At the time of writing, 91% of users believe Eddie Howe should stay as AFC Bournemouth manager.
Written by fritter
If Eddie goes we’ll probably join the management merry go round. Get a ‘name’ in.
This isn’t the first time that some have called for Eddie to go. In 2013/14, if we hadn’t had Eddie any other manager would have been sacked in that first championship season. We tippy tapped, conceded lots of soft goals and Eddie said this is how we play, and he’d rather fail doing it his way than succeed doing it another. That was a statement of intent and he was backed by the chairman and board. Players made mistakes, gave the ball away, many soft goals conceded, gaps in the defence. We weren’t good enough to play that way, yet Eddie stuck with them. I don’t believe any of us could in our wildest dreams have imagined what they would produce the following season.
Had Eddie been sacked a new manager would have come in and changed it. The task to stay up. We’d have stayed up but I would bet anything that we wouldn’t have had a similar 2014/15. The one that had the best football I have ever seen at Dean Court.
Only 2 players made more than 40 league appearances that first championship season and one was Lewis Grabban. But 10 of that team went on to make at least 40 starts the following season (7 made at least 40 starting and 3 others if you add appearances as substitutes, the three were Brett Pitman, Yann Kermorgant and Marc Pugh). We added Callum Wilson who played 45 games and Artur Boruc (who didn’t make 40 but was a regular after he arrived.)
Many said the promotion team wouldn’t be good enough for the Premier League. Pundits and experts said we’d have to buy, buy, buy to survive. Another manager would have changed it. We would have tightened things up, brought in some old heads and become the opposite of what we have been. 6 players from the championship-winning squad made 30 or more appearances in 15/16. (There were 7 who made 30+, the 7th was Joshua King. Andrew Surman was the only player who was ever-present in the league.) Three more of the 14/15 squad appeared in over half the games. No one called for Eddie to go that season but the team that did so well has grown together because Eddie has been given time to grow them.
Having the 100% backing of the board and chairman has given us these years of magnificence, no external manager would have had that. We as fans have cut him a huge amount of slack because he is Bournemouth through and through and we know he loves the club. We almost certainly wouldn’t have allowed anyone else that slack either.
Eddie has his faults, the performances this season stem from his selection and formation. Pretty much everyone has been critical of that. Week after week waiting for the team announcement and then scratching our heads. Why? Why can’t he see what we see?
I think we are in the same territory as we were in the first championship season, where Eddie trusted the players because he believed he knew what they were capable of in the future. He believed he knew that the system would work, given time. His dream. His vision. His passion. It worked before, why? Because it was new territory for many of them. They were growing and learning together as a team and a squad. Players who (mostly) never thought they would be this successful, this good in a team. And they were trusted. Trusted if they made mistakes.
This season 9 players have played in 20 games or more, but too many haven’t grown together. Too many have been established, successful, wealthy beyond their dreams. Half an eye of the next club rather than 100% focussed on the future here. That’s the Premier League. I think Nathan Ake’s determination and commitment is the exception. I don’t believe they don’t try, but the heart isn’t there with too.
Eddie is the opposite of Harry Redknapp in some ways. Harry can bring a bunch of players in to do a job in the short term. He can inspire and build a “triffic” spirit but it tends to be short term with players who he knows have the experience, Eddie sees players who he believes can grow into something. The previous years gave him the luxury, and early on the necessity, to do that. The Premier League is unforgiving in so many ways.
Should he go? I don’t know. If he does, it will be because he feels he should. He has been the heart of this club for so long, like Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and Alex Ferguson at Manchester United were. Big shoes to fill.
Johnny Comelately wrote…
The wealthiest players are mostly the best players and that’s why they’re paid so much. By your logic Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford etc would have half an eye on Barcelona and Juventus.
I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. Maybe King’s not put the effort in because he’s constantly played out of position so that Wilson can play Centre Forward despite the fact that in Wilson’s best season he actually scored 2 fewer goals than King did in 16/17. Maybe Diego Rico gave up trying after Eddie Howe made it plain he didn’t rate him when he played 4 Centre Backs rather than put him on and then bought Lloyd Kelly who can play in his position. Jordon Ibe? Like Lys Mousset had too many games where he only got on for 5 minutes and when he did start there were at least a couple of games where he was the best player on the pitch but still got subbed. Jack Simpson, not allowed out on loan but only gets a game when Chris Mepham is injured. Eddie Howe might be trying to do the best for the team, but I think this has knocked the confidence of a lot of players. There’s obviously unrest in the dressing room and I suspect a few players are asking themselves what the point of trying is and that’s why they’re not putting the effort in. – Join the conversation, click here.