By Luke Donnelly (@LukeDonnelly01)
Cherries’ boss Eddie Howe has been awarded the highest honour by Bournemouth Borough Council for the work he has done since first taking the Bournemouth job in 2008.
Howe said: “It’s an award that I feel very honoured to accept, when you look at the journey the club’s been on in the last 10 years.
“I decided to accept the award and thank the council. I think it’s a nice thing for the club to achieve, it’s definitely not just my honour.”
Despite this achievement, the odds are against Howe to be awarded three points at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow night.
Bournemouth have lost all five of their away games against ‘top six’ opposition so far this season and have never won away at Arsenal in four failed attempts.
Howe continued: “They are incredibly difficult.
“You know when you go away you must get everything together in your game.
“You have to take every chance you get an we haven’t done that this season.
“Tomorrow we have the opportunity to change that.”
The Cherries will be without Jefferson Lerma who is serving a two-match suspension with David Brooks (ankle) and Callum Wilson (knee) out injured.
Junior Stanislas has also been ruled out with a hip injury, whilst Steve Cook is also out with a groin problem.
Howe added: “Callum (Wilson) and David (Brooks) are improving – they are doing well.
“We haven’t seen them in training yet so that will show that they are too far off for this game.”
Despite the Cherries’ poor away form, and the fact they have conceded 18 goals in their last six games, Howe will be hoping new signing Chris Mepham will continue the good start he displayed in his full debut against Wolves.
On Mepham’s bright debut, Howe said: “I’m really pleased with him.
“You’re first Premier League start is a huge moment.
“He was composed on the ball and was very committed defensively. I think he’ll get better and better from this point.”
Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth takes place at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday 27th February at 7:45pm