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Remade by injuries, how Eddie became a football manager

Wednesday 11th January 2017
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is one of the hot topics in Premier League currently. Bournemouth is sitting at 9th position on the table and fans are even discussing if the young manager will succeed Arsene Wenger in Arsenal.

However, Howe is focused solely on Bournemouth at the moment and it seems he is destined for success. Although many admire his rapid rise to stardom that reminds us of success stories similar to those in Football Manager games, only a few know that difficult circumstances and tragedies in his life made him the manager he is today.

As a player, Eddie Howe was an agile defender. He first came into the spotlight when he earned a surprising call-up to England U21 squad in 1998, among the likes of Frank Lampard, Emile Heskey and Frank Lampard. He was the only player from Division Two in the squad at the time. He received more and more playing time in his boyhood club Bournemouth and in 2002 he got an offer he couldn't refuse - Harry Redknapp bought him for £400,000 . He was the first Portsmouth reinforcement under Redknapp in the Championship.
Unfortunately, this fairytale came to an abrupt end - in his second match for Portsmouth, Howe dislocated his knee cap and he never was the same player again . He tried to come back in the following season, but he suffered an injury setback. Famous for his pace, jumping abilities and awareness, Howe declined quickly due to the lack of power after his injury. He was loaned out to Swindon and after that, his boyhood club Bournemouth. In the first three months after the reunion, Howe performed well and the club wanted him to stay on a permanent basis. However, since Bournemouth was in a really poor financial state at the time, supporters joined together, raised £21,000 and funded the required transfer fee.

Howe played another 53 games for the club in the next three years and after another series of injuries, he decided to retire in 2007, when he was only 29.

His inability to reach the heights he could as a player because of injuries made him think of assuming a managerial role instead . From 2006 he coached the Bournemouth reserve squad and he took over the first team in 2008. In his first season, that was now called "The Great Escape", Howe saved the club from relegation despite a 17-point deficit! In the next season, he achieved a promotion to League One and he took the next step in his career by taking over Burnley, a Championship team.

However, the history repeated for Howe - it seemed that destiny bound him to Bournemouth. The sudden death of his mother to whom he was very attached to made the young manager return home. He decided to leave his Burnley job citing personal reasons and returned to Bournemouth.

In that time of grief, Howe became aware of a book written by the legendary UCLA team coach, John Wooden. He had won a record 10 titles with UCLA and he lead them from 1948 to 1975. His book, "The Pyramid of Success" made a great influence on Howe. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming,” a legendary quote by the famous basketball coach, became Howe's life motto and, as we can see, it certainly works for him.

Bournemouth success under Eddie Howe is amazing. In their fantastic match against Arsenal that ended 3:3, Howe used four players who have been at the club since their League One days! It is incredible how those talents developed over the years and became Premiership players.

It seems that the biggest clubs will fight over Howe's signature in the near future. Even if he doesn't reach the heights everybody is projecting now, his rise from League Two relegation zone to the Premier League top half of the table will be remembered forever.
Janko Glavonjic
Freelance journalist and copywriter from Serbia. Enjoys reading and playing computer games in free time. Avid Arsenal admirer.

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