With Arsene Wenger future at the Emirates in doubt and his current contract expiring at the end of this season, the Arsenal hierarchy has been singing Eddie Howe name as a possible replacement for him.
The 38-year- old who guided Bournemouth on their Mansion Group outfit- the official sponsor and owner of several online casino such as Slotsheaven, to their first ever appearance in the Premier League in 2015 and also ensured their retention, has caught the attention of the powerful who want him at Arsenal.
Although Wenger has been given an option of extending his contract with the club, the Frenchman remains undecided yet about his future. And should he eventually step down from his job, Howe has been targeted as the man to replace him.
Starting his professional football career at Bournemouth in 1994, Howe went on to feature in more than 270 games for the club as a defender. He had short stint with Portsmouth between 2002 and 2004 where he was plagued with injuries which saw him being loaned out first to Swindon and later to Bournemouth before he was permanently re-signed until injuries forced him into an early retirement in 2007.
He began his managerial career as a player-manager at the age of 29, managing the reserve team and also playing in the first team until his retirement in the summer of 2007. He became the youngest manager in the Football League when he was named the care-taker manager of Bournemouth in 2008.
He rescued the club from relegation in 2009 and secured their promotion to League One the following season. He had a brief spell with Burnley between January 2011 and October 2012.
And on his return to Bournemouth in 2012 he continued where he had stopped and guided them to promotion to the Championship in April 2013. He had earlier won the League One Manager of the Month. It did not stop there as he made history leading the Goldsands outfits to their first ever Premier League promotion in April 2015.
His successes at Bournemouth have brought many individual honors his way which include the inaugural Football League Manager of the decade in 2015 and LMA Manager of the Year.
While his achievements so far are testament of his managerial ability and has been to add the Premier League to his years of experience, he still probably might not be the right answer to Wenger’s successor question. So far this season he has won three matches, drew three and lost four.
Besides, Arsenal are a Champions League club and experience at that level is found wanting on Howe’s Curriculum Vitae both as a player and as a coach. Can he really produce result in big matches against the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona who has been Arsenal nemesis in the Champions League in the few seasons?
Though Howe is one of the brightest young managers in England, it will be better if Arsenal go for a more experienced coach.