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FourFourTwo's good weekend, bad weekend

Good weekend...

Josh King

Opta Fact

Josh King has become the first Bournemouth player to hit double figures in a top-flight league campaign

"He's so much more to us than just goals"

Eddie Howe is right, he is more of an all-purpose forward than an outright goal-getter. In fact, it seemed almost to pain Howe that King's hat-trick would likely overshadow his contribution to the 3-2 win over West Ham.

Bournemouth were victorious off the back of those three goals, but King was a menace all the way through the afternoon. Instead of languishing in a sulk after missing his first-half penalty, he produced a broad performance which ran from the game's beginning to its dramatic end; he made clearances, tackles, dynamic runs and important passes.

His second and third goals were reward for perseverance and opportunistic runs, with his first a smart, skilful piece of improvisation - but collectively they were the punctuation on his performance rather than its substance. 

Marco Silva & Hull City

Silva has done a fine job at Hull, making a visible impact within a short space of time. In the race to laugh at the smug gatekeepers who mocked his arrival, however, it's been rather overlooked that his side haven't been getting much in return for their improvement. 

Merson, Thompson et al deserved to be ridiculed for their Little Englander gibberish, but Hull aren't going to survive on goodwill alone. 

So this was a vital win, especially given that it came against a similarly improved Swansea who were starting to pull clear of the relegation zone. Hull may remain in the bottom three, but they're currently the most competitive of those clubs. Silva has made them far more tactically responsible than they were and so, while they remain short on talent, they're now a far more obdurate side.   

And Oumar Niasse, too. His time at Everton may have been a disaster, but the world can now at least see what Roberto Martinez originally saw in him; two precious goals, both very well taken. 

A tricky fixture awaits Hull at Goodison Park next weekend, but on the other side of the international break they'll face West Ham and Middlesbrough in consecutive games. Given how other results are likely to fall, six points would probably be enough to lift them to 17th.

At the moment, Silva has done a nice job and has made a strong first impression in England. If he was able to save this Hull team, given their injury issues and the players they lost in January, it would be miraculous. 

Matt Rhead

Well, not such a good weekend, but the end of a couple of months he and his Lincoln City team-mates will never forget. 

In his way, Rhead is a hero. He's the soft-around-the-edges everyman icon that the FA Cup has needed for some time and a striking representation of amateurism in a relentlessly professional world. 

Lincoln are now out, humbled at the Emirates, but so what. In years to come, nobody will remember what happened when they got to the quarter-finals, only that they got there at all. Twenty, 30 years from now, people will be able to vividly recall the celebrations at Turf Moor and how, for most of Saturday's first half, they were briefly Arsenal's equal.

And they'll remember Rhead: not quite chiseled enough to fit in with athletes who look like they've been carved from granite and not quite wealthy or vain enough to have his hairline restored. 

He's the dream and the hitherto fictitious character imagined by the television executives. How novel, then, to actually see him come to life. 

Bad weekend...

Arsenal supporters

It's not that the fans shouldn't be heard or that the high ticket prices they pay don't entitle them to their frustrations, but a line was clearly crossed on Saturday


Look at the picture above. 

Something serious must have happened: debt-loading, asset-stripping, maybe even some kind of accounting irregularity?

Nope, Arsenal just haven't won the Premier League in a really long time and their fans are sick of being eliminated in the first knockout stages of the Champions League.

So, rather than being a protest, this was actually just a sulk. 

It's not that the fans shouldn't be heard or that the high ticket prices they pay don't entitle them to their frustrations, but a line was clearly crossed on Saturday. The common factor between clubs who attract this kind of action is that, invariably, their sides have lost touch with their sporting aims.

Blackburn, Coventry, and Leyton Orient all fit into that category; Arsenal do not.

Not every argument has to be relative and supporters shouldn't have to continually defer to clubs less privileged than their own. But to so callously abandon perspective and to so intentionally wound a manager who has shaped the expectations with which he's now beaten is to create an ugliness which is becoming harder to watch.

Harry Kane

Kane limped off minutes into Tottenham's 6-0 win over Millwall having rolled his ankle. Not incidentally, it was the same ankle which kept him out for two months in late 2016 and, having left White Hart Lane on crutches, there are now doubts as to the part he'll be able to play in Spurs' run-in. 

Good and bad news: at the time time of writing it's unclear what the prognosis is but, after next week's home game with Southampton, the Premier League will be on hiatus during the international break. For the next month-and-a-half the fixture list is relatively kind and Kane's involvement won't become imperative until late April.

But irrespective of recovery times, form is always interrupted by injury and, with Kane enjoying the best spell of his career, any potential drop-off would hurt Mauricio Pochettino's team. Kane may return in just a matter of weeks, but presumably with all the usual conditioning asterisks and doubtless a notch or two down from his current level.  

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