After leading Bournemouth to the Premier League, Eddie Howe was considered a potential England manager
"Make every day your masterpiece" was an inspirational quote from John Wooden, an American college basketball coach. It once graced the walls of Eddie Howe’s office in Bournemouth.
In the 1970s Wooden transformed UCLA's basketball program, leading them to 10 national championships including a record-breaking seven consecutive. Wooden's view of success was one that gave everything he could.
Graham Hunter's Big Interview podcast featured Howe, a new Newcastle manager, in 2016. He said that Wooden's book "transformed" his ideas on coaching, management and life, and that his journey at Bournemouth was characterized by his almost blinding devotion to his craft.
"Ed's greatest strength, you ask anyone," Jason Tindall (Howe's assistant with Cherries), said on 5 Live's Football Daily podcast. He works tirelessly and leaves no stone unturned.
"He is a deep thinker"
Howe is focused on his players. Bournemouth captured Howe's involvement on the training field in their pre-season camp at La Manga in 2019.
An Englishman can be heard using a microphone to instruct and encourage his players. He also makes an impressive intervention during a three against two counter-attacking drill.
Howe informs the team that "to come away with only one goal in three-and-a-half minutes is poor", before asking for more movement and urgency.
The intensity and sharpness of the coaching is then increased. He may have the video editor to thank for his success in taking Bournemouth to the Premier League and keeping it there for five consecutive seasons suggests that he is a good coach.
It is worth noting his impact on Ryan Fraser, the Scotland international. Howe helped the ex-Aberdeen player adapt to his new club by coming to his home, making him change his diet, and coaxed him to become a formidable and productive Premier League forward.
Tommy Elphick, who was named captain of Bournemouth by Howe in League One, says that he is a deep thinker and meticulous in his work.
"He has a goal and is very good at bringing everyone together, with one purpose at heart of all he does."
A savage style of play
His time at Bournemouth was marked by a strong bond between and among his team, especially on the way to the Premier League.
Although the group was not of great reputation, they were united by a common goal and skilled coaching.
It was important to remind them of who they were playing for, the fans. Newcastle is a club where a manager must tap into the passion of the fans and create a strong bond with them.
Elphick says that Elphick spends a lot time getting to know his players. "The great thing about Bournemouth was how he truly tapped into the club's history." He made us proud to sport the shirt and inspired us to play in a way that was loved by the fans.
The playing style is key to getting supporters onside. Bournemouth was not a reactive, counter-attacking team, but he played on the front foot to stay in the Premier League.
External-link Howe spoke to the Coaches Voice about how they beat Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge, January 2018.
He explained his strategy, which was to press Antonio Conte's inventive side high up in the pitch. This was a great example of a coach who is willing to take chances.
Elphick says that Elphick's style is "exciting and fast-paced." We always wanted to win, no matter if it was against Manchester City or Oldham in League One. We wouldn't stop if we were leading.
There may be some teething issues - he will ask centre-backs and midfielders to split up, the midfielders to drop in, as well as putting on a lot of pressure on goalkeepers to use his feet. It's entertaining to watch. We came with the intention to score goals and attack.
Howe is a coach who is hands-on, has a reputation for playing aggressive football, and can rally a team. It seems like the perfect job.
It is not always easy. There are two main categories of criticisms about Howe. The first is the fact that he took Burnley out of his comfort zone in Bournemouth to manage it in 2011. It didn't go as planned and the club did not challenge for promotion into the Premier League.
After less than two years, he left citing family reasons. He had lost his mother six month before Turf Moor ended and had been living apart with his wife and children.
Many are skeptical that Howe would be able to live in such a passionate city, not only further away from his family, but also with the possibility of moving to Newcastle with them.
The Magpies' Saudi Arabian-backed takeover by the Magpies will draw a lot of media attention and raise expectations from fans.
It is worth asking if Howe can handle it, but it seems unfair to judge it based on the current evidence. Only time will tell.
The second criticism of Howe is around recruitment. This was especially true once Bournemouth was in the Premier League. Their signing of rough diamonds was widely praised on their way to the top. They spent approximately PS250m in the top flight during their time there, making some costly mistakes.
Although Dominic Solanke is now a highly skilled Championship striker, he was paid PS19m. He only scored three league goals in 42 league appearances prior to the Cherries' relegation. Jordon Ibe, who cost PS16m, also failed to live up his fee. There were other players, too.
It's not easy to paint his recruitment as poor. Every club has signings that don't work every season. Bournemouth is not the only Premier League club to do this.
There were also many success stories. Nathan Ake, who was signed by Chelsea for PS20m, left Manchester City for twice that amount. Important profits were made in Tyrone Mings and Aaron Ramsdale, as well as many other areas.
In football, recruiting is increasingly dependent on the overall structure and not the head coach or manager. Therefore, Newcastle's decisions on these operations will likely determine the success of the team. It is risky to allow any manager to manage this front. It is certain that they will have substantial funds available to spend in January.
Elphick has worked closely with him and is very clear about the things he can offer.
He says, "He's very deep thinker. But there's always an objective and a structure." Fans can look forward to a team of players that they will be able to connect with and who they can expect to see when they watch their team play.