When crunch time arrives while City are still in the FA Cup, you know the brown stuff and the fan are in close proximity. Despite spending far too long telling folk to refrain from using ‘must-win’, it’s difficult to see this as anything but.
Joe Hinchliffe wrote a fine piece on this site yesterday, offering us a route by which City could make the greatest ever escape, but it did rely on us picking up rather a lot of wins, starting with one against The Cherries. So, can we do it?
To find out what’s been going wrong on the south coast, I’ve been chatting with Peter Bell from the Bournemouth blog Cherry Chimes…
So, blimey, who saw this one coming? I waste loads of tweets on telling folk off for over-using ‘six-pointer’ and ‘must-win’ but blo0dy hell, this one’s teetering on the brink of both descriptions isn’t it? Oh… and for us, chuck in ‘last chance saloon’.
Peter: It is a big game and probably the last chance of either team getting out of trouble. If anyone loses this game they can say they are probably down. It will be end to end and probably a high scoring game as neither team can hold back now.
Crikey, Not sure if the ol’ ticker is up to a high-scoring, end-to-end extravaganza. Can see where you’re coming from though…
How’s it come to this? I know you’ve had an injury crisis akin to the one we had over the first couple of months of the season, but is that the sole reason?
We have had a lot of injury problems and it has been like the walking wounded in the last few games. Playing players who are injured or semi-fit has only caused more problems and that winter break can’t come soon enough. Eddie Howe has made some poor choices for his team selections because of it, but overall I would say the recruitment at the club has been below par – Dominic Solanke, Lys Mousset, Tyrone Mings, Emerson Hyndman are just the tip of the poor decisions that have been made.
Although Mings and Mousset have both gone on to do well elsewhere, right? Mings in particular.
But, am guessing, given the deep pockets and generosity of your owners that they’ll be looking to spend big in this month’s transfer window?
Not at all. Bournemouth have overspent and we may be lucky just to bring a player in on loan. The money is all spent unless we sell first.
Really? Blimey. Welcome back to the real world. 😉
You’ve also struggled in front of goal? I heard a rumour that you’ve not scored for three games? Well, I assume you’re familiar with the phrase ‘along come Norwich’? So, fear not…
We went without scoring in October last year and we haven’t scored in the league since Dan Gosling scored against Arsenal in a 1-1 draw [Boxing Day]. The strikers just aren’t getting the ball in the box and they haven’t had much chance to get any shots off because the players usually lose the ball before they can get a sight of goal. Callum Wilson’s England hopes have gone up in smoke and Dominic Solanke just doesn’t know where the goal is. We just hope Josh King comes back
Solanke still awaits his first goal, right? *gulp*
Yes, Solanke is our Jeremy Corbyn. Everyone will hold their heads in their hands when he gets a one-on-one because we already know the outcome.
Oh… a bit of satire! I like it. If it’s any consolation we’ve had plenty of strikers like that. We once had a bloke on loan called Harry Kane… he was a proper ‘barn door’ merchant.
But you wait… Solanke will turn into Vardy tomorrow.
You’re obviously having a tough time (we clearly know how it feels) but has there been anyone who’s risen above it and has performed consistently well? How’s Harry Wilson done?
Aaron Ramsdale in goal has been tremendous this season. He hasn’t had much protection but the score lines would have been a lot bigger if he hadn’t been in goal making some great saves. He will be England’s number one at some point.
Sounds like he could be fit to return tomorrow, which is a shame for us. We’d prefer Mark Travers to continue tbh 🙂
How’s Eddie Howe’s stock held up with the Bournemouth faithful? Daniel Farke, given the financial limitations he’s working under, has been largely stick-free. Eddie the same given the injury problems?
Eddie Howe will always be loved at AFC Bournemouth because of what success he has brought to the club and taking them through the leagues. I can’t see him being sacked but he could walk if he feels he has let people down. I hope he stays though if we go down and gets us challenging high up in the Championship if that’s what it comes to.
Getting away from relegation battles for a second, your thoughts on VAR? Have you been shafted by it on a Norwich City scale?
I hate it. It was well handled at the World Cup but the Premier League have made it a fiasco. I hope it is banned next season.
To be honest, am not sure if it’ll be an issue for either of us next season, mate.
At this point, I usually ask my interviewee what they have made of our season so far, but having stunk Old Trafford out last Saturday I’m not sure if I should go there. But go on then… and be gentle.
Norwich have played some very attractive football. If they had a defence they would be a mid-table team. I have liked watching Cantwell and Pukki play, in particular, and I think you have been pretty unlucky with VAR and some of the results because they have been in every game and haven’t got spanked as Southampton did.
Finally … standard … a score prediction and, if you’re brave enough, a prediction on if either/both of us will survive?
I hate to say it but a 3-1 win to Norwich City. See you in the Championship!
Blimey, and on that cheery note…
Thanks for your time, Peter.