Despite doing the double over Villa last season, Bournemouth found themselves crashing out of the Premier League, with Dean Smith pulling off survival via a final day draw at West Ham.
As with all relegations there are casualties and it would have likely been a fate Villa would have endured had we slipped through the trapdoor back into the Championship. The vultures are circling already for The Cherries, with Nathan Ake picked off by Manchester City for £40 million.
Eddie Howe, once regarded as one of the most promising UK based managers, saw his eight year spell at the club also come to an end. His departure, my “mutual consent” drew to a close Bournemouth’s five year stay in the top flight.
The Bournemouth vacancy is an appealing post for an aspiring coach. Whilst not a large club by any strech, it is supported by wealthy ownership and appears simply lost it’s way under Howe. Bournemouth appeared to have bought questionably, whilst also having a torried injury list to compond matters. The Cherries will however be inspired by Fulham’s immediate return to the Premier League, despite suffering a catastrophic and costly relegation themselves just a season earlier.
Given this there are a number of applicant’s in the frame to replace Howe. This includes Chris Hughton, Jason Tindall (Howe’s former assistant) and Villa coach John Terry. Terry is increasingly tipped to step up from his assistant role having played understudy to Dean Smith since his arrival at Villa Park in October 2018. Villa’s former Captain was of course also recently linked to the Bristol City managerial post.
Whilst Villa’s defence was the second leakiest in the Premier League last term, there is much to be said of the winning mentality that he brings to the clubs backroom staff. The former Chelsea captain’s career trophy haul is nothing short of impressive and whilst his playing career at Villa Park was just a single season, his performances were not the reason why Villa failed to achieve promotion in 2018.
Further, Terry was part of the management team that secured Villa’s return to the PL last summer and which somehow avoided relegation in their first season back. Villa’s survival was of course at both Bournemouth and Watford’s expense.
Much will hinge upon Terry’s ambition and appetite to step away from a Villa project that will hopefully transition from one of mere survival. Villa’s hierarchy have a summer of rebuilding on the pitch to contend with, without yet having considered what steps they might need to take should JT see his future elsewhere.
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