Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Eddie knows Napoli test was as tough as it gets for the Cherries

There was little for Eddie Howe to be disappointed about having seen his Bournemouth side take on one of the best teams in Europe. The sparkling attack of Napoli will cut many teams apart this season, but the Cherries did well to snuff out as many chances as they did and keep the score down – exactly what they need to show in the coming season if they are to climb the Premier League.
Eddie Howe has enjoyed pre-season, but it's
 competitive matches that he is building the side for now. 
It was a shame we haven't seen an interview with Asmir Begovic on the first half against Napoli, as I think he was in the best position to know just how sharp the opposition were in front of goal. He made save after save against the electric Insigne and was really unlucky when Mertens got the tough that finally beat the former Chelsea keeper.

Eddie Howe said the game was similar to the Real Madrid experience and while that is probably true, the Cherries pulled out a much better score line. They may have been off the pace in the first 20 minutes, but they rose to the occasion and without Harry Arter, Andrew Surman and Ryan Fraser, the team found their belief and stuck to the task well. There were a few great player performances, but whatever has happened to Max Gradel on the transfer talk has surely inspired him to give his all to the team and he shone like a beacon for other AFCB players to find for the whole game with his mesmerising runs.

Now AFCB have completed their pre-season games and will focus on the West Brom match will be a different kind of test, but one which AFCB can head into confidently. There is a feeling that having played Valencia and Napoli that AFCB are starting to live with the best teams in Europe and that is great for the team that can now start aiming to push on even further from the ninth place finish they secured in 2016-17.

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