When I see Eddie Howe I see a coach who has lost all sense of purity for football. A manager who was once the poster boy for doing his best on a budget chose to ditch the penny-pinching lifestyle and dive headfirst into seemingly limitless blood-stained oil money.
It’s easy to get on my high horse, look down and judge Eddie Howe but I also know a Europa schedule would’ve decimated an already thin Bournemouth squad and just brought relegation sooner. Howe hit an invisible wall but his ambitions wanted to go further.
To do that in modern football is to either join the establishment or one of the clubs that can spend at their rate. For those outside the establishment, a club must spend at a massive rate as the club goes into massive debt. Bournemouth was neither. Newcastle can be one of those options.
There is no love or connection here. There is as much emotion here as an affair couple after the deed is done. If he fails they’ll fire him.
It’s so sad this is where we are with Eddie Howe. The bright-eyed wunderkind coach from Bournemouth is long gone. The cruel realities of modern football took that from us. Now is just a man with a point to prove. There is a smile coaches at oil money clubs have, I remember it earliest with mid-aughts Mourinho, a calm cold smile that speaks to the ungodly backing they have. Pep has it now, any PSG manager has it and sadly Qatar propping Wenger has it now.
It’s the face of a man who chooses to overlook what exactly is fueling his success and chooses to concentrate solely on the warmth it brings him. There is no real warmth here. You can lie to a lot of people but never yourself.
Eddie Howe is not just a sellout. He is honest. There is no purity in football anymore. Nothing this commercial could ever be pure. So why not sell out? Why be a purist? Why remain the underdog punching up? When you could sell out and be the heavily favoured punching down?
In Eddie Howe football lost a coach who wanted to build the right way. He just needed patience. Look up Watford managers in the last 3 years, there is no patience in football anymore.
There is very little sense of connection since the Prem discovered the vast number of international fans dwarf the number of sectioned local fans and begun catering to them. There is little purity at the core of the game anymore just money to be made or washed. Howe was once football’s most promising purists but like all the others; Pep, Wenger or Tuchel the allure of unspeakable riches was just too sweet to pass up.
In the 70s or 80s Bournemouth win a league title at some point. In the modern era that destabilizes the status quo. Some club was going to have to finish 7th. An impossibility for the modern top 6 who all want to finish atleast 4th.
Minnows Bournemouth breaking through this invisible wall would’ve been difficult. At Newcastle Eddie Howe can just pay to bulldoze past the status quo. A la Man City.
At its formation the League was special because it was something earned, these days it’s openly sold to the highest bidder. On a personal level, I don’t think you should be able to buy everything, you should have to earn some things outside money. In the past, I believed you won the league with things money can’t buy like blood, group commitment, sweat, frustrations, breakthrough tears and most importantly perseverance.
These days you spend! spend! spend! Until you win or you keep spending. Even after you win you have to spend! spend! spend! To maintain your winning or fall off. It’s not a sustainable business structure.
It’s hard to believe but even for oil-rich sheikhs money is a finite thing. All the dirtiest oil owners eventually forced their clubs to set up functional academies to produce talent on the cheap(Chelsea or PSG) rather than keep spending world record fees. For them no matter how much they fake it, there is no love. These clubs are now debt-stricken to financial ruin but hey…….current success!
Howe himself is not attached to Newcastle either this is a legacy move. Newcastle doesn’t care for Howe’s legacy they just want to wash money in peace and maybe win on the side. The top to down agenda isn’t aligned and eventually, this will collide. No one will suffer but the football fans who actually care about Newcastle.
It’s easy to be a cynic in this modern football world but then you look at someone like Graham Potter. A coach fighting the good fight the right way at Brighton. Actually going through the growing pains and not paying to skip them. It would be great if Brighton broke through. The sport needs stories like this. It’s also likely Potter hits the wall at Brighton, declines like Bournemouth and is managing City in a few years. Would Potter be a sell-out too? I don’t think so.
The sport is tainted. A pay to win culture has emerged. It’s killing the purists of the game. That’s not a good thing.
Credit to @SwissRamble for the graph. I advise you follow him. One of the best at what he does.