New AFC Bournemouth manager revealed
PUBLISHED: 22:44 07 September 2020
Who is Jason Tindall and what are his plans for the Dorset club?
It’s been a turbulent couple of months since my last Dorset Magazine column. Our relegation from the Premier League was sealed on the final day of the 2019/20 season, despite a 3-1 victory and an excellent performance at Everton. Alas, the result of the West Ham United-Aston Villa game didn’t go the way we needed it to, a single point proved to be the difference for us between survival and relegation. Football is so often a game of fine margins and everyone at the club, from top to bottom, was devastated that we weren’t able to stay in the top flight for a sixth season.
Our manager Eddie Howe has since departed. I was very emotional hearing the news that he’d left AFC Bournemouth by mutual consent. Eddie’s ability is well-known throughout the football world and here at the Vitality Stadium, we hold him in the highest regard. On a personal level, Eddie is a close friend, someone who has always been there for me. All the accolades he received during his time as manager – including the Freedom of the Borough of Bournemouth and the Football League’s Manager of the Decade – were richly deserved. He is an AFC Bournemouth legend for sure.
As one door closes, another opens. I was delighted when another former Cherries teammate of mine, Jason Tindall, was given the chance to manage the club. As an AFC Bournemouth team member, Jason made around 200 appearances for us in two spells as a player between 1998 and 2011. He was player-manager at Weymouth FC before working as Eddie’s assistant manager both here and at Burnley – a role that he has flourished in.
Though Jason will have learnt a lot from Eddie that he can take into his new role as AFC Bournemouth manager, he’ll also be keen to make his own mark. Having spent plenty of time in Jason’s company as both a teammate and coach, I have no doubt as to his coaching and managerial ability. We all hope he will be the man to take us back to the promised land of the Premier League.
At the end of the season, both the coaching and playing staff had three weeks off before returning to pre-season training on 17 August. We’d usually be off for six weeks, but with the extension of the previous campaign due to Covid-19 we had a shorter break. In many respects, it’s a good thing that the new season has come around so quickly as it stops you focusing too much on the disappointment of the previous campaign.
I confess that it has been hard to take my mind off football during our supposed ‘downtime’. You can’t help but look back on occasions and think ‘what if’. It has also given me time to reflect on what an amazing five years it was for us in the Premier League.
I’m reluctant to call those five years a ‘journey’, as it sounds like we’ve come to the end. On the contrary. I believe that we have got the quality at this football club to be contenders in the EFL Championship in 2020/21. The focus now is on getting back to the Premier League. Once you’ve sampled top-flight football and competed with the very best teams in the country, you’re desperate to do it all over again.