Bournemouth – Match Report vs Crystal Palace 20/06/20

This is a guest piece by Andrew Hunter.

Crystal Palace surprisingly won 2-0 away at Bournemouth, who are still stuck in the relegation zone on goal difference. Both teams played a 4-3-3 formation in attack and a 4-5-1 in defence. Palace took an early two goal lead which resulted in them sitting deep, Bournemouth looked very unthreatening with little penetration throughout the whole game with Brooks being their only threat.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for their level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

David Brooks

Player Profile

  • Nationality: Welsh
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 08/06/1997
  • Current Club: Bournemouth
  • Career: Manchester City (Y), Sheffield United, Halifax (L), Bournemouth
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

From the offset, Brooks showed great talent avoiding several challenges from Palace defenders in the opening minutes. He set the tone for his performance when he performed a great ‘Ronaldo chop’ with him running around the outside of the opposition left back with the ball going around on the inside, and he followed this up with a lovely flick when receiving a hard hit pass just minutes later.

Similarly to Cook, Brooks was positioned in a right attacking midfield to start off with however he was drifting around between the Palace midfield and defence, with no success. His only glimpse in this role came when he dropped deeper and played a nice crisp ball into the striker’s feet. When Cook moved to centre midfield, Brooks played a more prominent role on the right wing, especially when Harry Wilson dropped a bit deeper. This affected Harry Wilson’s performance as he had less space to run into which contributed to him being subbed at half time. Brooks clearly prefers to play on the right and this showed as he was far more involved in the game. His classy dribbling, change of speed, and quick change of direction enabled him to pass defenders with ease; he also used a clever body feint on two occasions which fooled the defender on both times. Another quality Brooks possesses is his set piece taking, most of his corners were whipped in and would have provided good chances if Palace weren’t so good at defending set pieces, he also whipped in a nice cross with his weaker foot showing more qualities.

The only downside to his performance was his defensive duties; when defending Bournemouth operated a 4-5-1 with Brooks being deployed at left centre midfield. He offered little defensive protection and was often caught on the wrong side of Palace attackers and this showed when he gave away the freekick for the first goal. However, I was surprised he was giving such defensive duties and probably shouldn’t play as a centre midfielder when the opposition are in possession again.

Overall, Brooks was a joy to watch this game and showed he has lots of tricks in his locker. He was Bournemouth’s only attacking threat and the game was less enjoyable when he went off with cramp in the second half. I will be very surprised if he doesn’t move this summer, he would provide great squad depth and competition for any side in the top 6 and is too good to be playing for a team battling relegation.

Rating – A1

Aaron Ramsdale

Player Profile

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth:14/05/1998
  • Current Club: Bournemouth
  • Career: Bolton (Y), Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Chesterfield (L), Wimbledon (L)
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ramsdale on the large part had nothing to do today with Bournemouth dominating possession after Palace’s two early goals, making zero saves. Although it was a great free kick from Milivojević for the first goal, I personally felt he could have done more to give himself a better chance of saving it. He was positioned fairly centrally, and I would expect top goalkeepers to fully get to the ball however Ramsdale’s footwork and movement was too slow hence he didn’t get across quick enough. He also got a hand to the ball but failed to push it over the bar, just palming the ball onto the crossbar and into the net. 

Shortly after this he made a good high claim from a freekick, opting to catch rather than punch. However he looked less convincing from a corner when he was unsure whether to come for the ball or stay on his line, opting to stay after realising he wasn’t able to get there due to the Crystal Palace bodies in front of him.

Overall, I will have to watch again to see how good his shot stopping and distribution is, as this is decisive in whether he can become a top keeper. And with only two instances of him dealing with crosses this is too small of a sample size to form an opinion on this aspect of his game. Ramsdale can’t be blamed for either goal despite my harsh criticism of him, and he looks like a solid goalkeeper in the Premier League for a midtable club, however he is not ready to make the step up to a better side yet.

Rating – B1 

Lewis Cook

Big men trying to snap me': Lewis Cook recounts his rise through ...

Player Profile

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth:03/02/1997
  • Current Club: Bournemouth
  • Career: Leeds, Bournemouth
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

To start with, Lewis Cook gave me an impression of a very energetic midfielder and slightly erratic at times, which was continued for most of the game. He made a good interception and showed great dribbling skills in the first 10 minutes of the game when Bournemouth started brightly. He always looked forward with his head up when receiving the ball, and on several occasions dribbled with the ball when space was in front of him and Palace had a broken midfield. His close control when dribbling was very good, and he had to be fouled a couple of times in order to stop him. Moreover, he used his strength to great effect when he was in close quarters with the opposition, combined with his good agility, close control and dribbling he was able to keep the ball effectively when pressured and was able to weave himself out of tight situations, also demonstrating an effective quick change of speed and direction to get away from defenders.

When Bournemouth were in possession, he played as a left attacking midfielder however he failed to receive the ball due to good defensive structure from Palace which forced him to retreat and play as part of a midfield two with Lerma, where he got on the ball more often than not. His passing was largely impressive showing a different range of passes: long diagonals, chipped passes, as well as accurate passes into the forward’s feet through the five-man Crystal Palace midfield.

Unfortunately, his defensive performance wasn’t as good as his attacking qualities. His individual pressing was effective as Cook forced Palace players to play backwards on several occasions. On the other hand, he was occasionally caught in no mans land; often half pressing where he was not close enough to the Palace midfielder on the ball to block the pass forward, and not deep enough to make an interception. This led to Crystal Palace easily bypassing Cook, playing around him and forming an attack. This occurred for Palace’s second goal when Zaha played a very nice ball to Van Aanholt through a tight gap between Cook and Stacey, this could have been prevented if Cook was a metre further forward or a metre further back to block off / intercept the through ball. A positive to his defensive performance was his strength and aggression. He used this to good advantage when winning the ball back using upper body strength and he also made two aggressive well timed slide tackles which the rest of the Bournemouth midfield lacked, although he did pick up a harsh yellow card from another sliding challenge. 

Overall, Lewis Cook’s attacking qualities are clear to see, but he currently lacks the defensive discipline to play for a side challenging for Europe. However, I can see this improving under a more defensive minded manager, and I think he would be a great fit for Spurs (personally seeing him as an upgrade on Harry Winks). I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the England squad for the euros either and I think a move to a top 6 side is deserved.

Rating – A2

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