AFC Bournemouth manager Scott Parker has delivered a cry for help ahead of the new Premier League campaign and pleaded with those above him for some new signings.
The Cherries take on Aston Villa in the season opener on Saturday and Parker claims that as things stand, his side don’t even have enough in the tank to be competitive against Steven Gerrard’s men.
“We’re six days out from the start of the Premier League season and we’re way short of where we need to be,” Parker explained, following his side’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Real Sociedad.
“That’s just the cold, hard facts. We barely have any defenders. We’ve lost eight players at the start of the season. At this present moment in time, this squad is much weaker than it was two months ago when we got promoted.
“Of course, no disrespect to what we’ve got, but I didn’t anticipate to be where we are this close to the start of the season.”
Eight players who were part of the first team set-up at the Vitality Stadium last season have left the club in Gary Cahill, Robbie Brady, Leif Davis, Ethan Laird, Todd Cantwell, Freddie Woodman, Nat Phillips and Gavin Kilkenny and as it stands, only three new faces have joined - two of whom will miss the season opener through injury.
“The staff, the players, the fans, everyone worked tirelessly for us to get to where we are currently,” Parker said.
“Like in any evolution, you’re going up another level and everyone just needs a bit of help now. We need to make a decision on how that may look and what we’re going to do to at least be competitive.
“I wouldn’t want to (return to a back four). My experiences tell me that’ll be pretty tough but it may have to be an option. I’m not sure we will be able to defend well enough in a four and keep the door shut.
“Of course, I think we look a bit vulnerable anyway. But next year, in this league, the one thing we’re going to have to be is rock solid. We’re not going to be a team that can go and score three or four goals so we’re going to have to try and keep the door shut.
“But ultimately, we need help.”
“At this present moment in time, I just feel we’re too light,” he added.
“We’re too light in where we need to be and what we need to be and I think the numbers suggest that.
“If you’re looking at the team sheet, you’re seeing what we currently have and it’s going to be a big ask really.
“We’ve got a midfielder/wing-back maybe (in Tavernier), but I don’t know that I feel we’re competitive at this moment in time.”