Things are pretty grim up north at the moment, with Sunderland and Newcastle suffering a ghastly start to the season, and one that neither side was able to better at the weekend.
In this match, played in front of a Bournemouth support who are much happier with the start they’ve made than the away fans – this match gave them 7 points from the first six matches – Sunderland were on the back foot right from the start.
For the home fans, things couldn’t have begun better, with two goals inside the first nine minutes, with the first coming from Callum Watson and the second from Matt Ritchie, and this one was a beauty, sweetly struck from 25 yards out after some fine close control.
Ritchie is a player who’s astonishing story is all the more incredible considering the price Bournemouth paid for him in 2013; a mere £400,000.
He now scores spectacular goals (and this one was spectacular alright) in a league where those in the upper tier can expect to take that home in wages every month.
The rise of Bournemouth as a team owes much to Eddie Howe, of course, and his side totally ran the show here, in stark contrast to the side now managed by Dick Advocaat, a manager who’s best years are far behind him and who’s decision to stick with the club for another full year looks more and more misplaced and certain to end in disaster.
Even had Lens ruled out goal stood, this would have been another dreadful day at the office.
Bottom of the table right now, with two points from six games … it’s a grim statistic, and with the money on offer for clubs who play in the league it’s pretty clear that Advocaat is going to find himself under considerable pressure if he isn’t already.
Sunderland’s woes can be summed up by the fact they didn’t have a shot on target after 40 minutes. This is their ninth straight league match without a win, and although the manager says they will stay up you get the impression that will only happen if they are infused with some fresh ideas.
Man of the Match:
Matt Ritchie. The kind of player who shames more highly priced names. A great example for all young, up and coming footballers.