Sunday, 17 July 2016

Does Elphick's departure make things harder for Steve Cook?

If Steve Cook didn't want to get noticed and wasn't up to trying to have his best ever season it certainly would not have been a good idea to go and dye his hair blonde. But Cooky is a player that is noticed first and foremost for his football and that won't change. With Tommy Elphick now moving on, he has to reassert himself as a defender that believes he can take his game further still and he, like many others, must challenge themselves in new ways if they are to keep improving.

Steve Cook is chasing another big season.
Many of the players will miss Tommy Elphick and I would expect Steve Cook to be one of those that would miss him most as a former Brighton team-mate and fellow central defender. However, Steve has also had times when he has led the team and managed to form string partnerships with Sylvain Distin and Simon Francis when Elphick was injured. He has been one of the main components of the Cherries' defence for the last two seasons having played 46 Championship games and 31 Premier League matches. He is now at a stage where he knows what to expect when he comes up against some of the world's leading strikers and with such names as Elphick and Distin leaving the fold, it will be an opportunity for Steve to be the defender that we all look to when it comes to keeping that clean sheet.

The standard of English defenders we know is not amazing at the moment and I hope that people like Eddie and Jason will encourage Cook all they can to try and get further up the pecking order. With Simon Francis also playing a central defender role, there is some pressure on Cook to show that he can up his game as Francis will be enthusiastic about his new role and will be pushing hard.

So when it comes to having a standout hair cut, I'd be pretty pleased about that if I was standing on the sidelines watching Steve Cook. It shows that he is thinking about himself and what impression he makes and I just hope he stands out for his play just as much when he takes to the field. Steve may not have Tommy Elphick breathing down his neck for a place anymore, but there will be others, so I hope that spurs Cooky on.

New Third Kit
Steve Cook was amongst those who tried on the new luminous third AFCB kit recently - not sure on this one but at least the players will certainly see each other coming! 

Premier Talk: 2016/17 season
Bang! here come the big spenders

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