s hope Zemura and Burchall go on to have excellent careers in our red and black. Congratulations to both.


--- Player Ratings ---

Begovic – 7
One crucial and outstanding save and a couple of other neat ones.

S Cook – 7
Clean sheet? Check. Striker in pocket? Check. Maradonna dribble the length of the pitch? Almost check.

Simpson – 6
Looked shaky at the start but solid the longer the game went on. Also had a dribble but panicked when he got near the opposition box!

Kelly – 8
Once he’d got over early jitters at the Huddersfield press he looked very good and made lots of incisive forward runs along with a couple of excellent defensive interventions.

L Cook – 7
Controlled the midfield from the back although this game was more about the players further forward and wide.

A Smith (off on 87) – 8
Best performance of the season from him. Energy and guts. If anyone else thought about easing off he wasn’t taking his boot from their neck. Great to have him back!

Lerma – 8
I’ve no idea how many interceptions he made but it was a lot. All over the park and even finished the match as our right back and managed to look dangerous there.

Billing (off on 64) – 7
Another very good showing from the big man. He could be very hard to displace from this midfield now although I’m not sure how we accommodate all of them.

Stanislas (off on 87) - 8
Part of an attack that caused chaos in the opposition ranks throughout and one solo goal that will make AFCB highlights reels for years to come.

Brooks (off on 64) – 8
Back to his quick touch best. They didn’t know how to stop him.

Solanke (off on 71) – 9 and Man of the Match
The Huddersfield defenders will have nightmares about him. Suddenly looks the complete striker. Bring on the rest of the season!

Surridge (on from 64) – 7
Well taken goal. He has some goals per minute ratio this season now!

Gosling (on from 64) – 7
An assist in short order of coming on and didn’t loosen our grip on the midfield despite the way the match broke down after all the subs.

Riquelme (on from 71) – 6
Desperate to impress but struggled a little during his time on the pitch.

Zemura (on from 87) and Burchall (on from 87)
Too little time for a mark. Disconcerting to see a player don our colours that’s younger than some of my pants.


Overall grade: A+
Five goals in front of the first home fans this season and a clean sheet, there’s really no other grade possible. I still want the caveat that they rested players and had a bad injury list but you can only beat what’s in front of you. In the Dean Court colosseum we were lions tearing them to shreds.

Solanke was like some kind of Mad Max mercenary mercilessly massacring their meek resistance. Play like that on a regular basis and Dean Court will be his. The Thunder-Dom indeed.

I thought a different setup would have been better prematch but Tindall got it spot on. Well done that man and well done that team. I can’t wait for Tuesday and even more fans at the next match, let’s hope for more of the same!
After seeing the game we where class , a real performance to be proud of. All the players need to be congratulated, well done. This is how we should approach games against the teams that are not doing so well in this division. Solanke was class loved the chip for his first goal. Another goal for Surridge, I like his positioning & his ability is improving every game . Looking forward to the next game , keep up the good work