Bournemouth's excellent debut season mustn't be forgotten amidst Leicester City's fairytale

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In a season where Leicester City have remarkably ascended to the top of the Premier League, it seems unjust that another amazing story is in danger of flying under the radar.

AFC Bournemouth were forced into administration in 2008 and almost went out of business altogether but for preserving their Football League status in the 2008/09 campaign, having started with a ten-point deduction.

What has happened since is nothing short of a success story for the Cherries. They climbed out of League Two in 2010, gained promotion to the Championship in 2013 and scaled to English football's promised land in 2015.


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Manager Eddie Howe has been largely to thank for Bournemouth's rise having guided them out of League Two and, after leaving and returning to the club within the space of 18 months, steered the southern outfit into the Premier League.

Many would have predicted Bournemouth’s venture into the top-flight to end in relegation, yet their balanced brand of football has seen them establish themselves as mainstays and win over a number of neutrals.

A disappointing result against Liverpool over the weekend saw Howe's men drop into 13th, but their 41 points with four games remaining should be more than enough to see them escape the drop and perhaps even claim a place in the top half of the table.

More impressively, the Cherries have maintained their stance in mid-table after suffering a number of severe injuries to key players over the course of the campaign, with Callum Wilson and Max Gradel having only just returned from similar knee injuries sustained some eight months ago.

Despite these setbacks, Bournemouth have stayed strong and managed some incredible wins over West Ham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Southampton, also securing a number of victories over those in the bottom half of the table.

It's just a shame that the club's remarkable rise from obscurity to secure safety in their debut Premier League season will be greatly overshadowed by the extraordinary exploits of league leaders Leicester.

After last weekend's results, the Foxes are five points ahead of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur with four games remaining.

Manager Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked as Greece national team coach before arriving at the King Power Stadium last summer, will almost certainly - and deservedly - win the Manager of the Year award.

Mauricio Pochettino and Slaven Bilic also deserve to be mentioned for their achievements this season, but Howe shouldn't be forgotten for the work he has done to ensure Bournemouth can compete with England's elite.

The 38-year-old is currently the Premier League’s highest-placed English manager ahead of Crystal Palace's Alan Pardew and Sunderland's Sam Allardyce, who are both considerably more experienced.

With their safety all-but-confirmed, Bournemouth can now look excitedly towards next season to see how the next chapter unfolds in their incredible story.

Howe and his men deserve a lot of credit for their approach this season, much like how Leicester and Tottenham have been praised for their respective title bids.

The Premier League's old guard are now at genuine threat from a new generation of clubs willing to play confident, dynamic and attacking football, with Bournemouth one of such sides. Here's hoping it continues.

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Leicester City
Matt Ritchie
Europa League
Premier League

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