Sunday, 23 March 2014

Strange that AFCB made no substitutions at Oakwell

It is quite usual for me to look down the touchline on 59 minutes to see who is warming up and about to go on to the pitch. I would have been looking and waiting a long time at Oakwell for Eddie Howe to signal any player to get ready because he did not make a single substitution. In a way that is pleasing as he will say that he chose the right team and did not need to tinker with it. Although I doubt Eddie thought the game would end in such a dramatic fashion.
Yann played from the 58th minute at Charlton and 90 minutes at Oakwell.
Danny Wilson made use of all three of his subs, some of which were enforced because of injuries. I don't remember the last game though when Eddie did not make at least one change. Considering that the Cherries play again on Tuesday Eddie must have felt that the 11 players that were on the pitch were the best ones to see things through. You never know if those on the bench are always 100 per cent fit or are nursing a small injury. 

Yann Kermorgant was said to be a slight doubt if his heel flared up again, but he was not protected and played the full 90 minutes. Yann probably needed the game time and it may help him in the games coming up to have a bit more sharpness. Ritchie too you might have felt would not have played 90 minutes having just come back into the team but his legs carried him through the 90 minutes okay. 

The options for Howe are many now with the squad almost at full strength. We still wait for more news on Charlie Daniels' pace of recovery, but everyone looks like they are enjoying the club's push up the table. Eddie of course could also be saying to opposition teams that my players are not so tired as has been suggested, in the press, in recent weeks and are capable of putting in 90 minutes plus if they have to. The late substitution of Adam Smith also did not work in AFCB's favour in mid-week and that may have had an impact on  Eddie's decision to leave things as they were against Barnsley as a point is always better than none.

AFCB players will not want to be subbed in the next few games either with the likes of Leeds, Birmingham and QPR to take on, so it is up to the players to give their all in front of Eddie if they want to be involved.

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