Howe plays down value of experience

Eddie Howe insists his managerial experience will count for nothing when he goes head-to-head with Arsenal’s new boss Mikel Arteta.

Arteta, 37, will take charge of his first game as manager at the Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day after being appointed as the Gunners’ permanent new manager last week.

Howe, 42, is in his 11th full season as a manager having started out at Bournemouth in early 2009 and returned to the south-coast club in 2012 after a 21-month spell in charge of Burnley.

“It doesn’t mean anything,” Howe told a press conference as his side bids to improve on a run of six defeats in seven Premier League matches.

“The experience side of it – as I found when I first came into the job myself when I was coming up against managers who had had all sorts of games – the game is there to win, regardless of how many games you’ve got behind you.

“He’s taking over a fantastic club with great players and he’ll have his own ideas and philosophies, built up over a number of years of how he wants his team to play.

“It’s not about me and Mikel, it’s about the players and how we implement what we do against Arsenal.”

Former Arsenal captain Arteta, who joined Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City when he hung up his boots in 2016, said he has been impressed with Howe’s work as manager.

“Very much,” the Spaniard told a press conference. “He started at the age he started as well, it is a good reflection for me on what he’s done.

“He comes across really well. I have met him many times and we have played against each other many times, so he is a coach that I like, that I look to, and that I value the work he’s done.

“It’s not easy at all to maintain that level for that many years.”

Bournemouth have slipped to 14th place in the table, four points above the relegation zone, while Arsenal are three places above them after winning only one of their last nine league games.

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