The Bournemouth blueprint: Eddie Howe's success & survival bucks tired Premier League trend

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Ahead of Arsenal's clash with the high-flying Cherries, it remains notable how few British clubs put their faith in young, exciting coaches

If international call-ups for Bournemouth players are like gold dust, then what are international milestones?

Last week, Callum Wilson became the first ever Bournemouth player to start for England and, 77 minutes later, the first to score for them.

Only two days had passed since Ryan Fraser bagged his first goal for Scotland, while also providing an assist in a 4-0 win over Albania. The winger has now scored or assisted 15 goals in his last 17 games.

If Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe wasn’t enjoying his week off already, he was after the news of his players transferring their impressive club form onto the international stage, earning further plaudits after their superb start to the season.

But despite all the praise for individual players, Howe’s success – in an age where few British coaches, never mind young ones, are thriving – should not been understated.

This time last year, Sam Allardyce, David Moyes and Alan Pardew all walked into Premier League jobs. Had Bournemouth been as quick to jump the gun as some of their rivals, one of those men could have been replacing Howe.

November 2017 sparked a run of eight winless games, featuring disappointing draws against Swansea, Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Ham.

However, the club's trust was repaid as the 40-year-old oversaw wins over Arsenal and Chelsea in the New Year on his way to an admirable 12th-placed finish.

The unfortunate reality is that few other clubs would have given their young manager this patience. With sacking season well and truly underway after the dismissal of Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovic , the phones of Allardyce, Moyes and Pardew – all older than Howe by at least 15 years – are likely to ring again.

When the FA appointed Gareth Southgate as England manager, a corner looked to have been turned. They showed faith in a young manager whose new, exciting approach paid dividends when England placed fourth in the World Cup in the summer, with what was the youngest squad at the tournament and the fourth-youngest coach.

England's 2018 success deserves to draw comparisons to Howe's work at the Vitality Stadium. Both managers blend youth and experience together to immaculate effect, both are modern and adaptable tacticians, and both are fantastic at taking advantage of set-piece situations.

Their biggest similarity, however, is that they create an atmosphere that the players enjoy, one that makes them feel relaxed and one that brings the team together.

Southgate achieved this the second that Danny Rose felt he could talk about his mental health, while Howe’s management of Harry Arter after the stillbirth of his daughter, Renee, was exceptional.

Harry Arter Eddie Howe PS

In a recent interview with BBC Sport, Wilson opened up about his difficult childhood and revealed that Howe asks players to speak about their journey in football as a way of connecting his team and getting them to fight for one another.

These man-management techniques are why Southgate and Howe stand at the forefront of the progression of coaching in England, the poster boys of a new wave of footballing brains which leaves Allardyce and Co. in the past.

The question is, will those standing behind these two trailblazers be given opportunities when axes are swung in the Premier League this season? And, further down the line, how many will have a shot at a top job like Southgate?

The country has long been calling for trust in young players, both in the league and the national team, with Alan Hansen’s infamous "you can’t win anything with kids" theory having been put to bed long ago.

The kids are once again proving that they’re alright  – but can England keep up with a promising generation of coaches to match?

Spain, Germany and France have dominated international and European club football for so long, and behind their successes is an abundance of top managers – all of whom have benefited from environments that have bred so many talented coaches.

This season in the Premier League there are five homegrown coaches, one of those 45 years old or younger. In Ligue 1, those figures read 16 and two. In the Bundesliga, it’s 14 and seven, and in La Liga it’s 15 and five.

Maurizio Sarri Eddie Howe PS

This trust and support abroad allowed the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp to flourish, and the lack thereof in England makes the achievements of Howe and Southgate all the more remarkable.

Another man to benefit from a supportive and rewarding environment, Unai Emery, will stand in the away dugout at Bournemouth on Sunday. Although it could have been Howe had many Arsenal fans had their way.

Since his first managerial job with third-tier Lorca Deportivo aged just 33, Emery has risen to the very top of management. He slowly worked his way through the divisions in Spain before huge success at Sevilla and then PSG.

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He has just seven years on Howe, but the idea of the Bournemouth man having three Europa League titles, two domestic cups and two league titles under his belt by 2025 seems very far-fetched.

Why? Not because he lacks the talent, but because he’s unlikely to be given the chance to prove it.

Against Emery, Howe has a chance to demonstrate his underrated credentials against one of the top coaches in England – and close the gap on Arsenal, fifth in the Premier League table after 12 matchdays, to just one point.

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