Danny Higginbotham has suggested in his column for the Independent that Aston Villa and Newcastle United have no plan or identity and until they find some stability both on and off the pitch, they never will.
Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland are in real danger of going down this season, with Norwich City also amongst them as it’s now widely perceived as three from four for relegation.
Newly-promoted Bournemouth, in contrast, are sitting safely in midtable and Higginbotham feels their achievement on the South Coast is as a result of sticking to their principles.
“Bournemouth are an example to other teams at the bottom end of the table of the importance of sticking to your principles,” the former Stoke City defender wrote.
“That is why Bournemouth are doing so well, and far bigger clubs, Newcastle United, Sunderland and Aston Villa, are being left behind.”
“I see a lot of Premier League football and there are times watching Newcastle and Villa when I have very little idea what they are trying to do on the pitch. They have no plan and no identity. And until they get some stability they never will.”
Since Sam Allardyce’s appointment at Sunderland, the Black Cats have undoubtedly improved but they still find themselves in danger of going down and that’s largely as a result of a lack of stability.
Sunderland, Villa and Newcastle have all chopped and changed managers of late, with the latter appointing Rafa Benitez following the decision to relieve Steve McClaren of his duties.
While staying in the Premier League is vitally important, the constant changing of staff and influx of new players to fit the manager’s style only ever creates a bloated and unbalanced squad.
While they’ve not quite hit the highs of last season’s rampaging campaign, Bournemouth currently have their heads above water and a large reason for that is the vulnerability and failure at those clubs below them.