Sunday, 28 February 2016

Gradel is a great player to have back

Why are AFCB getting bad luck, even when they see some good news? Junior Stanislas limping off holding the back of his thigh was another moment that we'd rather not have seen, but it did mean that Max Gradel was thrust back into the action for 70 minutes at Watford, which was a big ask for Max having been out through injury for six months.

I was surprised that Eddie Howe said Junior Stanislas could be out for as long as two months now and hope it is only three or four weeks. While he is out though much of his wing work will need to be done by Max Gradel who has timed his return well. The way in which he lasted the test at Watford was very impressive and a good omen for the future. He may find it difficult to last as long against Southampton if he starts on Tuesday, but he is already showing that he is difficult to play against as Watford gave away a string of free kicks in trying to stop him on Saturday.
Max almost scored on his return to the team.
Each time he did get fouled, I prayed that he would get up straight away and it was good that he came through the game safely. It must have been a very hard game for him and he had to do more than he might have expected to at Vicarage Road. Eddie will have to consider what is best to do on Tuesday night against Southampton. Juan Iturbe and Marc Pugh could be available, so there is strength there even with the injury to Junior Stanislas.

Max is a confident player though and I think that in itself is massive for the team. He carries himself as a player that has already achieved in the game, and it comes across on the pitch. AFCB need that extra bit of class and quality now and Max is a player that Eddie Howe will surely turn to. Max has to be careful though not to over do it. He is the kind of player that will be most helpful though at Dean Court as the Cherries have been having a hard time of it at home. They can try and get Max on the ball now to relieve any pressure and take games to the opposition a bit more though out balls to him.

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