Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Howe pleased with win over Tykes

There was no hiding Eddie Howe's pleasure at the 1:0 home victory over Barnsley last night. He described it as "a massive three points." You can't deny that the win looks very important with Bournemouth's difficult run of fixtures stretching ahead of them. While many will point towards the appearance of Tokelo Rantie as the inspiration for the team suddenly coming to life in the second period, after a somewhat dull first half, it was a night that could have so easily ended up as a home defeat, if Barnsley had taken their opportunities.

The chance that O'Grady carved out midway through the first half when he hit the post from a narrow angle and then saw the follow up from Dawson smashed against the same post was perhaps the first shed of light for AFCB that things just might go there way on the night. From the commentary I heard, it was Barnsley who looked much the better team in the first half with a slightly subdued home crowd, that was perhaps a bit nervous after seeing Barnsley keep the ball so well.

Eddie Howe said that they were thinking about changing the shape of the team before the Charlie Daniels injury in the second half, but by bringing on Tommy Elphick AFCB fans could finally see how the team would play with three at the back and the two wing backs pushed on in midfield. It was left to Pugh and Francis to get up and down the wings to support the attack and defence, while Grabban and Rantie would play up front and Pitman just behind as the match wore on.

Chris Temple of BBC Radio Solent was quick to ask after the game if Eddie Howe could see the three of Pitman, Grabban and Rantie playing together often, to which Howe replied : "I will always have a place for good players in the side." It is clear that Eddie will continue to keep people guessing about his selections and how he uses individuals for certain games and not others.

In this game, Eddie was loyal to those who had started the Blackpool match. The crowd had to wait until the 55th minute before the highly anticipated arrival of Tokleo Rantie and then in the first minute since stepping onto the pitch, he almost broke away to score. While John Williams (Willo) had me in stitches saying we had not signed Pele, he clearly likes the lad who had him drawling over the microphone every time he touched the ball. Willo has already whetted my appetite when he remarked that "Rantie is a joy to watch on the right hand side for all those who are not at the game".

While injuries to MacDonald and the recurrence of Daniels' foot injury are bad news, I also read on the club's official blog that Foggey has had to have a hernia operation and will be out for some time now.  Injuries aside though, this was a good night for the Cherries and, before a ball had been struck in those games, I think most of us would have been more than happy with six points from the last three games. UTCIAD!

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