Assessing key figures linked with AFC Bournemouth's vacant managerial role - is the ideal replacement in sight? 
General view inside AFC Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium 
(Photo by Steve Bardens via Getty Images) 

When the 2020/21 campaign began, there were always question marks as to whether Jason Tindall would fill the void left by Eddie Howe - after what can only be described as a fairytale and rollercoaster journey at the helm of the Cherries

Unfortunately for Tindell, his tenure lasted just under six months before the club hierarchy slammed the axe, with the automatic promotion hopefuls sat eight points behind the divisions top-two. 

AFC Bournemouth have reduced their managerial shortlist, and it's likely the successful candidate will be announced shortly after the Cherries clash at the weekend with Nottingham Forest

Jonathan Woodgate 

Jonathan Woodgate seems a very likely option for Bournemouth after taking over the reins as caretaker manager over recent weeks. 

The 41-year-old has overseen the Cherries past two fixtures and nicely guided them to a 3-2 win over Birmingham City in league action, as well as a 2-0 away victory against Premier League outfit Burnley, in the FA Cup fifth round. 

Bournemouth currently occupy the final play-off position - in sixth, and this weekend's Sky Bet Championship clash with Chris Hughton's Nottingham Forest could play a huge factor in the decision to permanently appoint Woodgate as manager. 

Fans may well be sceptical of Woodgate's appointment, and they are right in having concerns after what was an underwhelming first season as a manager last term. 

After turning out for Middlesbrough on two separate occasions during his playing career, Woodgate returned to the Riverside Stadium in June 2019, but this time in the dug out. However, he didn't flourish in the role. 

Just nine days after his first year anniversary in the job, Woodgate was sacked, after recording nine victories in 41 matches and yielding an undesirable 21.95% win rate. 

Although the blame can by no means be pinned wholly on Woodgate, Middlesbrough massively underachieved last season, with a much more capable squad than the substandard relegation battle that plagued the near entirety of the campaign. 

Despite the temptation of appointing the 41-year-old on Saturday if they record a third successive victory, it would signal warning signs as to whether it's the right move for both the club, and Woodgate himself - at this current stage in the retired international's career. 

The start he had within management certainly doesn't reflect Bournemouth's ambition of returning to the top-flight at the first time of asking, and although he could prove most wrong, it seems too early for a top-half Championship job for Woodgate, just yet. 

David Wagner 

German international David Wagner already has a Championship promotion on his CV, after masterminding the surprise 2016/17 Huddersfield Town success story. 

It was the Terriers' first top-flight promotion in 16 years, and despite being given little chance, Huddersfield survived the drop in their debut season back, but couldn't repeat that same feat next campaign - finishing 20th. 

Wagner has since managed in his home land Germany, and was tasked with stabilising the sinking ship that is - Schalke 04

In September 2020, Wagner was dismissed from the role after an unwanted Bundesliga record saw the royal blues winless in 18 straight league matches - stretching across last season and the current campaign. 

The friendship between himself and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is a strong one, and this is something that could serve nicely for a side managed by Wagner. 

The Championship has been a hotbed for young loan talent, with players flourishing and making a name for themselves more and more so as the years pass by. 

A Liverpool loan link is certainly something that would interest all Championship clubs - but this would give Bournemouth the edge, given that relationship and trust between the two bosses. 

Wagner is another boss Bournemouth should try to avoid, given their lofty ambitions. The German links that led to such success at Huddersfield are a certain positive, however, you can't ignore his poor record in recent years. 

With the quality second tier players Bournemouth have at their disposal, Wagner could be a big hit at the Vitality Stadium, but after such a disastrous run of losses in his past two roles, it would seemingly be a risky appointment for the Cherries

  • Frank Lampard 

Frank Lampard and Bournemouth are a pair that, if combined, could be hugely effective. 

The Chelsea icon was recently dismissed from his role as manager of the Blues, after a poor run of form saw them fall as low as ninth - which was deemed unsatisfactory by Russian owner Roman Abramovic, after an expensive summer of spending. 

It's likely Lampard will opt for some time out of the game and not rush into another decision, however, Bournemouth surely looks an attractive prospect for him. 

The Blues legend was unfortunate in his first season in management, when his then Derby County side fell at the final hurdle in the play-off final to Aston Villa in 2019. 

A second opportunity at Championship management for Lampard could see him record that promotion, with a side that have the money, players and the expectation of a Premier League return this season. 

Despite spending five years in the top-flight, Bournemouth are one of the smallest sides in the second tier and the south coast club would be a much less pressured job than his latter at Stamford Bridge

Lampard served a great example of his loan links, and he utilised it perfectly at Derby bringing in youthful talent, such as; Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Harry Wilson to help the Rams' promotion push in 2019. 

With experience in the second tier at Derby, on a stringent budget in the first season at Chelsea and most recently with big funds to spend - Lampard has had varying budget sizes since stepping into management.

John Terry

Unlike Chelsea teammate Lampard, John Terry is yet to record any first team managerial experience, but despite that being said, he is one of the names being closely linked with the vacant role at the Vitality. 

Terry has been present in a coaching role at Aston Villa since 2017, but has been linked with a flurry of different Championship jobs when vacant in recent months. 

Terry would be a hugely respected figure among the Bournemouth squad and is a viable option given his links to the coaching side of the game since his retirement. 

This appointment would be a risk, however, it's one that more and more clubs are seemingly taking. Should it come to fruition and pay off, Terry could celebrate alongside fellow international Steven Gerrard (managing Rangers), in reaping the benefits of a successful season. 

Similarly to his old Chelsea teammate, Terry has rightfully accumulated huge respect in the game and would unsurprisingly have good Premier League loan links - which has proved an all important trait in the Championship over recent years. 

However, among these names Terry seems unlikely at this stage, given his coaching commitments to an impressive Villa side this season, nevertheless, a first job in management could tempt the former defensive star. 

Patrick Vieira 

Patrick Vieira is quite rightfully an Arsenal and Premier League legend, but is a relatively unknown quantity in the management side of the game. 

The commanding former French international has managed New York City FC, but departed the American club for his most recent venture at OGC Nice

A group stage exit from the UEFA Europa League, as well as five successive league defeats ended the Frenchman's tenure at Nice. The 44-year-old was relieved of his duties in December 2020 after two-and-a-half years in charge. 

Since stepping into management in late 2015, Vieira has managed 179 matches across the two clubs, accumulating a win percentage of 41.90%. 

English football is a very different ball game and even managers with a host of experience have tried and failed in the Championship, however, after conquering England as a player, Vieira may want to replicate that success on British shores, as a manager. 

Although it would be strange to compare the styles of such managers, the likes of Marcelo Bielsa, Nuno Espirito Santo and Daniel Farke, all masterminded some of the most impressive Championship promotions across recent years. In addition, these names arrived and provided success without any past experience in the English league pyramid. 

If Vieira took the reins on the south coast, he would be hopeful in adding his name to that list of successful foreign managers in the Championship, and he would certainly have the individuals to mount a credible charge for automatic promotion. 

 

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