Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Can Howe get the wins without bringing in new faces?

It is a question that I have been putting off for a while as I am an admirer of AFCB's current squad and I am genuinely pleased that so many of last season's promotion winning squad have been given the opportunity to try and do well in the Championship. Arguably though the shortage of experience and muscle, even if not the effort are a little short in the squad. AFCB have been found wanting in recent matches and the task is not going to get any easier as we go into the winter matches.

We don't want to see Eddie trudging off at home too many more times.
Eddie Howe will come under pressure if he can't pick up more points. His strategy may have to look into the loan market not just because of injuries, but because the team is getting turned over at home, where it needs to be more resilient. The defeats to Bolton and Derby were narrow and it is one or two changes that may make the difference, but I would like to see the team get a lift.

I can see Eddie Howe being more than keen on finding some new faces for some sections of the team, because there is room for improvement throughout the team. Top of the list has to be defenders as AFCB are conceding goals even though the rate of late has dropped. Now the cover is thin at the back and it must feel like starting again for Eddie Howe with Ward out for some time and AFCB waiting on news on Steve Cook. 

In midfield too, MacDonald and O'Kane did work extremely hard against Derby. They were constantly on the move and putting in challenges, but could not get superiority over the opposition. I think another powerful midfielder who plays something like Marvin Bartley used to for AFCB would be the kind of addition that could interest Howe. Now that would get you all angry. Still I am not saying him but a similar box-to-box player, who loves to tackle might add a bit more grit and aggression to the team.

Even up front though there are questions over Rantie's abilities to hold the ball and not lose possession so quickly. Yes, he drops his shoulder and beats defenders for breakfast, but he has to have an end product or pass at the end of it on a more regular basis for me. Josh MCQuoid is said to be training as a forward again so perhaps we will see him on the bench soon.

Eddie will have to think about changing things soon though, because as we all know it is a results business and while he may have faith that his players will turn things around the clock is always ticking. I would like to think that our Russian owners will be patient and understand the challenge that Eddie and his team have in the Championship, because he is one manager in a million and must be given as much help as we can all give him to keep AFCB in this league. AFCB have waited such a long time to earn their place here.

Eddie Howe can't pick players on sentiment and he must decide if his players are up to the task or if he needs to bring in replacements, because this is an unforgiving league and AFCB are already slipping down the table. Will Howe wait until January or will he act now? 

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