Many would argue that the international break doesn’t have any meaningful purpose other than leaving fans up and down the country at a loose end for two weeks. The forced state of limbo does, however, have the football community taking stock of what has gone on up until this point of the season and there surely isn’t a more impressive managerial story going on throughout the land than that of Eddie Howe.
This time last season after as many games, Bournemouth were in 13th position. As things stand at the moment, the Cherries are in sixth position with seven more points and ten more goals than they had in 2017. Howe’s men have conceded two more goals but their attacking philosophy is what is arguably driving them up the table so that won’t be of any real concern to the Vitality faithful.
The thing, though, with Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth is that the further you go back, the more impressive the story becomes. This is now the fourth straight season in the Premier League for Bournemouth under Howe and if that’s impressive given the size of the club, consider that when the 40-year-old was appointed as manager, Bournemouth were in League One.
The former Cherries defender has built on previous successes by consolidating every year and thanks to the rock solid foundations he has put in place, Bournemouth now look like they will punch well above their weight this season. As a measure of how far they have come, William Hill now have Bournemouth at 12/1 to finish in the top six this season. The secret is well and truly out; Howe is doing wonders on the south coast of England.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 9, 2018
Howe will turn 41 on November 29th and it’s right about now that you would begin calling him an accomplished Premier League manager. There’s no doubt those sentiments are shared by a few CEOs of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and when they click their fingers, they normally get what they want.
That said, it won’t be easy to pry Howe away from Bournemouth. It’s common knowledge that Howe thinks the Cherries can match his ambition and on current evidence, you would have to say that club and manager are totally in sync even if the last contract extension Howe signed was back in October 2015. With that in mind, could you realistically turn down Manchester United should they come calling?
EH: “I’ve had some good exchanges with Jose Mourinho. He’s someone when I was in my early stages of management I looked towards. He has an incredible CV.” pic.twitter.com/VxjpxowXdX
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) November 2, 2018
A common phrase uttered by football fans around the world is, “There’s no loyalty in football anymore.” Whilst this isn’t untrue for a second, one only has to look at mercenaries like Alexis Sanchez and well, anyone that has gone to play in the Chinese Super League to know that loyalty in the game is in short supply, it doesn’t apply to supremely talented managers like Howe, however.
Eddie Howe has earned the right to take the reins at a bigger club after giving his pound of flesh to Bournemouth. Howe may not agree but in some ways, he is almost at the limit of how much further he can take the Seasiders. A move up from here is a natural way forward and there’s no doubt that an offer to do so could only be a matter of months away.