Ahead of our meeting on Sunday afternoon, AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has publicly revealed praise for Arsenal and admitted he has watched the Gunners in previous years to find ways that he can improve, both in his playing career and now as a manager.
As quoted by the club’s official website, Howe said, “From a football perspective, I’ve been a big fan for a number of years of how they play. Win, lose or draw, they’ll continue to do the same things.
“Since becoming a manager I do the same thing, watch the top teams thinking how I can get my team closer to that. Arsenal have had a big influence in my football ideas.”
Having previously been linked with a move to the Emirates as Arsène Wenger’s successor, Howe was defiant with his answer when questioned about the reports – which continue to arise regularly.
“Being linked with jobs must mean that people are liking what we do, how we play and getting results. But moving is not a consideration or thought of mine at all,” Howe added
The two teams’ strength and depth in quality is one of the significant differences between them, but Howe will be hoping that his players can show the gap isn’t as big as it seems in the absence of Jack Wilshere.
As part of the midfielder’s loan agreement, he is ineligible to play against his parent club and the boss admitted during the pre-match press conference that Jack’s presence will be missed.
“Jack will be a big miss for us, he’s got better and better each week,” Howe said.
“At Stoke he was excellent, he made lots of key passes for us and was the link between midfield and attack. His defensive displays have been superb, the clever positions to protect the midfield are unnoticed and he’ll be big miss in both disciplines.”
“Arsenal have had a big influence in my football ideas. They were a side I watched a lot to find ways to improve my own game, since becoming a manager I do the same thing.”