Tuesday, 9 February 2021

If Woodgate beats Burnley, he deserves the job

I have been looking over Jonathan Woodgate's CV with a fine eye. I was one of the first to ask, is he up to taking the first-team coach job at AFCB? But I've been impressed by his interviews and the way he is trying to simply get the job done. That job is winning games. He may not want the job and may just be open to whatever happens, but he's got AFCB's interests at heart and if he could manage a win in the FA Cup against Burnley tonight, doesn't he deserve the job? And perhaps, if he doesn't win the game, he still could be best placed to turn things around for AFCB. Perhaps the Middlesbrough job was a test he didn't come through, but he will have learned from the experience and clearly wants to be a winner.

The FA Cup returns

With managers like Frank Lampard and Scott Parker at Fulham ruling themselves out in media reports, it is quite possible that Bournemouth won't be overly furnished with lots of applicants. They may well have the right man already at the club. Beating Birmingham City who have been at the foot of the Championship table might not be a passport to a new manager's job but beating a Premier League club away from home would be impressive enough. I'd really like to see Woodgate manage another league match before a decision is made, but time is never on the Board's side and they'll want to name a new manager asap.

The Disrupted Season (2019-20) completes the story of Eddie Howe's reign at AFC Bournemouth 
- it's available now for £11.49 as a paperback - visit Amazon to order

The players need to know where they stand and the club needs to move forward. If Woodgate keeps saying the right things and winning games, it's hard not to see him given the position if he does want it. Good luck to him if that is what happens. But Burnley are in good form having beaten Liverpool and dominated the game against Brighton. They will see Bournemouth as easy pickings, so it is going to need a Herculean effort to get Bournemouth playing well enough to beat Burnley. The return of Stanislas is a plus point, but Solanke still looks unlikely to make the squad. On the plus side, Woodgate has experience in Shane Long and he'll be better more settled than in his first game and more used to the players around him.


Bournemouth have a bit of an up and down record against Burnley. The connection of a rivalry has been there even before Eddie Howe's time at the Lancashire club, and the physical nature of Burnley has never gone down that well, although Burnley have taken players like Ben Vokes who we were happy to have in the side while he was at Bournemouth. It's not about individuals though for Woodgate. He needs a team performance and if he gets a win against Burnley and gets through to another round of the cup, he will already sit higher in the fans' estimates.

Every manager has a honeymoon period. That is what I worry about. Will the results fall away as soon as Bournemouth appoint a new head coach? Two games is a short trial and yet if Woodgate seems right to the Board they will surely move quickly. A defeat in the cup would not be the end of the world, but Woodgate would have to choose his words well about the performance and be honest with what he thinks of the players from what he has seen both on and off the training pitch and match day performances. I think Woodgate will be honest and isn't afraid to say if somethings aren't right, like he did over the quiet dressing room. That kind of leadership might be what Tindall didn't raise enough with the players. I am open to be converted to a Woodgate supporter if he keeps getting results and keeps saying and doing sensible things.


Previous post on Cherry Chimes - A win is a great win for Woodgate


  1. Long is cup-tied.

    With no transfer window, the players have a choice of getting the job done or not. New manager won't change a thing.

    Give Woodgate 5 games. Best candidates would be no more certain of success.

    I would like to see Steve Robinson be interviewed as well as Paul Simpson.

  2. Also "open to being converted" on Woodgate. Middlesbrough were playing some decent football under his stewardship, although results obviously went against them.