Why Loyalty Counts For A Lot: Eddie Howe Draws Parallels With Harry Kane At Spurs

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 19 October 2018, 12:44

EDDIE HOWE will no doubt be as surprised as anyone to be compared to Mick Jones of rock legends The Clash.

But ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’ is fast forming the soundtrack to Howe’s mushrooming managerial status and the debate about whether he has outgrown Bournemouth.

Jones wrote those words and sang lead vocals on what is now a timeless classic and it strikes a chord for those with fractious lovelives, frustrating jobs and even - at a stretch admittedly - a young, upcoming coach who is constantly being touted for bigger things.

Considering Howe is unashamedly a big fan of cheesy 80s popster Ah-Ha, meaningful lyrics probably aren’t his thing.

But when applied to Howe’s rising stock forget ‘Take On Me - The Clash it is, whether he likes it or not.

All of which prompts a look at whether or not he is doing the right thing sticking by the relatively small South Coast club he saved from dropping out of the Football League then steered to its highest ever placing in the most ferocious football arena in the world: The Premier League.

He has been linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and with the more obviously comfortable fit; Tottenham Hotspur, should they lose Mauricio Pochettino.

Modest Howe plays it all down and insiders at the club suggest he is happy there.

Happiness and contentment are two words not readily associated with the top flight of English football these days in much the same way Howe does not come across as your average Clash fan.

But he is to be admired for putting personal well being ahead of professional gain and sticking by the club at which he is already guaranteed immortality.

Howe tried it once, at Burnley, but ‘personal issues’ forced him back down South after a year. That is seen as a sign of weakness in the glib world of professional football.

Yet what strength of character it takes to put your homesick wife and a poorly mum before chasing the dream of raising your managerial profile.

It remains the same today. Modest Howe plays down the constant links and flattery he receives, touting him for the top jobs.

People close to him say the most successful manager in the club’s history would be prepared to move on at some point but Bournemouth is his project.

It’s hard to imagine such a low maintenance character as Howe surviving, let alone thriving in the ruthless modern arena but in many ways he is similar to Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Kane could walk into any team in the world right now, name his price and it’s deal done. Yet this unassuming lad from Chingford is Tottenham through and through, wanting to repay the faith shown in him by the club when he was rejected by Arsenal aged eight.

Kane has been happy to sign a new contract at Spurs and given the club moves steadily in the right direction, is in no rush to leave. Sure, he wants trophies but he is also intelligent enough to see a wider world and put his family happiness first.

He’ll be content staying there for his entire career barring a disaster.

Those attributes will be seen as a weakness by many but Howe and Kane should be applauded for being men first and sportsmen second. And nice guys can win.

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