Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Swansea City, Southampton, Manchester United and City were all founded over a hundred years ago. It’s not really a surprise, much more teams in England were founded in the 19th century. It’s been over a hundred years and the same names are still among the world’s biggest clubs but away from the big scene, Bournemouth have been playing football for 124 years now, yet they never made it to England’s top flight, not a single time in their 124 years of existence.
Around six years ago, Bournemouth were playing in England’s fourth division (League 2), they were struggling to avoid relegation, fast forward six years on, they are on track to win their first ever promotion to the Premier League. Add to that, their manager is only 37-years old! Eddie Howe, was handed the task of coaching Bournemouth when he was still a player at the age of 29 in 2006, he was in charge of the reserve team but he quickly made his way to lead the first team in 2009 taking them out of the relegation zone.
Howe joined Burnley for a short stint in 2011 before returning to Bournemouth in 2012 helping his club get promoted to the Championship. He already has six years of coaching experience down his belt, his club this season is spectacle on the pitch, their football is all about entertainment, attacking football coupled with high levels of intensity and practicality. Bournemouth scored 50 goals so far in just 22 games, 10 goals more than the second best attack in the league (Derby County). Despite the excessive attacking tactics, they have done considerably well in defense conceding 25 goals, not the best but a good record for a club that focuses on playing a high tempo with high defensive lines and constant pressing.
They sit comfortably in the first place with 42 points just a single point above Ipswich Town and only four points above sixth-placed Watford, any slip-up could cost them dearly though they have been formidable lately, boasting a 12 game unbeaten run. Their last loss came in September against Derby which shows the mental strength of the players. It’s not easy for a club to go unbeaten for three month especially when they kick-started this season without a win in their first six games and considering the club has never done such a feat in its entire history!
Across England’s top four divisions, not even Manchester City and Chelsea were able to match Bournemouth’s scoring record, the squad is still quite young with only two players over the age of 30, one of them experienced goalkeeper, Artur Boruc and French striker Yann Kermorgant. The squad has a lot of potential as long as the manager sticks to his club and retains most of his players.
If Bournemouth are to win promotion, they shouldn’t get carried away and sign any player with Premier League experience, the squad at hand is enough for them to start next season with an addition or two. Despite this, it’s quite early for them to think of the Premier League, their focus should remain on the current season and how they can maintain their current run in the Championship. Howe, is definitely one of the brightest managers on the English scene, but he can’t get carried away just yet, practically, he still needs two or three more seasons to show that what he achieved hasn’t been down to luck!