Monday, 6 March 2017

Of all the players to see red - no one would have picked Surman

AFCB will await to hear what the outcome is after Kevin Friend hands in his match report form the weekend's game, to see if Tyrone Mings faces any retrospective action after his afternoon of antics with Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford. AFCB needed to up their aggression in games, and the line is always finely balanced between going too far and being a constant recking ball in the oppositions' faces. You want to put off your opponent's game, but you can't be reckless and out of control, and yet if you had picked a player most likely to see red on Saturday, I don't think many would have expected it to be Andrew Surman.
Surman will miss the next game for his red card.
Funnily, I thought Andrew Surman was having a decent game for once before he was dismissed from the field of play. The Match of The Day crew correctly pointed out that there had been an earlier forceful challenge from Luke Shaw on Adam Smith that evaded any punishment, and Andrew Surman's crunch tackle on Luke Shaw that earned the Bournemouth captain his first yellow card was very hard to separate as being anything different from the earlier challenge. Kevin Friend would probably say he let a few early challenges go, but needed to rein it in, and unluckily for Surman the referee chose his tackle to reset the clock on what constituted a foul.


You cannot defend Surman's second yellow card though for the push on Ibrahimovic, even if the Swedish player went down like he had been hit with sledge hammer. Ibrahimovic was himself walking a tight line in disciplinary matters, having got a yellow card for mouthing off at Kevin Friend after the penalty that Bournemouth were awarded. That was part of the reason for such a delay over the penalty being taken it seems. But Ibrahimovic and Mings were trying to push each other to the limit all game. It is amazing that none of the match officials were really aware of how much they were misbehaving. For AFCB though it was probably the right tactic. If Man Utd were fully concentrating on their football, they would have been a different proposition and the Cherries would have struggled more.

All the antics gave the game an edge and drew United into trying to get even in their little struggles rather than just trying to get the ball in the back of the net. It worked for AFCB and the team probably needed to get themselves worked up to bring the best out in themselves on the pitch after recent defeats. I can't say it would work every time, but it has given AFCB more metal to their game, and at the moment they need that passion and togetherness to ensure they survive this season. It was a great all round team effort in which the fans played their part too.


  1. I agree with you 100% on all of that, but what you have missed is that Kevin Friend is a big team referee and will almost always favour decisions in the big team favour. I'm not sure it's deliberate but he is always very chatty in ball not in okay moments with the big stars. This is not really acceptable.

  2. I just watched the highlights and you will see that Rooney told Friend to book Surman for the first tackle.

  3. Surman's first yellow was completely ridiculous as it was a perfectly fair tackle.
    As for Mings, I find it astounding how pundits can interpret super slo-mo replays to come up with improbable scenarios. Think about it : What is the likelihood of Mings having the co-ordinated reflex in real time to land on Ibrahimovic's head while chasing down the play - in a single, unbroken and undeviating movement ?