Has Eddie Howe accidentally found his leader?

I refer not to Callum Wilson who in the absence of Jamaal Lascelles wore the armband on Tuesday. No, I refer to Federico Fernandez who came off the bench following Clark’s calamity and arguably nicked the man of the match award.

It is astonishing that in a defence that has struggled all season he hasn’t been given more game time. Yes, I know he’ll be thirty-three next February but seriously is there a better defender at the Club? Remember this is a player that was capped thirty-two times for Argentina and was part of the 2014 World Cup Final squad.

Consider what Eddie Howe said about Fernandez after Tuesday’s game.

“He’s been the ultimate professional. He’s a real leader of the group and a respected figure. He proved today he’s an outstanding player. I haven’t seen too much of him yet but I was delighted to give him the opportunity and I thought he played very well.”

With no one else shining in a mediocre defence perhaps it’s time to put Fede’s experience, knowledge and no nonsense straight forward defensive standing to the test. It would seem after Howe’s comments a logical move and to make him Captain may also be a clever idea.

Alongside him it has to be Fabian Schar who apart from his last-minute howler on Tuesday also played well with his first half run from defence carrying the ball outstanding. These two look made to play alongside each other.

If Howe is going to play a five at the back then I’d even consider very strongly Isaac Hayden for the other centre back position. That would give us much more flexibility in ball playing as well as tough defenders as I honestly think Lascelles and Clark are gone.

Also, what about Jamal Lewis? Who’d have thought a left-back would play well at left-back! True he’s often lacked a bit defensively but again he was very solid on Tuesday and surely deserves aa run in the side.

These changes may not work but we have to find a way to get some much-needed points before January comes starting with Burnley on Saturday. After what’s gone before Howe could do a lot worse than keeping Lewis in the starting XI alongside ‘leader’ Fernandez.

2 thoughts on “Has Eddie Howe accidentally found his leader?

  1. It’s a worry!
    If Howe listened to the fans he would already know Fernandez was the answer to his problem, and he would already know Fraser is a waste of space, Clark isn’t good enough etc..
    The worry is Eddie Howe is not listening, and actually doesn’t give this crowd any respect for the football knowledge they have, and if things turn bad for him the Geordie crowd will not be forgiving that..

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  2. The question is, if having accidentally found the best centre back at the club is a proper leader, will the influence of numpty Jones persuade him he is not the right one.
    The strange thing with coaching is they are often too near the problems to notice them and solve them, where as fans see exactly what is happening and the weaknesses are obvious week in and week out, eg Krafth and Ritchie are not natural defenders and Clarke has gone backwards dramatically.

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