Written by davidwhitehead
By late January, AFC Bournemouth was a shambles. Graeme Jones couldn’t wait to get away, the squad appeared to be disjointed and fractious, Jason Tindall was flailing around incoherently with increasing desperation, and results on the pitch went from bad to worse.
Into this chaos stepped Jonathan Woodgate as the new No. 3, a man with a less than impressive managerial pedigree, yet within a matter of days, following yet another disastrous home defeat, Tindall was sacked and Woodgate was in charge (Stephen Purches remaining as assistant manager).
Few of us Cherries fans greeted Woodgate’s arrival with enthusiasm. Most of us were already resigned to the season petering out, missing out on the play-offs and seeing the squad disintegrate in summer.
In terms of personal style, Woodgate could hardly have been more different to Tindall. Whereas Tindall always had a touch of Cockney flash about him, Woodgate was down-to-earth, no-nonsense Yorkshireness personified. Tindall was given to long rambling statements, Woodgate was terse – dour, even.
Quietly, Woodgate got down to work, and after a bumpy start, he began to slowly forge a new AFCB identity. The team seemed more settled, in particular, Billing and Danjuma began to perform consistently to their potential, and AFCB looked like a happier team. Players remembered how to smile and celebrate goals again. There was a renewed sense of purpose.
And now, here we are in mid-April in a position that few of us could have imagined just a few short weeks ago. Five wins on the trot, firmly back in the play-off positions, and charging towards the season’s conclusion on a wave of optimism.
So, well done Jonathan Woodgate, and well done to the two guys you brought in, Gary O’Neil and Joe Jordan. You took a club that seemed to be falling apart back from the brink – and we are serious contenders once again.
Cheers Jonathan, you’re doing great.
…fair play to JW he has had to take on a steep learning curve and get the squad to trust his ways etc.
None of us can complain as we are set for a play off push which will bring end of season excitement to us all…and who knows we might even win the damn thing and spend the summer fretting about this player and that player. I do hope that IF the unimaginable happens then Jonathan Woodgate would be rewarded with a chance to pit his northern gritty wits against the likes of Pep and Ole…
It would be some story and would trump our previous promotion in my opinion…as we would have done it the hard way with all the aftermath of turmoil that has been our season! – Join the conversation, click here.