Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Eunan O'Kane is quite the guardian

Eunan O'Kane has been said to be picking up tips from Richard Hughes about how to play in front of the back four. I am not sure if Hughes is seeing his future role as more of a mentor than as a player, not had much time on the pitch this season, but his advice and calm passing mode would be something that Eunan O'Kane would do well to emulate. 

Eunan has defensive aspects of his game in mind.
The Reading game saw Eunan drafted into the team to play the defencive midfield role after Shaun MacDonald had played there in midweek at QPR. When Bournemouth also play with Surman behind Grabban and Arter just behind him in midfield the extra player seems to help Eunan and he made a substantial amount of tackles against Guthrie especially in the middle of the pitch. In a way it is a bit of a dirty job. It's not a glory role to be scrapping in the middle and stopping the opposition coming in between the back four and the midfield players, but Eunan is doing fine there.

The terrier role is one that suits Eunan.
While Eunan is not the biggest of players he is adept at being a little terrier and I can see why Eddie Howe sees him as the perfect kind of player to play this part in the team. I believe that Eunan will have been one of the players that did the most running in the Reading game as he had to be very mobile to do that job.

Most would probably not think that much of the game Eunan played at Reading as he would not be bombing forward or looking to hit a thirty yard screamer very often, but his role was vital and it made AFCB look so much more solid. I think Eunan has found his best place in the team as guardian of the back four. As long as he keeps winning the ball and starts off attacks by feeding Arter or Daniels, for example, he will become seen as more of a ball winner which would allow Arter to be a bit more expressive just that bit further up the field.     

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