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The Great Escape from the Football League: How Bournemouth’s Fairytale Came

September 08, 2015

- Grant Whittington

(Image URL: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00407/126356552_football_407903c.jpg)

With the English league season now complete, fans will now turn their attention to the FA Cup Final and the Champions League clash between Barcelona and Juventus on 6th June. For fans of Bournemouth, however, all thoughts be focused on August and the clubs first appearance in the top-flight in its 125-year history. Not only will the club earn an estimated £130 million bounty from winning promotion and the Championship trophy, but they will also get to rub shoulders with the elite members of the English game such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

But how exactly did Bournemouth earn promotion and navigate their way out of what is arguably the most challenging and competitive league in world football?

Eddie Howe could be the English ‘Special One’

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When Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho first landed on British shores and labelled himself as ‘the special one’ he was in his late thirties and had already won the coveted Champions League. While Eddie Howe has yet won domestic football’s most prized trophy, he is 37 years old and has already achieved an incredible amount in leading Bournemouth from the lower echelons of the Football League to the Premiership. Gary Lineker even anointed Howe as having the potential to become the English ‘special one’, and he is certainly central to Bournemouth’s success in recent times.

Bournemouth’s Attacking Brand of Football

Howe has certainly earned rave reviews for Bournemouth’s style of play, which usually features at least two strikers and has resulted in a hatful of goals this season. Simplistic and easy on the eye, Howe’s squad keep the ball on the deck and like to attack in numbers and with genuine pace. This not only enabled the club to plunder 98 league goals in just 46 Championship games, but it should also translate well into a Premier League that is light on defensive strength and organisation.

Bournemouth have been Driven by a Fear of Failure

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While Bournemouth have managed to achieve their success without excess or reckless spending, their exploits are even more impressive when you consider that just seven years ago they were on the brink of extinction. Facing administration and crippling debts, the club were facing a 17-point penalty and needed a last-day win in 2009 to avoid dropping out of the Football League and into obscurity. Their progress since then has been incredible, while the memory of their great escape continues to serve as strong and potent motivation.

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