AFC Bournemouth Eddie Howe was relatively positive after a 3-3 draw against Arsenal in which the Cherries gave away a 3-0 lead at the Vitality Stadium, after having made an excellent start to the game, although Arsene Wenger's Gunners completed their comeback late in the game thanks to an excellent showing by the in-form Frenchman Olivier Giroud.
Howe reflects on committed performance
The home side have been in average form lately and consistency has been a problem for the Cherries this season. For all their hard work they really should be in better form and they carried that same commitment into the game against Arsenal, which Howe was very much pleased with.
Howe admitted that he doesn't want to say anything other than the fact that he is "very proud and pleased with the players' performance" in the game, he chose to focus on the positives of the games and said that he didn't want to be "negative" about the game.
"The effort they gave was exceptional" says Howe, in praise of his players' immense efforts to take control of the game early on and take a swift 3-0 lead against the Gunners, and also while defending against their attacks late on in the game.
Howe also praised Wenger's side for their determination and said that the Gunners should be praised for their ability to comeback in the game and not "criticised" for their performance and poor defence against the home side's attacks.
When asked about how Simon Francis' red card affected the game overall, Howe replied that the decision to send him off by the referee Michael Oliver "didn't help" and also admitted that he "wasn't sure" if his sending off was a "defining factor" in the game for the Cherries.
He expressed his personal view on the decision and said that he didn't think that the tackle made by Francis was worthy of a red and admitted the fact that "it was a foul". Howe believed that the decision was made because the defender was "committed" in his tackle and had lifted his studs "in a dangerous way", nonetheless he believes that it was a "harsh decision" by the referee to send him off.
Howe believes quick start to the game was vital
When asked if the first half of the game was Bournemouth's best period of football this season, Howe responded saying that he didn't think it was a "technically great game".
He said that neither side "enjoyed" much of the ball and that the game as a whole wasn't technically great. Howe praised his players' commitment against Arsenal's impressive attacking talents.
Howe spoke about how his team's approach to the game helped them and that a "quick start" was exactly what the Cherries were looking to make when they kicked off the game.
When they took the 3-0 lead, one would've imagined it would be a comfortable ride for the Cherries during the second half, but it was not to be as they had to work very hard against the attacking threats posed by Arsenal.
Howe praised his side's efforts to prevent the Gunners and admitted that his team wanted to disrupt the rhythm of the Arsenal midfield and believes that his players executed his plan "perfectly", despite them conceding the three goals which led to them dropping vital points.
The Cherries boss admitted that his team had played some very good football and scored great goals, but he also acknowledges that Arsenal's first goal in the game "changed the momentum" of the game, before which the home side were "quite comfortable" during the match.
Howe praises Wilson, King and Wilshere
Howe was later asked about the performance of his striker partnership of Callum Wilson and Joshua King and the Bournemouth boss had nothing but words of praise for the energetic Cherries duo.
Howe once again rejected the opportunity to criticise Arsenal's defence and said that the Gunners showed "terrific character" to comeback in the game from their losing position.
Howe added that the strike force of Wilson and King "played really well" and that they "physically put themselves about", giving the Arsenal defence a very tough task to deal with their pace and work- rate and their manager admitted that their performance was a "big part" of the game.
The Bournemouth boss believed that Arsenal's "quality" was a major reason for their ability to comeback and admitted that they simply cannot be "ignored".
Howe also reserved special praise for Jack Wilshere who couldn't feature against parent club due to league regulations, he believes that the England midfielder is "getting better with each game" and expressed that he is "very happy" for Wilshere and believes that he can play a big part in their season.