EDDIE had a dream.

That is how the song goes among the Cherries faithful, but in truth even Howe could not have dreamt up how the story would unfold over the past decade.

This week has been another big one in the history of both the club and the man at the helm.

Saturday saw Howe take charge of his 500th game as a manager, more than a decade on from his first in the dugout with Cherries, defeat at Darlington as a fresh-faced 31-year-old caretaker boss, which left the club stuck in the League Two relegation zone.

On Sunday, Cherries’ Premier League status was confirmed, meaning the club will enter a fifth successive season in the top flight.

And tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of one of the club’s greatest moments, a 2-1 win over Grimsby to secure safety and avoid dropping into the Football League, despite looking destined for relegation after being handed a 17-point deduction.

It is hard to fathom that as of next summer, Cherries will have spent half of the past decade in the top flight, having been close to potential liquidation amid crippling financial issues when Howe took his first steps as a manager.

While Cherries favourite Howe will have no doubt always hoped he could one day see his club mixing it with the country’s elite, it is fair to say that was not part of the grand plan when he received the call to step in and replace Jimmy Quinn on New Year’s Eve 2008. In fact, he did not even know if management would be his calling.

Discussing reaching 500 games, Howe said: “When I was appointed, I didn’t really know I was going to become a manager at that time.

“I was learning about coaching and learning about the game, learning about a totally different side away from playing.

“Then to be given the opportunity and someone to put their faith in me to manage way ahead of any timescale that I’d put on it myself was something that I really respected.

“I was desperate to repay that faith and do the best job that I could. To this moment now, I’m still doing the same thing.

“I’m trying to repay everyone for giving me this chance.”

While the past few months have perhaps not gone exactly according to plan on the pitch, Cherries winning just twice since January, comfortably surviving in the top flight should not be underestimated.

Of the 12 clubs, including Cherries, to be promoted from the Championship from 2014-15 onwards, five have fallen back into the second tier, including Fulham, who have been relegated despite spending around £100million on players last summer.

Sunderland and Aston Villa, clubs who possess some of the largest stadia in the country, have also fallen through the trap door since Cherries joined the big league.

A top-flight club-record haul of 47 points remains a possibility for Cherries this season. Ten years ago, they ended on 46 points in League Two.

“It feels a bit of a blur to be honest, the last 10 years,” said Howe.

With another season in the Premier League now confirmed, it is not time to stop dreaming just yet.