Scott Parker is being eyed up by AFC Bournemouth to become their new manager, according to The Sun.
Following their failure to get past Brentford in the Championship play-off semi-finals, the Cherries board are looking to replace Jonathan Woodgate, who was only contracted to the end of the campaign.
And they’re looking at Parker to come in in his place, who has been in charge at Fulham since 2019 and in that time he was unable to save the Cottagers from relegation to the Championship, but then got them back to the top flight through the play-offs.
Of course this past season ended in misery again for the London side as they were relegated once again and Parker may be tempted with a move – let’s look at two pros and cons to the 41-year-old potentially going to the Cherries.
PRO: Plays attractive football
If you’ve watched Fulham at all in the last year, you’ll know that Parker likes to adopt a possession-based game – even against the bigger teams the Cottagers tried to keep the majority of the ball.
Parker will rarely have his teams go direct despite having a unit like Aleksandar Mitrovic on the books, instead his centre-backs will bring the ball out from the back and feed the midfielders and overlapping full-backs.
Bournemouth definitely have a squad capable of playing in that way – the likes of Lloyd Kelly and Steve Cook are perfectly comfortable with the ball at his feet and they’re players Parker could easily work with.
CON: Would potentially cost a lot of money
Parker is on a deal at Fulham until 2023, having penned that following the play-off final success in the summer of 2020, so because he’s under contract that means compensation would have to be paid to Fulham.
It’s doubtful that Fulham will want to lose Parker considering he’s a highly-promising coach and he’s been able to get them into the Premier League and out of the Championship already, but a lot of managers now have fixed fees in their deals for when other teams are interested.
Bournemouth could probably meet that or whatever price Fulham would ask for if they really wanted, but there will be cheaper options out there who may fit the bill more in terms of experience.
PRO: Tactically adept
Parker isn’t a man with just one plan – he proved to have many different formations at his disposal last season.
He started off the 2020-21 campaign using a 4-2-3-1 but then switched to a three centre-back system for a number of weeks, eventually reverting back to the original formation in February.
Parker seems to be very comfortable in switching his plans up and there were even a few times where he went with a 4-4-2, and that’s a system in which got a 1-0 victory at Anfield against Liverpool.
Bournemouth have a squad from last season which could play with three centre-backs or a back four, so Parker would be arriving at a club – providing that the best players aren’t sold – with a squad that has the capabilities to fit into his systems.
CON: Still relatively inexperienced
Parker has only been a manager for two years but he’s already achieved one promotion but also two relegations.
The former England midfielder was thrown into quite a big job for his first time in management and he’s already gone through some steep learning curves, and his relative inexperience in the managerial game may not be what Bournemouth need right now.
The Cherries had two relative novices in Jason Tindall and Jonathan Woodgate at the helm last season, and to have the best chance of getting promoted back to the Premier League maybe a bit more experience is needed in the dugout – someone of Sam Allardyce’s ilk if he’s willing to drop down to the Championship.