Howe he made the Cherries sweeter
Eddie's work with Bournemouth is nothing short of miraculous
Feb 19, 2011 - it was a watershed day in my journalistic career.
After more than a decade covering all levels of football - from the glitz and glamour of the top flight to the depths of non-league - I was finally tasked with interviewing a manager who was younger than me (not to mention better looking and infinitely more successful).
The subject was the thoughtful, soft-spoken and articulate Eddie Howe - a very different character to the rotund, greying, sheepskin jacket-wearing blokes I'd generally dealt with.
Howe had then swopped the home comforts of Bournemouth for Championship side Burnley, who were bent on a swift return to the Premier League after getting relegated in May 2010.
As I waited for Howe to emerge from his office for our scheduled interview, injured Burnley defender Clarke Carlisle sauntered past.
With time to kill, I grabbed him for a two-minute soundbite ahead of the Clarets' FA Cup tie against West Ham that our channel was broadcasting in two days' time.
Twenty minutes later, Carlisle and I became emotional wrecks after a run-of-the-mill pre-match interview turned into a no-holds-barred talk.
The troubled player poured his heart out - revealing the full extent of his alcoholism and the effect it had on his family life and football career.
He had reached rock-bottom a few years previously while playing for QPR.
One Saturday afternoon, the likeable defender had simply gone AWOL and, while his teammates were battling it out at Loftus Road, he was 10 pints deep in a pub, watching the football results come on TV.
The irony wasn't lost on him.
The Clarke Carlisle Confessional was easily the most powerful and thought-provoking piece of television I'd created in my new career as a broadcaster.
I couldn't wait to watch the fruits of my labour and accept the inevitable prize at the National TV Awards at the end of the year.
Anyway, I digress - back to Howe.
The firefighting job that Howe performed during his first stint as Bournemouth boss was nothing short of miraculous.
The then 31-year old succeeded the sacked Jimmy Quinn on Jan 19, 2009.
The Cherries had started the campaign hamstrung by a 17-point deduction after being declared insolvent for the second time in as many years, and failing to exit administration ahead of the new season.
However, Howe somehow kept the then League Two club in the Football League after winning their final three games of the season against Chester, Grimsby and Morecambe.
The following campaign, Howe was unable to sign players because of a transfer embargo, but he still led the Cherries to eight wins from their first nine games en route to promotion. A managerial star was born.
His time at Burnley proved short-lived - Howe is close to his family who are all based in the south coast, and it was no great surprise when he returned to Dean Court in October 2012.
As December dawned, his first Manager of the Month award was already in the bag. Momentum was building.
The rise and rise of Bournemouth and Howe over the last four years has been meteoric; a club on the verge of bankruptcy and extinction are now standing toe-to-toe with the very best teams in the land.
Last year, Howe was named the Football League's Manager of the Decade.
He was even interviewed for the England job in the summer despite being only in his 30s - he turned 39 on Tuesday.
Tomorrow, Bournemouth host Liverpool in our early Sunday kick-off on Eleven Sports Network.
The expansive, attacking approach of both sides could make this one of the most pulsating duels of the season.
PS: Due to last-minute scheduling changes, the Clarke Carlisle Confessional never saw the light of day.
- Richard Lenton is the lead presenter at Eleven Sports Network. Join Richard and his studio guests for Eleven's live coverage of the Premier League, which includes tonight's clash between Spurs and Swansea (10.30pm), and tomorrow's showdowns between Bournemouth and Liverpool (9pm), and Everton versus Man United (11.30pm), plus the Tuesday morning match between Middlesbrough and Hull (3.30am). For details, visit www.elevensports.sg
Klopp: Sturridge will stay at Pool
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp insists he will not allow Daniel Sturridge, or any other first-team player, to leave when the transfer window opens next month.
The England international, not available for a third straight match because of a calf strain, has found his chances limited this season and that has led to continued speculation about his future at the club.
However, Klopp is adamant he will not be offloading anyone when the transfer window opens, with his side busy mounting a title challenge.
When asked about the latest speculation linking Sturridge with West Ham, Klopp said: "There is absolutely no thought to sell any player from the first-team squad. I don't think it would make sense.
"Unfortunately, Daniel is not in training now and that is what I am more concerned about than any transfer rumours, but I am prepared for everything you could ask me in January."
The emergence of several academy graduates has helped Klopp bolster his squad and rest some of his key players.
For instance, he was able to make eight changes for the League Cup win over Leeds.
Teen striker Ben Woodburn's goal in that game has offered hope that the impact of the short-term losses of Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho and the longer-term absence of Danny Ings will be lessened.
Besides Woodburn, Klopp is also impressed with the progress of the likes of Kevin Stewart, 23, Ovie Ejaria, 19 and Trent Alexander-Arnold, 18.
It has been a long time since the club's academy has produced this number of potential first-team players and the plan is for that to become the norm.
"If the team for 2020 is only home-grown players, it would be nice but not nice for players in the actual squad (now) who are still at a good age. There needs to be a mixture," said the German. - PA Sport