Sunday, 19 January 2014

Eddie's in it for the long haul

It is rare for a manager to commit himself to a club for more than a couple of years,  Alan Pardew apart, who landed on his feet with his Newcastle, oh and Jose Mourinho at Chelsea who has just decided on Friday that he wants to stay a blue forever. But even though I knew Eddie Howe loved AFCB, I was knocked back that he said, "I can't see myself  leaving this club of my own accord." Wow, I thought. Eddie really is totally committed to finishing the job at this club. That's not just keeping AFCB in the Championship, now that he has got the club here, but pushing on and doing everything he can to build for the Premiership even if other clubs look to try and prise him away.
Eddie is loving it as much as all of us fans.
With Eddie you know he never says anything lightly and that he means what he says. I am sure he would have chosen his words carefully and it really underlines how happy he is in his position at AFCB. Even more pleasing is his comments that he gets on well with Maxim Demin and knows where he stands with him. It sheds a little more light on the relationship and Mr Demin, who has been a closed to the public. The regular dialect interests me as I would be keen as any AFCB fan to know how long they talk for and whether most of the time is taken up talking about personnel, budgets or recent performances etc. It's probably all that and more, but it is important that Eddie Howe keeps Maxim happy and that they are on the same page if the club is to go forward. 
There's plenty for AFCB fans to be happy about at the moment.
There seems to be a lot of realism about where AFCB are and what is achievable and what is required to reach the next level of a stable Championship side. It was clear that while there was a smile on Eddie Howe's face when he knew the Cherries would be playing Liverpool in the next round of the FA Cup it wasn't to be viewed as simply a pay day. AFCB should be looking to be drawn against harder opposition in this era and you get the feeling that both Maxim and Eddie can see that such meetings could be a more regular occurrence at Dean Court. Real Madrid has given the fans a taste for it. The cameras will be back again for the second time this season at the Goldsands stadium and the name of AFC Bournemouth as a good footballing side is getting better known.

Such opportunities do come with a price. Lewis Grabban was the subject of a major transfer saga last week. The Grabban deal was bubbling for a few weeks, but did not affect his performances. It's credit to Grabban that he comes out of the week having shown great committment to AFCB.

The aim now is for Maxim and Eddie can't provide the building blocks for a more sustained and powerful challenge in the Championship. We have seen Eddie build a side before at Bournemouth and at Burnley. If he is given time, which is what he wants and the budget to compete at Championship level, it is likely that fans will be entering the most successful period of the club's history right now.  

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