Despite having not one shot, 18% possession and 0 corners, Sky Sports have described Bournemouth as “well drilled” with “good shape” in their 1-0 loss to Man City on Saturday – praising an approach Benitez was slated for.
A reminder that little over a year ago, Sky branded Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United as “embarrassing” in our 0-1 home defeat to Man City – despite the fact we had more shots, more possession, more corners than Bournemouth did against Man City on that day; not to mention the fact we also limited City to fewer shots.
Just look at the comparison below, showing just how differently the two convincing 0-1 defeats were portrayed.
Here’s what Sky Sports’ Gary Neville had to say when we were beaten by Man City 0-1 at St James’ Park in December last season:
“Containment is the right way to look at it because you’re going to have a lot of time without the ball. But I also don’t think we should just sit and accept that first 30 minutes. No ambition from Newcastle. That’s not acceptable in this league.
“It’s difficult of course from Rafa Benitez’s point of view. The finish, Sterling watches it come over the defender, and he hits it off balance – it’s something he could never have done two years ago.
“He makes this Newcastle tactic look embarrassing. It has to change. There’s defending, and there’s showing absolutely no ambition whatsoever. If it were a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it.”
And then we have Sky Sports saying the following when grading the Cherries following their defeat to Man City over the weekend. They skim over the fact they failed to have a single shot in the whole game, but choose instead to praise how “well drilled” they were after limiting City to one goal:
‘Eddie Howe said that Bournemouth had their “respectability” back following a much-improved performance against Man City after their 5-1 thrashing by Arsenal in midweek, and he is right. Howe went five at the back and, for the most part, it worked well as Man City were unable to get into their free-flowing best and Bournemouth looked well-drilled with a good shape.’
Also keep in mind this is a Bournemouth side full of exciting attackers who have become ‘renowned’ for a free flowing offensive approach under Howe vs a newly promoted Newcastle side who were full of Championship players that night and trying to stop a record-setting City side in a bid to stay up.
Howe claimed after the game that Bournemouth ‘got their respectability back’ after losing so narrowly to City with 18% of the ball and not a single shot or corner all game. Can you
I sometimes think this idea that there’s an ‘agenda’ against us is way over the top, but Sky don’t help themselves.