Friday, 11 July 2014

The season starts against FC Copenhagen for the Cherries

While the match against FC Copenhagen tonight is a friendly its significance should not be dismissed as a mere prelude to the some of the matches that the Cherries will be playing throughout July and into August, before the league matches start proper. For the new signings of Stanislas, Wilson and Gosling this period is key for them to work out their partnerships with other players and to get a real understanding of the team's overall tempo and the movement of those who play around them. Existing players cannot rest on their laurels either as poor performances now will see them out of the frame for a squad place come August.

The biggest pressure though I think is on Eddie Howe. He will be hoping that he has bought well and that his messages are getting across to the players. What can look good on the training pitches might be far from right when playing real matches and FC Copenhagen will be stiff competition. One player they will be without is striker Igor Vetokele who Charlton bought last month for an undisclosed fee, but perhaps we will see Igor when he turns out for the Addicks in the Championship. The Danish outfit have been busy this summer though themselves and have picked up defender Per Nilsson from Nurnburg. They also beat Liverpool to the signature for Ghana midfield youth international Daniel Amarety. Their strangest signing though or should I say re-signing is that of Andreas Cornelius from Cardiff City. The striker returns to the Danish capital club having moved for £7.5m in the January transfer window.

Rantie has no time to lose now if he is to make an impression.
It's AFCB's line up though that should interest us most and how many subs Eddie will make during the game. I don't think we will be able to read too much into it but the starting 11 will probably be those he is keenest to see and the ones that are showing good fitness rates. I believe that Tokelo Rantie is with the AFCB tour party as there is no Bafana Bafana friendlies listed and, if so, I am expecting him to get some minutes and will be interested to see how he gets on knowing that he now has big competition for a place in the side and an opportunity with the exit of Grabban. At the back you might wonder which of the two centre backs Eddie will go with (but Elliot Ward was seen at Dean Court yesterday so it should be Elphick and Cook for this match) and whether he starts with Stanislas and Ritchie in the same team. 

While there was no news feed for the AFCB Development match against Hamworthy Recreaction I sincerely hope the club at least tweets feedback on the FC Copenhagen game as there is an audience of AFCB fans who would love to know how the first team will do against quality opposition. I can now gladly update this with news that AFCB is to show the game live on its YouTube channel from 5.30pm today.

If you missed the score in the Development squad game it was Hamworthy 0 v 3 AFCB at half time. Ben Whitfield scored first and then Jordan Murphy scored two more. In the second half Brandon Goodship added a fourth and the Cherries ran out 0-4 winners. Zubar and Addison also played in the game.

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