AFC Bournemouth in the FA Cup 3rd Round brings back the memories, eh?
Back then it was AFC Bournemouth who were the League One outfit, travelling up to Wigan hoping to pull off a shock against a Latics side navigating their 8th consecutive Premier League season.
It took a 70th minute equaliser – Spanish heartthrob Jordi Gomez tucking away a rebound after his initial penalty was saved, to earn a Tuesday night replay on the south coast. 237 brave souls then made a 200 mile journey to see record signing Mauro Boselli score the only goal of the game, as the Tics progressed…
Tomorrow, Latics head to Dean Court once again in the FA Cup 3rd Round, but this time it’s us who are League One and them who are now dining at the top table of the EPL.
We caught up with AFC Bournemouth supporter, and longtime friend of The Pie At Night to see how things have changed since January 2013.
I can’t believe it’s been so long since we last had a chat, and an awful lot has happened in-between.
Are you still enjoying the Premier League or has the novelty worn off a bit?
*looks around* sure I heard something *looks down* oh THERE you are…
Five years? Bloody hell fire. I’m sure the Barclays is much more fun if you’re not in it or you’re quite good at it, but honestly, we’re now just shy of 100 games in and I can count on the fingers of one hand how many games I’ve actively properly enjoyed. It’s just so… dull. You’re either getting dicked left right and centre, or scrapping a win against a relegation rival. If you ever get a run going it stops for an international break and then thanks to fixtures being moved you end up with a whole month with no home game. Even the game a while ago when we beat Huddersfield 4-0 was verging on awful.
What’s been behind your struggles this season? Is it that a lot of the players who came up with you from the Championship are past their best? It’s not as if you haven’t spent a bit of money in the transfer market either…
Most of the players that came up with us from the Championship also came up with us from League One and they’re that bit older and that bit slower now and every mistake we’re making is being punished. Eddie’s loyalty to the League One players is admirable in one way, but it’s clear to almost everyone else that a number of the side are no longer deserving of a place. The closest we’ve come to grumbling in a long time was his insistence on not playing Lewis Cook earlier in the season and sticking with Arter, who hasn’t had a good game since god knows when, and Surman.
With who we bought in and a side that finished 9th last year, there were genuine thoughts of pushing for Europe this season. You say it’s not like we haven’t spent a bit of money – we haven’t really. £20m on Ake and £10m on Begovic this summer. Last year was one in for one out (the Ibe money was recovered by the Ritchie sale for example) – we’re still fielding a side that cost less than Kyle Walker.
So, mostly it’s down to ageing players who talk big about learning from mistakes but repeat them constantly. That and almost everyone else insisting on being better than us, the swines.
(Editor’s note – £20m on one player seems like quite a bit of money to us when our recent financial results revealed our turnover without parachute payments, player sales and any big FA Cup ties, will next year be circa £7million.)
How do you see the game going on Saturday, will your lot be taking it seriously or despite two draws and a win over Christmas, and climbing out of the bottom three, are you “focusing on the league”?
Oh we’ll definitely play the reserves. It’s Howe’s preferred way. We’ll talk about taking the Cups seriously but you do feel there’s not much fretting going on if we get knocked out. That said, we nearly made the Semis of the Rumbelows this year with the reserves so you never know.
We all know what happened after that Tuesday night FA Cup 3rd Round replay five years ago, although us Latics don’t like to mention it much. Do you reckon Bournemouth fans would accept a similar fate this season to ours from back then if it was offered? What would your Russian
olig… owners think about it?
If you offered us relegation but a glorious cup win most of us would bite your hand off. A fair number would moan that nothing is worth losing our valued 65th richest club in the world status (not my words, Lynn, the words of soccerex.com) and the EPL is the be all and end all. That’s clearly bollocks though isn’t it. The game’s about glory, not finishing 17th but improving your bank balance. I’ve no idea what the board think – Demin isn’t in complete control anymore, we’re half owned by Americans too. We’re currently developing plans for a new ground, and that will cost obviously, but all the talk at the moment is that it’s not dependent on league position. But then, the parachute payments these days are bigger than the GDP of a small country so I wouldn’t think there’d be too much gnashing and wailing if we went down.
But… if we put our mirror in your attic we’d have to take the nacking, the “have you seen state of our Wes?” and the massive racisms too. I’m not sure we could do that justice.
We’ve (Alan’s) noticed a bit of a deterioration in Eddie Howe’s appearance but he’s still clean shaven when he’s being interviewed on the telly, is it a vain attempt to mask a Football Management Related Drinking Disorder or is he simply incapable of growing even the thinnest layer of bum fluff?
The latter. He doesn’t need a FMRDD – even Wenger has more chance of being fired than Howe does. Which is also possibly a reason for our less than impressive displays as per question 2.
Finally, the all important topic: Pies…
Last time we spoke you said the ‘Mag Pie’ up at Newcastle was “flipping awful” and the scotch pie at Easter Road was “very nice indeed”.
Have you had any of note on your Premier League travels or are you secretly hoping for a draw and a replay to come back to Wigan for a decent pie?
I’ve not done a pie at a ground for ages. Northern outposts I’ve been to are Burnley, Hull and Stoke, none of which are pie havens. In the total reversal of the last 5 years, rather than me coming up for a milk stout and pie tour I’m now looking forward to showing the pathetic casuals the highlights of the Bournemouth cured meat and craft beer scene.
Thanks Andy. No matter what happens on Saturday, enjoy the rest of the season (if you can.) If it turns out you accidentally fall through the EPL trapdoor, we can highly recommend a trip to League One. It’s ace when you’ve a load of parachute money, and everyone else hates you for it. And that’s what football is really all about, isn’t it?
The Pie At Night
P.S. Andy can be found on Twitter at @john_neptune.
P.P.S Bournemouth (amongst all manner of the usual rubbish) also receives a mention on the latest podcast, details below.