Stoke City 0-1 Bournemouth: Three things we learnt
A first half Nathan Ake header earned Bournemouth their first Premier League away victory of the campaign and ended Stoke City’s six game unbeaten run in a thoroughly entertaining game at the Bet 365 Stadium.
On paper this contest will look like a typically uneventful mid-table clash, but in reality this was a genuinely entertaining spectacle that offered spectators everything barring a deluge of goals. High intensity action? Check. Penalty Miss? Check. Questionable refereeing performance? Check. Ill-tempered atmosphere? Check.
We pick out three key things that we learnt from the fixture.
The FA need to call Eddie Howe on Monday morning
On Monday afternoon the English Football Association will commence the formal process of interviewing potential candidates to fill the vacant national team managerial role. Gareth Southgate, following on from a relatively efficient spell as interim boss, may be favourite to land the job but the suit and ties that rule English football would be foolish not to give Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe an inquisitive call on Monday morning.
Howe is undoubtedly the most promising young English manager in elite football and, despite being only 38, he continues to impress onlookers with his achievements on the South Coast. If guiding Bournemouth to promotion to the Premier League two years ago was a minor miracle, then the way that he is establishing The Cherries as a genuine force in the top-flight is the equivalent of Moses splitting the sea.
Against Stoke Howe’s team demonstrated both sides of their game. In the first half they were dominant, deservedly taking the lead through Nathan Ake’s powerful header and possibly unfortunate not to have been further in front after Calum Wilson was denied an early penalty after being felled by Ryan Shawcross. However, in the second period the hosts were much improved and The Cherries had to dig in and defend for their lives, particularly in the final fifteen minutes when they faced a red and white onslaught.
The result moves Bournemouth up to ninth in the Premier League table, a fact that surely will not have gone unnoticed at the FA headquarters in London.