Friday, 28 June 2013

Why I think Ritchie will light up the Championship

The signing of Matt Ritchie last January to Bournemouth was seen as a catalyst for the club to win promotion. I have a feeling that the signing is even more important than that as Matt has the potential to become the star man in the Championship.

His addition to the Cherries squad has already given the team a more devastating and clinical edge in front of goal, which is what they will need as they take on better teams. We only saw Matt for half the season in 2013 and for much of that he was playing at left back. Now though he is set to flourish in one of the best leagues in the world. His two-footed ability and his menacing endeavour add a real quality to our midfield. He can arrive late in the box to finish off moves and he can drill shots from outside the box as we know only to well having been on the receiving end of his finishing power when he played for Swindon Town.

I can't think of too many Championship defenders relishing the prospect of facing Matt one-on-one as he has them back peddling double-time towards their own goal. I would like to see him not restricted to furrow the right wing all game, but to be allowed to come inside occasionally to link in behind the forwards allowing Francis the freedom to get his crosses from the right as well. With Matt poised at the edge of the box in front of the D, he has the ability to weave his way into a shooting position and open teams up with his left or right foot. His balance and calmness in front of goal is also something that will add a real threat to AFCB's forward play.

There were periods towards the end of last season when all I could do was smile when I saw Matt Ricthie in full flow, because I knew we had a top-class player here and one that would get even better as he looked to shine in AFCB colours. He was the star man at Swindon and he has set out on his task to do the same at Dean Court. There is more to come from him and it is going to be amazing to see what he can do in a full season.

Harry Redknapp and others have valid reasons to be worried about the form of our players at Dean Court and I expect several other teams will have to think how best to try and control a player who has already won League Two and League One player of the year in successive seasons.

Marc Pugh could yet have a new challenger to be the crowd's favourite.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think we saw the best of Matt last season because of his being used out of position for much of his time here. This season he will of had a preseason and can make the position his own, although I'm sure Ryan Fraser will have something to say about that, perhaps Eddie will use Matt more in midfield, again, who knows. Eddie has some wonderful resources to hand now, IMHO the best squad this club has ever seen, and he's not finished yet...