EARLY RED IS NO JOKE FOR SORRY SLAV
HE BRANDED Gabriele Angella’s early red card a joke, but Watford manager Slavisa Jokanovic was not laughing after they left Bournemouth empty-handed on Friday night.
Angella was given his marching orders inside the opening 30 seconds at Dean Court after hauling down Callum Wilson – despite Craig Cathcart appearing to offer a further line of defence.
The Cherries capitalised on their numerical advantage as Matt Ritchie added to Yann Kermorgant’s penalty to move three points clear at the top of the Championship overnight.
Jokanovic was clearly angered by the situation, but ruled out the possibility of confronting referee Lee Probert – in the interest of saving a few quid.
“People often speak with the referee but I don’t understand why, it makes little sense,” he said. “They make big mistakes and that is it.
“He won’t tell me sorry or explain his mistakes, so it doesn’t make any sense.
“I would rather go home and prepare for the next game.
“So what is the point? Football must be a spectacle and congratulations to Bournemouth, they played better than us and deserved the three points.
“But after 25 seconds, to have a situation like that, it is a joke. It is better for me not to have an opinion.
“If you really wanted me to answer you it would cost me a lot of money and my contract isn’t that big.
“I can’t really make any comment about the situation but it was wrong and strange. It put us in trouble.
“It wasn’t good for us, our supporters and for all football supporters. That’s it, it is that simple.
“If I talk any more then I might make a mistake.”
The key moment came after just 28 seconds when defender Angella lunged in on Wilson and, despite appearing not to be the last man, was shown a straight red card.
Wilson was again involved ten minutes before the break when he was brought down inside the box by Cathcart, allowing Kermorgant to step up and hand Bournemouth the lead from 12 yards.
Ritchie then doubled the lead shortly before the hour mark with an angled finish past Heurelho Gomes and there was no way back for the Hornets.
And Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, whose side returned to winning ways after back-toback defeats in the league and the FA Cup, conceded the game’s defining moment had taken the gloss off an enticing contest.
“I think I would have been disappointed,” he said. “The timing of it was a bitter pill to swallow for Watford because the game had just started.
“Both teams were looking forward to what would have been a good battle and tussle between two really good footballing sides and the game totally changed on that moment.
“I’m not sure how high the tackle was or why the referee produced the red card. I would have been slightly disappointed with the timing of it, and whether Callum was ever going to catch the ball.
“It was a difficult one for the referee because it was so early in the game and he had to make a big call.
“He took his time over the decision and didn’t produce the red card rashly so he obviously thought about it and maybe consulted his linesman.
“For us, it changed the game. We were nervy starters, there was no denying that. It was almost as if the ten men had added a pressure for us.
“We didn’t really respond to that as well as we would have hoped.”
KICKING OFF: Watford’s Gabriele Angella reacts to his first-minute red card by kicking the water bottles as he makes his way off. Inset: Matt Ritchie scores