Saturday, 26 March 2016

Eunan O'Kane is fighting hard to get to the Euros

I was delighted to see that Eunan O'Kane was rewarded for his AFCB performances with a substitute appearance and first full cap in Republic of Ireland's 1-0 win over Switzerland yesterday. It has been a difficult season for Eunan who has not been able to win a regular place in the Bournemouth starting line up in the Premier League, but he has put in some sterling cup performances of late and is now a contender to go to the Euro 2016 competition, which is an excellent achievement.
Eunan could be walking into Martin O'Neil's thoughts
after his appearance against Switzerland.
In the match last night Eunan came on in the 62nd minute for David Meyler of Hull City and while the team had to withstand a fair amount of pressure from Switzerland, they managed to hold out for the win after Ciaran Clark's second minute headed goal. Eunan also came close to scoring in the 90th minute when he hit a right footed shot from just outside the box that missed to the right of the goal. But it showed that Eunan was not overawed by the occasion and could play his natural game at international level. He will now need a strong finish to the season and with his good second half appearance in the match against Tottenham last weekend, he will certainly be looking to try and push for Eddie Howe to include him in as many of the remaining league games as possible.

Of course, one of the players that may just be an obstacle for Eunan making as many appearances as he would truly like is fellow Irishmen Harry Arter, who had to pull out of Martin O'Neil's squad. No doubt the two of them have had big discussions on the possibility of both of them may be playing in one or more of those games in the summer for their country, and it would be amazing for AFC Bournemouth fans to see the two of them playing in the tournament. As it is, I suppose Eunan has a slight advantage at the moment with his national team, and with the fixtures in the Premier League including some of the bigger clubs now, it may be that a five-man midfield gives Eunan more chance of getting some more AFCB game time.
Eunan gets ready to come on against Spurs.
The stats man will tell you that Eunan has played 19 times for the Cherries so far this season but 10 of them were as a substitute. If he can more than 21 or 22 games I would think that he is in a great position to go to the tournament in the summer, and if remains injury free. Martin O'Neil cold also reap the benefit of Eunan not having played as many games as some others in his squad, which means he 's be fresher than most.

Johan Tribute
I can't leave today's post without saying what a great tribute to Johan Cruyff in Amsterdam as The Netherland's took on France. Certainly one of the greatest players ever. I imagine every young football loving school boy and girl has had a go at doing one of his famous turns more than once or twice, as have many other players, but there is something majestic about the way Cruyff beat opponents and just watching his clips back again this week you have to marvel at the skill of the man. He'll be a great loss to all football fans all over the world.

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