Wednesday, 10 August 2016

What has AFCB's pre-season told us?

It is not usual for AFCB to go through pre-season and not suffer a defeat at some stage. Eddie Howe was duly very praiseworthy of what the squad has done over the summer and the results they have achieved. While those games were not always against sides that knock sides over like Man Utd, they have given Eddie a chance to see how the new recruits will fit in and how some of the U21s have developed and grown into games.

The first thing I notice about these games is like the last couple of seasons AFCB have a multitude of goalscorers and are not dependant on any one player which is a great factor to have. We know how easy it is for injuries to mount up and when you know there are goals in the side it is a big comfort to have. What it does mean though is it is getting more difficult to make out a starting 11, and I'd imagine there will be more opportunities to change things if Howe doesn't think the team is functioning as well as it could at various parts of the season.
AFCB will have plenty of choice up front for this season.
The match against Minnesota United was a gentle introduction into the games. It could have been much more difficult had the Cherries not get a couple of goals up early on. Portsmouth's late comeback was a bit of a wake up call and of all the games I believe it was the one where AFCB found they had vulnerabilities, when they faced a team that was equally confident in possession. Reading was also a close game but was much more controlled by the team, and that is the kind of performance they need to get better at. It was the shooting edge that was not there. But against Valencia they showed they could hang in games when they weren't necessarily the best team for long periods, and coming from behind is always welcome to see when things have not gone smoothly from the start. The Angers  SCO game intrigues the most though as playing away in France was good for the players with a physical test, but it was also helpful to get a clean sheet again. Federici has some awkward moments against Pompey, but he came out of this game with plenty of credit.

So while AFCB are not yet scoring lots of goals, they are looking very competitive and more determined not to lose early goals. This was a problem in the early part of last season and hopefully it is something that the team can keep up for a long time as it goes into this second season. Jordan Ibe and Lewis Cook could just be the best business that AFCB have done since Callum Wilson's signature - we eagerly await what the Cherries can do this time around.

No comments:

Post a Comment