Inept Cherries stung by Hornets
Saturday 19th August 2017, 3pm
After taking 3 hours to make the 91 mile journey down to the south coast I was looking forward to seeing my 24th season of Afc Bournemouth. What a shame then that ultimately it would end up being one of the worst Bournemouth performances I have seen.
I must say I was disappointed to see Defoe miss out on a starting place but even more perplexed to see no Lewis Cook in the match day squad. Have faith I thought as I took my seat in the same stand as the aforementioned Cook. The game started off at a pedestrian pace with both teams testing each other out. It was apparent in these early stages that Watford seemed to have a few more gears than us and were pressing at every opportunity. This in turn meant both Daniels and Smith
could not bomb forward with their normal verve. I personally thought Afobe was leading our line well though and had a shot saved at his near post by Gomes. At the other end, I think it was Watford's new signing Richarlson who was giving Smith all sorts of problems and we were lucky that Watford were profligate in front of goal. No more so than on the stroke of half time as another shot was ballooned into the North stand. We weren't playing great but then nor were Watford and I was convinced we would come out firing second half. How wrong I was.
The second half can only be described as some of the worst football I have seen us play. We seemed to lack confidence when we had the ball, give it away if we did and more importantly seemed to lack any fight to get a stranglehold of the game. We were making the Hornets look like a top four team and as we kept given it away so they grew in confidence. Wave after wave of poor Cherries passing gave Watford opportunities on the break. Firstly Ibe, then Surman, followed by Arter and then almost catastrophically by Cook; only a superb save by Begovic prevented Watford from taking the lead. Eddie had seen enough and brought an over elaborate Ibe off but also a workmanlike Afobe off (in my humble opinion unlucky to come off ahead of King). Never mind with Pugh and Defoe on the pitch it would all change. Well it did, Pugh gave it away once again and this time Watford made us pay as Richarlson scrambled in a scrappy goal despite the best efforts of Ake and Begovic. I actually thought this might be the jolt the team needed. It could be an exciting end I thought?! However Surman had other ideas as his umpteenth sideways pass gave Watford time to get men behind the ball. It was no surprise to me when Watford scored a second to put a more realistic score line on the board. There was to be no drama in the six added minutes and I for one was wishing the referee would blow his whistle to end the nightmare.
Begovic - 7 - In my opinion not at fault for the goals and made 2/3 crucial saves. A key player for us this season.
Smith - 5 - Had a tough day at the back against Richarlson and was prevented from getting forward at all
Ake - 8 - Where would have been today without Nathan?! Thought he read the game superbly and at least showed some passion in defeat
Cook - 6 - Not a bad game by Steve but a shocking error should have resulted in a second half goal
Daniels - 6 - Got forward slightly more than Smith but still not as effective as usual
Surman - 3 - Oh dear where do I start. I hate seeing Bournemouth players being slated on here and I will always support players who pull on that red/black shirt but currently I can't see what he brings to the team. Too many sideways passes, too many stray passes and no leadership skills. Get your boots ready Lewis....
Arter - 4 - A poor showing by one of my favourite players. It looked as though something was on H's mind as he couldn't get into the game at all. Even his normal closing down seemed laboured.
Ibe - 5 - I desperately want this kid to do well. He gets hammered on here but certainly has the potential and showed tiny glimpses of it. However when you try your 3rd drag back in a row on the half way line and lose the ball it is not going to endear you to the crowd.
Fraser - 5 - Was a non existent day for the Wee man today but we couldn't get the ball to him!
King - 4 - We need Josh firing and today he looked well off the pace and seemed to be disinterested. Was he out of position? Didn't seem fully fit to me.
Afobe - 7 - I thought Benik did well today, fought for every ball and had our two best chances. Was unlucky to be subbed.
Defoe - 5 - A hero of mine but hardly touched the ball.
Pugh - 3 - An AFCB legend but was woeful today and kept giving the ball away
Mousset- 5 - Did he touch the ball?!
Report by London Cherry