6 Options for Eddie Howe After Leaving Bournemouth

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe has left Bournemouth after spending 25 years at the club as both player and manager | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

As Junior Stanislas' limp effort squirmed between the mitts of Jordan Pickford, the Bournemouth contingent at Goodison Park swiftly shifted their focus to the big screen.

That strike put the Cherries 3-1 up against Everton on the final day of the season, and within one point of 17th-placed Aston Villa – and their Liverpudlian hosts had taken the unorthodox approach of splashing the score between Aston Villa and West Ham on the stadium's big screen.

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe looks on as Bournemouth's final day win was not enough to save them from relegation | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

One goal for West Ham would have been enough to ensure Bournemouth's survival, but it was not to be. The south coast club's unprecedented five-year stint in the top flight had come to an end and Eddie Howe announced his departure from the club this weekend.

As the hashtags of gratitude pour out and the number minus-17 gets its fair share of air time, Howe has to make the most important decision of his managerial career to date...where next?

1. Bristol City

Swansea City v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
Former assistant manager Dean Holden oversaw Bristol City's last five games of the season | Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Bristol City parted ways with manager Lee Johnson in July after the 39-year -old had overseen four consecutive defeats since the Championship restart and gone nine games without a win in a run stretching back to February.

The Robins are yet to appoint a permanent successor more than a month later, and Howe is the bookies' second-favourite to snag the position.

Johnson was the longest serving manager in the Championship when he departed, which suggests that the ownership are capable of exercising some patience.

That seems like a sideways move at best, after leaving a Bournemouth side going into the same division and with a financial injection from the Premier League's parachute payments.

2. Watford

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Watford owner Gino Pozzo has developed a reputation for rapidly replacing managers | RICHARD HEATHCOTE/Getty Images

The Hornets came up in the same season as Howe's Bournemouth and the pair went down together as well but - as much as the club's ownership is derided for their trigger-happy approach to management - Watford represent an interesting option for the 42-year-old.

Howe fits the profile of a young, dynamic, ambitious coach Watford are thought to be searching for. Having enjoyed a lot of control at Bournemouth, the presence of technical director Filippo Giraldi will be a new experience.

However, The Athletic have reported that Giraldi will give the new head coach space to breathe. Though his involvement may help Howe focus on matters on the field after a patchy track record in the transfer market to say the least.

3. Newcastle United

Steve Bruce
Despite guiding Newcastle to 13th place in the Premier League, numerous managers have been linked with Steve Bruce's position as Newcastle boss | Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Even though the long-winded, painfully-hyped takeover of Newcastle United has all but come to a halt, Steve Bruce's position as the club's manager is still being called into question.

The photoshopped posters of Kylian Mbappé have been replaced by rather less glamorous rumours linking Howe with the manager's position. On the face of it, that seems...perhaps unnecessary.

Howe's Bournemouth finished five places below Bruce's Newcastle and collected ten fewer points with a comparable wage bill. However, Newcastle's comfortable 13th-placed finish has defied their woeful underlying numbers this season.

The Magpies ended the season with the division's lowest expected goals (xG) tally and the fourth worst xG against. Bournemouth, by comparison, ranked higher than at least five teams (including Newcastle) in both categories.

This would obviously be an upgrade on life in the Championship with Bournemouth for Howe in the short term, but it may also be an upgrade for Newcastle if they don't measurably improve over the summer.

4. Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson has been Crystal Palace manager since steering them clear of relegation in 2017/18 | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

90min has been told that Howe may not have to travel too far north for a Premier League return after meeting with Crystal Palace officials.

Roy Hodgson - the Premier League's oldest manager, who turns 73 in August - has ensured Crystal Palace will compete in an eighth consecutive top-flight season but only after a dreadful end to the campaign.

The Eagles concluded 2019/20 with seven defeats from their final eight games - going goalless in six of those matches. Palace have desperately struggled for goals all season.

Even though Howe's reputation for inspiring attacking football is somewhat inflated, he has consistently led teams with considerably better scoring records than the anaemic state Palace's frontline finds itself in.

5. Europe

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe has rarely ventured further than the English south coast in his playing and managerial career but a move abroad could be beneficial | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In 2015, Howe told The Telegraph: "I would have said a few years ago that I had no interest whatsoever in working abroad, but I'm more interested now. I'd need to improve my languages, though. I've only got a C in GCSE French."

There haven't been any links with a position on the continent yet for Howe but the enterprising 42-year-old may benefit from a change in scenery.

The Bundesliga in particular - an extremely progressive league when it comes to appointing coaches - may be a fruitful destination for Howe who can boast more than a decade's experience and three promotions.

Schalke may have recently given coach David Wagner the dreaded 'vote of confidence' but the former Huddersfield Town boss oversaw a horrific second half of the season as the Royal Blues ended the campaign after 16 winless games.

6. Sabbatical

Eddie Howe
After more than a decade in management Howe could reap the rewards of an extended break away from the game | Pool/Getty Images

Since their paths first crossed in 2016, Howe has regularly been likened to Pep Guardiola. The following year, the former Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser made his own comparison when he said: "I have just read Pep Guardiola's book and I can't believe how similar they are."

While a shared obsession with the details of the game is often cited as a key similarity, Howe may benefit from following Guardiola's example of enjoying a year out of the game.

Howe may not spend this sabbatical in New York dining with chess grandmasters but he could use it to observe other managers - a pastime he has regularly used.

While studying a range of small teams in Italy and France in 2014, Howe stumbled upon Maurizio Sarri's Empoli, striking up a friendship with the future Chelsea boss.