AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was pleased with the performance of the squad against Italian giants AC Milan.
The former seven time European Champions visited Dean Court for a mid-season friendly with a difference.
Whilst both sides had numerous players missing due to internationals, both clubs played strong sides to honour former AFC Bournemouth favourite Warren Cummings for his testimonial.
? Jordan Clark (@jordanclarkcouk) 3 September 2016
The Cherries named third choice ‘keeper Ryan Allsop in goal with both Artur Boruc and Adam Federici on international duty.
Junior Stanislas dropped into the unfamiliar role of right back, alongside youngsters Corey Jordan and Ollie Harfield with Tyrone Mings featuring for the first time in over a year in a centre half position.
In midfield, Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere lined up in an advanced midfield position supported by Dan Gosling and Emerson Hyndman, with Lewis Grabban and Marc Pugh offering the width in attack to support Benik Afobe.
The AC Milan starting XI included players who have represented Italy, Brazil, Argentina and Croatia at international level and cost in-excess of ?40million.
The game finished 2-1, with AFC Bournemouth’s goal coming in spectacular fashion by half time substitute Lys Mousset, while AC Milan’s winner came from the penalty spot.
Speaking after the game Howe told BBC Radio Solent…
“It`s really important that we don`t forget the people that have done such wonderful things in the history of the club.
“Warren was one of the players who was at the club during its darkest hour. The club had huge financial troubles and I stood shoulder to shoulder with him through most of that period. He was a really infectious character and a great guy to be around…’
On the game itself Howe added…
“There were a lot of good things to come out of it. Our players needed the game time and it was a good experience for the younger guys that played.
“Overall I thought we dominated the game and there`s plenty for us to think about. Several of the boys did really well today and we had a few players returning from injury.
? AC Milan (@acmilan) 3 September 2016
‘to some extent just confirms how far this club has come. That team did not look at all bad and included players that cost of over £30 million – plus Wilshere! Yet not one of them has started a game in the Premier League this season and we had 17 (yes 17) first team squad players missing due to rest or internationals.
We certainly have quality in depth now and Eddie has to find the right balance. He is going to have to be brave enough to drop some of the stalwarts if they are not performing if the club is to continue to progress. It will be interesting to see how prepared he is to do this as he has sometimes been accused of being too loyal to certain players. For example it would not surprise me if neither Surman or Arter are regular starters by Christmas.
Certainly I would be disappointed not to see Mousset on the bench next weekend as he looks as being the type of player you need to be able to bring on to change games if things are not going well. Hopefully he will then prove himself at that level over a few games and fulfil some of the potential he appears to have in abundance. – Join the conversation here.
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