Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Gradel has taken AFCB up to the finishing line

While there is still some small amount of caution before saying that AFCB are knocking on the door of safety now, the player that has lifted the club in recent weeks is certainly the likable Ivory Coast winger - Max Gradel. His talent is just amazing and I turned to a friend in the stand at the weekend to say that Max has to be AFCB's most skillful player from what I'd seen in recent weeks.
Max is just first class all the way.
That is high praise as up to this point I had always though Matt Ritchie was untouchable, but I think we have another winger now who is certainly capable of some amazing skill and his experience of the game just puts him on another level at times. I remember when the Cherries took on West Ham at the start of the season thinking this Max Gradel is better than I remember and every time he finds the ball at his feet you know he can beat a player in a flash, and he has learnt to pick a player out who is in a better position to score when he has to play that pass.

It is no wonder that Jose Mouhinho said at the start of the season that Max was a player that was good enough to play for Chelsea the Champions. He has that supreme quality of consistency and mastery that he brings to every game and it is not something that is evident in many players. The great thing about Max is he believes he is that good as well. Confidence exudes from him and that can only be good for the rest of the team to hear him saying that he is playing well and that we'll win today.

He has injected belief and positivity into the side again and it has come at a point in the season when it was very much needed. The points have started to flow and I'm starting to wonder what could have been achieved if Max and Callum had been injury-free in 2015-16. As it is, Max has already boosted the club's points tally and the comfort Eddie Howe must have in being able to pick Max again is probably a delight for him. He knows what he'll get from Max and it's just very pleasing to see him out there again doing what he does best.

"I'm happy playing the way we are at the moment. We are winning games," said Max. "And I'm happy for the lads and the team and for the supporters we just need to keep going."

Commentating on his goal celebration with Edie Howe Max wanted to share the moment with those who had stood by him. "Once people are nice to you, you have to try and give something back to them and I hope everyone can see that," explained Max.

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