Monday, 24 June 2013

The battle for starting places starts now

With the arrival of Elliott Ward and the likelihood of one or two further players coming into AFCB's squad who are said to be of quality, the competition for a starting place in the team is going to be frantic over the next few weeks. At the back we have Cook saying that he wants to learn from Ward, when perhaps inside he is really thinking is that I want to keep him out of the side for as long as possible. Then there is Miles Addisson who will be looking to try and find a way back into the team and Joe Partington has been told that he can shine in this company.

Recent transfer gossip has linked the Cherries with Ian Harte as a possible player to come in to rival Charlie Daniels and Stephen Purches for the left back spot. The right back place seems to be Simon Francis. The early transfer rumours about other Championship clubs being interested in him seem to have died down now. The position of right back is one that has been covered by Stephane Zubar and Steve Cook in the past, although Wes Fogden has also done a job there.

Moving into midfield I can see O'Kane, Hughes, and MacDonald having their own private battle for one of the central midfield shirts to be paired with Arter, while Ritchie will be trying to keep Fraser and Fogden at bay, plus McDermott. Pugh will similarly have to keep ahead of McQuoid.

No further news on Arter being linked to Norwich or QPR does not surprise me. I think he has to prove himself in the Championship before such clubs would come in for him, but it really depends what else is available to such clubs and at what price.

Up front you can see last season's two leading strikers, Pitman and Grabban, getting the striker shirts but will the club go back in for Danny Ings or have they another target they can get in on a free transfer?

All the time the team will be under pressure to perform in training and throughout the rest of June and July. Possible injuries could yet make Eddie Howe change his views on who should be starting that first game against Charlton on 3 August.

The front runners to be starters, if fit, are probably: Allsop, Francis, Elphick, Daniels, Arter, Ritchie, Pugh, Pitman and Grabban. That only leaves two spaces that are up for grabs and O'Kane and Ward seem most likely to claim those places. So if Howe is to bring in quality to replace what we have I think he is most likely to be looking at an extra full back (right or left footed) and the striker he clearly wants, be it Ings or another player.

Some of the rest of the squad may already be having talks knowing that they are on their way out. I would think we can expect some movement in the next couple of weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Why are we going for so many defenders ATM I feel we need a defender and maybe a striker ?