It happened…he’s gone.
A bitterly sad ending to a long, romantic story between club and man was the news many supporters were dreading. However, a mutual decision was made that the Cherries would need a new face to usher them into the next stage of their history, and Howe stepped away.
All immediate memories will be unfortunate ones, but for Bournemouth fans, some of the best moments of his time in charge will always be worth revisiting. Here are a few.
A momentous day for the club happened little over seven years ago. Down in League One, the Cherries were chasing an eighth win on the bounce, one that would secure automatic promotion to the Championship – their first ever flirt with the division.
It came in convincing style at Dean Court when Carlisle came to town. Steve Cook headed home from a corner, only for Lee Miller to level the match shortly after. Bournemouth stuck at their task, however, with Harry Arter firing the hosts in front 20 minutes from time before local hero Brett Pitman sealed the victory in stoppage time.
Just two years on and Bournemouth and Eddie Howe continued to defy belief by securing their place in the top flight of English football.
Their victory over Bolton didn’t ensure mathematical promotion – but the job was effectively done.
Marc Pugh, Matt Ritchie and Callum Wilson did the business, sending the home supporters into raptures as the victory moved them three points clear of third-placed Middlesbrough with an insurmountable advantage in goal difference.
With this win, Bournemouth were officially promoted to the Premier League. They practically were already, but absolute confirmation of their achievement came after another thumping Championship victory.
Not only that, but they won the bloody thing!
Watford slipped up at home to Sheffield Wednesday, giving the Cherries to opportunity to pounce. A brace from Ritchie and another Arter strike sealed the deal.
As is often the case with a club’s first venture into the top flight, they tend to lose a lot of games. Because of that, when the good moments come, it’s best to truly savour them.
The Cherries didn’t just have one good moment though. Instead, they had a fantastic week.
Heading to Stamford Bridge, they became the first promoted side to beat Chelsea there since 2001 as Glenn Murray’s late header lifted the club out of the relegation zone. A special and memorable win.
However, it got better.
Just seven days on from their west London triumph, Manchester United came to Dean Court and suffered a similar fate. Junior Stanislas put the hosts in front with a freak goal, only for Marouane Fellaini to equalise 20 minutes later. Former Red Devils player Josh King then netted the winner.
Those two matches went some way to seeing Bournemouth survive, even if it was less than half the way through the season.
What a game, what a comeback.
Trailing 3-1 at home to Liverpool with just 15 minutes left to play, one of Howe’s best days in the hotseat saw Ryan Fraser and Cook score twice within two minutes to level matters.
Saving a point from that position would have been credible enough, but Nathan Ake stepped up in the third minute of stoppage time to secure a historic win.
A 1-1 draw? What’s so special about that?
Well, it secured the Cherries their highest ever league finish in top flight football. Up in the dizzying heights of ninth, Howe and his side continued to impress, although they could very easily have finished eighth had it not been for Riyad Mahrez’s 97th minute equaliser.
Of all the sides in the Premier League, there is no doubting that it’s Chelsea who are the happiest to see the back of Bournemouth, since they lost to them a mad amount of times on home soil.
The most thumping of all was their league clash in the 2017/18 season, as second half goals from Wilson, Junior Stanislas and Ake put the defending champions to the sword.
Howe said after the game that is was their ‘best result’ ever in the division.
Here it is again!
Sadly, this is one of precious few good memories from the 2019/20 season. In fact, pretty much the only one.
Their time in the top flight has come to an end, but at least they had one moment to savour. Going to Chelsea and winning again being just that. It was a freak late goal from Dan Gosling that did the trick this time, ending a barren five-game losing streak and handing them their first away win of the season.