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A new season means new players and two of the new boys got to start the game against Man United.
The Premier League is an unforgiving mistress and a top four team like Man United are never going to do you any favours. So, a harder game to start their Cherries career Ibe and Cook were unlikely to get.
So how did they fare?
Jordon Ibe was expected to start and so he did on the right. There is no doubt that Ibe has skill in abundance, some might call him a luxury player, and he was keen to show it off at any opportunity.
He was keen to take on the opposition and try and make things happen. This is the kind of player you need in the Premier League, well at least when they are on form.
Ibe started brightly and was getting some joy, but as the game wore on his impact was becoming less and less until he was finally substituted in the 68th minute. For us (remember this is based on one league game) he is typical of a player who has all the tricks but hasn’t yet utilized them to their full extent to bamboozle the opposition.
Too many times he went one step too far. Sometimes you need to play the easy ball instead of trying to beat your man again. A bit like Marc Pugh many moons ago. But Pugh has learnt how to be more productive with the ball and that’s what Ibe needs to do.
TFTSE RATING: 6/10
We were surprised to see Cook start, but we weren’t disappointed. Howe has been chasing him for a while and it wasn’t hard to see why. He didn’t have an instant big-time impact, but he was asked to do a job and he stuck to his task.
He’s not the biggest of players (AFC Bournemouth don’t have many of them), but he has plenty of subtle skills and can spot a pass. He was hard to get off the ball, even when the gormless lump Fellani kept trying to bundle him off the ball. He stayed strong and he looked like he was learning throughout the game.
He definitely has the potential to go far and he will quickly become a first-choice. He already looks at home in the Premier League and with more games he will only get better. And with Harry Arter next to him he has the perfect example of what can be achieved.
TFTSE RATING: 7/10
AND THE REST…
Nobody had a bad game, but Callum Wilson looked isolated up front, King tried but rarely succeeded, Surman was steady, Arter excelled and looked lively, Steve Cook coped well with Ibramhovic, Francis was calm and assured for 99% of the game, Adam Smith gave the opposition something to think about and Daniels look frustrated. Who have we forgot? Of course the goalkeeper, Boruc. Brilliant when he needed to be. Not at fault for the first two goals, could have done better with the last.