(picture courtesy of the Daily Mail)
I’m extremely happy to say I called this one wrong, both on the amount of goals scored and the final result.
This game was in my opinion a potential banana skin, where we could have come unstuck and I have to say in the first half it looked like Bournemouth were going to win very easily, as the home team had quite a few chances, whereas I don’t remember us having a shot on goal.
Basically, although we knocked the ball round quite nicely in the middle, we didn’t seem to have much creativity about us and never looked a threat.
Bournemouth on the other hand were quite busy around our box and could easily have had a couple of goals, if only their shooting wasn’t so wayward.
The defence yet again had me worried and Micah Richards particularly didn’t convince me.
Probably a half to forget then really, although Amavi looked decent and the whole side never looked like a total shambles.
The second half was much better though.
It’s not as though we’d been galvanised by some sharp Sherwood language during the half time team talk, but we did look a much better side. More purposeful, if you like.
I can’t say I remember this game particularly well, as I was watching in an office at work and was being disturbed every couple of minutes, but there were some memorable moments.
Guzan, whose distribution was iffy yet again, made an excellent reaction save, which I think would have beat at least some other Prem goalies. It was the kind of save that makes me defend him somewhat against those that are totally unconvinced about him.
Gabby made a nice run, only for it to result in as feeble a shot as can be imagined. I have to say I really can’t see why he gets a start. Ok, you might use the excuse that he couldn’t do much in the first half because we weren’t getting the ball up there, but even in the second half, he was anonymous. I really can’t see Sherwood putting up with it for long.
In fairness, Ayew looked equally poor, but I’ll give him more of a chance.
The most memorable moment though was Gestede’s goal.
Sod’s law says I was disturbed again as the corner was being taken, so I don’t even know who took it, but I did turn around just in time to see Gestede come steaming in with a really strong header and what a peach it was, with Artur Boruc left with no chance.
While I’m not convinced we’ll start lobbing the ball up to suit Gestede, we can be sure that he’ll be the focus for quite a few set pieces, which should be the source of a few goals this season.
1-0 it was then and we looked much more comfortable. Even the defence suddenly looked more dependable, with a better shape.
I was fairly happy that the Cherries didn’t have enough about them to get the goal back, but I still wasn’t convinced.
The, in my opinion, ridiculous, five minutes of injury time had me a bit worried. Gestede went down like he’d been shot after he’d tried to hold the ball up in the corner, only to lose out and not get a decision in his favour, which left me wondering what on earth he was doing.
We held out though and I was well happy with a win I don’t feel we deserved really.
Not that I’m worried.
It’s early days in the season and opening day can go any way.
All that mattered today was the three points and quite simply we got them.
As for Bournemouth, they will have to start taking their chances, if they’re going to survive, although, again, it’s very early days.
All in all, an excellent three points, that I didn’t expect. It’s Man Utd up next and I feel that might be a stiffer test, although I gather they weren’t anything special today.
Can Tim Sherwood magic up a long overdue win at home against them?
I can’t wait to find out.