Monday, 25 January 2016

Afobe: two in three - not a bad start!

Benik Afobe has every reason to have felt that there was a lot of pressure on his young shoulders. He has come straight into the side with Josh King being injured and even Lewis Grabban and Glenn Murray having to wait behind Benik to get some minutes on the pitch. 
Benik Afobe is starting to take chances in this team.
Fortunately the goals have come nice and early for Benik. A blank against West Ham was quickly followed by two goals in the last two games and both different types of goals being a volley and a header, but instant finishes. The noticeable thing about those goals though is that Benik was served those opportunities. They were not created by him alone, but both Charlie Daniels and Junior Stanislas provided the crosses for Benik to thrive on.

I suppose Glenn Murray would similarly like to be on the end of crosses like those, but you can see why Eddie is favouring Benik at the moment. AFCB's number 20 is very good at bringing other players into play and his ability to hold up the ball is some of the best I have seen in a long while. We have seen Benik play with Lewis Grabban for a short period but it is not yet known what Eddie favours if he did decide to play two up front in games from the start.

When Josh King is able to complete for a place again he may be more of an aide for Benik than Grabban in Eddie's eyes. It is the combination of how strikers work best together that needs to be evaluated and while Grabban we know can be effective at leading the line, he'll be learning how he can be more effective paying alongside Benik for a little while yet. I wouldn't say it's been an instant success and we may find that Josh King and eventually Callum Wilson change the thinking of Eddie Howe again.

For the moment though, Benik is well ahead in the pecking order and while he keeps scoring there won't be anyone suggesting that he should not start games. 

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