Wednesday, 20 February 2013

How badly do we miss Tommy Elphick?

This is a question that is beginning to gain whispers along the terraces at Dean Court despite the sides' fabulous current position in League One. At the start of the season Tommy Elphick was a newcomer to the Cherries having signed on 13 August 2012, but he has rapidly gained a reputation of being one of our most consistent performers. His characteristic pre-match routine of running up to the goal posts under the Steve Fletcher Stand, to grasp the left upright and to calm himself before the start of a home match, has been sorely missed by the Cherries faithful in recent weeks.

Since Miles Addison has been out injured in the 2-2 draw against Bury FC at the end of November, Tommy had been given the captain's armband and he had proved to be an inspired choice and a real leader on the pitch. He formed a great partnership with Steve Cook in the centre of defence that helped the Cherries to that record club run of 15 League One undefeated matches, earlier in the season. But ever since that horrible tackle that MK Dons' Ryan Lowe carried out on Tommy, at the start of February, AFCB fans have held their breath in hoping to see Tommy running back out on the pitch, as if he might seemingly make a miraculous recovery over night.

The team has undoubtedly missed his leadership on the pitch. He would have been one to roll up his sleeves for the game against Preston North End, last weekend, when the Cherries did not seem like themselves. Eddie Howe could certainly do with him back now with important games coming up against Sheffield Utd, Coventry and Doncaster. 

However, the Echo has recently reported that Tommy Elphick is likely to miss all these big header games and may not return to training for another two to four weeks. We can only hope that he is back at some point this season, because his presence could be the final piece in the puzzle to ensure that Bournemouth enter the last round of games as strong promotion contenders rather than just hanging on for a possible play-off place. I don't think I am alone in saying, "We look forward to Tommy making a return and seeing him on his 34th appearance for the Cherries."

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