The art of defending is often overlooked in comparison to offensive excellence, but how can someone ignore brilliance when it’s so evident and in your face, pun intended.
Bournemouth captain Steve Cook showcased some classic ‘laying your body on the line’ defending last night.
It all happened in a pivotal Championship fixture between league-leaders Fulham and second-placed Bournemouth. Cherrie’s Captain Steve Cook started only his second game following a lengthy absence due to injury, but evidently, he hasn’t lost a step.
At the cusp of halftime, Bournemouth almost conceded following a quick counter-attack by Fulham. In-form striker, Aleksandar Mitrović cut inside on his right foot and looked all set to put his side ahead, but in came a diving Cook who put his chest in front of the goal, resulting in a wonderful block.
However, this wasn’t the end of a frantic few seconds for Cook as the ball fell kindly for Fabio Carvalho, the Portuguese struck at goal on the follow-up and looked certain to score.
Steve Cook had different ideas, however, with a wonderful bit of improvisation, he dived in front of Carvalho’s strike and bravely took it on his face.
Stop that Steve Cook. pic.twitter.com/6NLX8Hri7V— Stop That Football (@stopthatfooty) December 4, 2021
Craven Cottage was in disbelief following the 30-year old’s incredible effort. The loud gasps after each block perfectly summarised the shock of the spectators.
In an interview post-match, Cook spoke on the block, “When I saw that chance to block it, it was perfect for me.” He also expressed concern for his poor jaw which withstood the full force of the strike, “I thought he broke my jaw, to be honest! It’s hanging on by a bit of a thread at the moment.”