At around half four an unfamiliar feeling came over Dean Court regulars. Something they had been accustomed to in previous years that had disappeared in recent times. That feeling of kicking back, putting their hands behind their heads and hoping a game went on for ever. Following promotion to the premier league this had been replaced with chewing the corner of the programme while bent double due to over-production of stomach acid…..but today we were transported back into the aura of knowing we weren’t going to lose…..(well, after the fifth went in anyway!)
Yes, the free-scoring team that ripped up the championship was back, giving a very inadequate Humberside visitor a shoeing of the highest order. Two previous one-nil wins replaced by six flying into an opponents net with only one obligatory mistake landing in our own.
Eddie kept the same team that had played out a thriller at Vicarage Road which meant Josh King again had to occupy what you might argue is an unlucky bench position.
As ever, Eddie demanded a high tempo first ten minutes and Hull were blown away. Ibe beat around……18 players………twice……. on a mazy run before electing not to shoot when on the penalty spot. A quick interchange of passing then left Jack Wilshere in space but he also elected not to shoot. The bloke behind me said ‘I hope it’s not going to be one of those scared to shoot days’…little did he know.
Within five minutes the early pressure had paid off. Stanislas bent a 25 yard free kick over the wall only for it to smack back off the post the ball ended up bouncing into the path of DANIELS who smashed a half volley past a stunned Marshall.
Bournemouth went for the jugular with Ibe and Stanislas running at people at will, Arter snapping back possession and Wilshere flicking the ball all over the pitch. Ibe broke on the left a few times and was his normal maddening mix of brilliance and ineptness. His great run and low cross was thundered against the cross-bar by Wilson the team hell-bent on putting their current PL record for wood-work hits beyond any challenge.. Stanislas then showed amazing footwork before seeing his drive deflected inches wide. Ibe then cut loose from the half-way line before unleashing a fizzer just over the cross-bar. It seemed only a matter of time before someone scored…………shame it had to be Hull.
Having not ventured into Bournemouth’s half Hull were presented the ball with a suicidal pass-out from Cook. It fell to our summer transfer target Mason and he advanced before firing a poor drive that only earned a danger status when it flicked off a red shirt to divert itself past Boruc.
Unbelievable? Not for us die-hards who are used to twenty minutes of greatness undone by the first error. ‘I wonder if it’s going to be one of those days?’ said the man behind me, for the second time. Thankfully the blip was soon amended. Doubly thankfully it was COOK who amended it. Stanislas boomed a free-kick in from the wing and the centre-half celebrated his 200th appearance with a well placed header into the corner of Marshall’s net. It was to get better still as well when a rash sliding tackle in the area took out Ibe and STANISLAS scored from the spot having wrestled the ball back from Wilson.
HT Bournemouth 3 Hull 1
Hull came out with a little more possession in the second half, they actually matched us all game for possession but as often with these stats they deceive because Hull were so far away from goal.
All the chances came from Bournemouth – 22 in total (a record for us in the PL). Cook had the first when Marshall brilliantly tipped over his header from Daniels’ corner. Bournemouth were sweeping forwards in waves with Wilshere cleverly orchestrating from an advanced position, Arter a lot quieter having took a whack on the shin first half and limping for ten minutes. Hull then had their own little spell as the home sides energy temporarily dropped.
Ibe gave the ball away once too often for Howe’s liking, the manager instantly signalling for King almost in a fit of pique – a sign of his perfectionalism with his team in little danger. King arrived with almost the explosion he did at Watford, instantly dazzling Clucas and brilliantly releasing Smith to cross low. STANISLAS was arriving at the far post and he cracked a low drive in off a Hull player for his second and the teams’ fourth.
That was the game buried and Bournemouth kept going, entertaining the fans and hunting down the Ethiad lost goal difference. King, in his normal lively cameo, escaped again on the right to cross for WILSON to emphatically head in a fifth at the back post. Wilshere had departed by this point, and it was his replacement, Gosling, that sealed the clubs best top flight score line with arguably the best goal. Smith ran right across the pitch to release Daniels who ran another 30 yards before finding GOSLING who bent a first time left foot drive from the edge of the area that left Marshall grabbing at air.
FT Bournemouth 6 Hull 1
The dream like moments of the last four years go on…..Who on earth would have thought we would score six goals in the premier league! If you want an idea of how diverse this league is, we didn’t even reach the heights of energy of the recent home win over Everton but the class of our attacking players came to the fore today.
Hull were abject, there is no escaping that fact, but they needed picking off and the movement we showed augurs well for tougher challenges ahead. The team are starting to gel and Eddie has one problem to resolve. How does he fit Josh King back in. To me he has to, it’s the final piece in the pace jigsaw, trouble is Josh is not a midfielder and won’t do the defensive work of a true winger. Ibe is probably most at threat as despite the nice words on the radio, Eddie’s frustration when he gives the ball away when Daniels has sprinted ahead of him is very visible. Better teams (Spurs) will punish this, we know this from bitter experience.
That, and the fact we have to work for goals far harder than the teams that play against us were the only blots on the copybook on what was a great day at the office. Jack Wilshere is looking more and more impressive each game and the ball seems glued to him, I was hoping we gave him 90 mins today to stop every journalist in the world asking Eddie about his fitness!! His understanding with Arter and Stanislas in particular is excellent. Also a mention for Charlie Daniels who looked back to great form and credit to Eddie for sticking with him.
We can go into a ‘free game’ with Spurs with great confidence. They will hurt us if we play from the back as they press incredibly – it would be great to see Eddie spring a shock and find a way of going a bit longer at times – King’s height up against Danny Rose could be that avenue…
Much to look forward to in the long term, and in the short term there is always Match of the Day. Bournemouth on it scoring six……..we all thought that would happen one day, didn’t we….
Another historic day without doubt, the historic days just keep coming and coming, but today’s performance was right up there. Hull were poor, but we were absolutely, utterly ruthless. Something I have often criticised us for NOT being. Today, we ripped them a brand new a***hole, and it could have been a few more. Glorious. Enjoy for now, Spurs can wait.
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Boruc – 7
Not much to do, but did it all well
Smith – 7
Lively in all areas of the pitch
Francis – *
Outstanding defending, pace, heading and leadership
Cook – 7
Recovered well from poor mistake to crown 200th game with goal
Daniels – 8
Looked back to his normal best and cracking finish
Ibe – 7
Usual very hot/very cold performance! Some brilliance at times
Arter – 7
Fantastic first half but that shin injury slowed him in second
Surman – 7
Swept it about well, intercepted and ventured further forward
Stanislas – 9
Two goals and an assist, pace and skill. Renaissance goes on!
Wilshire – 7
Great turns and appreciation of where team mates are
Wilson – 7
Not much out of Davies pace wise but clever goal and hold up