Monday, 7 April 2014

Tommy brings leadership qualities to the fore

It was perhaps an unlikely first goal scorer against QPR on Saturday. Tommy doesn't get many goals and it was his first league goal although he had scored against Burton Albion in the FA Cup earlier this season. What it meant to the Cherries captain was very evident to see. He turned and signalled to the home crowd to turn up the volume and it is clear that the players enjoy hearing the fans singing at full pelt as the atmosphere at Dean Court is very special in big games. 
Tommy Elphick is confident that AFCB can achieve more this season.
Tommy has done well to come back into the team and show why he is captain material. He is always there encouraging and helping his team mates. I saw Ryan Fraser go down for the umpteenth time against QPR in the second half and with Ryan looking like he would be down for some time to run the clock down, Tommy gently pulled him to his feet as if to say, don't worry we don't need you to get booked for time wasting. It all added up to a man of the match performance and was fully deserved in my opinion.

Elphick's commanding presence is very endearing to the home fans and I think his pre-match ritual gives him a special connection with AFCB supporters - if Tommy is there then everything will be okay - and I think it's similarly reassuring to the other players when he is there. While Steve Cook has been getting a lot of deserved credit for the way he has been playing, it has been Tommy playing alongside him that has also been winning lots of the headers and tackles as well. He may be unassuming and simply dedicated to his job with no frills, but Tommy is certainly one of the rocks of the team and to keep Elliott ward on the sidelines shows how far Tommy and Steve have come.

Now we need another captain's performance against Reading who have some excellent strikers. AFCB did not manage the clean sheet against QPR and the level of concentration slipped for a key moment to allow Armand Traore in to score. A clean sheet will be part of the aim against The Royals and if Tommy can pop up again to get the winner I don't think there will be many complaints this side of Berkshire. UTCIAD!

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