Eleven years ago, Man United were the reigning English and European champions and Bournemouth were languishing on minus-three points in League Two.
On Saturday lunchtime, the Cherries host the Red Devils – live on talkSPORT – sitting level on points with them in the Premier League.
A decade has passed since the south coast club were fighting for their very existence after being handed a 17-point penalty in the fourth-tier of English football.
And yet, victory against United on Saturday would see the Cherries leapfrog their opponents into the Europa League places.
Nobody could’ve predicted this back in 2008. Bournemouth began the 2008/09 campaign with minus 17 points after failing to meet the Football League’s terms for exiting administration.
Then, with the club’s Football League status in jeopardy, a fresh-faced Eddie Howe took over. They completed their very own ‘Great Escape’ with a 2-1 win over Grimsby Town in their emotionally-charged last home game of the season.
Little did they know, the fairytale was only just beginning.
The following season saw them promoted to League One, and by 2015, they had won the Championship title and completed their rise to the top tier.
Nobody gave them much of a chance in their first season, but then again, nobody really expected Leicester to win the league that year.
And now, here we are. The Cherries are an established Premier League force.
Meanwhile, Manchester United reached new lows this season, falling 15 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool after their worst start to a campaign for 30 years.
England’s most decorated football club have gone six seasons without winning the title as their search for success continues in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
As United celebrated their last Champions League triumph, the Football League were threatening to block Bournemouth’s participation in League Two, and as well as a crucial fixture in today’s context, the match at the Vitality is a symbol of just how times can change.
Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT. We’ll bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network this Saturday, including Bournemouth vs Manchester United (12:30)
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