Bournemouth have been looking for a permanent successor to Scott Parker after he was sacked in August following the 9-0 defeat at Liverpool and finally decided to appoint Gary O’Neil on an 18-month deal after he impressed an interim boss.
Under Gary O’Neil, the Cherries have won four, drawn four and lost four of their 12 games. They are 14th in the table and have recovered well from the disastrous start to the Premier League season upon their promotion.
Without further ado, let us look at the three things we have learned from Bournemouth’s campaign so far.
#Revival under Gary O’Neil
Gary O’Neil took charge of Bournemouth at the end of August following the sacking of Scott Parker and has impressed in his first managerial role.
As a caretaker manager, O’Neil’s first real task was to bring the feel-good factor back to the club after the 9-0 disaster against Liverpool and he rightly did, as the Cherries went six games unbeaten under him. He has unified the players, given the freedom to express themselves on the pitch and instilled a fighting spirit within the squad.
O’Neil deserves credit for Bournemouth’s resurgence and he rightly deserves the permanent keys of the football club for the next 18 months, at least.
#Marcus Tavernier’s performances are going under the radar
Marcus Tavernier arrived at the Vitality Stadium from Middlesbrough in the summer, for £12million.
The versatile attacker has massively impressed, starting all 15 Premier League games so far, in his first year at the highest level. Tavernier has two goals and four assists to show for it, and his bubbly presence in the promising areas of the pitch has given O’Neil’s attack a cutting edge.
The flexibility of Tavernier is a core tenant of how O’Neil’s side plays, and while he has been bright for the Cherries after his early struggles with the end product, the youngster’s performances have not been spoken much about by the pundits and media.
#Bournemouth still remain in danger of relegation
Regardless of all the good work Gary O’Neil has done since replacing Scott Parker and helped the club rise up to 14th in the table, Bournemouth still faces the peril of relegation this season.
For large parts of supposedly the first half of the season, Bournemouth have been defensively soft, incapable of keeping clean sheets and protecting leads—as witnessed in the defeats against Tottenham and Leeds United.
The South coast side have been punished ruthlessly for their defensive errors, inexperience and lackadaisical actions off the ball, and if this continues after the World Cup break, the top-flight teams will show no mercy at all.
Bournemouth are just three points above the relegation zone and a few defeats or bad results could see them drop down to the dreaded zone. Practically, they still remain one of the favourites to get relegated at the end of the season.