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AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd. There’s a league fixture that Cherries fans could only have dreamt of five years ago. A glamour FA Cup or League tie was the best we could have hoped for. And, it is exactly what the Cherries and United match up is best remembered for.
Come the FA Cup third round and MOTD once again drag out the big upsets of years gone by and inevitably Harry Redkanpp and his team get a mention. That was 1984, but what is often forgotten is theat we played them a year later once again in the FA Cup and lost 3-0.
The season before the cup upset the two teams met in a two-legged League Cup affair. How did the Cherries get on? Lost 2-0 away and drew 2- 2 at home with the goals coming from Compton and Morgan. There is the famous? FA Cup run of 1957 where Man Utd finally halted the Cherries in the 5th round with a 2-1 victory at Dean Court. Elsewhere United crushed the Cherries 6-0 in the FA Cup in 1947/48. It was the FA Cup that brought them together again in 1989. No upsets this time with the Cherries drawing 1-1 at home, Trevor Aylott got the goal, and losing 1-0 in the replay.
Man United are fourth in the league and have conceded a measly 10 goals. At the other end of the spectrum the Cherries have conceded three times as many and scored two less than United. But we are talking the entire season here, lets get a bit more objective and look at the last three games. Only so we can count out the two games we lost.
Form guide can shoot straight out of the window, if a team doesn’t turn up on the day. Think Newcastle v Liverpool. Both teams have picked up a win and two draws. United might not be happy with their recent results, but the Cherries won’t be complete happy either. Of course beating Chelsea and drawing against Everton were both great result, but it could /should have been more against Swansea.
GLORY, GLORY AFC BOURNEMOUTH
Today is a good day to play Manchester United. They played in mid-week and have injuries to key players. But, we don’t care about their injuries, we have had to suffer extensive injuries, but Eddie Howe doesn’t compalin (much) but gets on with it. It would be a sore loserwho would complain that injuries were the reason that they lost to AFC Bournemouth.
We don’t think there will be many goals in the game, in fact one could be enough tot decide it. Being the home team and keeping a clean sheet against Chelsea, we will beieve it is possible to get ‘the biggest result in the club’s history’. We are going for a 1-0 win with Harry Arter blasting in the winner from 20 yeads. Come on you reds.
Q. AFC Bournemouth have only ever played Man United 8 times (most famously in the FACup) and this is our first ever season in the Premier League. What does the average Man United fan know about us
The average Man United fan is probably too busy trying to memorise the names of all of our new young players in the first team to think about other teams right now. However, I would hope that we respect Bournemouth as a good team with a great local fanbase and a terrific manager, who for all intents and purposes are enjoying one of the most important and ground-breaking seasons in the history of the club. This really does feel like a season that 10 year old kids today will be telling their grandkids about in, knowing Bournemouth, at least 20 years time.
But seriously, I think we can all appreciate just how special this season must be for you, as a club we would have always lumped in with the Walsalls and the Leyton Orients. We’re all excited to have you around, that’s for sure.
Q. Newly promoted teams are often seen as easy fodder for the more established Premier League teams, especially those as big as Man United. Do you think the win is yours? What’s the score going to be?
See, I wouldn’t actually agree with your initial assessment. As is unbearably common in recent years, games like this are the ones you wholly expect to see upsets at. That’s why TV channels throw money in the air to get them on their afternoon schedules. If you were to pick a favourite, you’d almost always go for the supposed underdog. That’s just how these fixtures seem to go.
I would love United to totally destroy Bournemouth 5-0 or 6-1 if we were feeling generous enough to patronise you with a consolation goal. However, we just don’t have the firing power right now and you’ll 100% go for the win. You’d be stupid not to. Thus, I’ll go for 1-0 either way – either you score on the counter, or we do.
Q. Which AFC Bournemouth player do you think would/could/might get into the Man United matchday squad?
At this point, anyone who can score an actual goal. Even though I wouldn’t consider Bournemouth to have a prolific attacking threat, your leading scorer (Callum Wilson) still beats ours (Juan Mata) by one. It’s worth remembering too that Joshua King is a United alumni, so it’s not out of the realms of possibility to consider that our conveyor belt of academy starts would have included the young Norwegian either.
Q. Where do you expect Man United to finish this season and do you think you will be playing us again next season?
In a dream world, we’ll bore ourselves and everyone else into the top spot and win the league by virtue of nobody else wanting it. Realistically, top four should be a guarantee and comfortably into second or third would suffice. I believe I actually wrote a blog in the pre-season that tipped you to go down in May, so I may have to stick to that prediction for my own sake. Personally though, I could think of four or five clubs I’d much prefer to lose from the league, not to mention that Aston Villa seem doomed already. If Villa and Newcastle are considered relegation fodder, that leaves yourselves with Sunderland, Norwich, Swansea and Chelsea(!) in the drop spots. As long as you start pulling some big results out of the bag (and you made a brave start last week) then you’ll be okay. But it will be tight, no doubt about it.
Q. Eddie Howe is a much admired manager. Would you be happy to have him to replace Louis Van Gaal?
Ah, I’ll have to decline the offer I’m afraid. Howe is a man worthy of a bigger job in football, but can he deliver at the End of Season party like Louis van Gaal can? I just can’t see it, sorry.
THANKS TO THE STRETFORD END