Eddie Howe — Leader, Legend.
Eddie Howe was born on the 29th November 1977, in Aversham, Buckinghamshire.
It was AFC Bournemouth who gave the keen footballer his big break in the game — giving him his first team debut in December 1995, when Howe was 18. and the same club where he would spend 11 years of his 13 year professional career across two spells at the club.
However it was in management where he started to shine. He was appointed the Cherries’ caretaker manager on New Years Eve 2008, and despite losing his 2 games as caretaker, he was appointed as permanent manager on January 19th. He then went on to help Bournemouth stay in League Two despite being at a 17 point deficit.
In his first full season in charge at Bournemouth, Howe guided the club to promotion to League One, the third tier of English football, despite the club being under a transfer embargo. Whilst in League One, Howe was approached by then Championship side Burnley, and took the job on January 14th 2011. He spent just under 2 years in charge at Turf Moor, then left citing personal reasons.
In October 2012 Howe returned to Bournemouth, his miracles soon continued and by the end of the season the Cherries, so just a few years ago were on the brink of extinction, had been promoted to the Championship.
Howe’s first season in the Championship with Bournemouth ended with his side finishing 10th. But it was 2015 that was definitely the best year of Howe’s career. In April he won “Manager of the Decade” at the Football League Awards. (Why they’re presenting that in 2015 I don’t know!) and just 8 days later he miraculously sealed his side’s promotion to the promised land, the Premier League. (more or less — Middlesbrough could have still gone up automatically — but required a 19 goal swing, which didn’t happen.) They went on to win the league that year.
Ahead of Bournemouth’s first season in the Premier League — Howe spent £37m. Including a bargain £1,000,000 on Norwegian striker Josh King. The club finished 16th that year. And after 2 more seasons where Bournemouth never looked close to the drop, at the time of writing Howe’s Bournemouth side are 6th in the Premier League. — 86 places above their position when Howe first took over.
It is fair to say that Howe is already a Bournemouth legend. And at the age of just 40, there’s no doubt in my mind that Howe is one of the greatest managers out there at the moment, and could easily be winning major trophies in years to come.
This article was originally published in November 2018 on my personal site