Bournemouth promotion to the Premier League last season came as a major surprise to most people.
Theirs is the ultimate rags to riches story of a club just five years ago in the bottom tier of the football league and on the verge of extinction.
It is difficult not to get caught up in their fairytale rise to the top division of English football.
However boss Eddie Howe will know that life in the top-flight will be unforgiving and that it will not be easy for the Cherries to survive in the top-flight next season.
How things have changed at Dean Court, as the Cherries welcomed the club-record signing of highly-rated young defender Tyrone Mings this week from Ipswich. The reported fee of £8million is a relatively small one for a lot of Premier League clubs.
However for Bournemouth it represents a major signal of intent to stay in the top-flight. The capture of 22-year-old Mings could be something of a coup for Cherries boss Eddie Howe, as the youngster was previously linked with moves to the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.
Howe and his team will make history next season, as Bournemouth has never graced the top-flight of English football in their 125 year history. In fact, they have only ever been in the second tier twice in their history.
It is amazing to think that Howe himself is just 37 years of age, yet he has won promotion three times with the Cherries and also spent a relatively unsuccessful spell at Burnley in-between. Howe has achieved more in his fledgling managerial career than a lot of bosses do in their whole career.
A managerial rookie by Premier League standards, Howe is able to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. He always comes across as an affable guy, who is supremely knowledgeable about the game.
He will need every bit of that knowledge to keep the Cherries in the Premier League in the coming season. However from what he has already shown in his managerial career the challenge of the English top-flight will not faze him.
The Cherries boss seems confident in his ability and the ability of his team to take on the elite of English football. The style of football that Bournemouth plays displays the confidence that Howe has in his football philosophy and his players.
Bournemouth were the top scorers in the Championship last season, as they found the net 98 times. An attacking, possession-based style is favoured by Howe and his team. They are no doubt easy on the eye, but they were also highly effective last season.
Howe has already been busy strengthening his squad this summer. Joshua King, Artur Boruc and Adam Federici have all arrived on free transfers, while the Cherries also managed to sign highly-rated Ghana international Christian Atsu on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.
Atsu shined at the African Cup of Nations with his national side earlier in the year, but struggled in a season-long loan spell at Everton last season. Talking of Everton their experienced French defender Sylvain Distin is expected to complete a free move to Bournemouth when his expires on Merseyside next week.
There is likely to be more movement in the transfer market before the Premier League campaign kicks-off in August. The Cherries have made a promising start to building on a squad that was superb last season.
As per usual each season the three promoted teams start as favourites for the drop back into the Championship. Bournemouth are currently odds of 11/10 to be relegated, which makes them third favourites for the drop.
Survival has to be the first aim of any promoted team and no doubt that will be the case with the Cherries next season.
Bournemouth’s rise to the top has been a fairytale one and it could not have been written better by the world’s greatest writers. The clubs fans will be hoping that they enjoy another fairytale campaign and not a horror show next season.
Bournemouth will be no pushovers and they have not risen up the leagues just to go into the night quietly next season.
Eddie Howe has an air of confidence and authority about him and I would not bet against the men from the Dorset escaping the drop and surprising a few people along the way.
Can Bournemouth beat the drop next season?
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