Bournemouth reaction: five positives from a negative


* Disclaimer: this writer was unable to watch the Bournemouth match, and instead listened to live commentary and read every match report available after the fact. If you’re looking for a play-by-play, here’s a nice one from This Northern Soul.

1) Henriquez will play a role

Roberto Martinez’s praise for the youngster after the match was effusive. The youngster hit the crossbar with a headed effort, was full of energy, and looks to have probably leapfrogged Mauro Boselli in the pecking order.

2) Figueroa is a good attacking option

The tactical switch to a back four allowed the Honduran to get forward a lot more in the second half to good effect. First, he hit a screamer against the bar, then won the penalty. We’re all hoping the rest has done first choice wingback Jean Beausejour a world of good, but it’s good to know Figueroa can easily move up, and a Boyce-Caldwell-Ramis back three is feasible.

3) A replay down south isn’t such a bad thing

There are a number of players in need of playing time in a lower stakes situation, not least new signings Henriquez and Roger Espinoza. Callum McManaman is on the cusp of a breakthrough and will enjoy further minutes, while players returning from injury like Ryo Miyaichi and Antolin Alcaraz could play some part.

4) Partnerships are important

When he has come on for the senior team in league matches, McManaman has at times looked unsure of his positioning and on a slightly different wavelength than those around him. Despite the team’s flat first half performance, it sounds as though his understanding and interplay with Daniel Redmond was a big positive. In playing them together, Martinez gave each of them a stronger chance of succeeding.

5) Does Nouha Dicko have a role to play?

After being recalled from his loan at second tier Blackpool due to a lack of starting opportunities, he was given a chance to impress in the final quarter of an hour at the DW. With Ryo Miyaichi still injured and Arouna Kone away, there is a concerning lack of raw pace in the team. Can Dicko provide it?


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