Friday, 7 March 2014

O'Kane won't be on the bench for long

We are not used to seeing Eunan O'Kane having to be careful not to get splinters from the subs' bench. An enforced absence at Derby though after the injury he received during the Burnley game did see Eunan stay in his track suit for the Doncaster game. I don't think he will want to be sitting on the bench for long, although I am sure he will be as pleased as anyone that the Cherries won convincingly against Doncaster.
Eunan is one of AFCB's form players for the season
and he'll be itching to get back in the team.
You would find it hard for Eddie to change much having seen the team play so well against Doncaster, although an away match brings up separate problems and challenges that the team must prepare for. In the past it has been Eunan that has been a crucial factor in some of the best away performances that the team has had and so as harsh as it may be, Eddie may want to bring a fully fit O'Kane back into the starting line up. If he does it may be that hat-trick hero Yann Kermorgant makes way for the extra midfielder, but that would be a tough call. Still if it's the right one, Eddie will make it.

Having seen how the team played against Doncaster I would like the same 11 to start again because they have produced the best performance of the season. It shows you how much stronger the team is now compared to last season when a player drops out for a game and finds it difficult to make the bench at times let alone the starting line up. It's not just Eunan that wants to get back into the team and if Eddie is leaving players of the quality of Shaun MacDonald out of the match day squad then it speaks volumes for what is happening at Dean Court. Such a decision probably allowed Mohamed Coulibaly a place on the bench after his long absence and to see him get a run out, if only for 10 minutes against Doncaster, is a sign that there is another player that wants to play a part in the last part of the season.
Eunan has certainly enjoyed the challenge of the Championship.
The competition for starting places is becoming very healthy and when Charlie Daniels and Elliott Ward come back into contention it really is going to be a struggle to fit everyone on that bench. This coming weekend though I believe Eddie Howe has a very big decision to make over Eunan O'Kane and it may be that he finds it wisest to give Surman and Arter the first 60 minutes and only then to bring Eunan back into the fray gradually. He may feel that Arter or Surman need a rest, but I doubt it some how. I can only see them as starters.

But how do you feel about the possibility of Kermorgant and Rantie being kept on the bench to allow O'Kane back into the team? For me Rantie has done a lot of travelling and should be on the bench, while Grabban has shown he is great playing up front alone so I would bring O'Kane back in. Over to you Eddie. 

Check out the Rival Lines tab to hear John Campbell give his thoughts ahead of the Blackpool v AFCB match. Find out what he puts Blackpool's current slide in form down to.

You can back the team this weekend and win a few bob yourself if you are over 18 by placing a bet on Free Bet Negotiator. Best of luck.

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