I’ve just been watching Bournemouth versus Newcastle and, not for the first time, I’ve found myself getting more and more irritated by Robbie Savage’s commentary.
Newcastle somehow managed to win the game 1-0 but Bournemouth totally dominated with 20 shots to 2, and 68% possession.
Nevertheless, Robbie Savage spent the latter part of the second half laying into Bournemouth and their young manager, his main contention being that they were a team of style over substance. They could play all the nice football in the world but it counted for nothing. They may be ahead on passes and shots but only one statistic really counted.
You get the general idea, cliche after cliche.
Crucially he made the contention that something had to change. That Eddie Howe had to rethink things. That Newcastle, with two shots and one goal, had shown the qualities necessary in the Premier League.
Change their style when they limited the opposition to 2 chances and made 20 for themselves? What a load of rubbish.
Harry Redknapp was the voice of reason in the studio, pointing out that Bournemouth could take heart from the performance. If they kept playing in the same vein, they would eventually start winning.
While it is true that Bournemouth’s finishing has been poor and they are missing some key attacking players due to injury, Newcastle were incredibly lucky. If you played that match back 100 times, Bournemouth would win the vast majority.
It’s not just Savage. The media is obsessed with building a narrative based on the result, ignoring the vast amount of luck involved in an individual game. The result may matter most in a cup tie but in a 38 game league, the ups and downs will more or less even themselves out. Bournemouth won’t miss 20 chances consistently for the rest of the season, and Newcastle definitely won’t continue to score from every second opportunity.
Having watched the match, I feel much more confident about Bournemouth’s chances of avoiding relegation than I do Newcastle’s.
I’m off to put a bet on Bournemouth staying up.
Do you agree with Robbie Savage? Do you think Newcastle or Bournemouth have more chance of avoiding relegation? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.