Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Gosling grabs the central midfield role

There was a tough choice to be made over who should start in central midfield against Sunderland. Eunan O'Kane was all over the Matchday programme cover so we might have guessed that he would be the one dropped for the re-emergence of Dan Gosling in the side. It has been a bit of a quandary over why Dan has played so well in cup games for the team but had not managed to cement his place in the side during the league campaigns. Perhaps that is going to change now.
Dan ruled the midfield against Sunderland.
The match against Sunderland was certainly a good game for Dan. He found plenty of space in the midfield and had a big impact on the game, providing the assist for Wilson's opening goal and pushing forward frequently to add to the attacking numbers. We've seen him give away the ball too often in the past in games at home, but he managed to make far fewer mistakes against Sunderland and looked like he was at ease with his own game. What's more he set a new record for distance covered for a player in the Premier League of 8.6 miles.

The central midfield area is still an area where the Cherries have found it hard to keep control for long spells in games and Arter's comeback trail will be carefully monitored, but there is part of me that believes that Dan could prolong his stay in the role if he can finally get a series of games under his belt. The Sunderland game could just be the trigger that he has needed to get his performance levels up to the right height and now that he knows where he needs to be he can try and emulate that in the coming games. 

I also see that by giving players opportunities to come back into the side Eddie Howe is really helping the total squad mentality. Perform below the standard required and you will be dropped, but work hard and produce during the week and on match days and you will get that game time. That has to be Dan's target now to get regular selection.

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