After the excitement of West Ham could we really expect another five-goal thriller? We at TFTSE Towers always expect a five-goal thriller and games against Swansea are rarely low-scoring snorefests.
With two of the worse defences in the Premier League coming head-to-head how would the game unfold? After AFC Bournemouth’s excursion to Old Trafford, things have changed. There is no doubt that the referring, result and subsequent charges have once again reinforced the big team bias that ‘seems’ to exist in the Premier League and the media.
But, everything, well almost, everything that happened that day has galvanised the team and reinforced the pack mentality, it’s us against them.
The season was starting to lurch around almost aimlessly with the players struggling to get to grips with the purpose of winning. The team were looking for a focal point to concentrate their minds and kick back into gear. Like a full-bloodied tackle the result at Old Trafford and the save from Boruc gave the team the purpose it was looking for. And, it was a two-fingered salute to the FA after the debacle of the Mings ban. Now the team had a focus, now the team really started to believe again and the result against West Ham showed that the Bournemouth of old were back.
Next up where Swansea a team that had had a mini-revival under Paul Clemence, but AFC Bournemouth were in no mood to take any prisoners and Swansea simply weren’t ready for the fight.
KING EDDIE’S MATCH REACTION
ARE WE STILL IN A RELEGATION BATTLE?
What a difference a few results makes. That’s seven points out of a possible nine. That’s two wins and a draw against Man U, West Ham and Swansea. How many points would you have thought we would have got before Old Trafford? We knew we would come good at some point and while the media and sceptics (we’ll forget about Eddie saying it) kept pontificating about us being dragged into a relegation battle we never got closer than five points from the drop zone.
We are still not safe (apparently) as we only have 33 points, but we still have nine games to play. That’s a total of 27 points and includes games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Boro, Sunderland and Burnley. Surely we can get the points we need. Let’s not be over-confident but the relegation battle looks like it has been won.
WHY ISN’T WILSHIRE STARTING?
The picture above almost answers the question for us. Dan Gosling, Harry Arter and Andrew Surman have simply been at a level that is hard to leave them out. Against Swansea Arter was out after picking up a knock so this left Howe with three players and two places to fill. Wilshire’s talent is undeniable, but Surman’s experience and Gosling’s tireless running gave the Cherries a relentless dogged determination that Wilshire cannot, or Howe wants to keep him fit. He is the perfect player to bring on as the opposition and the team starts to tire. The opposition’s hearts will sink simply because they know the quality of player that will have to battle for the last 15 minutes of a match. There is no letting up, Gosling and Surman gave everything and Wilshire just added the icing on the cake.
STEVE COOK FOR ENGLAND
The announcement of the England team seems to have a collection of defenders that all play for the right teams. The inclusion of Michael Keane is a welcome addition, but where is Steve Cook? He has been one of the most consistent Premier League central defenders and is Phil Jones really better than him? He isn’t but he does play for Man United. However, Jones has pulled out of the squad, could this be his chance? Mr Southgate has said he is not going to call up a replacement, but if he does Steve Cook should get serious consideration.