Eddie Howe continues to enhance his credentials

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Three games into the new Premier League season and Bournemouth are unbeaten and flying high.

Seven points from three games is a fine return for one of the ‘unfancied’ sides, with respect, and their performances include two comeback wins – away at West Ham and at home to Everton.

Their opening day victory over Cardiff City was a banker in all honesty, but the way in which they’ve gone about their work since has all of the hallmarks of their coach, Eddie Howe.

Still just 40 years of age, Howe has the advantage of being young enough to relate to his players. However, his youth has certainly not been a barrier to personal and team success.

Simply put, Howe has all of the tools to develop into one of the best managers in the Premier League over the long term.

There’ll surely come a point when the Bournemouth job will be too small for him and he’ll be given opportunities higher up the food chain. And you know that the affable, Amersham-born Howe will take it all in his stride.

His strengths are not only in his first-class man-management, but also in his ability to take lessons learned in other sports and apply them into a football scenario.

A forward thinker, Howe continues to devise new ways of interpreting the game and making the work for his players more interesting. Knowledge is power and all that.

In many respects, he and Gareth Southgate are similar. Their outlook on how players should be treated, the way in which they get their ideas across, and the areas (eg American Football) from which ideas are taken and used.

Both are heavy on ‘understanding the process’ and developing the skills to weather any storms on the journey. Think England’s penalty shoot-out win over Colombia by way of example.

For Howe, a game is never lost. On at least five occasions last season, the Cherries scored an equalising goal or winner in the 88th minute or later.

When others will have accepted their fate, Howe is working overtime to instil the belief into his players that they’ll get one last opportunity. To trust in what they know.

A modern-day Pied Piper, rarely, if ever, do you hear of a Bournemouth player speaking out against the manager. Each is aware that he has just as important a part to play, even if that’s not every week.

Now established as a Premier League side, the money is clearly starting to benefit the club both in terms of infrastructure and investment on players.

Howe deserves a huge debt of gratitude for getting them to that point.

Let’s not forget, when he took them over in 2009, they’d started the season on -17 points and he managed to save them from relegation out of the Football League.

Three promotions later, here the south coast side are, sitting pretty in the top 10 of English football’s top division.

His credentials weren’t in doubt before, but Eddie Howe continues to enhance them. Don’t be surprised to see him take Southgate’s place in the future.

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