What Next for Bournemouth Following Promotion Heartbreak?


On May 22, the season ended in failure for Bournemouth. They were condemned to another season in the Championship after losing in the playoff semi-finals to Brentford. Things looked promising when the Cherries won the first leg 1-0. However, they were punished in the second leg following Chris Mepham’s sending off and fell to a 3-1 loss.

Where do Bournemouth go from here? After five seasons in the Premier League, this will be their second successive season in the Championship. The plan was to secure an immediate return to the Premier League, but as we know, this did not happen. The plan will remain the same, but the approach could be very different.

Who will try to guide Bournemouth back to the Premier League, and with which players?

What Next for Bournemouth Following Promotion Disappointment?

Who Will Be Leaving Bournemouth?

The contracts of Jack Wilshere, Junior Stanislas, Adam Smith and Steve Cook are all set to expire in June. However, the exodus may not be limited to these four.

Diego Rico, Lewis Cook and David Brooks’ contracts will all expire in the summer of 2022, assuming they don’t renew. Promising young left-back Jordan Zemura’s contract will also run out at the same time.

Whether Bournemouth will be looking to cash in on any of these players is currently unclear. David Brooks has attracted attention from numerous clubs, so his time at the Vitality Stadium could be limited.

Arnaut Danjuma is also believed to be highly rated by a host of Premier League clubs. He was linked with West Ham and Southampton in the January transfer window and their interest in him will likely resume.

Danjuma won the player of the season award for Bournemouth and rightly so. He scored 17 goals and made eight assists in the 2020/21 season. Bournemouth will do very well to hold onto a player like him in the second tier.

They still have Dominic Solanke and Sam Surridge, so they won’t be exhausted for options up top if they do lose him. However, if Bournemouth do lose all the players mentioned above, there will be some gaping holes in their squad.

Woodgate’s Replacement

It’s unlikely that Jonathan Woodgate will remain as manager at Bournemouth for the start of the 2021/22 season.

After Jason Tindall’s sacking, Woodgate was appointed until the end of the season. Presumably, had Woodgate succeeded in promoting Bournemouth, he would’ve been a shoe-in for the job. However, now, the Cherries will look for someone with more experience.

Bournemouth tend to prefer younger managers. Thierry Henry and Frank Lampard would both fit this mould, given they’re currently looking for work. This line of thinking would help Woodgate’s case, although there is nothing concrete to suggest he’s being considered.

Henry was linked with the Bournemouth job following Tindall’s sacking, but the club decided to appoint Woodgate instead. He also currently lives in London, and therefore will probably be searching for a job in England.

While neither Henry or Lampard have been particularly impressive in their short managerial careers, a stint at a smaller club could be beneficial. Henry and Lampard flopped at Monaco and Chelsea respectively, but a club of Bournemouth’s size won’t be as challenging. In theory, at least.

There are plenty of managers without a club as of right now. Marco Silva, Alex Neil, David Wagner and Chris Wilder are just a few names who the Bournemouth board may be interested in.

Can Bournemouth Get Promoted Next Season?

Anything on Bournemouth’s promotion chances for next year now would be merely speculative, but we can still make predictions.

A rebuilding job will be in order in the summer, most likely. However, Bournemouth do have the money to finance such a project. Their owner, Maxim Demin, is worth an approximate £100 million and seems to have a good relationship with the club. We will have to see if this interest persists following their drop into the second tier.

Bournemouth are currently working towards signing Cameron Carter-Vickers on a permanent deal, rumours suggest. Such a signing would certainly be a statement of intent. The Championship is an infamously hard league to predict. However, most probably, Bournemouth will at least challenge for automatic promotion again.

Should Danjuma’s transfer away from the club go through, he will be a big loss. Bournemouth’s recruitment over the past few years has been mostly stellar, with only a handful of missteps. It’s likely they’re already scouting a replacement.

As of this moment, it seems Bournemouth will most probably finish in the play-offs again next year. Fulham and West Brom, relegated from the Premier League, will be tough opponents to finish above. Reading, Cardiff and last season’s surprise package, Barnsley, should also be taken into consideration. Not to mention the loser of this year’s playoff final, be it Brentford or Swansea.

The season following a relegation is always tough. It can take an extra year for a team to shed a losing mentality. But, with a fresh set of players coming into 2021/22, Bournemouth will almost certainly be one of the Championship’s strongest teams.

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