Cherries: Hard Times in the Hunt for Holland
WHAT have Eddie Hunt and Matt Holland got in common? The answer, of course, is that neither of them plays for or coaches Cherries – but try telling that to the Times and the Darlington match programme. Few League Two clubs can boast of being taken seriously by the national press and TV in terms of column inches and screen minutes and on the rare occasion the bods in London have sat up and taken notice, it’s been at times of great turmoil and uncertainty. Which, of course, has been most of the past 15 years or so at AFC Bournemouth, but with the new-found positivity searing through the veins of Dean Court, the pack either don’t want to know, or are simply plain ignorant – as Monday’s Times report showed. “Brett Pitman continued his rich form with his fifth and sixth goals of the season for Bournemouth against a Darlington side still awaiting their first win,” the report in The Game read. So far, so good. “‘Over the last three games we haven’t played as well as we can, but we’ve ground out results,’ Matt Holland, the Bournemouth captain, said.” Close, but no cigar I’m afraid. And as for the Quakers official programme, referring to Howe as ‘Hunt’ throughout a piece with the Cherries boss was nothing short of embarrassing. The Dean Court faithful have also been quick to dub the BBC’s Football League Show the ‘Notts County Show’ as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s arrival alongside Sol Campbell at Meadow Lane continues to make Auntie come over all funny. The fans, quite rightly after years and years of having absolutely nothing to shout about, simply want the achievements of Howe’s threadbare squad recognised on a national platform. But with Howe’s success creating, at the moment, only a small swell around the feet of the national commentators, Cherries have been allowed to go quietly about their business. You can be sure that when the annual managerial merry-go-round spins into action just before Christmas, Howe will almost certainly attract some attention – especially if his side’s stunning start to the campaign continues well into the winter months. So, let Sol and Sven hog the front and back pages – little old Cherries can wait for the plaudits when they matter most in May.
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