Frustrating was the word to describe the performance against AFC Wimbledon. Frustrating to conceded so early, frustrating to describe AFC Wimbledon’s approach to the game, frustrating in the chances we created and didn’t take. While the team deserves some credit for plugging away to salvage a point, it was a game that underlined this side’s biggest deficiency, taking chances.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
As much as the early goal dictated the flow of the game against a dogged AFC Wimbledon side desperate for the points, the final score was as much about our poor decision-making and execution in the final third as it was about an organised defence throwing bodies on the line.
The biggest crime we were guilty of was overplaying the ball, summed up by the late chance when Tom Bayliss got in behind AFC Wimbledon’s defence and traded passes with Jordy Hiwula with both somehow contriving to miss when one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper. For much of the game, it appeared that we lacked someone willing to take on the responsibility of shooting on goal – which, despite some promising moments, the new signing, Bright Enobakhare didn’t resolve.
It’s hard to criticise this performance too heavily when we dominated possession, attempted to use the full width of the pitch and generally did all the right things to wear down a massed opposing defence, however, it has been the story of the season that we struggle to convert promising situations into goals.
The hope has been that we’ll learn from our poor decision-making and eventually become a more efficient attacking unit. According to the EFL Analyst, Blades Analytic, we could have had 13 more goals this season than we’ve registered. Yet we’re seeing the same players repeat the same bad decisions without showing signs of learning. Sometimes practice makes perfect, sometimes it reinforces bad habits.