Monday, 1 February 2016

King and Afobe partnership will be tempting for Howe to play

The return of Tommy Elphick probably had more attention on it at the Pompey game than the sight of seeing Josh King back on the field. Tommy has been out with a long term injury so that is hardly surprising and he is the captain so we are all delighted to see him back. But the return of Josh King to fitness again is a major boost for the squad and gives Eddie Howe some much more interesting forward options than he has had for some time.
Benik Afobe is looking for a strike partner but who should it be?
While Benik Afobe has taken to life at the Cherries in great form and has been used as a lone striker, it would be great to see him play with another striker to have a duo that can really take the game to the opposition. It has worked well for Watford this season and I am sure if can be done at AFCB, but the players will need to feel confident that they can go 4-4-2 again. We saw it briefly at Pompey with Grabban and King, but I suspect that a home game will be the first time that Eddie Howe would think about changing formation from the start and not against a top four side like Arsenal in a few days time.

Still the liveliness of Josh King that we saw at Pompey in the FA Cup does give a lot of encouragement to me. Josh managed to get another flick on header goal that will give him confidence and he had some great touches inside the box laying on shooting chances for Grabban. It was indeed a welcome sight to see Josh do really well and I am hoping that he is not overplayed but that his hamstrings are given special attention as it is a weakness that he clearly has and was seen at Blackburn Rovers, but no physio seems to have gotten to the bottom of it yet. Maybe Josh needs to be treated with more rest periods than the average player, but when he is in the kind of form that we saw at Fratton Park, it is surely necessary to get his legs in A1 condition so that he can get more games in.

I suspect that we may see Josh on the bench for the Crystal Palace game. A good final 20 minutes or so against Palace would give Afobe a good first stint of leading the attack and Josh could takeover after that. Down the line though, I can see Josh and Benik now possibly as a pairing that could lead the Cherries attack and Lewis Grabban might be slightly behind along with Glenn Murray at this stage. 

Transfer Watch
It is very quiet at the moment. Anyone seen Rhoys Wiggins or Ravel Morrison? And why is Shoot and the Daily Mirror obsessed with Jermain Defoe, because know one at Dean Court seems to be.

The Cherry Chimes Newsletter is out today.
Cherry Chimes' February Newsletter  brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month, plus there is a special Newsletter article entitled: Can Grabban be even better second time around?

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