Bournemouth post-match fan reaction

Last updated : 13 August 2018 By Michael Morris

I only ever got to watch highlights of our 2-0 opening day defeat at West Ham five years ago in what was our first ever Premier League match, so I cannot comment with any certainty about the claims from some of those who watched the game live that they felt the writing was on the wall right from day one for Malky Mackay’s squad.

I can certainly remember it being remarked that it was all fairly simple for the Hammers as they eased to a win over opponents that offered little once the first goal had gone in and that those who were predicting relegation for one of the outfits involved were not referring to the London team!

So, when the 2018 version of Cardiff City began the club’s second Premier League campaign with a loss by the same score at Bournemouth yesterday, it’s only natural I suppose that the parallels between the two matches would be remarked upon. Furthermore, given that anyone who is asked for an opinion on City in 18/19 seems contractually bound to have to say we are going to finish twentieth out of twenty, it’s no surprise at all that people are queuing up to tell us that our second stay in the Premier League is going to be as short as our first one.

Nathan Blake is one of a number of ex City players who works in the media and usually isn’t far out with his predictions as to where we’ll finish – I can remember him saying we’d finish around eighth position early in the 2015/16 season and that’s precisely where we ended up, while right from week one last year, he was saying that automatic promotion was very much on.

Therefore. it sounds a bit ominous for us when Blakey was of the opinion that Bournemouth “won at a canter” yesterday. From memory, I thought we would finish around tenth in 15/16 and had us down as Play Off possibles last year (think I said we’d finish eighth), so Nathan’s record is better than mine, but, having actually seen all of our opening day 2-0 defeat this time, I can’t say I agree with his view that it was all so easy for our hosts.

I won’t deny that Bournemouth were well worth their 1-0 lead at the interval and that if it hadn’t have been for Neil Etheridge’s fine save to deny Callum Wilson’s penalty awarded shortly after Ryan Fraser’s twenty fourth minute opener, we might have ended up getting a bit of a pasting, but I thought we did well in the second half as we forced home keeper Asmir Begovic into urgent action on occasions.

For me, there wasn’t a great deal between the teams and we can take heart from the fact that Etheridge was a reassuring presence, Sean Morrison looked at home at this level, Joe Ralls, once again having Callum Paterson and Sol Bamba for support in a depleted midfield, showed enough to justify the confidence of those of us who reckon he’ll cope with the step up in standards and Bobby Decordova-Reid impressed in a thankless lone striker role.

Josh Murphy, surprisingly left out of the starting eleven after his fine display against Betis last week created a favourable impression when he came on for the last half an hour as well.

It’s also worth recording that there was a reminder from five years ago in the performance of referee Kevin Friend – we never seemed to get much from the officials in 13/14 and it was the same yesterday. I’m not saying that the ref had a decisive influence on proceedings, but the penalty award against Bruno Manga when he tangled with Fraser was harsh, Charlie Daniels might have seen red, not yellow, for his foul on Junior Hoilett just before half time on another day and the winger was given nothing when he was obviously brought down on the edge of the penalty area at a time when City were suggesting that they had an equaliser in them.

Add in that Harry Arter was missing because of the convention which says loaned players do not appear against their parent clubs, Victor Camarasa needs more time to integrate before he becomes a contender to start and that both Kenneth Zohore (suffering with a groin injury that manager Neil Warnock hopes won’t keep him out of the Newcastle match next weekend) and Aron Gunnarsson (out for another fortnight yet as he recovers from the latest in what seems a never ending run of injuries) were out and there are plenty of reasons not to be too downcast.

That said, there’s also a need for realism. If we were missing important players, then it’s also true to say that two players who Bournemouth paid nearly £40 million for this summer did not feature – full back Deigo Roco was suspended and club record signing  Jefferson Lerma was not felt to be ready to be involved.

It must be admitted as well that too many of the occasions when we could have scored came from set pieces and that, overall, those who think our squad doesn’t have enough goals in it would have seen very little to make them consider that they might have been mistaken in that view.


On an individual basis, Joe Bennett, who I thought was excellent last week, mixed good points with being beaten too easily in one on one situations on occasions. While I hesitate to be too critical of Sol Bamba, who was playing in a position he would prefer not to and deserves to be judged on what he does in his “proper” role, the first goal stemmed from the sort of area you would have expected him to be covering – instead, a home player was allowed to run unchallenged into a threatening area as I kept on saying “I don’t like this, I don’t like this” for about fifteen seconds before the ball hit the back of the net!

Referee Friend only showed the one yellow card to a City player. It came after just three minutes and I was convinced that Lee Peltier would not see the game out after that. Credit to him for staying on the pitch for the duration after such an early setback, but the way Fraser burst away from Peltier to draw the cynical foul which followed and the fact that the offence took place on the half way line with plenty of City players covering behind him must raise questions about both the full back’s ability to cope when attacked and his defensive judgement at this level.

There has been plenty of talk over the summer about us needing a new right back. I’ve never bothered commenting on that position because I’ve always been convinced that our manager would be happy to go with Peltier as his first choice, but, having used the word ominous once already in this piece, I have to do so again in relation to that early incident which saw Peltier booked.

On reflection, I think it might be fair to say that Bournemouth were just a little too cute for us. Using that so important first goal as an example, City had been holding the home side at arm’s length with relatively few alarms when, suddenly, they left that bit of a gap in the area in front of the centrebacks and it was quickly and ruthlessly exploited – even with their missing players available, you doubt whether we would have been able to take a similar such opportunity if it were offered to us.

As I say, I’m not too downcast as I write this, but, with one of our trio of relatively undemanding fixtures to open our season out of the way, it has become very important that we get something out of at least one of the next two. i say that because what follows on from them carries the very real threat that we could be looking at a Crystal Palace from a year ago type start to our campaign and, try as I might, I don’t see us recovering from something like that in the same way as Roy Hodgson’s side did.

Anyway, on to a happier outcome for a Cardiff City team yesterday because at lunchtime I watched our Under 18s steamroller Colchester 5-0 at Leckwith in their first league game of the season.

It’s been an encouraging pre season for the Academy team with wins over Leicester and West Ham in their warm up matches (the Under 13s beat Liverpool as well) and their performance in the first half in particular was good enough to make me forget about the rain which began virtually as the match was starting and got heavier as it went on – the game was played on the pitch out in the open adjacent to the one at the Athletics stadium with it’s covered stand!.

As usual at this time of the season, there were plenty of new faces to get used to in the team, but credit to the club’s website for getting the Under 18s fixture list online so quickly and for this introduction of the eight new scholars for this season.

Bagan, Davies (who I’ve seen play many times already) and Colwill were all in the starting eleven against Colchester, while Ryan Kavanagh at right back and Dan Griffiths at centre forward were new names to me – Kavanagh was in a City squad made up of Under 13 and 14 players which won a tournament called the Rotterdam International Cup in April of last year, so he can only be 16 at most, while the only Dan Griffiths I could find who seemed a likely fit was a seventeen year old from Wrexham who had been selected in Wales Under 17 squads while on Liverpool’s books.

Right from the start, City pressed forward and were ahead inside ten minutes when the unmarked Griffiths headed a cross from the right home from six yards. I remarked last season about the impressive midfield axis of Sion Spence, Sam Bowen and Keenan Patten which the Under 18s could field, well they were all included yesterday and it was Bowen who doubled the lead on seventeen minutes with a shot from twenty five yards which seemed to get a couple of very slight touches on it’s way into the net.

Spence was next to score when he hit a shot which was either a very cute chip or a flukey miskick from ten yards which found it’s way past keeper Hallett and into the corner of the net with the game still in it’s first quarter.

Isaak Davies, one of a few in City’s Under 18 team who were very impressive in the 5-0 win over Colchester yesterday.

Isaak Davies, playing wide on the left to accommodate Griffiths’ inclusion through the middle was having a very influential game and was involved again when Griffiths got his second with a firm close in header on the half hour mark.

The game was only thirty five minutes old when the scoring was completed as Davies skillfully controlled a long ball and fired past Hallett in the same movement for what I rated as the best of the five goals, but there was much to admire in the creation and execution of all of them.

Centreback Ryan Reynolds had a header cleared off the line and there could easily have been another goal for Davies before Colchester reached the interval probably feeling relieved that they were only five down.

It would be easy to say oh it was only Colchester, their senior side are in the Fourth Division and City should be beating teams like that 5-0. but they did reach the Quarter Finals of the FA Youth Cup last season and, in a much more even second half, there were more impressive runs by their right winger Todd Miller while they came closest to getting what would have been the second half’s only goal when a shot from the edge of the penalty area was deflected just wide with keeper George Ratcliffe helpless and they hit an upright from the resultant corner.

Spence had an effort turned around the post by Hallett, but City were unable to convert some fine approach play into further goals – truth be told, there was some self indulgence on the part of some as they ignored better placed colleagues to go for glory themselves, but that’s what you do when your seventeen and your 5-0 up, in fact, thinking about it, I was self indulgent when it was 0-0 when I was their age!

I’ll finish by mentioning something I heard from someone, presumably watching his boy play for Colchester, who was stood quite close to me when City were 1-0 up. From what he had said up until then, it was obvious this man knew what he was on about and that he was a regular watcher of football at this level.Indeed, by the time I moved to somewhere else at half time, I was fairly sure he must have played the game professionally at one time as well. Anyway, as City put together another smooth attack, he said “I do like watching Cardiff, they play the best football of any side in the league” – I came so close to blurting out “yeah, but you should see our first team”, but managed to bite my tongue!

When you think about it though, if somebody who is watching another team can say that, it only increases the feeling of frustration that we have stopped producing our own first team players. There was some outstanding football played by our kids today and at a time when I’m sure the first team will be receiving criticism in the coming weeks for playing “hoofball”, they provided a couple of examples of glorious long passes, not whacks downfield, that produced goals -I’ve had high hopes for this group since I first saw them a couple of years ago when they were playing for the Under 16s and, although it’s too early to get too upbeat about their prospects for this season, they were very impressive yesterday.

One last thing, can you please also read the message entitled “Patreon – a way of helping Mauve and Yellow Army survive.” which will be appearing on here very shortly – any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.