Thursday, 24 October 2013

Howe to keep faith with Rantie

There was quite a strong defence of Tokelo Rantie from Eddie Howe after the Forest game. Tokelo had a very good game in my opinion, probably his best as a Bournemouth player. He had a lot more touches than in previous games and he set up the equaliser for Pugh.

Tokelo is doing the right things.
It is quite typical of fans to perhaps focus on the early chance that he had against Karl Darlow that he could not take. If he had scored we would all be saying he now has a good goal to build on. Howe said that perhaps it came a bit too early on in the game for him, but I would say good strikers put their chances away in this league. Gosh that's rare for me to say something different to Eddie Howe! I must be losing it.

Still that is not to say that Rantie can't be a top goalscorer for the Cherries, he is just not yet at the level of some of those who are punishing other teams in this league for the slightest mistake. If Rantie can add that to his game, which he himself has admitted that he wants to get better at, we will have a great striker.

As Howe says, Rantie is still adjusting to English football. He raised his game another notch during the Forest match and was one of our best players. Forest's strikers missed even easier opportunities to score, don't forget that.

In the second half we saw how much better Rantie was getting with linking play and feeding others. He took more responsibility in this match to beat players and carry the ball further, trying to be at a second and third on occasion before releasing a pass. His signature move is undoubtedly the dropped shoulder and the turn on a six pence. When you consider Hobbs won Forest's man of the match that tells you how well Tokelo played.

Eddie Howe is keen to keep Tokelo in the team which may not be good news for Pitman, but AFCB are getting points away from home now and are starting to build some momentum. As long as Pugh, Arter, Fraser and Grabban can keep the goals coming and Tokelo is making the space for them to score, you can't see any reason not to play Tokelo. It is down to the team as a whole to score and no one individual. On the balance, more of the opportunities may come Rantie's way in the next few games and he will stick a chance a way sooner or later.

It was interesting to see Pitman come on for Surman as it did add impetus to AFCB's striking force and helped caused Forest to go back. Whatever helps the Cherries to get on the front foot has to be the way to go, and at the moment it is Tokelo and Lewis who have our manager's vote. While Bournemouth keep scoring in every game, I don't think fan's should worry whether one striker is finding the net more often than the other. We had to wait a while for Ryan Fraser to score and then he soon got his second goal of the season.

I have faith that Tokelo is capable of getting a few goals in one game. I do find it interesting that the chance he made early on at Forest was created by himself latching onto the back pass and when he had a long shot saved later in the first half, again it was mainly his own work getting himself into a scoring position. Yet, he seems quite unselfish and made chances for Grabban and Pugh. All that says he is fitting in well to me.

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