Filed: Friday, 10th March 2017
By: Preview Percy
Preview Percy isn't always a grumpy old fool you know. He let the work experience girl with the large t-shirt collection go home a whole five minutes early on International Women's Day (though he actually claims it was because somebody had been fiddling with his pocket watch). Here's his look at this weekend's trip to Bournemouth.....
Next up we pop down to the sunny south coast where we will be hosted by what I will continue to call Bournemouth And Boscombe Athletic on the grounds that all this AFC stuff is far too trendy for me. Kick-off is a pleasing 3pm Saturday.
If you are going down by train, beware. Engineering works in the New Forest will mean bus replacements between Southampton or Brockenhurst and Bournemouth are the order of the day. That’s in addition to there being nothing on the Greater Anglia main line into Liverpool Street all weekend. And bits of the Underground. I’d leave now if I were you. By car.
Did I mention the roadworks on the M3 by the way? Check before you leave.
So Bournemouth (as I will call them for short) lie in 14th place with 27 points from as many games played so far. Minus 15 is both the temperature here at the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home For The Bewildered and their goal difference.
Their trip to Old Trafford last week was a fun affair. When you have players kicking lumps out of each other like that the last thing you need is a referee who looks like he’s just got back from a stag do, possibly because that’s exactly what had happened.
Kevin Friend (for it was he) spent the whole match wandering around in such a daze that he clearly forgot where he was and awarded Bournemouth a penalty at Old Trafford. Maybe he was as staggered as everyone else that, despite his having all the air of someone incapable of sitting the right way up on a toilet seat, someone is actually going to marry Anthony Taylor.
In an ideal world that would be the former Mrs Percy, but sadly the poor sod she ended up with is still lumbered with her. Anyway, nobody should referee a match within two weeks of any stag event unless the match is a) Sunday League and b) the players were also present at the same event, in which case having a ref equally as hungover as the players is considered to be compulsory.
Meanwhile Bournemouth face a hangover of their own. Andrew Surman, who, bizarrely, was the only player sent off on the day at The Theatre Of Tacky Marketing Slogans, will face a non-appeal-able one match ban against his two yellows (one of which Friend nearly forgot in all the confusion).
More seriously, Tyrone Mings has got a five-match ban for the interaction of his boot with Ibrahimovic’s head. That seems a bit harsh given the fact that Ibrahimovic got only three matches for what was a pre-meditated revenge assault. There can be absolutely no doubt over Ibrahimovic’s intentions (and I’d have given him ten matches just for that “he jumped into my elbow” excuse alone).
Whether or not you believe Mings’ claim that the collision was accidental you would have to concede that there is at least some doubt over what happened, so to give him two more matches over someone who deliberately went out to injure an opponent seems a bit perverse.
Or would do if anyone but the FA were involved – what you and I would call perverse is par for the course for that lot.
It’s not been their week for disciplinary matters. They also copped a £50,000 fine for falling foul of the same “failure to notify whereabouts” rule on drug testing that Man City got their collar felt for recently. With that sort of week Eddie Howe is probably expecting a parking ticket through the post any day now.
The work experience girl wearing a Galahad T-shirt without knowing who they are tells me that it was quiet window for the Cherries. The only arrival was Aaron Ramsdale, a rookie ‘keeper from Sheffield United who is firmly one to place in the “one for the future” file.
The current custodian, Artur Boruc, has recently announced his intention to retire from international football. With 60 caps for his native Poland, the last one coming in 2016, this is not the empty gesture that always causes amusement when other players make that announcement.
He’s had a few “moments” in his time – most notably up at Celtic when his overt Catholicism went down like a mug of cold sick whenever they played Rangers. Ok making the sign of the cross is not generally considered offensive and, despite many comments to the contrary, was not actually the reason he was issued with a breach of the peace caution by Scotsplod – other inflammatory gestures towards the crowd were the reason for that.
However, wearing a 'God Bless The Pope' t-shirt under your kit and displaying it to the blue half of Glasgow is hardly the most sensible of moves. He also once picked up a £50,000 fine from Celtic for a breach of the club’s drinking policy. Presumably he ordered something other than Guinness.
One change since we last met has been the disappearance of Ruud Gullit lookalike Nathan Ake who was recalled from his loan at Dean Court (usual rules – if ground sponsors want me to mention their name they can bloody well pay me) by his parent business The Chelsea Player Hire Company Limited. Ake made his debut as a sub in the reverse fixture and will be remembered for scoring the winner in the comeback win against Liverpool before Christmas.
One who is enjoying his time on the south coast. Is our Felix. Junior (as he is universally known) Stanislas seems to have settled there nicely though his season has been punctuated by injury. He’s currently in recovery from a groin strain and the word is that this may be a week too soon for him.
The absence of Mings will possibly mean another outing for England youth international Bailly Cargill whose name seems to have been picked by some sort of random word generator. Cargill hit the headlines a few years ago when what appeared to be some sort of hairpiece fell off his noggin during a League Cup match. Yes, I know that sounds like one of those stories that turns up on Wikipedia from time to time following the some mischievous editing, but the incident really did happen.
Except that it wasn’t a syrup that fell to ground but, allegedly, a bandage worn to protect a cut sustained in training. At least according to a tweet issued by the club the following day. Meanwhile take a close look at the physio’s kit bag this weekend and if you spot a pot of glue and a bottle of Head and Shoulders in there let us know.
Top scorer at the moment is Norwegian international Josh King whose 8 goals this season have all come in the league. He was on target from the spot last weekend against what was one of his former clubs and had no compunction in celebrating the fact. It was not the first time he has celebrated scoring against the Salford whiners. When asks he points out that Ferguson never spoke to the youngsters during his time there. Actually Josh I’d consider that a bonus.
Ok enough of them. What of the wild and wacky world of association football? Well Europe was a giggle during the week wasn’t it. I mean come on Arsenal, we were all laughing anyway you could have least gone and won 1-0 just to give our sides a bit of a break. As it is my ribs feel like they have accidentally bumped into Ibrahimovic’s elbow. The Barcelona match was a bit bonkers too, though I note that, in all the race to describe it as the “greatest comeback ever”, everyone seems to be turning a blind eye to some very dubious refereeing that took place on the night.
As for us, that was all a bit disappointing. I don’t think we did ourselves justice, The first 20 minutes and last 90 seconds did give a brief glimmer of what might have been but it was not to be. Antonio was much missed – so much so that even Chelsea were singing his name. He is set to return after his enforced rest. Carroll and Snodgrass should have recovered from the cuts that required stitches on Monday whilst Reid and Fonte are looking at late fitness tests on what appear to be minor knocks but you never know.
Prediction? Well they aren’t having the best of times of it at the moment at home – five since the last three-pointer down there and no wins anywhere in the last eight. They are on the fringe of the relegation battle at the moment being five points clear of Boro’ who are somehow keeping Palace out of the drop zone, more’s the pity. So they will be getting a wee bit twitchy, despite the boost of getting a point up in Salford last week.
Antonio’s return and Carroll’s availability ought to mean we will be too strong for them and, although this is West Ham we are talking about, I still think that this will be the case this weekend. So I will proffer the £2.50 I was going to pay Steps not to reform (sadly they wanted £3) to Winstone the Turf Accountant as a wager on an away win. 2-1. No let’s be optimistic call it 3-1 to us.
Enjoy the game!
When Last We Met At Dean Court Won 3-1 (Premier League January 2016)
Arter gave them a first-half lead. A trademark Payet free-kick put us level. The same player worked wonders before setting up Valencia who made it three with another stunning free-kick before the end
Danger Man: Josh King Top scorer and in a bit of form having scored five in his last six.
Referee: Robert “Bobby” Madley – Gave Chelsea an undeserved point at Stamford Bridge last season by insisting a wall was pushed back the full 20 yards before awarding a penalty for a “foul” that a) was a blatant dive and b) occurred outside the box. Didn’t even have a stag night to blame for his performance.
Percy’s Poser Last week we asked you how many League titles Chelsea had won in the 98 years prior to the Russian billionaire and in no way gangster and money launderer’s takeover. The answer was one. Congratulations to Mrs Dolores Spong of Great Baddow for furnishing the first correct answer out of the digital hat. Mrs Spong wins a packet of aluminium foil in memory of all those who lost their lives in the Aluminium wars that made Chelsea’s owner his fortune.
For this week’s poser we ask: Why were the arrests in Bournemouth of Roger Cordrey and William Boal on 13 August 1963 so significant? The first correct answer out of the digital hat will win a stick of rock assuming I can find one when I’m down there this weekend..
Good luck everyone!
* Thanks to the team at kickoff.co.uk for providing the infographics used in this article.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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