Date: 29th May 2017 at 6:33am
Written by:

Each and everyone of you can say ‘I saw AFCB’s highest ever league placing in 118 years’ Well, we have been able to say that the last 4 years haven’t we?

Just a light hearted look back of another historic season.

Man Utd on the opening day. Mourhino’s 1st game incharge, and the eyes of the world was upon us. Was always going to be a tough start, and it was duly proven. Zlatan scoring was always going to happen, and despite a bright start, we were duly dispatched thanks to some defensive errors.

1st away game was on the box too. A real dire affair at the Olympic stadium, which West Ham who were determined to get off to a winning start at their (‘virtually free gift stadium) snuck a late winner. 0 points from the first 2 games, just like last season.

Heartbreak at Palace saw us drop 2 points with the last attack of the game, but we were off the mark, and that improved the next Saturday with a 1-0 win over Tony Pulis’s entertainment XI.

Man City, nuff said, they were great on the day, and we struggled, showing the gulf in class that separates the mega money teams from us lot with just quite a bit of money.

A sign of our real potential was the win over Everton (or Stanislaus’s b****es as I like to call them) Great goal, great performance.

That was part of a 4 game unbeaten run with the normal draw against Watford, scoring 6 (Yes, 6 goals in a PL game everyone) against a Hull side that looked destined for the drop even then (Despite the late improvement), and a draw against Spurs who had mullered us at The Vitality last season. That was a real battle of a game, one of those great 0-0 draws.

Bizarrely, we didn’t turn up at Boro. The team with no goals in them, probably their best performance of the season. And then defeat to Sunderland, a team so poor for 36 out of 38 games this season (A 4-0 win at Palace being their highlight) That was hard to take and you feared for the teams confidence, but to bounce back next game and do the biz at Stoke (Another team as about as entertaining as chimney sweeping with a toothbrush) was a relief to say the least.

We gave it a real go at Arsenal, only a late goal giving them the breathing space. My first visit to the Emirates, loved the fact that I could read my book without being disturbed by any noise from the home fans.

Then Liverpool, 3-1 down and going through the motions of a home defeat….But no, on comes ‘Rob Roy’ and he produces the best half hour of football I have seen by one player in the red and black stripes.
Another game I watched from home, and when Ake stuck in that winner, I was running round the garden being chased by 3 over excited dogs, wondering if I had finally gone mad. A truly amazing day. I even took a phonecall by a Liverpool supporting friend stood in the away end who could barely utter ‘We do the robbing as a rule, not you lot’

But then another let down against Burnley, but to be fair, their home record was standing up with the best of them. I quite like Sean Dyche, he had certainly been gargling with gravel when he came out for that post match interview.

First night league game against ‘The Champions’, who were a shadow of last season. A few late scares but 3 deserved points.

All ready for the ‘New Forest’ derby. Who invented that? 1up, looking good, then it all went Pete Tong. Beating Saints is not the be all and end all of the season, but it does help with bragging rights for half my family.
The phones and internet want strangely down in my part of France for 24 hours after that.

Chelsea looked champions elect, and they were against us, but the excellent win in a 6 pointer at Swansea lifted the pressure considerably.

Happy New Year…3-0 up against the Arsenal.. No way, not ‘little Bournemouth.’ Wenger’s face was a picture, if you ever saw Wind in the Willows, there was Toad of toad hall, without his car, watching his season crumble. 1 back, 2 back, Franno’s dodgy sending off, then 3 back. High drama but total disappointment in the end, followed with a limp squad cup defeat at Millwall, and 8 game run without a win tested the nerves.

A poor showing at Hull, the 20th consecutive draw against Watford (ish), a shocker at home to Palace. Nothing worse than getting a call from my oldest friend Ray, 90 years old and giggling like Uncle Albert on the other end of the line.

Everton went wrong from 30 seconds in, but from 3-0 down, we showed fight in the 2nd half and nearly pulled it back to 3-3, with the home support getting on the toffee’s back.

City again were comfortable at ours, then a defeat at WBA had us looking nervously over our shoulders.

Man Utd next, we won’t get nothing there. But something happened in that game that put a steel in the side that set us up for the rest of the season. A backs to the wall heroics with every 10 men fighting for every ball, throwing their bodies in the way, covering acres of the pitch. A heroic show indeed. Must have been a great 250 miles back for the travelling support, and a long 350 miles for the home fans.

West Ham (Or Hat trick fodder as they are known to us), Swansea, back to back wins, and King on fire. After the West Ham game I went to the local bar, and the landlords son who follows English PL football with gusto kept saying ‘Josh King, Very good. Should play for England.) I told him he prefers to eat Fankal rather than Ros Bif, which kind of confused him.

God we should have beaten Saints at theirs. Arter’s penalty was well saved by Tim Peake.

A late equaliser at Anfield made up for a shoddy defensive display in 1967 in the 3rd round cup replay. ‘Bornmooth made it very difficult for us’ said Mr Klopp. The equaliser was another goal that involved a 3 dog garden celebration.

Chelsea showed us again why they were going to win it. Spurs are really entertaining, scoring for fun, and we just couldn’t match them.

And then we finished 5 games unbeaten, getting the results we pretty much wished for.
Boro easy..Sunderland, oh the joy to be had for me sending them down. I have an ex Navy mate who never misses a Mackem’s match.
How he used to taunt me years ago when I came back from weekend leave…’See you lost at Torquay, York, Darlington then.’
His phone was strangely out of action as well after we sent them down.

And there we have it. 9th….We was alive when we finished 9th in arguably the best league in the world.
Maybe next season we will finish 8th or better.
How it is going to get better than this I don’t really know.
But we are a progressive club now, anything is possible.
And don’t go calling us ‘Little Bournemouth’ or say ‘3 easy points it’s only Bournemouth’ because we can bite anyone’s bum on our day.

It’s been a long post, but I am bored in retirement. Written on a glorious day in the garden and a bit of thought.

Finally, my end of season awards…would like to hear yours.

Best performance: Spurs home, matched them in every department.

Best Goal: Steve Cook v Liverpool. If Messi had done it, we would be on endless repeats. Great goal that from someone on £42,250 a week (Source: North Stand Chat)

Worst performance: Hull away.

Best Opposition goal: Hendrick for Burnley. Top class.

Finally, thanks to the players for doing everything possible to continue this amazing journey.

Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall, I understand that they are commissioning a statue…The council are just finding somewhere to put it…By the new 25,000 stadium would be perfect.

And the fans at away games…When I watched on TV, most the time it was only you I could hear…Because you are as high on this trip as the rest of us.
Well done.

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