What’s next for the Cherries? Who will replace Jason Tindall? Will Woodgate get the vote of confidence…?
Dismissing Jason Tindall was an inevitability, after losing four games on the bounce and only picking up one win in Bournemouth’s last eight matches. Tindall’s downfall was the inability to beat relegation threatened teams. Even Bournemouth’s victories looked, for the most part, unconvincing. In 2021, the attack turned stagnant, creativity was scarce, and the football became pedestrian. The team only managed to score five in Tindall’s last eight games (well below league average).
And the latter stages of Tindall’s tenure were clouded with indecisiveness. His attempts to get the team back on track proved hopeless and instead became desperate. In his last ten fixtures, Jason Tindall constantly switched between a three-man and four-man defence, much to the displeasure of the fans. How is a team meant to build any rhythm or consistency if they are continuously changing formation?
TIME FOR A CHANGE
Although Jason Tindall was adamant that he could turn the results around, Bournemouth needed to take immediate action before the season was lost. Unlike last season, Bournemouth were ruthless. It was to be expected that The Cherries would employ a more “cutthroat” approach. As club owner Maxim Demin stated before the season, his ambition was to return immediately to the Premier League. Clearly, subpar performances were not to be tolerated, especially considering the strength of Bournemouth’s squad.
With his last act as manager, Tindall appointed Jonathon Woodgate to replace Graeme Jones as first team head coach. Woodgate has since taken charge of The Cherries due to Tindall’s departure. In his first two games, the former Real Madrid and Tottenham defender has led the team to back-to-back wins. Including one over Burnley that has taken Bournemouth to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Woodgate’s first step as caretaker was to call his former manager and Sandbanks resident, Harry Redknapp, for some assistance. Harry is only there to watch the team train on a voluntary basis. He denied reports linking him to the full-time job, reiterating that he’s there temporarily just to give “Woody” some advice as he was unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight. Redknapp is a highly regarded manager who knows the club and the players immensely as he’s been a season ticket holder since retiring. He said publicly, “Jonathan wanted to know my opinion on the players and where’s best for them. So, I helped him”.
Woodgate has learnt from his spell in charge of Middlesbrough, where he regretted not picking the brains of an experienced manager who’s been there and done it before.
FAVOURITES TO REPLACE JASON TINDALL
Despite Woodgate’s early success, Bournemouth are still interviewing potential full-time managers. The pressure of appointing the right manager weighs heavily on the Bournemouth board, as they face financial repercussions if they fail to regain promotion. These are the bookmakers’ favourites:
JOHN TERRY (5/1)
Terry became Aston Villa’s assistant manager in 2018 and won promotion to the Premier League in his first season. This season, Terry has been the catalyst for the Villains’ strong defensive output. A former centre-back himself, Terry has managed to get the best out of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa as they are exceeding all expectations. This is the riskiest option as it would be the Chelsea legend’s first managerial job.
DAVID WAGNER (4/6)
In 2017, David Wagner also earned promotion after winning the Championship Playoffs. Unlike Terry however, Wagner achieved this feat as the frontman instead of the assistant. Wagner’s most impressive feat was miraculously keeping Huddersfield Town in the Premier League in their first season. But since then, things have gone terribly for him. The following season, Huddersfield sacked Wagner, after he failed to lift the team off the bottom of the table. His next stint with Schalke was equally miserable, going 18 games without a win. Once again, it ended with his dismissal.
PATRICK VIERA (5/1)
The third favourite is former Arsenal midfielder, Patrick Viera. With his first managerial job, Viera took New York City to the MLS Final. Admittedly, the MLS is a lower standard than that in Europe. But it’s an accomplishment, nonetheless. After New York, Viera took control of Ligue 1 side OGC Nice, ready to establish himself as a competent manager in a tougher league. Each season, Viera’s Nice finished better than the season prior: 8th in 2017, 7th in 2018 and 5th in 2019, eventually securing a spot in the Europa League. However, Viera’s reign ended abruptly, after Nice failed to win in six straight matches.
No doubt, if they were to be employed, Viera and Terry would bring star power, or at least attract extra publicity to the seaside town. A marketing team’s dream. But it’s looking more likely that Wagner’s ten years of managerial experience are more desirable for Maxim Demin and Jeff Mostyn.
THANK YOU FOR THE SERVICE
Jason Tindall issued a heartfelt message to The Cherries faithful moments after his departure. And, although the fans wanted him out, they still acknowledged and appreciated what he did for the South Coast side. Tindall spent 22 years at the club as player, manager and, mostly, Eddie Howe’s assistant. He bled the Bournemouth red and black, experiencing first-hand the ups, downs and even their darkest days… administration.
Tindall was also a key contributor in clawing the side out of the depths of despair. He played a pivotal part in Bournemouth’s rise up the leagues. Above all, he has stamped his name into Bournemouth history… Together, he and Howe were the first coaches to take Bournemouth to the Premier League. That is how he should be remembered.