Written by Zakaria Taibi (@Zakaria_Taibi_)
Eddie Howe says the Cherries must “start strong” against Arsenal as he looks towards Sunday’s fixture at The Emirates.
AFC Bournemouth are looking to secure their first away win at The Emirates since gaining promotion to the premier league in 2015. To do so, coach Eddie Howe believes that his side must perform at maximum level.
“They’ve got quality throughout their team, an outstanding manager, they’re very well-coached and you can see that in how they play.
“What we have to change from our previous visits to The Emirates is to start better. I think we conceded early goals which have made the games even harder for us, so if we can learn from those previous mistakes we will give ourselves a chance. But we’ve got to perform at maximum level to get something from this game.”
Bournemouth will go into this game looking to extend their 3 match unbeaten in the Premier League, which included a very impressive away win at Southampton.
“Our away form has been strong at the start of this season, we have played with confidence and resilience which you need.
“Now we need to improve in the areas that we feel we can tweak and get better at. If we can do that whilst keeping the same mentality then we’ve got a chance and we’ll have a chance in every Premier League game.”
Eddie Howe also confirmed that Adam Smith and Dan Gosling will miss the trip to Arsenal due to injury, but remains positive in the squad and players he has.
“We’ve been in a positive frame of mind. We’ve trained well and with the run of games that we’ve had the boys are believing in themselves, in the team and how we work. We’re in a good place but as we know from history, it can change quickly so we have to be very level and very focused on performing in our next game.
“I think mentally we’ve been good. The spirit of the group has been very good and the will to win has been extremely strong and that’s why we’ve got the results we have.
“From my side we can still improve technically and tactically which will only make us even stronger.”
Although it is still very early in the season, a win for Bournemouth will put them 2 points above Arsenal and well in the race for a top 6 finish. Eddie Howe, however, insists that his concentration remains elsewhere.
“There’s no benefit in thinking things like that, you just have to concentrate on how the team’s going to function and play.
“For me the focus remains on the training ground everyday, making sure that we hit the levels and standards that we expect.
“We want to improve in every way and then as we go through the season and a really congested christmas period we can look at how we’re doing.
“The ambition is there but we have to make sure that we don’t take our eye off what’s going to influence the results at the moment.”
One man that has been pivotal to Bournemouth’s early success is Spanish defender Diego Rico. His 2 assists and 9 interceptions have seen him claim the Bournemouth player of the month award, as well as the high-praise from Eddie Howe.
“He’s been very impressive in recent weeks. He’s had a decisive say in a lot of games if you look at the assists he’s made for the team, his corners and freekicks have been very valuable to us.
“Against Everton, Southampton and West Ham he played a key role in goal scoring situations which changed the game in that moment and swung things in our favour.
“I think he’s grown into the position and he’s growing in confidence all the time. The challenge for him is to maintain that progression, and if he does, with his qualities he will be an important player for us.”
You can catch Arsenal vs Bournemouth this Sunday (06/10/2019) at 14:00.