I like Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe. He seems to talk a lot of sense when talking about his team and football in general. I also think he is a pretty honest guy when things go wrong for his team.
Unfortunately, for the highly-rated boss, he has had to find explanations for a lot of poor performances from his team of late. The Cherries latest poor result came against Burnley on Saturday, as the team from the south coast suffered a 3-1 home defeat.
Bournemouth have slipped to 13th in the Premier League table after six defeats in their last nine top-flight outings. The Cherries are still ten points clear of the relegation zone, so should have enough points to survive. However, they do not look to have improved this season.
Is Eddie Howe really a promising young coach?
People in football seem to love singing the praises of the Bournemouth boss. This admiration for Howe is understandable, as he attempts to play football in an attacking manner, which goes down well with supporters usually.
However, his style of play leaves his team highly vulnerable defensively. They concede far too many goals because of their adventurous style of play.
Howe has attempted to change things by bringing in new players to the backline, but no matter what players start in defence they still concede a lot of goals. This has been a common weakness in their time playing Premier League football. In fact, only the bottom two teams in the top-flight Fulham and Huddersfield have conceded more goals this season.
Could his style work with better players?
This is a question I think about when people talk about the Bournemouth boss. Is it the players or the system that is flawed? Howe has only ever managed Bournemouth and Burnley, in a short ill-fated stint.
The 41-year-old is never likely to be given a more high-profile job unless the Cherries push on. However, it is catch-22, as although Howe has spent money as Bournemouth boss, he is restricted to the quality of player who would consider a move to the south coast club.
The Cherries are far from the top of the Premier League tree, not many are, so they have to take chances on emerging young talent or players from the lower leagues. That recruitment policy has worked reasonably well so far for the club from the south coast, with the likes of David Brooks, Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and Nathan Ake all proving successful at the club.
However, those sorts of players take time to settle. Very rarely do the Cherries buy the finished article. It is hard for Howe to bring in players that can really improve and bring a balance to his team.
Difficult to finish in the top-half
It is now looking difficult for Bournemouth to finish in the Premier League top-ten this season. The Cherries are now eight points outside the top-ten and odds of 22/1 to make the top-half this season.
Bournemouth taking the next step was always going to be difficult. It would be hard to claim that the Cherries have moved forward this season, despite a stellar start to their Premier League campaign.
There is talent in the Bournemouth squad. However, they are still a relatively small club by Premier League standards and that is unlikely to change in the near future. Howe has done an excellent job on the south coast in getting and keeping the Cherries in the top-flight.
However, it may be as far as the Cherries and their highly-rated boss can go together. In the last few years, Howe has been linked with high profile jobs at Everton and Arsenal. If his team continues to stay in its current limbo, it seems highly unlikely he will ever again be in contention for a job at a bigger club.
Can Eddie Howe take Bournemouth any further?
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