PREMIERSHIP | 17th AUGUST 2015 | ATT: 44102 | REF: Craig Pawson (4/10)
Position: 19th | Played: 2 | W:0 D:0 L:2 | Points: 0
Decisions, decisions, decisions, life in the Premership is all about them and in our second game in we were taught another valuable lesson. It doesn’t matter how well you play, it doesn’t matter if you score a goal, it’s all up to the referee (and his assistants).
A trip to Anfield is a big occasion, an even bigger occasion for AFC Bournemouth. History was being made, the first ever League meeting between the two clubs. How would the match pan out, would a positive result be written in the history books?
We all know what happened at Anfield, and all I can say is if I had written this report straight after the match it would have been one long rant about luck, cheats, referees etc. I can’t say I’m much happier now but at least I can be a little more reasoned. So instead of being one long rant this report is going to be a short(ish) rant followed by a constructive look at the performance and what we have to look forward to.
Straight from the kick-off the Cherries were stringing together passes looking to get in the Liverpool box. After only 5 minutes a corner saw Tommy Elphick rise above Lovren and put the ball in the net. No celebrations, why not? Oh I see the ref’s disallowed it. Why? Because he’s shit-scared of giving anything against the mighty Liverpool, or his decision-making is piss poor, as was shown about 20 minutes later. We could go on, but thanks to being in the Premier League we get about a million camera angles and expert opinion. So that’s what we shall do leave it to the Sky Sports boys, and Tommy Elphick, to tell you what a f**king useless ref Mr Pawson is. No-one actually says he is a f**king useless ref by the way. We made that up all by ourselves.
SKY SPORTS PUNDITS SAY NO GOAL
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC TOMMY ELPHICK EXPRESSES HIS DISAPPOINTMENT
To add to Mr Pawson’s already growing reputation, he managed to give O’Kane a yellow card for a completely innocuous challenge. After the goal that was always a goal. Can you imagine a professional referee and linesman not knowing the offside rule. The home side had a purple patch where they looked to double their slender lead and we were happy to hear the half-time whistle.
With a goal to get the visitors were looking to get back in the game. Matt Ritchie was looking a little more like his old self with a couple of speculative efforts from outside the box. On the half hour mark another long range effort came very close to the equaliser as Ritchie hit the post. The ineffective King was replaced by Sunday League footballer look-a-like Lee Tomlin. Three chances came and went very quickly with Ritchie and O’Kane the culprits. Liverpool went close through Couthinho, but it was the referee who took centre stage again, obviously not getting enough attention as he booked, Ritchie, Tomlin and Gomez in the space of three minutes. With time running out Gradel was replaced by Adam Smith while O’Kane made way for Gosling. Still the Cherries couldn’t find a way through and five minutes of injury time saw Steve Cook get his second yellow card in as many games.
HOW DID THE TEAM PERFORM?
This is a question that is easy to answer. They performed admirably and if the referee wasn’t so misguided and misinformed they would have got the point they richly deserved. So who was good and who not quite 100%. The defence was once again all we could have hoped for, solid, reliable and certainly didn’t look out of place in the Premier League. The arrival of Tyrone Mings seems to have pushed Charlie Daniels onto new levels. For us he was the outstanding candidate in defence, he was great going forward, tracking back and put in some great tackles.
Once again in midfield Andrew Surman was Mr Reliable (apart from the odd pass), but his partner also impressed. We have always been big fans of O’Kane, he is a great passer of the ball and against Liverpool showed he is more than capable of keeping Harry Arter’s spot warm. He adds a dimension that Gosling can’t match.
Out on the wings Matt Ritchie and Max Gradel had differing days. Ritchie is starting to look much like the player he was last season, breaking into space and shooting from distance. He went closest to getting an equaliser when he hit the post. Gradel had an indifferent day. After a promising cameo against Villa he got the start he deserved. However, while there were brief moments of promise, he still looked like a player who has only been with his team-mates for a few weeks.
Up front is where the Cherries are badly lacking, Callum Wilson, is still doing what he does well, but now he’s in the Premier League and needs to find his feet quickly. Eddie will give him more chances as we currently don’t have a better option. The most disappointing inclusion has been Josh King. He undoubtedly has plenty of potential but us the step into the Premier League come too soon. He looked lost against Liverpool and strugglled to do very much. He will get better, but does Eddie Howe have that time to give him?
“The arrival of Tyrone Mings seems to have pushed Charlie Daniels onto new levels”
The transfer window closes in 12 days and Eddie Howe will be desperate to bring in new attacking additions. This is where AFC Bournemouth are currently falling short. Personally we thought it would be defensively where we suffered, but the defence has stepped up and proved that they do have what it takes. Charlie Austin, Glenn Murray and even Jermain Daefoe are all touted as possible recruitments. Charlie Austin would be a great addition, but can we afford him? I won’t be the first to say this but break the bank and sign him up. Alternatively, we could always recall Tokelo Rantie to the squad.