Bournemouth defeat on opening day shows tough task ahead for newcomers

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Granted we've only passed match day one; granted Eddie Howe still has 37 chances to save Bournemouth from the drop; and granted, the Cherries have more than overachieved in the past.

It is still something to ponder, though, whether or not the fairy tale romance we have created around Bournemouth will have a happy or sad ending.

Last season Bournemouth, with the youthful, exuberant and charismatic Howe at the helm, took the Championship by storm. With little financial muscle they managed to win the league on the final day to cap off what was truly an amazing and inspiring campaign. This was not the first time they had impressed though.


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Howe's relationship with the Bournemouth side reached new heights following their promotion to the promised land as the 37-year-old, in the space of four seasons, had incredibly taken the side from League One to the Premier League - a real insight into the progression of the Cherries and the potential that one of the league's youngest managers holds.

Now renowned for their creative and daring style, alongside what had been a fantastic goalscoring record last season, Bournemouth went into their opening game against Aston Villa last weekend as slight favourites. Tim Sherwood's side ended last season in shocking form, which many thought might carry through into the new campaign when they arrived at Dean Court.

Not only did Villa look short on confidence, but Sherwood's side had also lost arguably their most influential and best players - Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph - without securing sure fire Premier League replacements. The point argues itself that AFC Bournemouth could've picked up where they left off, and that this could've been a great transition for the new boys. 

We all bought into this idea, quickly siding with the theory that if Howe sticks to his game plan then maybe yes, the new wave of exciting and nurtured talent could make a breakthrough in the Premier League.

Again and again, though, we underestimate the Premier League, and Aston Villa showed that the milk can very quickly turn sour for you, regardless if everyone wants to see you succeed.

The ruthlessness of the Premier League was the narrative at Dean Court on Saturday as a plucky and perhaps somewhat naive Bournemouth side sized up their latest conquest. A Rudy Gestede header in the second half emphasised this, and showed how little the top flight cares for underdog stories.

The season has only just begun, so to say Bournemouth are in trouble is a massive statement, however the nature in which Howe configures his team needs to change. The Premier League does not care for nice football without a cutting edge - just ask Sean Dyche at Burnley.

Howe only started one of his new signings on Saturday due to being a stern believer in keeping the faith in a winning team, however a tough lesson was handed out at home to Villa and with only one game of the new season gone, there are surely going to be trickier tests than a home affair to one of the league's lesser sides.

We are surely to see a lot more creativity and freedom in the Premier League - a much needed injection for Bournemouth - but if Howe is to achieve his ambition then his side must quickly adapt to their new surroundings, like they have done before, and reinforce that his team are not just to be a flicker of entertainment, but a stalwart of the Premier League.

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