There are many reasons why Eddie Howe is now regarded as one of the most talented managers in the Premier League.
The Englishman’s ability to continually drag Bournemouth clear of the Premier League relegation scrap, despite their inferior facilities to many other sides around them, has seen him linked with some of the top jobs in English football – and for good reason.
The Cherries are currently in 11th place and are ten points above the Premier League drop zone, with their 2-2 draw against Newcastle at the weekend pulling them within two points of the sacred 40 point target.
It could have been better for Howe’s side at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday though, with former Cherries winger Matt Ritchie snatching a point for the Magpies in stoppage time.
Despite the disheartening setback of conceding in the dying embers of a hard fought game, stats provided by Opta show that avoiding defeat against the Toon added to the club’s incredible home record against teams outside of the Premier League’s ‘big six’.
The draw means Bournemouth are now unbeaten in their last 19 matches at the Vitality Stadium against sides outside of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ – a run which stretches back to November 2017 – with Howe’s former club Burnley being the last side outside the ‘big six’ to grab all three points on the south coast.
The importance of the club’s fantastic home form can be further underlined by the complete contrast in fortunes that occurs when the Cherries hit the road in the league. They have only picked up 12 points on the road this season, often conceding goals at will.
So rurning the Vitality Stadium into a fortress has therefore become yet again a crucial element in all but securing the Cherries’ survival in the top flight, with Saturday’s 2-2 draw also equalling the 26 points that the club gained at home last season – despite still having three remaining home fixtures to play this season.