Should Gary O’Neil be Given the Bournemouth Job on a Permanent Basis?

Liam Bewsher

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Should Gary O’Neil be Given the Bournemouth Job on a Permanent Basis?

At the start of the season, Bournemouth were the favourites to be relegated from the Premier League, despite finishing second in the Championship on 88 points in the 2021/22 campaign, just two shy of Fulham.

Bournemouth brought in just six players in the summer transfer window, with just two of them being signed for a transfer fee, in the shapes of Marco Senesi of Feyenoord and Marcus Tavernier from Middlesbrough for a combined £24m. Their other signings saw Joe Rothwell, Neto and Ryan Fredericks join the Cherries on free transfers, whilst Jack Stephens arrived on loan from Southampton.

Despite many of these being decent signings, it wasn’t initially deemed a sufficient transfer window to give the Cherries a platform to survive in the Premier League. Scott Parker was notably aggravated by this, and despite beating Aston Villa 2-0 at The Vitality Stadium on the opening weekend, 4-0, 3-0 and 9-0 losses to Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool culminated in the former West Ham midfielder’s sacking after a fall-out with the board.

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The O’Neil Effect

Nobody knew what was going to happen in terms of the next managerial appointment at Bournemouth, the likes of Chris Wilder and Sean Dyche have been linked with the vacancy, following years of experience in English football, with the latter having a good record at Burnley on a stringent budget. Up stepped Gary O’Neil on a caretaker basis.

Bournemouth remain as the only unbeaten team in the Premier League since their 9-0 thrashing at Anfield, with O’Neil leading them to two 0-0 draws with Wolves and Brentford, as well as 1-1 and 2-2 draws against Newcastle and Fulham. On top of this, the Cherries have managed vital 3-2 and 2-1 victories against Nottingham Forest and Leicester City.

Perhaps it’s time for the 39-year-old to get the job on a permanent basis. Even if it is a slight gamble due to a lack of experience, it is good to see a young English manager thrive in a league that has often had so few from its home nation in recent years.

As things stand, O’Neil is priced at 1/4 to be Bournemouth’s next permanent manager and this is no mean feat. The former Portsmouth midfielder notably learned his trade as Liverpool’s Under 23s assistant manager, before becoming a first-team coach at Bournemouth under former Middlesbrough teammate Jonothan Woodgate in February 2021 prior to stepping up as manager.

Since becoming caretaker manager, O’Neil has gained recognition for his results, having been nominated for the Premier League’s Manager of the Month award in September.

AFC Bournemouth’s Odds

Bournemouth takes on Southampton in their next Premier League fixture at The Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night in tenth place, with 13 points to their name after ten matches.

At present, they are priced at 16/1 to finish in the top half of the Premier League despite of the work that O’Neil has done, but, interestingly, they are priced at 4/5 to stay up, odds that they will want to see become smaller as the season progresses, whilst the Cherries are the second favourites to be relegated at 10/11, with Nottingham Forest’s odds standing at 1/3.

According to reports, the takeover of Bournemouth by American businessman Bill Foley is all but complete. This will be telling for the Cherries, as he could potentially play a factor in deciding who the next manager is, or even back O’Neil with a decent budget in the January transfer window the further strengthen his squad after the World Cup in Qatar.

This could be an exciting time for Bournemouth fans, as they are in a good position, with just eight league fixtures standing between them and the January transfer window due to the break that the Premier League will take due to the scheduling of the World Cup.

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