Sunday, 12 July 2015

Howe to move Ritchie to the No 10 role?

There has been no escape from the summer signings and wingers have been high in the pecking order for the Cherries. While we still await news on Max Gradel, and there's news from the Daily Star on Sunday this morning that Michail Anotino could be on AFCB's target list, there has still been a steady flow of wide men on tap with Josh King and Christian Atsu now joining the likes of Juinor Stanislas, Adam Smith and Marc Pugh. However, the winger that really lit the scene up for the Cherries last season was Matt Ritchie and the ability that he has with both feet just may give Eddie Howe the option to bring him infield more if he decides to rejig the team a little.

Ritchie is good enough to be adaptable.
I'll be as keen as any AFCB supporter to see what the starting line up is against Philadelphia Union. While absentees through injury won't give the full picture of an AFCB line up it is likely that some of the things that have been worked on already will have a chance to feature in this game. It might not be the first 11 that take to the pitch against Aston Villa, but it will provide an indication perhaps of where Eddie Howe sees the new signings of Christian Atsu and Josh King fitting into the team.

If Atsu is not played up front but is found on his more customary right wing that does free up Matt Ritchie either to be a sub or to play of the left or more interestingly to play through the middle. I wouldn't mind seeing that as an experiment. Whether Ritchie is seen as being tough enough to play through the middle is my only query. He is naturally such a well-balanced player that I am sure his game would be well-suited to a more central role where his passing and vision could be quite a revelation.

Howe also has the option of trying one of his new signings behind Callum Wilson or indeed instead of the 23 goal striker from last season. The options are many but AFCB have enough strikers to play 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 - like many Premier League sides. The patterns are likely to be fluent in any case so that what appears like a 4-4-2 will evolve as games progress into a much more dynamic formation. Howe is good at that and his teams don't lack for pace going forward so with better players now in the squad there is room for some experiment and now is surely the time to do that if players are going to be tried in different positions.

Breaking News: Italian club Chievo Verona are claiming that Filippo Costa will be on loan at AFC Bournemouth until 30 June 2016.

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