Gary O'Neil spent 12 matches as interim boss of Bournemouth after Scott Parker was sacked; the Cherries have won four, drawn four and lost four of their 12 games under the 39-year-old, sitting 14th in the Premier League; Bournemouth held talks with former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa
Sunday 27 November 2022 16:56, UK
Gary O’Neil has agreed an 18-month deal to become the new Bournemouth head coach after 12 matches as interim head coach.
O'Neil took charge of the Cherries at the end of August following the sacking of Scott Parker and has impressed in his first managerial role. The deal has an option of a further 12 months depending on results.
Bournemouth have won four, drawn four and lost four under the 39-year-old and are 14th in the Premier League, three points above the relegation zone.
Ex-Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa had held discussions with the Dorset club over a potential return to the Premier League, but it is O'Neil who the Bournemouth hierarchy feel deserves to continue in the dugout and is both a players' and fans' favourite.
The decision to appoint O'Neil has been made despite the Premier League not approving the £120m takeover by Las Vegas-based businessman Bill Foley. It is thought the deal will be rubber-stamped within the next couple of weeks after a lengthy directors and owners test by the Premier League.
Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said: "Gary did an excellent job on an interim basis and the board are delighted to make his position as head coach permanent.
"We have been impressed with the way he has conducted himself from the moment he joined the club and feel he has earned this opportunity to continue to take the team and the club forward.
"Gary has worked tirelessly and diligently on the training pitch and the players have responded by producing some excellent performances and results.
"It was evident from the reception he received from our supporters following the Premier League win against Everton that they have also appreciated his efforts and we are all looking forward to continuing our working relationship with him."
O'Neil's time in charge has changed the dynamic down on the south coast after a sticky start to the season.
Bournemouth have scored 12 goals in their last four games and kept three clean sheets during that spell, showing qualities at both ends of the pitch.
Bournemouth are back in training on Monday after the squad were given time off following their win at home to Everton. O'Neil has been watching games at the World Cup.
Analysis by Sky Sports News reporter Mark McAdam:
They did have contact with Marcelo Bielsa, he was someone they admired, respected and who they thought could potentially take that football club in a different direction.
So it was between O'Neil and Bielsa, they were the two options on the table - but recent form, the fact the club had progressed in the League Cup against Everton, they'd beaten Everton again on the final Premier League day before the World Cup break, they finished 14th as well, and it all just pointed towards the fact that things were heading in the right direction under O'Neil.
So yes, they did have a chat with Bielsa, but they decided Gary was the right man for them.
When Scott Parker departed the club, they wanted Bill Foley to be involved as much as possible with the decision on making a new managerial appointment, because he was the one who was going to be owning the football club in the future and to be happy and satisfied that he would be working with a manager who he would be comfortable working with.