Team: Green, Simpson, Dunne, Hill, Assou-Ekotto, Hoilett, Carroll, Jenas (Benayoun), Morrison, Traore (Zamora), Maiga (Austin).
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Young, Suk-Young, Henry.
Attendance: 11,307 (including 1,409 R’s fans)
Well Harry excelled with his team selection yet again. We all know that Clint Hill and Richard Dunne have no pace and need the protection of a holding midfielder, i.e. Karl Henry who was excellent against Blackpool. But no, Harry plays Jenas and Carroll who both push on, can’t tackle and give the ball away whilst leaving acres of space in front of our centre backs – it’s not rocket science Harry!
For the first 30 minutes we looked the better side and Lee Camp pulled off a couple of good saves and then we conceded from a corner and its game over – although Traore’s goal should have given us the lift to push on for the win.
Harry’s substitution of Bobby Zamora was pointless because all it did was to even it up to 10 v 10. Harry said afterwards that “we were too predictable” – well Harry, wake up and smell the coffee, we have been predictable all season and as the manager you are responsible!!! Still it’s only taken you 40 games to suss what we sussed after 10 games!!!
He also said that “our full-backs would cross and they would head it away. We have to play with more guile.” Well Harry, you set the team up during the week to play against Bournemouth so surely the players are carrying out your pattern of play!!!
Set-plays are predictable, short corner after short corner, no variation of free kicks and no movement from throw-ins. Again I say to Harry what are you and your coaches doing during the week at Harlington? After 40 games from any dead-ball situation we are PREDICTABLE.
One bright light on Saturday was the return of Charlie Austin. He looked hungry, led the line well and took a couple of heavy challenges in his stride.
Well 6/8 games left and whatever these matches bring I am sure that Harry will look forward to renewing his ‘love-in’ with Bournemouth as he returns there in the summer as Director of Football. Now Harry, that’s PREDICTABLE.
I have to compliment AFC Bournemouth for not exploiting their ticket prices, ¬£20 for an adult and ¬£12 for a concession. It could have been ¬£30 and ¬£20 without any question and add that to the ¬£1 for the car park and Bournemouth have been more than fair with their pricing. The downside is a small stadium with poor facilities, both inside and out.
The latest blow to the hopes of Harry Redknapp leading Queen’s Park Rangers to automatic promotion could not have come from much closer to home. Redknapp could have walked to work on Saturday from his Sandbanks mansion to the ground where he cut his teeth in management to see his team of ex-Premier League big names outfought by a hard-working Bournemouth side with play-off aspirations of their own.
He might have reflected that this was a fine way for the Cherries to show their gratitude for his 100 games as a player, between 1972 and 1976 and nine years in the dugout from 1983 to 1992 – not to mention the loan of players including Rio Ferdinand and Jermain Defoe.
But the Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, who played briefly for Redknapp at Portsmouth, has his own agenda. The club are aiming for their highest-ever finish, beating their 12th place under Redknapp in 1989, and hope for better still, namely sixth. “It’s still on,” Howe said.
Redknapp made a low-key entrance, with no fanfare and only three or four spectators requiring autographs. The game opened predictably, QPR out-passing the enthusiastic but limited home side and forcing two excellent saves from Lee Camp with shots from distance. And just as predictably, they failed to make what should have been a superior skill count, and fell behind to central defender Tommy Elphick’s header from a corner in first-half injury time.
Rangers levelled within seconds of the re-start, Armand Traore controlling Tom Carroll’s pass and volleying in but, just short of the hour, Bournemouth’s top scorer, Lewis Grabban, pounced after QPR failed to clear Yann Kermorgant’s cross-shot from the left.
Redknapp threw on top scorer, Charlie Austin, fit again after missing 12 games with a shoulder injury, and saw his side handed an advantage when Harry Arter was sent off for a foul on Junior Hoilett. But they were frustrated and denied in the last second of the match when Brett Pitman nodded Richard Dunne’s header off the line.
“We lacked imagination,” Redknapp said. “It (automatic promotion) looks impossible now.”
Nick Szczepanik – The Independent
Photos provided by Sandra Sayce and are used with permission