Bournemouth sack head coach after 9-0 defeat by Liverpool

After the loss, Parker, 41, said he was "not surprised" and said the team was "ill-equipped at this level"

Bournemouth have sacked boss Scott Parker after Saturday’s 9-0 defeat by Liverpool, four games into the season.

After the loss, Parker, 41, said he was “not surprised” and said the team was “ill-equipped at this level”.

It was their third straight league defeat, having won their opening match.

“In order for us to keep progressing as a team and a club as a whole, it is unconditional that we are aligned in our strategy to run the club sustainably,” said owner Maxim Demin.

“We must also show belief in and respect for one another.”

“That is the approach that has brought this club so much success in recent history, and one that we will not veer from now. Our search for a new head coach will begin immediately.”

Gary O’Neil will take interim charge of the team and will be assisted by Shaun Cooper and Tommy Elphick.

Analysis – A reaction to Parker’s comments

Adam Blackmore, BBC Radio Solent sports editor

While most people will casually see this as a club reacting to an abysmal 9-0 defeat, the reality is this decision has come about as a reaction to the comments made by Scott Parker after that game, referring to a lack of depth in the squad and how “under-cooked” they were. And it wasn’t the first time Parker had criticised the recruitment and spending – he did it before the opening game against Aston Villa.

Owner Max Demin’s rare and strong statement makes it clear that enough was enough, that ultimately you can’t keep criticising the people that pay you, and pushing the blame of results on to them, when Parker maybe knew the parameters he was working within. Now Bournemouth need to act quickly and find a good manager who does accept the challenge of trying to work sustainably while fighting to avoid the drop.

‘It will be defining of us how we bounce back from this’

Scott Parker
Parker replaced Jonathan Woodgate as Bournemouth manager on 28 June, 2021

Parker left Fulham for Bournemouth in June 2021 and led them to promotion from the Championship as runners-up, but his managerial statistics since returning to the Premier League make unhappy reading.

After winning their opening match 2-0 at home to Aston Villa, the Cherries conceded 16 goals in their next three league games – losing 4-0 at Manchester City and 3-0 at home to Arsenal before shipping nine goals at Anfield. Their goal difference of -14 is the worst after four games in English top-flight history.

Parker was dismissed just 25 days into the season – the earliest a manager of a newly promoted side has ever been sacked in the Premier League.

He is also the first Premier League manager in 18 years – since Bobby Robson at Newcastle in 2004 – to lose his job in August and only the 11th to be sacked just four games into a season – the most recent being Javi Gracia at Watford in 2019.

The former Charlton and Chelsea midfielder described the 9-0 defeat at Liverpool that triggered his departure as a “humbling experience”, saying in his post-match press conference that the squad needed strengthening if they were to be equipped for the Premier League.

He added: “This is the toughest day, as a player and certainly as a coach. The touchline was pretty painful and I could sense it was painful for the players as well. They need some help.

“It doesn’t surprise me. This is currently where it is at this moment in time. Today proved too big a challenge. The levels were far too big.”

Parker also made pointed remarks directed towards the club’s hierarchy in an apparent bid for support in the transfer market.

“We’ve got a decision to make as a club,” said Parker. “There will be days like this. Time will tell. It’s my job and it will be the defining of us as a group of how we bounce back from this.

“We have some days where hopefully we can get some help in and support and help the current team who came up from the Championship.

“There’s loads of work to be done. The experience today, you never want to be on the end of this. This is currently where are are. If this is the group we’re going with we’ll react and see where are.”

‘He was a little bit too honest’

Bournemouth made just five additions to the squad that helped secure promotion from the Championship.

They spent a reported £13.5m on Feyenoord centre-back Marcos Senesi, 25, and £12.5m on 23-year-old Middlesbrough midfielder Marcus Tavernier, although both fees were undisclosed by the club.

The Cherries also added three free transfers – West Ham right-back Ryan Fredericks, 29, Blackburn midfielder Joe Rothwell, 27, and Barcelona goalkeeper Neto, 33.

Micah Richards, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club, said Parker was wrong to make the comments he did after the Liverpool game, and questioned the timing of his remarks on the club’s transfer policy.

“With that interview, he was a little bit too honest,” said the former Manchester City defender.

“He has basically said to his players that he doesn’t think they are very good, in a roundabout way. If I heard that from my manager, I’d be wondering if he thinks I am good enough. It puts that doubt in your mind.

“With two days left of the transfer window, it’s too late.

“Surely he is having these conversations beforehand. You aren’t going to get the player you want anyway, but even if you do get them you are going to have to pay too much money. I just think it’s too little too late for that.”

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