A great gaffer is a leader who inspires athletes to perform at their optimal levels and allow them to receive the due plaudits for their impressive performances and achievements while also providing a shield from criticism and ridicule during the less joyful times; football, like many sports, is a beautiful game with its own set of unwritten laws and any gaffer worth his salt knows that great performances are often credited to the players while poor showings can often lead to the hot seat feeling more uncomfortable than usual. At GSV, we take our self allotted duty to help balance the imbalances in our sport dreadfully seriously and we earnestly hope that this GSV Dugout feature helps to shine a light on those that plan the great shocks, thrilling comebacks, goose bump causing thrashings and clinical smash & grab results that leave us confabulating for eons to differing degrees.
Full Name: Edward John Frank Howe
DoB: November 29th, 1977 (37)
PoB: Amersham, Buckinghamshire; England
Playing Role: Defender
Playing Experience: Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Swindon Town (273 Games; 12 Goals); 2 England u/21 Caps
Previous Coaching Experience: AFC Bournemouth Developmental Side Coach
Managerial Roles: AFC Bournemouth (December 31st, 2008 – January 16th, 2011); Burnley F.C. (January 16th, 2011 – October 12th, 2012); AFC Bournemouth (October 12th, 2012 – Present)
|AFC Bournemouth||December 31st, 2008 – January 16th, 2011||102||51||18||33||50.00|
|Burnley F.C.||January 16th, 2011 – October 12th, 2012||87||34||19||34||39.08|
|AFC Bournemouth||October 12th, 2012 – Present||142||76||31||35||53.52|
The Grand Stand View
There seems to be a concern around younger unproven managers looking to overdo the game management phenomenon being promoted these days by setting up their sides to be defensively solid and compact as a unit in an attempt to ensure that they are hard to beat as the gaffer seeks to grow in confidence while on the job, this is something that is truly understandable on both sides and one can only pray that more and more younger gaffers implore their players to play the beautiful game in an aesthetically pleasing manner while also remaining solid and competitive on the defensive end as well. Eddie Howe was a competent defender, before injury ended his career a few years too early, but he still makes it his life’s mission to ensure that his side plays that good brand of football worthy of being played on a football field in front of the thousands of paying fanatics and the endless global viewers.
Adopting an attacking philosophy as a gaffer is one thing, the manner in which you go about looking to create attacking opportunities is another kettle of fish altogether and its within those murky waters that we distinguish who deserves to reign in the reef. I am personally of the opinion that a gaffer that seeks to play a possession based system that implores the players to create attacking opportunities with the ball by combining swift and accurate passing with precisely timed movement off the ball and dynamic play breaking runs on it is a leader that stands head and shoulders above the one that just seeks to get a result regardless of the performance. Eddie Howe is truly a great in the making because of his ability to balance the rigours of defending with the intent to breakup play and transitioning swiftly into that crafty offensive play that seems to slice through opposition defences like a hot knife through some homemade butter at high tea.
Tactical nous can outweigh man management skills when you consider how a tactically inept gaffer can fire a player up to the point of inferno and still fail to utilise the players true abilities for the betterment of the side in the achievements of their goals, while a tactically astute manager can still get a good shift out of a lesser motivated player by structuring the side accordingly and ensuring that the player can gain motivation from playing well and assisting the team. Luckily for Eddie Howe, his past experiences under top level gaffers like Harry Redknapp have moulded him into a good man manager and a decent tactician as well with his interchangeable 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 systems making his side harder to contain when they put the ball down and bring out the Olé chants; the fact that he is unafraid to change it up when the occasion calls for it by throwing two or three up top and chasing the game or going three at the back and shutting up the shop is a testament to just how good Howe truly is as a tactician.
Squad management is where managerial careers can be made or broken, Eddie Howe is a gaffer that has shown that he knows how to make the most of the resources he has available to him both in the transfer market and on the training pitch; his side is well balanced in key areas and there is an ardent desire to ensure that there is strength in depth to create for healthy competition within the squad for playing time. Howe has displayed a keen eye for talent with his purchases and selections showing that he knows what talents looks like without it having to slap him in the face and he possesses the required acumen to utilise that talent while nurturing it to grow and fulfil the potential that was already there to start with.
One of the greatest traits Eddie has been blessed with is the uncanny ability to use British players to their strengths while playing a more continental brand of football with that same English grit and determination evident in the teams’ enterprise. The use of raw pace to create headaches within the defensive ranks, the clever tweaks to the passing game with more Wenger-like triangles and neat interchanges and the mindful imploration of shooting on site with good power and great accuracy at the end of attacking plays; if Eddie Howe can do this with little attraction for players in the lower leagues on the South Coast, he will surely be receiving some pressing calls from a few football intermediaries with clients to sell as that upward momentum continues to be ridden by The Cherries.
The availability of funds at Bournemouth has allowed us a good barometer for just how good Howe is with the cheque book in hand on a stroll through the market, the gaffer has used his purse well and the signings he has made have proven to be choice buys with many of his players either coming at a feasible price or costing the club relatively little in remuneration. Howe has acquired a few talents with good resale value and that return on investment is how we note a thoughtful and competent gaffer in modern football as those proceeds can be used to continue growing the squad and elevating them even further. While the resources available at Bournemouth are enough to make one think that The Cherries are well off, the sea of riches possessed by the South Coast club lies in their club legend gaffer and the brilliance bestowed that within the English Chosen One, and Bob’s your Edgar Street Stadium season ticket holding lifetime Hereford United F.C. beer mug having uncle mate.