Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Anyone know where Tomlin will be Saturday?

Lee Tomlin has had one of those weeks. I can't say if he has blown his opportunity to play at AFCB again or not, but if the club does not include him in the squad at Fratton Park then we'll know the reason why.

Social media is not always a player's friend these days and if Lee has fallen foul of it he won't have been the first or the last to have misjudged the situation in a rash moment of finger typing. Lee would certainly be a strong candidate to be picked for the FA Cup against Portsmouth if he was fit and was in everyone's good books. He needs games, everyone understands that, but I wonder if he'll be able put his head down now. Josh King was picked for the U21 match in midweek along with Juan Iturbe who rattled in a hat-trick, so with that kind of competition for places Eddie will not be short of options for Saturday's match if Lee is given time out to reflect on matters.
Out of favour Lee Tomlin is already being linked with
Leeds Utd and Hull City of the Championship and now Bristol City as well.
While the FA Cup may be seen as a proving ground for players though I'd like to see some of the other youngsters get a chance on Saturday. Jordan Green or Brandon Goodship could be among those who could make the bench and might get some exciting news this week if they train well. Now that Yann Kermorgant has departed, and Tokelo Rantie was injured at Birmingham, there should be doors opening for others. It is only right that hard work and ability be rewarded and we have already seen Jordan Lee and Matt Butcher benefit from playing in the last round of the FA Cup. We can see that Callum Buckley had a few minutes in midweek against Gillingham's U21 side as well as Keelan O'Connell and Jordan Lee. The big plus points though was to hear that both Josh King and Tommy Elphick came through the game okay.

The management of players is always a key aspect of running a successful football club and while Eddie Howe must reconcile the desire for the club to progress in every competition, he also has to balance that with giving the players that deserve it the opportunity to play. I think the squad selection for the Pompey match will be keenly observed.

Transfer Window swaps!
Just in case you do want chuck a few AFCB players out of the squad, have a go at the betway Premier League 16 Swap Shop. You can Tweet and Facebook your three swaps - not sure about the starting 11 for AFCB or the limitless budget, but it's just a bit of fun.

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