Is Howe better working at a ‘smaller’ club?
Eddie Howe has been linked with a move to Arsenal but it might just be that the Bournemouth boss is suited to a ‘smaller’ club.
Unai Emery’s dismissal from Emirates Stadium last week has seen a number of managers – both out of work and currently employed – mentioned as his possible successor, and Howe was one of the first names on the list.
The 42-year-old is one of the longest-serving bosses in the English game and has kept the Cherries in the top flight since their promotion at the end of the 2014-2015 season.
There is barely a bad word said against the Amersham-born tactician, who enjoyed a two-year stint at the Vitality Stadium before leaving for a 21-month spell as Burnley boss between January 2011 and October 2012.
He returned immediately after leaving the Clarets and the rest is history, with Bournemouth enjoying four solid top-flight campaigns, and his work on the south coast has not gone unnoticed.
Howe’s name is usually mentioned when a job becomes vacant but he has always remained loyal to his present employers and already played down links to the Gunners.
However, Crystal Palace’s veteran boss Roy Hodgson feels the man who will be in the opposition dugout on Tuesday night when the Eagles welcome Howe’s men to Selhurst Park could easily take over in north London.
“Absolutely. I think his record is really very good,” he said. “What he has done at Bournemouth is quite exceptional.”
But Hodgson himself is a prime example of someone who has thrived at smaller clubs but struggled during an ill-fated six months at the Liverpool helm.
It seems as though some managers are more suited to working with emerging players and those they can help to develop rather than in the spotlight of a European giant with expensive recruits in every position.
That is not to say that Bournemouth’s top man does not have the talent or ability to manage a club the size of Arsenal or Everton but his attributes as a coach might be more suited to the confines of the Vitality.
Howe seems a loyal man and, while most managers are ambitious, it may be that he sees the Bournemouth project as far from finished.
Many managers trot out the line that they have “taken the club as far as they can” when handing in their resignation, only to be unveiled at a new venue a few days later.
It remains to be seen what happens in the rest of Howe’s career and nobody at Bournemouth would deny him a move away – but that could be a few years yet.
Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.