Lee Bowyer has seen his Birmingham City side get off to something of a mixed start to their 2021/22 Championship campaign, with the Blues winning one, drawing one and losing one of their opening three fixtures of the season.
Indeed, after a highly impressive 1-0 away victory at Sheffield United in their league opener and a solid 0-0 draw with Stoke City, things appeared to be looking on the up at Birmingham.
However, Bowyer’s side were brought back down to earth with a bump by AFC Bournemouth on Wednesday evening, as Scott Parker’s side rather comfortably secured a 2-0 win at St. Andrew’s, with the Cherries enjoying 65% of possession, creating two big chances and completing 272 more passes than their hosts.
And, while defeat to a Bournemouth side who will more than likely be there or thereabouts regarding promotion come the end of the season is no reason for Bowyer to panic, there were nevertheless a couple of players who particularly disappointed in the fixture, one of whom was Jeremie Bela.
Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch, the £2.25m-rated left-winger completed just two of his eight attempted crosses, managed no shots on target, made a grand total of nine passes and completed just one of his five dribbles.
The 28-year-old also gave away possession of the ball on 18 separate occasions, won just four of his 12 duels, conceded two fouls and touched the ball 40 times – an amount fewer than Matija Sarkic’s number of touches between the Birmingham sticks.
These returns saw the £15k-per-week forward earn a disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.4, ranking him as Bowyer’s second-worst player to feature in the match, with only Gary Gardner receiving a lower rating than Bela.
As such, with Birmingham undoubtedly hoping they can get back to winning ways in their clash with Luton Town this weekend, if Bowyer’s side are to have any chance of doing so, the Angola international will certainly have to up his level of performance against the Hatters.