Updated Next Bournemouth Manager Odds: Featuring Sean Dyche, Nathan Jones and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Let us turn your attention away from the tale of Graham Potter and the Chamber of (Manager) Secretion that is Chelsea Football Club to the more lingering and undoubtedly uncertain matter of a vacancy at another Premier League club.
It was on August 31st that AFC Bournemouth decided to sack head coach Scott Parker after just four games of the 2022/23 Premier League season following the cardiganed-one’s unabashed discharge during the autopsy of a 9-0 dismantling from Liverpool.
Bournemouth interim Gary O’Neil has an as-yet-undefeated reign at the south-coast club, which has seen a goalless stalemate with Wolves at home and Lazarusing from a two-nil deficit at Nottingham Forest into a superb 3-2 win to perch them up to 13th after six games. Albeit a rather stubby stretch since Scott Parker’s dismissal following, O’Neil’s side have better form and results than the likes of the loftier Newcastle, Brighton and Chelsea. As a result, O'Neil's price was slashed from 14/1 to 2/1 last weekend.
So which is the likeliest lad to prop the Cherries?
The frame is dominated by the great-shaved skull of Sean Dyche.
Dyche has been without a managerial position since being sacked as Burnley manager, after 10 years with the club, on 16 April at the tailend of the 2021/2022 season which saw the Clarets eventually have to endure relegation from the Premier League.
The wholly likable pragmatist is the favourite to be awarded the role by the Bournemouth board, being priced at 11/8 by a convinced PaddyPower, and become the second Sean to step into the position after Sean O'Driscoll, who managed the club between August 2000 and September 2006.
Just behind O’Neil is Luton Town puppet-master Nathan Jones - also linked with the Brighton job - who has orchestrated much of the Championship-starring Hatters’ remarkable rise from a once-seemingly suffocating abyss that saw them languishing in non-League as recently as 2014. Jones has departed Luton before, soon after having managed them into promotion into League One after four years in the fourth tier, leaving for a short stint at Stoke City in 2019.
A year-and-a-half later the Welshman came back to Kenilworth Road, with his second spell rescuing Luton from relegation, then getting them a respectable 12th, and then subsequently taking them into the Championship play-off places, for which he was declared the division’s Manager of the Season. A Premier League move has been mooted before, but is Bournemouth the right spot? Jones is currently found at 4/1 with William Hill.
An outside punt could be former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, currently lurking around the 25/1 mark alongside the likes of Gareth Ainsworth, Chris Hughton and Carlos Carvahal.
With Bournemouth expected to face a fight to remain in the Premier League, it is a situation Solskjaer has familiarity. Back in January 2014, with just the sprinkliest of sprinkles of grey in his hair, the Norwegian was appointed at a Cardiff side 17th in the table and only one point clear of the relegation zone. Unfortunately, five months later and a final thrashing of a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle, 20th-place and a return to the Championship was Solskjaer’s only reward.
Solskjaer bolstered his CV with a prolonged period back at Old Trafford, which featured a second-place finish and the first back-to-back top 4 finish for the Red Devils since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement. However, the BFA (Baby-Faced Assassin, obvs), has been out of work since consciously uncoupling from his beloved club in November 2021.
Bodo/Glimt boss Kjetil Knutsen - another linked with Brighton - is priced at 12/1, Roberto De Zerbi is 16/1 as are Chelsea coach Anthony Barry and Vladimir Petkovic. If you’ve got a couple of quid jangling in your pocket, why not swing that sausage in the direction of a man we all want to see back in the EPL (just not at your respective club)? Sam Allardyce is peaking over the parapet at 33/1.