Alan Pardew was left extremely frustrated by the actions of Bournemouth’s bench on Tuesday evening, after seeing his side fall to a demoralising fifth straight league defeat.
Whilst the referee on the night wasn’t moved to show anyone a red card, it was without question, one of the most physically competitive games we’ve played so far this season, with Palace winger Wilfried Zaha getting kicked from pillar to post throughout the 90 minutes.
It was an evening which clearly riled Pardew, given the haste with which he mentioned it when conducting his pre-Swansea press conference on Thursday afternoon at the Eagles’ Beckenham training base.
Having seen a number of the Cherries’ players cautioned, there was unquestionably a desire, both from the stands and the home dugout for referee Mike Jones to stamp down further on the visiting team’s antics, not that any of our protestations to that end got us very far with Jones himself.
With Zaha forced to act as the figurative centre-point for Palace’s counter-attacks following the long-term absence of Yannick Bolasie through injury, Bournemouth were clearly primed to target him from the first minute until the last; a tactic that, as Pardew’s comments attached above prove in no uncertain terms, got under his skin.
Perhaps it was prompted by the “media darling” status that Bournemouth have been afforded since winning promotion last summer, or maybe it has bubbling away in the back of the gaffer’s mind for a few weeks; either way, his words make for a searing and extremely spiky assessment of their general approach to game in question.
As we now know to our cost, Bournemouth are far from the soft and fluffy feel good story so many in the press would have you believe. Pardew has certainly got his eye on the ball. Enjoy.