Why there are doubts about Eddie Howe to Sheffield United despite hiring his long-time assistant
Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Why there are doubts about Eddie Howe to Sheffield United despite hiring his long-time assistant

Eddie Howe is among the early names tipped to be the next Sheffield United manager.

It’s after Chris Wilder left the role on Saturday after almost five years at Bramall Lane.

Under-23s boss Paul Heckingbottom has been put in charge until the end of the season. Heckingbottom is being assited by Alan Knill and former Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall.

Tindall took charge of the Cherries last summer after Howe left the position following their relegation from the Premier League.

Prior to that the 43-year-old was assistant at the Vitality Stadium. Together Howe and Tindall oversaw Bournemouth’s rise from League Two to the top flight.


The former has been out of work since leaving the Cherries and is among the frontrunners for the United job – according to the bookmakers.

Tindall lasted six months as boss at Bournemouth before being sacked and has now made the move to the Blades.

With him already in place, does that pave the way or a reunion with Howe?

Eddie Howe to Sheffield United?

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

On the face of it, Howe does appear to be a good fit for the Blades.

At 43, he’s still a relatively young and exciting coach, but already has more than 12 years managerial experience.

Not only that, but Howe also has previous when it comes to being promoted from the Championship, winning the division in 2014/15.

After that he kept the Cherries in the Premier League for five years.

If United want someone to take them back to the top tier at the first time of asking, they could certainly do a lot worse than Howe.

Would he make the move?

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Aside from his successful time with Bournemouth over two stints, Howe’s only other managerial experience came at Burnley.

In contrast, that was a short-lived 18-month spell that ended due to “personal reasons”.

“Ultimately, the death of my mum, following a short illness, was the reason I decided to leave Burnley. That was the change that brought me back home, to Bournemouth,” Howe later wrote for The Coaches’ Voice.

“That was really, really tough. It was very, very difficult, because I felt isolated from my family members who were struggling with that very sudden bereavement ­- and nothing had prepared me for that.

“It was actually a few pieces falling into place that made it not so much an option, but something I had to do. The timing of it, with where I was in my private life, was quite bizarre, and made it a must for me.”

Born and raised in Dorset, it was considered that Howe could not work as far from home as Lancashire.

If that remains the case then it would be the same problem with the Blades. Although Howe’s previous decision came more than eight years ago and at a time when he was dealing with a family bereavement.

None the less, geographically things are not in United’s favour.

What about Jason Tindall?

Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

A former teammate of Howe’s at Bournemouth, Tindall has been his number two throughout his managerial career to date.

“At first, I didn’t know how it would work when me and Jason got together, but it fit straight away. My philosophy quickly became our philosophy,” the 43-year-old said in the same piece about his assistant.

“We are very different people. I look at things negatively to get a positive response, whereas Jason is always positive and a real people person.

“We argue a lot because we are both stubborn, but it works – and Jason has been pivotal.”

With Tindall already in place at Bramall Lane, that would seem to smooth the transition for Howe to join him in the summer.

Yet, according to The Sun, that is not the plan. Tindall has experienced life in charge now and wants another manager’s post.

Rather than working under Howe at United, he would prefer to be the boss himself.

Things perhaps aren’t as simple as they may seem on the surface.

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