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Lewis Cook signs new four-year contract at Bournemouth

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21-year-old midfielder Lewis Cook has signed a new four-year contract with Bournemouth, the club announced on Friday.

Cook’s previous deal was set to expire in the summer of 2020, but now he receives a new four-year deal that expires in the summer of 2022, erasing the previous contract.

Cook, who made 29 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth this past season, was selected to the standby England squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He has already made his international debut earlier this season in a 1-1 friendly draw against Italy, coming off the bench for the final 20 minutes.

“This new contract is a really proud moment for me and the icing on the cake for the year we’ve had and all the hard work that’s gone on behind the scenes at the club,” Cook told the official Bournemouth website. “It came as a nice surprise. I was just concentrating on my football and playing games, but when it was spoken about I couldn’t wait to get it signed.

“I’m really enjoying my football here and I’m looking forward to the future with AFC Bournemouth.”

Bournemouth grabbed Cook two summers ago from Leeds United, and he made six Premier League appearances last season before earning a starting spot in the squad this campaign. The club finished 12th in the Premier League table this season, winning its final two games of the year.

“It was important that we get our talented, young players to commit to the future of the club and this is a really important signing for us to make,” Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said in the official release. “Lewis has had an outstanding campaign, highlighted by his recognition with the England team and his place on standby for the World Cup squad. His immediate future is now with us and we can really concentrate on next season.”

Taking stock of Premier League managers in post-Wenger era

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It’s been just under four years since Tottenham Hotspur appointed Mauricio Pochettino as the replacement for Tim Sherwood, not yet long enough to complete a standard high school education.

But, assuming he stays longer than season’s end, Pochettino will be the third-longest tenured manager in the Premier League, and would qualify as the dean of the league in terms of consecutive seasons with one top flight club.

[ RECAP: Spurs 2-0 Watford ]

As Sir Alex Ferguson pointed out Sunday in saluting Arsene Wenger, the days of long tenures are (mostly) done.

Burnley’s Sean Dyche and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe have each been with their clubs for approximately five and a half seasons and have spent almost as long as names tipped to be hot names for any job openings deemed bigger than their current posts.

Maybe we need to start calling years by some new relative scale, as they do for dogs. Envision for a moment if you will, Wenger saying, “I managed Arsenal for 22 years, or 110 Dyche years.”

Only 11 Premier League managers have held their posts for more than a calendar year, four of whom carry the gloss of bringing their clubs up from the Championship (Dyche, Howe, Chris Hughton, and David Wagner). Remember when Jurgen Klopp was hired by Liverpool? Forty-two PL manager changes have been made since that day.

Which begs the question: Are Howe, 40, and Dyche, 46, the league’s last hopes for one manager to spend 10-straight years at a club in this Premier League climate?

With respect to Howe, who may continue to eschew other openings — he’s been whispered as the next Arsenal boss for ages — we’ll choose to focus on Dyche in this case, largely because he seems extremely likely to take Burnley on its Europa League adventure next season and, well, he’s earned free beer and his name on a pub in Burnley.

Howe named Premier League Manager of the Month

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AFC Bournemouth is picking up some accolades for its impressive run in January.

The club was unbeaten in Premier League action, with two wins and two draws, leading to manager Eddie Howe being named Premier League Manager of the Month. The last of the club’s wins in January was a night many in Bournemouth will never forget, as the Cherries slammed the door shut on the defending Premier League champions with a 3-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

[READ: Arsenal’s Wenger played to his advantages in Swedish blowout]

Bournemouth’s 4-1 clobbering at Huddersfield Town broke a streak of seven games unbeaten in the league, which has seen the Cherries rise to tenth in the table. Incredibly, because of the top-down nature in the Premier League this season, Bournemouth are only five points clear of the relegation zone.

Adam Smith reveals referee apologized for incorrect penalty decision

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A contentious moment in the 1-1 draw between Bournemouth and Southampton has resulted in a refereeing controversy.

In the first half, with Bournemouth dominating the match but the game still scoreless, Adam Smith went down in the box under a heavy challenge from Sofiane Boufal. The replay showed Smith clearly get to the ball first before Boufal made heavy contact with Smith’s feet, but instead of a penalty given, match referee Jon Moss gave Smith a yellow card for diving.

[ RECAP: Bournemouth and Southampton share the spoils ]

The yellow card is Smith’s fifth of the season, meaning he will miss Bournemouth’s next match on the road against Crystal Palace.

After the match, Smith called the decision “disappointing,” and then when pressed further by the post-match interviewer, revealed he received an apology from the referee for an incorrect decision.

“I’ve kind of jumped to go over it and then he’s took me down,” Smith said after the match, “so for the ref to book me is disappointing, and it doesn’t help because that’s my fifth booking now and I miss the next game, so I’m not sure if they can rescind it or not but that’s very disappointing.”

“I spoke to him [the referee] after and he apologized and said it was a penalty. I don’t mind him admitting it, but the fact that he’s booked me as well and it’s probably not going to get rescinded is disappointing because I’m going to miss the next game.”

The decision sparked debate between NBC studio analysts Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle, with Mustoe claiming it was a clear penalty, while Earl countered that Smith’s overreaction and intent to dive before the contact arrived warranted the caution for diving.

WATCH LIVE: Bournemouth vs. Southampton

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A pair of teams in the bottom half are desperately looking for points to keep themselves out of a potential relegation battle as Southampton travels to Turf Moor to take on Bournemouth at 8:30 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

Junior Stanislas is recalled for Bournemouth for his first action in over two months after recovering from a groin injury, replacing Jordon Ibe. Meanwhile, for Southampton, Nathan Redmond is dropped to the bench just days after his postmatch run-in with Pep Guardiola, with Jeremy Pied making his Premier League debut at right-back over a year and a half after joining Southampton from French side Nice.

[ WATCH LIVE: Bournemouth vs. Southampton ]

Bournemouth especially will look to get points from this home game, as they are just four off the relegation zone and have a grueling schedule on the horizon with games against Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City all coming up before Christmas. Southampton put up a valiant effort against City last time out, losing on Raheem Sterling‘s last-gasp effort, but that performance will still give them confidence moving forward as they can potentially jump into the top half of the table with a win.

The Cherries will not have history on their side when this game kicks off, as they’ve won just once in their last eight matches against Southampton. They also have not performed well in front of the home fans this season, with the second-worst Premier League home record to Swansea with four losses in seven matches.

LINEUPS

Bournemouth: Begovic, Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, L. Cook, Surman, Stanislas, Fraser, King, Defoe.
Subs: Boruc, Cook, Gosling, Pugh, Ibe, Wilson, Afobe.

Southampton: Forster, Pied, Hoedt, Van Dijk, Bertrand, Davis, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Boufal, Austin.
Subs: McCarthy, Yoshida, Targett, Lemina, Hojbjerg, Redmond, Gabbiadini.