The biggest stories of the current Premier League season have been revolving around the smaller teams in the league as the bigger ones have not been able to catch the eye week in, week out.
From Leicester City’s dominance at the top of the table to Aston Villa’s debacle that has sent them into relegation, the lesser known teams have ruled the EPL stories this season and it seems as if the trend is set to continue till the end of the season.
One such lesser known team that has found itself fighting with the best in the league is the Bournemouth franchise managed by Eddie Howe.
The Cherries came into the top flight of English football after a brilliant performance in the Championship last season and have been impressive in bits in the Premier League this season.
After 31 games, Bournemouth sit in the 13th position with 38 points, 12 points away from the drop zone and have all but secured a superb feat.
The south coast club in their first ever season in the top flight have not only secured their status for the next season but also are heading into a mid-table finish possibly closer to the top half of the table.
Ranieri, Bilic and Pochettino have stolen the show this season with great consistent performances from their sides, and this has seen Eddie Howe’s contribution go into the dark and go un-noticed.
With a stadium that holds less than 12,000 people, the Cherries were expected to fight a relegation battle in their first season in the Premier League but boy have they proved everyone wrong.
No one gave the Bournemouth side a chance going into the season as many were sure that they would be relegated straight away but the nature of this season’s games in the top flight along with the consistency showed by the side has taken them to a comfortable position in the point table.
The squad at the Dean Court does not have a single big name but the likes of Charlie Daniels, Steve Cook, Simon Francis, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter and Marc Pugh have all been able to step up when needed and have shown that they have the mettle to challenge the biggest clubs in the country.
This comes as a big turnaround as just a year ago, the Cherries were in the middle of an 8 game winless run as they were being torn apart in the Championship but it is refreshing to see them fight back and the way they have held their nerve in pressure situations and the way they have been able to fight out results in the top flight is more than commendable.
Though they did not have a great start to the season with just 3 victories in the first four months of the season in all competitions, they made transfer’s worth £17million to bring in Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban.
And though it was deemed that they overspent for their players, Afobe, in particular, has already shown his potential and has helped the team on several occasions.
Callum Wilson, Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel have all been long-term injuries and have not helped the manager’s cause but Howe has been able to use his players wisely and deserves most of the credit for the Cherries’ campaign this season.
With TV deals set to bring in more money next season for all the clubs in the top flight, Bournemouth can only become better and if they are able to maintain their consistency next season it will give the viewers a relief from the dominance of the big clubs.
Can the Cherries continue their fairytale next season?