Bournemouth defeated Bolton 3-0 at the Goldsands Stadium on Monday night to effectively clinch promotion from the Championship to the Premier League.
Chairman Jeff Mostyn, who helped save the club from the financial abyss, has described the achievement as a fairytale, which looks like a very shrewd assessment of the Cherries achievements in the last few years.
Bournemouth are now three points clear of third place Middlesbrough with just one game of the Championship season remaining.
However, Eddie Howe’s men have a superior goal difference of 19, so are all-but in the Premier League for next season.
Charlton Athletic the Cherries final opponents of the season did however make light of the situation by tweeting: Bournemouth celebrating like they’ve completely ruled out a 19-0 defeat at The Valley on Saturday. We’ll see…
However, in all seriousness Aitor Karanka’s Borough side are now likely to be concentrating on securing third spot in the league, as they host struggling Brighton Hove Albion at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
Bournemouth has never played top-flight in the clubs 125 years history. In fact the club have only enjoyed two spells in the second tier of English football. Just six years ago the Cherries were close to dropping out of the league completely and going bust.
Since then chairman Mostyn, Russian owner Maxim Demin and of course outstanding young boss Eddie Howe have somehow helped the club to the top league of English football.
This season’s Championship can take pride in the fact that Watford and now Bournemouth have been promoted to the Premier League by playing an attractive style of football. Neither has just battled their way to promotion.
Eddie Howe’s style of football is surprising considering he spent most of his playing career playing as a centre-half. The rookie boss obviously has his own philosophy on how the game should be played and it has produced fantastic results for the Dorset club.
Howe is just 37-years-old and has already won promotion to League One and the Championship with the club. It looks like he could complete the set and win promotion to the Premier League. It is an outstanding achievement for such a young boss.
Despite leaving the club to spend a season and a bit at Burnley, Eddie Howe should be regarded as a Bournemouth hero. He may even win legendary status for his achievements with the club.
I believe most Cherries fans will now have forgotten his ill-fated move to Lancashire and celebrate their manager for his achievements with the club. It would be hard to find another boss who has had such a big impact on one clubs fortunes in the football league.
The former-Cherries centre-back spent much of his playing career with the Cherries and most of his managerial career at the Goldsands Stadium. It seems Howe and Bournemouth is just a match made in heaven.
Howe looks to have a promising managerial career ahead of him, having already achieved what some managers do not in years in the game. I doubt Howe will be making any other ill-fated moves away from the Dorset club in the near future.
Most of the Bournemouth squad lack Premier League experience. Only the likes of Ian Harte, Dan Gosling and Junior Stanislas have made many appearances in the top-flight, although Gosling’s Stanislas’ flirtations with the top-flight did not last very long.
Bournemouth does have some players who have made a big mark on the Championship and could become decent Premier League players, such as striker Calum Wilson and midfielders Harry Arter and Matt Ritchie. The trio will all be looking forward to testing themselves in the top-flight next season.
Bournemouth are unlikely to spend big in the summer to strengthen their squad in preparation for life in the Premier League, so the Cherries will have to rely on most of the players already at the club and obviously a few new arrivals.
The Cherries and whoever else are promoted to the top-flight are likely to be instantly installed as the favourites for relegation next season.
Now they have achieved promotion it will be a mammoth task for Eddie Howe to keep the Dorset club in the Premier League. However, after all his achievements in his short career so far I would not bet against the Bournemouth fairytale continuing and the Cherries surviving the drop next season.
Will Bournemouth be favourites for the drop next season?