There’s no team in the Championship on a greater run of form than Bournemouth right now, and at this point they must be favourites to take the play-offs by storm in May.
The Cherries were clearly underachieving and underperforming under Jason Tindall, and his sacking in February didn’t come as a massive surprise – but his replacement did.
Not long after coming in as Tindall’s first team coach, Jonathan Woodgate was named the new manager until the end of the season in a decision that didn’t exactly wet the Bournemouth supporters’ appetites due to the fact he was sacked as Middlesbrough boss last year in his first senior role.
After a bit of a shaky start at the Vitality Stadium, Woodgate is now getting the best out of his extremely talented squad, with the Cherries winning six Championship games on the bounce to propel themselves back into the top six.
The likes of Arnaut Danjuma and Philip Billing have been starring over the last few weeks but one big name who hasn’t done so much is Jack Wilshere.
One of the world’s most exciting talents years ago, Wilshere was on the scrap-heap last October when he agreed to terminate his West Ham contract after an injury-hit spell at the London Stadium.
It was a surprise even with his injury record to see Wilshere drop into the Championship in January when he joined Bournemouth, but the Cherries are a club he knows very well having spent time on loan with them back in their Premier League days in the 2016-17 season.
If he could stay fit, Wilshere was probably expected to walk into the Bournemouth side and take the Championship by storm – but it hasn’t quite transpired that way.
Wilshere hasn’t completed a 90 minutes for the club and even with an injury to Lewis Cook that’s ruled him out long-term, the former Arsenal man hasn’t been able to capitalise and become a regular starter.
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Woodgate has preferred a trio of Ben Pearson, Jefferson Lerma and Philip Billing and four of the last seven games Wilshere hasn’t even made it off the bench.
You’d think someone with his talents would be used a bit more considering the Cherries want to solidify their play-off place, however the 29-year-old doesn’t seem to be the player he once was.
Wilshere only signed a contract until the end of the season and if he does want to stay at the Vitality Stadium next season then he’s clearly going to have to do a lot more between now and the end of the season – he may even need to do something special in training to get Woodgate to start him again as the Pearson, Lerma and Billing trio seems pretty solid right now.