Monday, 16 September 2013

Can Rantie have a dream start to his AFCB career?

Tokelo Rantie will be the most photographed player on Tuesday night at Dean Court. The South African striker is likely to make his full debut in front of expectant home crowd that will be packed in the Goldsands stadium. Rantie only arrived in the country at the weekend and was too late to witness the home defeat suffered by AFCB against Blackpool. But what kind of situation is he walking into? And is too much pressure being heaped on him already?

Well, AFCB are still in a very good place in the league and should not feel too disheartened after their recent outing which could so easily have earned them some more points. The Barnsley match will be one when there will be a lot of pressure on all of the team to do well, not only because they did not get the three points on offer against Blackpool, but because the Tykes are a team that are perennial customer battling away for Championship survival at the end of the season. Still, Barnsley are used to be underdogs and will be just as big a test for the Cherries as other teams that come to Dean Court trying to park the bus.

How fresh Tokelo will be remains to be seen. I imagine that he will have linked up with the team on Sunday and done some light training on Monday with Tuesday night's game in mind. But with the amount of media coverage he seems to have had today, he could find that rest is the thing he most wants before the game on Tuesday. Tokelo will be keen to make his mark from the start and I would expect that there will be many of his supporters wanting to see the game in South Africa and Sweden.

The way Howe has talked about Tokelo gives him little room for manoeuvre over whether to start with him or not - he has to put the Cherries Number 28 shirt out from the start. I only hope he is up to the reviews that have been given of him. The big question for AFCB fans is who will play up front with Tokelo? I would suspect that Lewis Grabban is most deserving of his place in the starting eleven which probably means Brett Pitman will drop to the bench.

It would be great if tomorrow's headlines read that Tokelo is off to a flying start in his Cherries career. I would be just as equally pleased though if AFCB wins 1:0 with an own goal.

If you have not read the story behind Tokelo's rags to riches footballing career, try and get hold of the Blackpool match programme and turn to page 75.

Finally, if you want to mull over the Blackpool defeat you can listen to All Department's Kangeroo Court either on the All Department's website or by staying on Cherry Chimes and listening to the sound bar in the right hand panel below the All Department's logo.

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