Meet the opposition | Bournemouth

15th March 2021
First team
David Brooks

As Swansea City get set to take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, we take a closer look at the form and history of the Cherries.

What’s their story?

The Cherries are back in the Championship after a five-year absence whilst enjoying a stint at the summit of English football.

Enjoying their greatest period of success under Eddie Howe, the club rose from the bottom tier to the top-flight and  finished 16th in their first season in the Premier League and went on to enjoy a best-ever league finish of ninth in the 2016-17 season.

Despite relegation, they have retained a strong squad and know what it takes to get out of the Championship as they target a Premier League return.

How's their form?

Shane Long

Recovering. Bournemouth suffered a drop-off in form that saw head coach Jason Tindall leave the club, and they then dropped out of the top six after defeats to QPR and Cardiff City.

At one point they won just once in seven games. However, they have beaten Watford and Bristol City, before drawing at Preston in recent weeks, only to suffer a setback when losing at home to Barnsley at the weekend to leave them five points off the top six.

Who’s the boss?

Jonathan Woodgate

Jonathan Woodgate. The boyhood Boro fan left Middlesbrough in June of last year and became interim boss of Bournemouth following Tindall’s departure.

Woodgate enjoyed a fine playing career as a classy centre-half, starting his career with Leeds, Woodgate was soon capped by England and made a big-money move to Newcastle in 2003.

Injury stymied his time on Tyneside, but he soon joined Spanish giants Real Madrid, scoring an own goal and being sent off on his debut.

He settled into life at the Bernabeu but injuries struck again and he soon moved to Boro, before seeing out his career with Tottenham, Stoke and Middlesbrough again.

After hanging up his boots, he did some scouting for Liverpool before holding a number of coaching roles with his hometown club, eventually becoming the top boss.

Who’s the captain?

Steve Cook

Steve Cook. Cook was given the captaincy duties at the beginning of this season, taking over the reins from Simon Francis. He has made over 300 appearances for the Cherries since initially signing on loan in October 2011, missing just 21 games out of 190 in the club’s five seasons in the top-flight.

Cook has played in all but one Championship game this term, missing that solitary fixture due to suspension, as well as coming off the bench in the club’s third round League Cup tie with Manchester City.

The 29-year-old has also played for Brighton, with loan spells at Havant and Waterlooville, Eastleigh, Eastbourne Borough and Mansfield Town.

Who are the key men?

Junior Stanislas

With Callum Wilson departing for Newcastle, Dominic Solanke has led the line, scoring 11 goals so far this term, while proven Premier League performer Junior Stanislas also has 11 goals to his name.

Arnaut Danjuma has contributed nine goals, while the Cherries also boast the guile and creativity of classy Wales international David Brooks, while his compatriot Chris Mepham is among their defensive options.

The south coast club added the top-flight expertise of Shane Long in January, as well as Preston midfielder Ben Pearson.