Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Ake takes all the prizes

It might have been a bit embarrassing for Nathan Ake to walk up and take all the player of the season awards, but he certainly deserved the high acclaim he received. It underlines the standards to which others have to try and emulate if they are to help take AFCB forward, and if Bournemouth's players can start to look as assured as Ake does on the ball, then the team will make further progress.
Nathan Ake has just been a class above the rest this season.
I'm impressed though with the coaching team at Bournemouth too as they have worked with Nathan and Ake and have certainly got the best out of him. Nathan is clearly happy at the club and for him to have chosen Bournemouth over Chelsea is something that will build Eddie Howe's reputation as a manger that is able to progress players with big transfer fees and not just the lower league players.

Whether Ake can improve yet again is the challenge that he faces and whether he can make a partnership with Steve Cook or another AFCB centre-back that can become the stingiest centre -back partnership in the Premier League. Even Nathan has said that he has made mistakes at times, for example, when he marked Mo Salah in the Liverpool match, but it is all about whether he can learn from those experiences now and become one of the top defenders in the league.

If Nathan does achieve a level that has him keeping more clean sheets it will attract the top six clubs attention. But I feel Nathan is keen to see how far the Bournemouth experiment can go and if the club can win a cup and get a higher top 10 finish in the seasons to come. While he won't be involved in this year's World Cup, I think he is a player that would have had a good tournament and I hope that he can become a player that picks up even more ideas when he does play international matches. Bournemouth need players like Nathan who are at the top level to help the team progress.

What Nathan should not be nervous about though is his connection with AFCB fans. We have taken to him and he should believe that he is very wanted on the south coast. He could be picking up trophies for a few years yet at Dean Court.

Premier Talk: Swansea v Saints will be an exciting knockout game

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