Thursday, 8 December 2016

Shuffling the defence across gives Howe a solution

The form of Nathan Aké has given Eddie Howe a welcome problem in deciding how to keep him in the side. He has been mainly used as a centre-back and while there is nothing wrong with his performances there, it appears that Eddie stumbled on a solution of playing him at left back as he had been used last season at Watford.
Nathan Aké has enhanced his reputation since coming into the starting line up.

To be clear the move in position against Liverpool was more to do with the problems Adam Smith was having on the left side and his need to give better width and balance to the team. I wondered why Eddie started with Adam Smith laying at left back when he could have played Brad Smith or chosen to play Aké there in the first place. But I imagine Eddie was looking at current form and wanted both Adam Smith and Nathan Akee in the side.

The move back inside to centre-back was probably welcomed by Simon Francis though. He admitted in his post-match interview that he has to work harder and be fitter to play at right wing-back, and having played much of the season at centre-back it must take a bit of time to feel comfortable with the rest of the back line when you have been in the middle and controlling the line.

The interesting aspect of the back four will come when Charlie Daniels is fit again. Will Eddie revert back to the four that have played the most games this season or will he keep Aké ahead of one of the others? The shirt is certainly Aké's to lose at the moment but things can change very quickly.

1 comment:

  1. If Ake is not given a run of games now then he for certain will have his loan spell ended and that would not be good news...

    Does anyone know how long Daniels is out for..

    Personally I would play Ake instead of Gosling and bring in Smith....Fraser has to play again.....Ibe sits on bench....