Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Make or break time for some AFCB players

While Eddie Howe performed miracles with the team last season and has got the players performing at a high level in the Championship it could be a vital period for many of them between now and the summer. It is important that Eddie sifts out the players that are not going to feature in the first team as soon as he can. I had expected more to go last summer, but with the amount of injuries the team has suffered this season it has been good that the squad numbers were kept fairly high.

Still there are players that have not featured this season and perhaps are unlikely to. Joe Partington is a long term project and a young one for the future and his loan move to Aldershot should be just what he needs to get match fit. Jayden Stockley is another that we can put in this category and hopefully he does well in his spell at Torquay. It seems he will now been joined by Chris Hargreaves who becomes Torquay's new manager and leaves AFCB's backroom staff as first team coach. We all wish Chris the very best as his input certainly helped AFCB to the position it is now in with Eddie and Jason.

Looking after our young players is the way to go if AFCB can build a system like the Saints, where local talent is brought through the ranks. It is the big earners who don't quite fit that are probably the ones that need permanent moves.

Keeping the incentive going for our young players could mean loan spells elsewhere.
Yet the club has also bought big with Miles Addison and Matt Tubbs and while they have now gone out on loan, Matt for the second time, I can't see them staying at AFCB beyond the summer. Darryl Flahavan is on a one year contract and may be surplus to requirement with Lee Camp joining the team. At left back Ian Harte may just be here until the summer and Richard Hughes has been used sparingly. 

Ian Harte will still be hoping to play some more games at AFCB.
Other players that are also probably playing to stay part of Eddie Howe's plans going forward could include Josh McQuoid, Donal McDermott and Wes Fogden. None of them have had much time because of injury but they don't have long to impress Eddie before the summer arrives. There are already rumours that Pompey could be interested in Wes Fogden. I have heard nothing about Stephane Zubar who was linked with Bury last season, but he is also still on AFCB's books. Stephen Purches may also end his playing days this summer.

You could also say that there are question marks over Mohamed Coulibaly who has not really played yet and Tokelo Rantie who has not hit the ground running. It is an important few months for them as with all our players.

Whatever the decisions that are made, it is clear that a few players that may not be here much longer and that does not even include Wes Thomas, who has the opportunity to move this January. Andrew Surman is also on loan and will return to Norwich City in the summer.

When you look at the picture as a whole there will be a fair bit of rebuilding and it may be good to move a few out this window with gradual replacement. It should be an exciting period though because Eddie Howe has never really had the money to make his team, and this time around he is likely to be better funded than any Bournemouth manager in the past. Much of the building will probably come this summer, but between January and May it should be a real testing time for players who want to stay at the club.  

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