Eddie Howe looked like he was about to burst into tears as he led his beloved Bournemouth to relegation on the final day of the Premier League season.
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Bournemouth beat Everton 3-1 to give themselves hope and although Watford lost, Aston Villa’s draw at West Ham confirmed the Cherries were relegated after a five-season stay in the Premier League.
Speaking to our partners Sky Sports after the game, Eddie Howe was asked about the next steps for Bournemouth and if he’d like to stay on and led them to promotion back to the Premier League next season and this was his emotional response.
“The emotions are just a lot of pain,” Howe said. “I feel very emotional. Trying to keep it together. I feel really sad for the supporters of this club. They haven’t been here with us for this last part of the journey and that has made it even harder. It is a time for reflection and a time to see what the next step is.
“The club, everything was based around trying to stay in the Premier League and build the club from the inside up. I will have a chat with the people I need to speak to and see what we do next… The one thing I can’t question within myself is my commitment to the job, to what I’ve tried to give this year, it has not been for a lack of effort. Now is a time for reflection and I will speak to the people I need to speak to and see what we do.”
This was a very genuine response from Howe and shows how much he cares for the club he played for and has managed from the fourth tier of English soccer on -17 points, to their first-ever seasons in the top-flight.
Howe has masterminded Bournemouth’s success but their collapse in the second half of the season has been very surprising and they left themselves with just too much to do in the final weeks as they missed out by one point on staying in the Premier League.
This will hurt Howe a lot and there’s no doubt Bournemouth will want to keep him in charge but one of the brightest young managers in England will have plenty of offers from the Premier League and other Championship clubs.
Crystal Palace, Newcastle and West Ham could do a lot worse than giving Howe the reins if he feels like now is the right time to move on from Bournemouth.