Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Can O'Kane be the best Championship enforcer?

High on the list of players that AFCB fans have been pleased to hang on to this summer is Eunan O'Kane. There are still some transfer time left so I hope the situation regarding him does not change. He really found himself playing in a deeper position in front of the back four last season that suited his attributes particularly well and his reading of the game and assured passing was matched by some superb tackling and breaking up of play when the back four needed protection. So can Eunan become the best enforcer in the Championship?
Eunan has to put the work in to keep pace with the growing squad.

We have seen some great players in the World Cup play in Eunan's position like Macharano for Argentina and Schneider for Germany. It should have been of small surprise that these two teams with their strong defensive set ups found a way to the final even if they did not dazzle all the way through the tournament. The key position of the defensive midfielder is what finally slowed the amount of goals that were such a feature of the earlier rounds of the World Cup.

For Eunan to reach the next level he needs another solid season in the Championship and to help reduce the number of chances opposition teams have to hurt our defence. It is not just a one man job though and he needs to be reliant on other just as they are in him. I like the confidence that Eunan has and the way he has grown and adapted to whatever task Eddie and Jason have asked him to do. I am glad he still showed against Yeovil last season that he is capable of getting forward, beating a few players and unleashing unstoppable shots and if he keeps that up he could soon find international caps coming his way.
Eunan has the belief in his ability to excel in this AFCB side.
Eunan has not played that many games just in front of the back four and he has miss timed a few tackles that have resulted in penalties. This part of his game Eddie Howe may have to look at so that he is not charging in at the wrong moment.

There are other in the Championship who are equally respected for their dogged displays in defensive midfield like Scott Parker at Fulham, Craig Bryson is another at Derby and Ben Watson at Wigan, but Eunan can develop his power and trickery further from what I have seen and could well be the one that every one is after come next summer. Peter Beagrie at SkySports has his own favourites but Eunan could be among them next time around.

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