Howe can he do it again?
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on July 21, 2016
Eddie Howe is one of the most sort after managers in the Premier League. At the young age of 38 he still has his whole managerial career ahead of him. He is currently in the middle of his second stint as Bournemouth manager; having already led them to promotions from League 2 all the way to the Premiership. On the way, he lifted the Championship title. No other manager can boast the same record as Howe and the manner in which he has achieved it.
Having led Bournemouth to a safe position of 16th last season with 42 points, this must of felt like his biggest achievement. He will be hoping ‘second season syndrome’ does not kick in and ruin his team like it has so many other. Eddie Howe was heavily praised last season for the manner in which he changed his teams’ style of play. Having lost Max Gradel and Callum Wilson to injury early in the season he tried play Glenn Murray up front on his own. This did not work out for the team and was explicitly seen when they were 2-0 down at half time to Southampton in the New Forest derby. The manager changed it and brought on Stanislas and Josh King which injected much need pace into the team. It dramatically changed the way his team played and they were unlucky not to salvage a draw.
Eddie Howe likes his team to play fast and attractive football. They like to keep the ball and hit teams on the counter attack with the pace in their team. He is also very tactically astute at set plays. This was best demonstrated when his team beat Manchester United 2-1 in one of the shocks of the season. The movement in the box led all the defenders away from Josh King and the ball was played to him along the ground and he tucked it away for Bournemouth to take the lead for a second time. The Cherries also stunned Chelsea at Stamford Bridge by beating them 1-0. This was the first time the champions of the Championship had beaten the reigning champions of the Premiership since Portsmouth beat Manchester United in 2004. Eddie Howe was heavily lauded with plaudits for the way his team played against Chelsea and Manchester United. These were key results in his team survival in the top division.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season what is the expectations? For a team like Bournemouth the hope will be to stay in the Premiership. But, more importantly they will wish to keep their young, talented manager. They have already signed Jordon Ibe from Liverpool and Lewis Cook from Leeds. Going in the opposite direction is Matt Ritchie who has left for Newcastle. This leaves Bournemouth with a potential attacking line up of Ibe, Afobe, Wilson, King and Stanislas. There will be plenty of goals for the Cherries fans to cheer but there must be some concern for who is going to keep the goals out. Their captain Simon Francis will be key in that respect.
Bournemouth are faced with the task of facing a rejuvenated Manchester United in their first fixture. Eddie Howe may view this match as a ‘free swing’ and go into the match with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude. However, as the season progresses fans must fear that they may potentially lose their manager as the managerial merry-go-round will begin. He has already been linked with Everton and the England job. He is a boyhood Everton fan and has made no secret of his ambitions to become a top manager. Should Howe leave, where would that leave the Cherries team and their fans?