Monday, 18 November 2013

Will Eunan's defensive qualities win him a place against Derby?

I heard that Eunan O'Kane had been put on standby for the Republic of Ireland international team during this break, which must be great for him even if he has not been featuring regularly for the Cherries. Of course last game he did get a start against Burnley and he played very much in front of the back four shielding them from the threat of anyone trying to play in the hole. It was a role that he said he had been learning with Richard Hughes and clearly Eddie Howe felt that Eunan was ready to carry out the task against the league leaders.

Eunan O'Kane has been working on the defensive side of his game.
Eunan is clearly finding it tricky to stay fit and to get a long run in AFCB's team at the moment, but his time might well be coming now. Earlier in the season I was asked by at Wigan fan who I thought was the Cherries most dangerous player and he was amazed that I did not say Eunan and he was even more surprised when the Irishman was only featured on the bench for the league game having done so well last season against Wigan when he scored a great goal in the FA Cup. 

I think that shows that AFCB's squad has quite some depth to it these days and no one is guaranteed a starting place from one week to another. Many have suggested that Eunan might be a bit lightweight for the Championship but I don't think that there is space for all types of player and Eunan is agile and quick which often gets him into goal scoring positions. If he can score goals against the FA Cup holders he can do it at Championship level and it might be that he has that opportunity against Derby in a few days time to try and achieve that.

Eunan warms up pre-Nottingham Forest match.
Eddie Howe clearly wants Eunan to improve the defensive side of his game which will give him a better chance of being selected more often. Eunan has played well with Harry Arter and I do like the way that both of them run with the ball and aren't afraid to take players on. While Eunan did not do much to grab any headlines last game, he did not do much wrong either so he could well be rewarded with a home start, which would be his first since the Blackburn Rovers match.

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