Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Francis is starting to play like a leader now

Simon Francis is becoming accustomed to being the captain these days. In the first few matches in that role he perhaps did not manage to get his performances always in line with leading from the front, but now he is starting to drive the team with his own actions and it is a welcome surprise for me as I was one of those who expected Tommy Elphick to straight come back into the side.

At Newcastle, Simon had one of his best games I would say of recent weeks. I am not sure if he or Cook was particularly alert for Newcastle's goal but for the rest of the game it was challenge after challenge where Simon Francis was there first. He made an important block in the first half by throwing himself in front of the shot from Riviere. It was that kind of bravery and determination that the other players could grow from.
Simon Francis is looking more comfortable now at centre half.
We then saw Ritchie fighting for balls and Gradel scrapping away to keep possession. It set the tone through the team, and while there were lots of pretty aspects to the Cherries' play it was just as important to show that AFCB's players were prepared to fight as hard as the Newcastle players. In fact, it was Francis and Jonjo Shelvey that were probably the two players that stood out the most in their determination to win the ball and both captains put in a great effort.

It all bodes well for the future as far as AFCB are concerned. One captain is great, two is even better but when you then get a team of players following that lead it is a team that more often than not gets results. 

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