Cherry-picked credentials

Does Eddie Howe have the tactical know-how to succeed where others have failed ?

The hunt is on for the next England manager and Gareth Southgate has emerged as the front-runner with the bookmakers.

Euro 2016 has been a frustrating time for any daily fantasy football manager who decided to stack his line-ups with English players, mainly due to the incompetence of the now-departed Roy Hodgson. Players were played out of position, in a formation that clearly didn’t work and none of them were able to replicate the sort of fantasy scores we are so used to seeing them produce.

With names like Harry Redknapp, Sam Allardyce and Glen Hoddle being quoted at ridiculously low odds it’s obvious that their is a lack of genuine contenders for one of the most coveted jobs in football.

Fortunately, one candidate has emerged who might be able to provide England with some much-needed freshness – Eddie Howe. The Bournemouth boss, currently quoted around the 10/1 mark, has the best win percentage of all the leading contenders, as illustrated in the Oulala infographic below.

Fantasy Football Portal - England Manager - Eddie Howe

It’s unlikely the powers that be at the FA will be prepared to take a chance on the relatively inexperienced Howe but does he have the credentials and tactical knowledge to be a success?

At the start of Euro 2016 we were concerned about what formation Hodgson would go with – fears that materialized. We also suggested that Belgium manager Marc Wilmots would switch between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1 formation depending on the opposition. He did – to devastating effect. Hodgson, on the other hand, could not see the bigger picture, insisting on playing England’s two biggest creative threats Wayne Rooney and Dele Alli  far too deep and not having the bravery to admit that it wasn’t working. The team lacked genuine width, the players looked lost and their inevitable exit became a reality.

Howe has had one season in the top-flight of English football but his reputation preceded him. Bournemouth may have only finished in 16th place but they surprised many teams, playing some eye-catching football and times and Howe was inventive enough to change his tactics depending on the opposition.

He utilised a 4-4-1-1 on 15 occasions, a 4-1-4-1 13 times and a traditional 4-4-2 in the other 10 fixtures. This is the sort of flexibility a top coach needs.

If Howe is instilled into the England hot-seat, some of their star players might just start replicating the sort of fantasy scores we are used to – week-in, week-out!

Is Eddie Howe the right man to steady the ship and get England back on track?