What do you know? I’ve done some checking and it turns out that they have the Internet In the lower divisions too. I’m only joking of course, but I had considered having a week off from Sixy Talk this week, if only to give my brain a chance to settle down after a fortnight’s solid festivitating. But then the FC United view from last week got me thinking about how fans of sides that used to be at the same level as us a few years ago see us. If only we had a game against one of them coming up…
The FA Cup, English football’s field of dreams, brings Bournemouth up to the North-West, giving us the perfect opportunity to grab Bournemouth fan Andy Smith and ask him just what their dreams are at the moment (see what I did there), find out whether third division supporters still spit at the mention of Latics and, more importantly, how the hell he goes about eating a pie.
Wigan Athletic, what do you really think of us?
Today I think we look to you as what can be achieved with a decent manager and limited resources. That said, the reaction on our message board when the draw was made, from supporters of a division three team who can’t fill their 10000 capacity ground, wasn’t favourable. Draw your own conclusions as to what was said. For me, a decent away game at a premiership club that was possibly potentially winnable was great. For others there was a lack of £££ and glamour. For all that, we look like we’re bringing 2000 or so and not all of us like a good pie.
That’s today. Obviously, ten years ago, without the benefit of what we have now (a rich benefactor with more money than sense), we despised you and all you stood for (see also Reading. We still hate Reading) – throwing cash around willy-nilly in a constructed attempt to improve yourselves. Disgraceful
Where were you when we were shite? Do you have any favourite Wigan Athletic memories?
Right, yeah, I’ve had to check soccerbase. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen us play you. The season I started going we played you before I first went. Then I was at uni and cherry-picking games. Then you were out of our league. I think the only game I’ve seen Wigan live was a play-off game against Millwall. I was in the Millwall end, with my ex-wife’s uncle. Trusty soccerbase tells me it was 0-0 and you played each other again the next season. So, no. Sorry
We have Bournemouth to thank for starting off Harry Redknapp’s management career, do you want to issue a public apology? How is Harry viewed around your club these days?
“H” is still viewed as some sort of messiah, despite using his time with us to perfect his “sign ageing and injured players on high wages, complain ‘he’s dahn to the bare bones’ and leave just as the shit hits the fan” shtick. To be fair, he gave us what no other manager has ever given us, three years in division two (and the middle year we were, for a time, contenders for promotion). He also gave us the seeds of our first administration.
Earlier this season, while he was waiting for Mark Hughes to get sacked, he came back as “an advisor” to ‘worst manager ever seen’ Paul Groves. Our message board went into meltdown. ‘Oh he loves us’ ‘oh he’ll do anything for Bournemouth’. Balls. Harry will do anything for Harry, as long as it helps improve the myth of Harry. Strangely, after the first game or so once the press died down, we didn’t see much of him at all.
I think it’s fair to say I’m not a fan.
Bournemouth are 16 games unbeaten and doing well in the league. What’s the current plan for the club, where do you see yourselves in three years time?
Well. The current plan, according to the board is promotion at all costs, where we go from there who knows.
View One: Knocking on the door of the premiership
View Two: Setting up AFC AFC Bournemou
Our spending has gone through the roof now we have our Russian multi-millionaire onboard. None of it, on current matchday income, combined with the new Football League rules, sustainable.
The loans and debentures from Maxim Demin are secured against current, and crucially, future assets of the club. Which is a worry, but what can you do. It all depends on whether he hangs around if things don’t go to plan, and how much of his cash our chairman can spend, through the AFCB books, with his umbrella of companies.
Ultimately, the size of our ground, even if we get the 4th end built and current spending levels become more sustainable, is only enough to host thoughts of juggling between lower-mid table security and fighting relegation from division two.
How do you see the game going on Saturday, will Eddie Howe be taking it seriously or is he “focussing on the league”?
Oh we’ll lose. For all the joy of the 16 match unbeaten run, it has mostly been against the likes of Scunthorpe and Shrewsbury. We will take it seriously, maybe with a change of keeper and one or two slight tweaks to the line-up. That said, Cook & Elphick at the back could be a match for Kone and if you defend like you did against Man United, the pace of Grabban and Pitman might cause you a few problems and if Marc Pugh is on his game then who knows.
I spent a Saturday in Bournemouth once, I remember plenty of UK Garage in the bars but no pie shops. Do you partake and, if so, what’s your flavour of choice and how do you go about eating it?
Bournemouth as an evening out is (whisper it) rubbish. And yes, no decent pies. I love a pie, which is basically the reason I’m coming up.
We’ve just introduced new ‘handmade pies’ at Dean Court, I’ve only tried the chicken and mushroom so far, which was a bit light in gravy for my taste, but better than the usual pukka fare. Recent visits to non-Bournemouth related away grounds have seen me try the Mag Pie at St James Park (flipping awful, nominally meat and potato but like baby food in a greasy pastry) and a scotch pie at Easter Road (very nice indeed)
I guess my flavour of choice would be steak (and kidney/mushroom/ale) – I’ll either eat the top and scoop the filling out or wolf it down as quick as possible. I’m from the South, I have no technique. Don’t judge me.
Thanks Andy, hopefully you’ll get your pie sampling ut of the way before you hit the DW Stadium. No matter what happens on Saturday, enjoy the rest of the season, and if it doesn’t go great just remember how much damage ‘Appy ‘Arry could be doing with a Russian to fund his wheeler dealing.
Andy can be found on Twitter at @andysith you can also find some of his ponderings on his blog http://johnnyneptune.wordpress.com/
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