Who should be the next Bournemouth Manager?
Before the start of this season, the Cherries were strong favourites to finish rock bottom of the Premier League, and following the first 4 games of the season which saw them concede 15 goals manager Scott Parker was given his marching orders.
This saw interim coach Gary O’Neil take over, leading the Cherries to embark on an impressive 6 game unbeaten run which included massive wins over Nottingham Forest and Leicester City.
Despite the large improvement in performance under O’Neil, Bournemouth are yet to appoint a permanent manager. So who are the leading candidates for the role?
Since taking over from Scott Parker, Gary O’Neil has made a rather strong claim in regard to being appointed permanently, with significant results against teams which could be considered relegation rivals he is the heavy favourite for the role.
One major issue which could be brought up in regard to O’Neil is his lack of managerial experience and whether he is the right man to lead such a young side into a relegation fight. Despite the improvement in general performance it could be taken as nothing more than a purple patch, perhaps highlighted by the current run of losses.
The potential of appointment for O’Neil will most likely be largely defined by the next few games leading up to the world cup break.
Wilder is another manager who is linked with the Bournemouth job, despite publicly distancing himself from the vacancy.
However, after a poor start with Middlesbrough this season, finding his side just outside of the relegation zone after 18 games Wilder may decide to jump ship back to the top flight while the opportunity is open to him.
Bournemouth may decide against Wilder however after his extremely poor second Premier League season with Sheffield United, although his first Premier League season with them could lead to the Cherries potentially taking the risk.
Sean Dyche has been one of the favourites to take over from Scott Parker since the position originally opened. Dyche did an excellent job with Burnley despite a low budget and an ageing squad, constantly over achieving up until his final season with the club.
Dyche proved himself as one of the most consistent managers in the Premier League and that consistency could be exactly what the Cherries require in their bid for survival.
Dyche has appeared that he is not in a rush to return to management after his mid-season sacking last year however, indicating he will wait for the right opportunity.
The Norwegian has been enjoying a large amount of international attention in recent times, from being heavily linked with the Burnley job earlier this year to showing his managerial prowess in Europe with big wins over Roma and Celtic.
Knutsen has won back to back league titles with Bodo/Glimt and continues to impress in europe. If the Cherries were to make a move on Knutsen, they would be one of many English clubs to attempt to gain his services, alongside clubs such as Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers and Burnley.
The Welshman gained a lot of attention as a result of Luton Town’s impressive run to the Championship play-offs last season and after 18 games they find themselves just 3 points out of the play-off positions again.
However, something that could put Bournemouth off of Nathan Jones is his brief spell as manager of Stoke, winning just 2 of the first 14 games of the 2019/20 season.
This could be seen as casting a lot of doubt over whether Jones is able to thrive elsewhere, making it improbable that the Cherries consider Jones for the job.
These next weeks leading to the World Cup break will no doubt be paramount in the appointment of the next Cherries boss, with so much on the line when it comes to appointing a new manager when threatened with relegation it will no doubt take much deliberation and consideration, with all eyes on Gary O’Neil as it stands.