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Scott Parker Failed Because Patrick Vieira Succeeded

Bournemouth’s sacking of Scott Parker has many scratching their heads, and for good reason. Parker helped his side earn promotion back up to the Premier League, with very little investment and without the glitz and glamor of many other sides in England’s top flight. Often this tremendous feat would be rewarded with some considerable amount of faith, and yet Parker is out of a job just four games into the Cherries’ return to the first division.

A win and three losses from four matches would normally be somewhat standard for cellar-dwelling clubs, but it seems that it was more than just the results that doomed Parker.

Since defeating Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa on opening day, Bournemouth has played the role of a doormat against some of England’s top sides. Trips to the Etihad and Anfield bookended a nightmare stretch with Arsenal visiting in between. It feels unfair to have expected anything resembling points from these matches, but somehow the Cherries’ fans were still let down.

Bournemouth took 14 shots across the three games and conceded 16 goals. Losing is bad; this was unacceptable.

Initially, the decision to fire Parker may still seem harsh, but by comparison Crystal Palace has played the exact same schedule so far this season and manager Patrick Vieira has been praised for his efforts. The two sides have quite a bit in common, but the story of Palace’s season is a far brighter one than its south-coast counterpart.

Both sides earned three points, defeating Aston Villa by two goals, but Palace impressed against Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool while Bournemouth floundered. Vieira’s side lost to Arsenal and Man City by two goals in each, but was notably competitive in both matches, even leading the Cityzens at halftime. 

Against Liverpool, the Eagles flew to a 1-0 lead through Wilfried Zaha before Luis Días equalized just after the hour mark. Palace escaped with a point from a match the Cherries lost by nine goals. 

While Bournemouth has been criticized for not being as active in the transfer window as it allegedly should have been, Palace has also remained quite frugal, actually signing fewer players than the Cherries this summer. 

Management is important, and Bournemouth clearly felt it didn’t have the right man for the job. When comparing him to the most applicable competitor, Parker’s side didn’t hold a candle to Vieira’s, and as a result Bournemouth is no longer Parker’s side.

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