Bournemouth sacked manager Gary O’Neil on Monday just weeks after he steered the club away from EPL relegation. The club named Andoni Iraola as the new manager on the same day. Iraola is moving from Ray Vallecano, where he was for three seasons.
The 40-year-old manager originally arrived on an interim basis. However, he earned a permanent spot with the club on November 27 having picked up 13 points in 11 games. Previous manager Scott Parker said the club was not prepared with its squad to compete in the Premier League. Bournemouth’s time after the World Cup may not have been consistent. Losses in 14 out of the club’s last 23 games is not a great ratio. However, Bournemouth did pick up seven wins, including a trio of crucial victories over Southampton, Leeds and Leicester, which all went down. O’Neil also helped Bournemouth stun Tottenham with a dramatic 3-2 win on the road.
Despite Bournemouth finishing in 15th, many saw O’Neil as a candidate for Premier League manager of the season. However, he was not even on the league’s shortlist of names for the award. Even without the recognition, it was a successful season for the Englishman in his first venture into management.
Iraola replaces Gary O’Neil at Bournemouth
Some of O’Neil’s critics said his style was perhaps too pragmatic. Of the club’s 11 wins, eight came by one goal. The club also had the second-worst goal differential in the Premier League this season. However, O’Neil did inherit a goal differential of -14 at the time of his takeover.
Instead of that, Bournemouth is touting the distinct playstyle that Andoni Iraola brings to Dean Court. His playstyle is forward, which is an ode to Marcelo Bielsa. Iraola played under Bielsa while at Athletic Bilbao. For much of his time at Rayo Vallecano over the last couple of seasons, Rayo spent time in European places. That came off the back of promotion in Iraola’s first season as the club’s manager.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, Women’s World Cup, Euro 2024 & Gold Cup
The New Home of MLS
- Price: $14.99/mo. for MLS Season Pass
- Watch every MLS game including playoffs & Leagues Cup
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $10.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $14.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & FA Cup
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $5.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & Brasileirāo