Date: 2nd December 2017 at 5:41pm
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AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has confessed that he sometimes feels he has sacrificed his personal and family life in a bid to match his ambitions as a manager.

This week the Cherries manager turned 40, a milestone that the AFC Bournemouth manager admits for the first time had made him ‘aware of my age’.

In just four weeks, he will also mark the ninth anniversary of becoming a manager for the first time when he replaced Jimmy Quinn to begin his first stint as AFC Bournemouth manager.

433 games in charge of the Cherries over two spells and a stint at Burnley have since gone by.

In that time he has avoided relegation to non league, despite a 17 point deduction. Then even with the handicap of a 16 month transfer embargo he then secured promotion from the fourth tier the following season.

In 2013, with the Cherries in the relegation places, Howe returned to Dean Court from Burnley, six months later the side were top of the third tier and when the season ended promotion was secured.

Just two short years later and AFC Bournemouth won the Football League Championship to earn promotion to the top flight of English football.

The Cherries are now in their third season in the Premier League and with a new training complex at the planning stage and a new stadium in Kings Park being discussed, AFC Bournemouth are now on the brink of a new era.

Those foundations could well be built on Eddie Howe, but whilst the club is intrinsically moulded around Howe, he still refuses to deny that he could well leave the south coast again, if the right opportunity arose.

Howe told Sky Sports

‘I have no problems in moving, I think you have to if you’re going to progress, to go out of your comfort zone and be the best you can be. I think that is a must sometimes.

‘I’m absolutely driven and focused for the team. The perception may be that it’s comfortable but I’m determined to be successful. Yes, I’m content in the environment (at Bournemouth) but I’m also fiercely ambitious for the club.’

At 40, if he were to follow the likes of Roy Hodgson or Arsene Wenger Howe could well be just a quarter of his way through his managerial career, Howe added…

‘I can’t look 30 years ahead! Your personal and family life are totally stopped on every level while you manage,

‘There are days when you spend time apart (from your family) and you think, I might not get that time back, that’s something every manager will be able to relate to.

Your Say…

RGB wrote…

No, his crown isn’t slipping. He can have the job for life as far as I’m concerned. About 20-years ago, I asked a Newcastle fan what it was like post-Keegan. He told me that the results hadn’t been right; they’d shipped too many goals; hadn’t won anything etc. Then he admitted ‘but I bl00dy loved that football…’

I asked an Arsenal fan about 7-years ago, what he thought of all the Wenger-out stuff. He shook his head slowly and said the calls were from people who didn’t know, or had forgotten how bad Arsenal had been under Rioch before Wenger arrived. And that they were either first or second in the league for nearly a decade after Wenger took over.

There appears to be a sense of entitlement developing on this board, that we should now be winning every game we play. As others have said above, we’re the smallest club, with the least developed facilities in the entire division and there are probably a majority of clubs in the division below us who have a claim to be a bigger club than us.

And the money is irrelevant. It’s only good for what you can buy and given every other club in this division receives the same amount as us – £84.4million each – plus what is given for end of season place (£22.8 million for 9th) then it’s more about what the club offers to players as a prospective employer.…

To that end, we have a nice locale going for us (but Tyrone Mings thinks the bright lights of London more interesting) and the boss. We certainly don’t have the training facilities of most PL clubs (and most Championship clubs for that matter) and we don’t have the same prospects for silverware that other clubs have, or a 40,000+ seat stadium; or ever having won 3-titles on the trot ALA HTFC, so we don’t even have a history of winning lots of silverware.

Burnley have a couple of League titles under their belt and an FA Cup and they had Leighton James in the 70s who sold for a bucket load of cash and a forward looking chairman in Bob Lord; plenty of historic success there. We won the 3rd Division South Cup just after the war.

If Howe is to succeed, it’s not by a short-term view of where we are in the table after a 1/3 of a season. It will be by playing football successfully enough, to allow the club to build a bigger stadium (and fill it); by keeping the club in the PL in order to bring in enough money to build some swinky training facilities; by playing good football, often enough to attract players who might otherwise go elsewhere (Jack Wilshere, Nathan Ake) and by instilling a strong team ethos in all the staff, such that the squad – whilst bereft of the sort of silky players that go to the bigger clubs, with their vastly superior incomes – can at least be a part of a team (ask Tony Pulis what he thinks of ‘the team)

Success for Eddie Howe, would be retiring with a legacy of an established top flight club, playing attractive football, challenging for silverware each season, with wonderful training facilities and 35,000+ supporters roaring on a Boscombe side, in a smart stadium.

Wigan and Wimbledon were non-league clubs until the mid-seventies and both have an FA Cup win to their name. It’s do-able. Just keep that Fletch goal against Grimsby in mind and think about what might have been.
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