Friday, 5 February 2021

Terry, Vieira, Howe, Lampard - is Woodgate really top choice?

The last few days must have been like a whirlwind move for Jonathan Woodgate. At first, he is coming in to be a first-team coach at a new club and the next moment he is thrust into being the favourite to take over the manager's position and is named interim manager at AFCB. Last time Bournemouth's board didn't look much further than their own backroom staff, but could things be different this time?

Who can get more out of this squad of players?

Woodgate has a good CV as a player. He has played for England, Real Madrid, Leeds Utd and Spurs as well as Newcastle and Middlesbrough and a few others. Looking at his managerial career though, it's clear that he has only just had his first taste of management and was perhaps lucky to be in the right place to get the Middlesbrough job in June 2019. He had Roy Keane as an assistant manager and perhaps the good cop, bad cop, duo appealed to Middlesbrough with Woodgate a local lad. But it backfired within a year.

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

It's true that Woodgate had to make a huge cull to his player list and many players were released or left on free transfers in July 2019. John Obi Mikel, Jordan Hugill, Steven Downing, Randolph, Flint, and Martin Braithwaite all left the club and were not replaced. Woodgate was sacked with eight games of the season to go as he failed to inspire the players who fired with relegation. At the time Boro were only above the relegation zone on goal difference. Middlesbrough ended up finishing 17th, but the team was supposed to be going for promotion.


It was a heavy blow for Woodgate as it was his home club. He learned under Tony Pulis and wanted to change the way Middlesbrough played by getting them to play from the back, but Woodgate has admitted that they didn't have the players to do it. So does this make Woodgate a good fit for Bournemouth? I think he'll learn more about playing out from the back, but I don't see him as a good choice to be the first-team head coach or manager. He is not a leader yet and found the Championship hard going in his first managerial job. To add the pressure that Bournemouth have to win promotion is a step too far in my reckoning for Woodgate.


Woodgate needs to learn the ropes. I hope he does well and wins games while he is the interim manager but he needs time and guidance and a senior figure to learn from. It's funny that Bournemouth legend Tony Pulis was the man to bring Woodgate on as a coach and Woodgate has ended up at Dean Court - it's probably no coincidence. But Bournemouth fans won't want to see the Cherries taking on a Pulis style again. It may be that Woodgate has only a very short stay at the club if Bournemouth do look elsewhere. Looking at Woodgate's record, the board has to ask themselves what has changed since Woodgate was the manager at Middlesbrough and is he full of the same kind of passion, enthusiasm and ideas as a young Eddie Howe was? if the answer is no, might the board still take the risk? They really need to find an experienced manager for this job who is good at getting teams promoted from the Championship. Of course, ironically Middlesbrough has one of those now in Neil Warnock. 

And for those who say bring back Eddie again, let him move on. Eddie and Jason may pair up again to prove to themselves that they can get another team to the Premier League - that is their unfinished business. The Burnley record is what sits uneasy with Howe.

But finding a new saviour for Bournemouth could land the board wondering if they take a chance on John Terry and Patrick Vieira. I think Vieira might be great manager potential, but it is more a popular media story than anything else. It would be a media frenzy as would Frank Lampard, and either choice would probably of little help to the players. I suppose we should be thinking how far AFCB have come to be linked with such playing greats as possible managers, but such a move would be a short-term gamble on big names that would only see AFCB as a stepping stone. I'd like to see Gary Monk or a similar type of manager come to Bournemouth. Monk taught so much to Edie Howe when he got started. Perhaps Woodgate could work under a manager like that.

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Bournemouth had to make the change - but who is next?


  1. I think short term we should look to someone like Nigel Pearson. He may not be a long term choice but would whip the players into shape.

    If we want a long term manager than i would say go for someone like Darren Moore, Frank Lampard or Patrick Vieira who have previous experience. John Terry is unproven and would be a risk.