In a recent interview for BBC Sport, former Arsenal, Celtic and Wales striker John Hartson told how he felt Swansea City manager Gary Monk deserves to be named LMA Manager of the Year. Certainly Monk has done an incredible job with Swansea this year.
With the selling of arguably their best player Wilfried Bony to Manchester City in the January transfer window it looked a difficult road for the Swans till the end of the season. Monk has secured their place and their status as a Premier League team is now undeniable. However, there can only be one winner for manager of the year for the 2014/15 season.
Eddie Howe, manager of AFC Bournemouth without doubt has achieved one of , if not greatest moments in sporting history. Unless Bournemouth lose by 19 goals in their next match against Charlton in the Championship, the Cherries will be promoted to the top flight of English football, the Premier League.
It is a resurrection which defies all logic when one considers where the team were six years ago. They just managed to keep themselves in the Football League during the 2008/09 season. In the seasons to come, Bournemouth achieved promotion every season until finally in 2012/13 they reached the Championship.
Howe is a master tactician and has his side playing an excellent brand of football. It is simply remarkable to think that a club of the stature of Bournemouth whose stadium, the Goldsands holds only 12,000 spectators, are on the verge of competing against the the giants of European football in Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.
Howe himself has admitted that he did not think promotion was a possibility. "I honestly didn't start thinking it; you don't want to think it is possible," he stated, "You work every day on each game and I hadn't looked that far ahead, that is my honest answer."
There have been many candidates for manager of the year. Quite simply, without any doubt it must be given to Eddie Howe for this remarkable achievement. If they are promoted, which is now a genuine reality, then it will be the first time in the club's history that they will play in English football's top flight.
Forget the unbeaten run Arsenal achieved this season, forget the fact that Chelsea will do the double and focus on the achievement Howe and his Bournemouth side have now all but done. Football and its fans are in need of a new romance and here it is most certainly been given to us by the Cherries from Boscombe, Bournemouth. Eddie Howe should not just be named Manager of the Year, but Manager of the Decade.
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