I have written many times in my editorials about the fact that I like Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe’s honesty and approach to the game. However, for all he has done for the Cherries, which has been fantastic, they now look to be on a downward turn.
Money wasted in recent years
The Cherries have spent much of their existence as a football club in the lower leagues of English football, some of those years on the precipice of financial ruin. However, their recent years in the Premier League has seen the club from the south coast splash the cash, well relatively compared to previous years.
A good example is the Cherries £16million purchase of winger Jordon Ibe from Liverpool in 2016. Granted at the time he was a highly-rated youngster when he made the move. However, Ibe will leave Bournemouth on July 1st as a free agent, as he has struggled to impress.
A return of three goals in his 44 Premier League appearances over his four-year spell with the Cherries is a less than impressive return from a once such promising player.
There is another example of a former Liverpool player struggling to fulfil his potential in Dominic Solanke. He cost the Cherries a reported fee of £20million in 2018. The 22-year-old has made just 14 top-flight starts, failing to yet find the net in the English top-flight for Eddie Howe’s team.
For some reason, neither highly-rated youngster’s potential has been fulfilled at Bournemouth. Is it through poor coaching or is it the player’s fault? Whatever the reason they have proven to be costly signings.
Premier League future in jeopardy
This summer could be one of change at Bournemouth. The Premier League is still planning on returning in June, subject to several issues. When the league restarts, if it does indeed restarts, Bournemouth have a fight on their hands to stay in the English top-flight.
They are currently in the relegation zone. However, they are only behind both West Ham and Watford on goal difference in what is one of the tightest fights for survival in recent Premier League history.
Howe’s team have a chance of escaping the drop on the field. If the campaign cannot restart, and the points per game system is used, the Cherries would suffer relegation by virtue of their inferior goal difference to the two teams above them. That is of course if relegation is not scrapped.
A drop to the Championship would certainly affect the club and team majorly. Not only would it affect the team and club, but it could also affect Eddie Howe’s future. Relegation to the second tier would not look good on his CV that is for sure.
Howe needs to make changes
If Bournemouth does survive the drop to the Championship, Howe needs to make changes and find solutions to problems that have plagued the team badly in recent years. One of their biggest issues has been their vulnerable defence.
Some will argue it is a trade-off for Howe’s style of play. The problem for Howe is that his team have not been delivering at the top end of the field either. Only four teams in the top-flight have scored fewer goals this season.
As we all know it is unclear as to when the Premier League will return. However, there is certainly much for Eddie Howe to ponder. If he doesn’t find an answer to their problems, then he might find himself on the managerial scrapheap in the near future.
Will Bournemouth be playing Premier League football in season 2020/21?