A game where before, during and after, other people summed things up for me just perfectly. So I’m going to join with them here to do so. This is last night, not only in my words, but reflected in the words of others. Warning – contains swearing from the off
Being shit I can take, but having fucking Bournemouth Lord-mayoring it over us is too much. #bhafc
— a man called Gaz (@Big_Fat_Gaz) April 10, 2015
“In my opinion, parachute payments undoubtedly provide an advantage – regardless of league positions or bounce-back promotion records.” Paul Barber quoted by North Stand Chat.
Let’s go back two and a bit years to a hypothetical 2013, around January. Brighton have just drawn Bournemouth at home in the FA Cup Fourth Round (hypothetical remember) and due to a hypothetical lack of other interesting ties this “South Coast Derby” (ridiculous catchphrase copyright Sky Sports and no one else) has made the Friday night television game.
High flying Brighton are certainly a TV draw. High in the Championship thanks to their ex-internationals like Bridge, Upson and Vicente they are playing a brand of mostly entertaining (but sometimes crab-like) football and pushing for the Premier League. Bourenmouth, meanwhile, are having a very decent season themselves, albeit in League One. To be fair to the hypothetical TV executives it’s a mouth watering tie, containing the likelihood of either a thrashing or an upset, all with a chance of some flairtastic attacking play. When plucky Bournemouth and their travelling army of 1800 loyal fans beat us 2-0 it is regarded as a major shock of the round and Gus Poyet blames everyone from the referee to a small sparrow that alighted on Vicente’s knee at five thirty that afternoon, putting him out for eight weeks.
Fast forward two and a bit years. That’s all. Less than our current manager’s contract length at inception. Brighton are certainly at home to Bournemouth on telly on a Friday night but the general consensus is that their band of ageing pros and loan mercenaries don’t stand a chance against a fast, fluid, attacking Bournemouth side managed by a superb young manager. And, indeed, the correct result is played out, thanks to two pieces of killer finishing in an otherwise, by Bournemouth’s standards, below par performance. The only disappointment is that the away side have only brought 1800 down. Didn’t Norwich bring over 3000 a week ago?
I have to be careful here, given a couple of spats with Sheffield Wednesday sites over their perceived big club arrogance. But come on. We’re not talking about a side like Norwich or Ipswich which is probably about the par I see us on, club size wise. We’re talking about – to quote Gaz again – fucking Bournemouth. To put it in context the only side that were constantly shown on Meridian Tonight after us. As they cut to the sport it would be 10 minutes fawning over Pompey and Southampton, forty five seconds of Brighton highlights and then the words “and Bournemouth lost at home to Northampton Town”.
Not any more. With no top flight experience let alone parachute payments, Bournemouth are showing the whole division how to do it. They have a massive goal difference, they sit on the top of the table and they thoroughly deserve it. They have officially done it within FFP. They have managed to attract back a manager they thought they’d lost, and keep in the face of a fierce managerial merry-go-round in December and January. They have attacking players who can score from anywhere. They have two centre backs, two of the best in the division, that we let go as not good enough. We could yet go down. So when you’re told it’s not do-able don’t believe it. It is. Just not by us.
Bournemouth have been poor but then they know they only need to score once
– my mate Trev at half time
This was as true a quote as there was all night. I actually think we played well in the first half. We had more of the ball and created opportunities for opportunities which was at least better than against Rotherham or Norwich. In the second half we created three cracking chances and put away none of them. We have – by goal tally, ability and effectiveness – three of the worst strikers in the whole division. The moneyball replacement for Ulloa who wasn’t. The happy puppy with similar ball control. And Leon Best who might as well fuck off back Up North now for all the use he is (ten points for scaring linesman, none for taking chances, minus five for effort). By contrast I called both Bournemouth goals just before they went in. A text book free kick from Kermorgant and a thoroughly composed finish by the outstanding Callum Wilson.
Do we have to go Dad?
– The Boy on 83 minutes
Yes, son. Yes we do. It actually took till 85 to get out but I left early. First time this season. Normally The Boy and my writing and the fact that I only ever left The Goldstone early if there was a protest or boycott mean I will stick it out to the bitter end. Last night getting back home at a reasonable time seemed to be the decent long term option. Being Easter holidays and a Friday night it was The Boy’s first evening game. Getting him back home at a decent hour means he’ll get another one. It was an investment.
“We were the more likely to score in the first half but in the last period we tried to push forward and they capitalised on it.
I’m majorly concerned by the lack of goals. The facts are there to see – we haven’t scored in our last three games.”
– Chris Hughton
Sorry Chris. I’ve been a champion of your appointment. When you came in we were dead and buried, and you have taken us out of the relegation zone, but those two lines contradict each other. We cannot be both more likely to score and yet so inept in front of goal. You picked Lean Best, Chris, for Christ’s sake. The realistic thing to say would be “if we’re going to stay up we’re going to need to draw our next four games 0-0” but I doubt that will get the game-by-gamers in. There is Clear and Present Danger.
” carrying on the film theme ‘clear and present danger’ for the next blog?”
– @AEBrownings after the game.
See? Told you.
There is still a clear, present and worrying danger of going down. Millwall, rejuvenated under Neil Harris, have two games in hand and the bit between their teeth. Luckily we don’t need snookers but we may need own goals. Talking of which……
Things better at football than Leon Best. Go…
– Brett Mendoza on Facebook
Suggestions so far include an Owl Cushion, some Kleenex and a bag of shite. To which I’d add Yann Kermorgant, Callum Wilson and even unused* Bournemouth sub Kenwyne Jones.
How times have changed.
*apparently only unused while I was in the ground after which he made a cameo. Thanks twitter friends!