Thursday, 31 October 2013

Elphick in pole position to start against Bolton

Elliott Ward's red card in the Leicester match immediately gives Tommy Elphick a great opportunity to regain his place in the team. He already came on for Lewis Grabban as Bournemouth reorganised after Ward received his red card.

Tommy Elphick played about 25 minutes in the second half at Leicester.
Tommy during the warm up at Nottingham Forest.

It will be great to have our captain back on the pitch.
While Bournemouth were chasing that game for the last 20 minutes, Elphick played his part in a good defensive back three with Francis and Cook either side of him. There is something about Tommy that exudes confidence and his calm carrying of the ball is something that I have missed this season. His appearance in the Bolton game should bring back the successful centre pairing of Cook and Elphick. We know they each know each others game well and if they can get a clean sheet it just may mean that Elphick can re-establish himself in the side again.

I don't think Ward has played too badly for Bournemouth so far this season and his heading ability in defence has been really strong. Where I think he looks vulnerable is when he is pulled wide to the wings marking fast forwards who might turn him as we saw in the Leicester game. I find Elphick a bit more alert to danger and he has great balance which I feel equips him better to compete with nippy forwards, even if he hasn't the Premiership experience of Ward.

Ward and Arter at Leicester.

It will be interesting to see if Ward remains out of the team for a while.

On Ward's showing last game, it can't do AFCB much harm to be able to call on the services of Elphick. I suspect Addison will also be recalled to the bench as cover for the centre backs.

Meanwhile, it is great to hear on AFCB's official website that Matt Ritchie is now working on his fitness and not far away from coming back.

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