Friday, 10 November 2017

Was Lewis Cook unlucky to be dropped for Newcastle game?

When the team sheet was called out at St James' Park I had not expected to see Lewis Cook suddenly put on the bench again with preference given to Harry Arter. Arter must have had a good week in training or Eddie might have felt that Arter's aggressive kind of attitude is something that would be needed to counter a player like Johnjo Shelvey.
Has Lewis Cook been sidelined too quickly?
Whatever my thoughts on whether Arter or Lewis Cook is best to play with Surman, I have to say Eddie Howe made a good call with the team winning. Arter still didn't have a great game. But it was better than Surman's first half performance that again left a lot to be desired. Surman grew into the game though as it went on as did Arter. A few mistakes by Arter were still popping up in the second half and the notable one was when he went down in the centre of the pitch when to me it just looked like he had been caught off guard and surrendered position. That's how the Newcastle fans saw it anyway. Bournemouth did get a few decisions that I thought were lucky on the day, including the disallowed goal Newcastle had. 
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But would Lewis Cook have played better than Arter or Surman? I believe Lewis is as good as either of them, and when he plays a few more games should be harder for Arter or Surman to shift. It may be that Eddie did not want to overplay Cook with an U21 international week coming up, but Lewis has shown he can do a job in the centre of midfield. How soon he gets another run in the team may come down to how Arter's on/off Achilles holds up. When you look at all of Bournemouth's central midfielders it's the shooting quality that now appears one of the weakest part of their game. Okay, Surman has put a couple away this season, but he hasn't a stunning record of scoring and Arter's attempted shots seem way off the mark far too often.

Lewis Cook has to keep up his ability of not giving the ball away and trying to have a few more cracks at goal. If he can get a goal or two he would give Eddie more cause to pick him above others you'd think. 

Lewis plays in Ukraine today in a first round UEFA Euro England U21 qualifier. The team will be a bit weaker with senior call ups for Tammy Abraham, Joe Gomez and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

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