Town Fail on the South Coast: Bournemouth Review

It was the same old story this evening as Town slumped to defeat at The Vitality Stadium. Despite dominating possession and territory David Wagner’s side finished the game 2-1 losers and in truth, can have no complaints because they deserved nothing from the game, and here’s why.

Defensive naivety

Town could make a convincing argument that Bournemouth’s opener was offside, but if it was, it was marginal at best. Zanka failed to hold his line and helped to play Wilson onside, that was mistake number one of the evening and it was punished.

Mistake number two came when Phillip Billing gave the ball away cheaply and Bournemouth broke with devastatingly clinical speed to make it 2-0. Mistake number three came in the breakdown of that goal, with Town’s defence been completely unaware of The Cherries overload down the wing.

If you give an opponent in the Premier League opportunities such as those through your own mistakes, then sadly you won’t win many games. That has been the story of Town’s season thus far. Mistakes in the Premier League are punished, unless the mistakes are made by

Town’s opponents, but don’t worry, we’ll come to that.

Attacking impotence

How did Town find the back of the net against Bournemouth? Kongolo headed home following two flick-ons from Zanka and Schindler respectively. What of the attacking players? Well for the vast majority of the game there were only two recognised attacking players on the pitch in blue & white, Depoitre and Pritchard.

The former had his chance when he headed straight at Asmir Begovic from six yards out after finding himself unmarked. Pritchard didn’t miss as easy a chance as Depoitre, but he was still guilty of profligacy in front of goal.

Towards the end of the first half he broke into the Bournemouth box with good options to both sides and sliced a shot high and wide. Had those chances fallen to Wilson or Fraser for Bournemouth, the ball would have nestled in the back of the net on both occasions.

The end result

If you make basic errors in defence and offence then guess what happens? You lose football matches. It really is as simple as that, and that’s why we believe Town deserved absolutely nothing from this game.

Town can dominate games all they want, but if they concede sloppy goals and spurn great chances then they deserve everything they get. The Premier League is a cut throat business. The teams, players and managers in this division are of the highest quality.

Whilst tonight’s result might feel unfair, unjust and perhaps unlucky it is neither of those things. It is exactly what we deserved, and exactly what we will continue to get until we learn how to be tight at the back and clinical in front of goal.

Mbenza & Sobhi

Mooy, Pritchard and Hadergjonaj are perhaps Town’s most important offensive players. Much of The Terriers play comes through that trio as they pass and move to engineer enough space to send the ball into the box.

It’s formulaic and every Town fans knows what’s happening when Mooy receives the ball close to the right wing. What we need in those situations though is someone that can beat their man, commit an opposition player and cause an overload.

If one opposition player is beaten then that will open up space for others almost immediately and put Town on the front foot. Whilst Mbenza and Sobhi didn’t have a massive impact on the game when they were introduced, they showed a willingness to do just that.

Sobhi looked to run at his marker as did Mbenza and that’s what Town must do in order to turn ineffective possession into meaningful, effective possession.

Are you able to kick a ball into a net from up to 18 yards? Then Huddersfield Town needs you! Contact Dean Hoyle & David Wagner for more information. Salary negotiable.

Steve Mounie is around 200 minutes away from surpassing Ade Akinbiyi’s infamous goal scoring drought record in the Premier League. He is our main striker, and he hasn’t scored without the assistance of an opposition player since February.

Laurent Depoitre, his understudy isn’t great shakes in front of goal either. He is yet to score this season despite being presented with several clear cut chances. Therefore it’s obvious that we need a striker in January.

Neal Maupay of Brentford has been mentioned, but to be quite honest at this point, anyone will do. Anyone capable of hitting a snapshot or placing the ball anywhere remotely near the corner of the goal.

We firmly believe Town will still be in contention in January, so an incoming striker could make all the difference in steering the team away from the relegation zone. Any of Bournemouth’s strikers would score plenty of goals if they were given the chances that Depoitre and Mounie have had this season.

Brief summary

You may think this report is harsh or cynical, but it certainly not meant to be. It hurts us to see Town lose, but we don’t want to mislead you with a review saying that we were unlucky, unfortunate blah, blah, blah.

We want to review the game with integrity, and to do that we have to write some pretty powerful home truths. Town were not good enough in either box at Bournemouth and therefore deserved to lose.

Mounie and Depoitre are not currently good enough to lead the line for a Premier League team, and they must be replaced by at least one striker in January. Next up is Arsenal and we’ll be back later in the week with a preview of the game.

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