Everton fans have an interesting relationship with Bournemouth, and their manager Eddie Howe in particular.
Blues will argue it was that epic game in November 2015 down south when the wheels basically came off last season. Everton blew a 2-0 lead, and then scored with what was supposed to be the last kick of the game in the 95th minute. However, thanks to a pitch invasion by traveling fans, the referee added more time to the clock from which the Cherries promptly equalized!
Here’s Howe on what transpired for Bournemouth -
“The Everton game last season at home was a really significant result.
“There was something you can’t necessarily coach in that game, the spirit and determination they showed. It was a turning point in our season, we showed we’re not just here to play, we have an ability to find a way to get results.
“Those things helped keep us up last season, if we can continue to show those same attribute this season we will achieve our goals.”
It seemed like the Toffees never recovered from that blow to their fragile psyche and the season went from bad to worse, culminating in the firing of manager Roberto Martinez and the appointment of Ronald Koeman.
During that hiring process though, the name of Eddie Howe as a possible successor at Goodison Park kept coming up, and for good reason too, as the Bournemouth manager is a self-professed Evertonian.
“I lived near Watford – born in Amersham, raised in Chesham – so I used to watch Watford.
“Watford were playing in the 1984 Cup final, so I turned it on being a Watford fan, and then watched the game and there was just something that said I have to support the blue team.
“It was the kit, the name... and that was it. I was hooked. That inspired my following of them and I followed them ever since. I was a passionate Everton fan as a kid.
"When I moved to Bournemouth, when I was 10, I went to watch them being my local team. Watford, Everton, Bournemouth – they were my teams.
“I remember my first football being one of those plastic ones which had all the names of the Division One teams in it. You would spot them all and I was an Everton fan growing up, so I would always look for them when I picked up the ball.”
For the record, the FA Cup Final that Howe speaks of was the late Howard Kendall’s first trophy at Everton as manager.
We’ll see Saturday what this current Everton team is made of as they go down south again to face Howe’s Cherries.