Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Eddie's clever player management

Eddie Howe is a bit of a magician when it comes to knowing what is required in terms of players for certain games. He rest players as soon as they are a bit out of form and is not afraid of dropping anyone, because it's the team that must come first. So how clever has he been with his decision to hold back Yann Kermorgant from the starting line up until he felt Yann was ready?
Eddie Howe likes to keep player choices quiet.
It appears that Eddie again knows best and has played a blinder. Fans may have been calling for Yann to start earlier than the Doncaster game but Eddie was having none of it. To integrate a player they need time and while I could see that Yann was a strong player with some great touches he was looking around a little in his first few appearances trying to make sure he was not getting in the way of runs from other players. So at times he might have been a bit of a statue, but there was none of that last Saturday. Against Doncaster he knew exactly where he needed to be and what he had to do. I was shocked at the amount of space Doncaster were giving him, but he is such a quality player in the air that he was always going to make them pay with the crosses that coming in.

The important thing for AFCB is that they now have a player who will get on the end of the crosses from Francis and Harte in particular. It has been almost a crime to see the deep crosses angled in with such aplomb and nobody getting anywhere near them. That's going to change now and it's another dimension to the teams play. In the past teams have known that Bournemouth are simply going to try and pass their way through, but this is an extra arrow to the bow and the team can switch to high crosses if needed.

I do see Yann as much more than just a good heading striker. He has fast feet and a good touch and if he blossoms in the new surroundings at the Goldsands he could very soon become a player that is difficult to leave out.
Yann showed his Championship finishing ability against Doncaster,
but I can also see him making assists for others.

Eddie was not worried about leaving Tokelo Rantie out of the first 11 for the Doncaster match either. Whether this was also because he has a friendly to play against Brazil in the week is hard to tell, but TK had started the previous game. It is also noticeable that Eddie did not rush Eunan O'Kane back into the starting line up either but is giving him time to recover. 

However, clever Eddie is with his player management he will have to upset one or two and Brett Pitman and Shaun MacDonald are starting to look like players that are going to have to do something special to win back a place. Meanwhile, Adam Smith is still waiting to get his turn.

The players have to have faith in Eddie Howe though because he gets it right usually. Look at Ian Harte and his confidence now at left back. He is showing just why he was brought in and his touch and vision is something that is contributing to many of the positive performances now. Charlie had better watch out.

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