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Team Study
By Gavin Lee
10 Match Analysis
2014/15 - 2015/16
Content
1. The Club (pg.3)
2. Key Statistics (pg.5)
3. Match Information (pg.6)
4. Squad (pg.18)
5. Style of Play (pg.26)
6. System of Play (pg.38)
7. Offensive Analysis by Thirds (pg.43)
8. Defensive Analysis by Thirds (pg.54)
9. Offensive Set Plays (pg.63)
10. Defensive Set Plays (pg.72)
2Gavin Lee
The Club
Brief History
Known as ‘The Cherries’, AFC Bournemouth was founded in 1890. In
1996, the club came within 15 minutes of closing down and was only
saved by a supporters’ trust fund, forming Europe’s first ever community
club. However, Bournemouth again faced financial troubles in 2008 and
narrowly avoided dropping out of the English Football League.
New owners took over in 2009 and at 31 years of age, Eddie Howe was
appointed the new manager. By April 2010, they had earned promotion
to League One and had Russian oil magnate Maxim Demin purchasing
50% of the club in November 2011. Continuing their remarkable rise,
The Cherries won promotion to the championship in April 2013 and a 3
nil victory over Bolton on 28th April 2015 effectively secured their
promotion to the Premier League.
3Gavin Lee
The Club
Vitality Stadium
Capacity: 11,464
Field Size: 105 x 78m
Surface: Grass
Located at the south of England and was formerly known as Dean Court but has
been renamed due to sponsorship reasons.
4Gavin Lee
Key Statistics
Avg. Passing AccuracyGoals Scored - Location
Avg. Possession
Avg. Pass Length
Chances Created
5Gavin Lee
Data from www.squawka.com
Match Information
Matches Observed
7Gavin Lee
Season 2014/15
Match 1: 16/08/14 - Sky BET Championship - (h) vs Brentford - Won 1-0
Match 2: 23/09/14 - Sky BET Championship - (a) vs Cardiff City - Won 3-0
Match 3: 27/09/14 - Sky BET Championship - (h) vs Wigan Athletic - Won 2-0
Match 4: 17/12/14 - Capital One League Cup - (h) vs Liverpool FC - Lost 1-3
Match 5: 20/12/14 - Sky BET Championship - (a) vs Blackpool - Won 6-1
Match 6: 18/04/15 - Sky BET Championship - (h) vs Sheffield Wednesday - Drew 2-2
Match 7: 02/05/15 - Sky BET Championship - (a) vs Charlton Athletic - Won 3-0
Season 2015/16
Match 8: 08/08/15 - Premier League - (h) vs Aston Villa - Lost 0-1
Match 9: 17/08/15 - Premier League - (a) vs Liverpool FC - Lost 0-1
Match 10: 22/08/15 - Premier League - (a) vs West Ham - Won 4-3
Games Selection: To get a distributed overall view of AFC Bournemouth, of the games
observed in the 2014/15 season: 3 games from the first two months (beginning of the
season), 2 games in December (middle of the season) and 2 games in the final two
months (end of the season). Following that, the first three games of the 2015/16
season were observed.
Match 1 - (h) vs Brentford
8Gavin Lee
Sky BET Championship 2014/15
16/08/14
Bournemouth Brentford1 - 0
1. L. Camp
11. C. Daniels
3. S. Cook
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
8. H. Arter
32. E. O’Kane
7. M. Pugh
30. M. Ritchie
18. Y. Kermorgant
13. C. Wilson
Subs Used
20. R. Fraser
19. J. Stanislas
4. D. Gosling
27. D. Button
3. J. Bidwell
5. T. Craig
26. J. Tarkowski
12. A. McCormack
8. J. Douglas
14. M. Tebar
18. A. Judge
21. A. Pritchard
10. M. Odubajo
19. A. Gray
Subs Used
15. S. Dallas
39. N. Proschwitz
24. T. Smith
72’ J. Stanislas
Bournemouth Brentford Bournemouth Brentford
Possession 54% 46% Fouls 15 7
Passes 565 (81%) 437 (74%) Challenges 130 (42%) 130 (58%)
Key Passes 12 8 Tackles 23 (43%) 24 (83%)
Match 2 - (a) vs Cardiff City
9Gavin Lee
Sky BET Championship 2014/15
23/09/14
Cardiff City Bournemouth0 - 3
33. S. Moore
12. D. John
4. Juan Cala
39. D. Gabbidon
2. J. Brayford
17. A. Gunnarsson
18. T. Adeyemi
23. N. Maynard
10. A. Le Fondre
13. Bo-Kyung Kim
22. Javi Guerra
Subs Used
14. F. Macheda
20. M. Daehli
19. A. Pilkington
31. A. Boruc
11. C. Daniels
38. B. Cargill
5. T. Elphick
15. A. Smith
4. D. Gosling
32. E. O’Kane
7. M. Pugh
19. J. Stanislas
16. S. MacDonald
10. B. Pitman
Subs Used
8. H. Arter
2. S. Francis
9. T. Rantie
9’, 33’ D. Gosling
22’ C. Daniels
Cardiff Bournemouth Cardiff Bournemouth
Possession 44% 56% Fouls 10 6
Passes 509 (81%) 718 (85%) Challenges 137 (42%) 137 (58%)
Key Passes 5 22 Tackles 26 (62%) 23 (78%)
Match 3 - (h) vs Wigan
10Gavin Lee
Sky BET Championship 2014/15
27/09/14
Bournemouth Wigan Atl.2 - 0
31. A. Boruc
14. I. Harte
3. S. Cook
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
8. H. Arter
6. A. Surman
19. J. Stanislas
30. M. Ritchie
13. C. Wilson
18. Y. Kermorgant
Subs Used
32. E. O’Kane
7. M. Pugh
4. D. Gosling
1. S. Carson
30. R. Kiernan
4. Ramis
17. E. Boyce
14. E. Huws
29. A. Forshaw
3. A. Taylor
24. J. Perch
19. D. Cowie
33. M. Waghorn
32. M. Fortune
Subs Used
9. O. Riera
25. L. Barnett
49. A. Delort
37’ Y. Kermorgant
70’ S. Francis
Bournemouth Wigan Bournemouth Wigan
Possession 49% 51% Fouls 11 11
Passes 528 (82%) 552 (84%) Challenges 127 (50%) 127 (50%)
Key Passes 8 3 Tackles 19 (74%) 11 (73%)
Match 4 - (h) vs Liverpool
11Gavin Lee
Capital One League Cup 2014/15
17/12/14
Bournemouth Liverpool1 - 3
31. A. Boruc
15. A. Smith
38. B. Cargill
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
4. D. Gosling
32. E. O’Kane
19. J. Stanislas
30. M. Ritchie
13. C. Wilson
18. Y. Kermorgant
Subs Used
8. H. Arter
20. R. Fraser
10. B. Pitman
1. B. Jones
2. D. Lovren
37. M. Skrtel
4. K. Toure
50. L. Markovic
21. L. Leiva
8. S. Gerrard
14. J. Henderson
20. A. Lallana
10. P. Coutinho
31. R. Sterling
Subs Used
17. M. Sakho
23. E. Can
29. F. Borini
57’ D. Gosling
Bournemouth Liverpool Bournemouth Liverpool
Possession 45% 55% Fouls 8 7
Passes 527 (86%) 710 (89%) Challenges 145 (53%) 145 (47%)
Key Passes 8 14 Tackles 31 (43%) 37 (35%)
20’, 51’ R. Sterling
27’ L. Markovic
Match 5 - (a) vs Blackpool
12Gavin Lee
Sky BET Championship 2014/15
20/12/14
Blackpool Bournemouth1 - 6
1. J. Lewis
35. T. Kennedy
6. P. Clarke
37. N. Nosworthy
26. K. Foley
31. J. O’Hara
4. D. Perkins
29. A. McMahon
38. S. O’Keefe
12. C. Eagles
9. S. Davies
Subs Used
14. N. Defouneso
25. J. Murphy
48. D. O’Dea
31. A. Boruc
11. C. Daniels
3. S. Cook
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
6. A. Surman
8. H. Arter
7. M. Pugh
30. M. Ritchie
13. C. Wilson
10. B. Pitman
Subs Used
18. Y. Kermorgant
4. D. Gosling
15. A. Smith
18’, 59’ M. Ritchie
42’ C. Wilson
67’ B. Pitman
Blackpool Bournemouth Blackpool Bournemouth
Possession 45% 55% Fouls 8 7
Passes 527 (86%) 710 (89%) Challenges 145 (53%) 145 (47%)
Key Passes 8 14 Tackles 31 (42%) 37 (35%)
73’ M. Pugh
76’ H. Arter
65’ N. Delfouneso
Match 6 - (h) vs Sheffield Wednesday
13Gavin Lee
Capital One League Cup 2014/15
18/04/15
Bournemouth Sheffield Wed.2 - 2
31. A. Boruc
11. C. Daniels
3. S. Cook
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
8. H. Arter
6. A. Surman
7. M. Pugh
30. M. Ritchie
13. C. Wilson
18. Y. Kermorgant
Subs Used
15. A. Smith
49. K. Jones
22. E. Ward
43. C. Kirkland
17. J. Helen
18. K. Zayatte
15. T. Lees
2. L. Buxton
33. Filipe Melo
4. S. Hutchinson
20. K. Lee
27. L. Isgrove
10. C. Maguire
13. C. Lavery
Subs Used
19. J. Maghoma
36. M. Vermijl
9. A. Nuhiu
69’ Y. Kermorgant
84’ M. Ritchie
Bournemouth Sheffield Wed Bournemouth Sheffield Wed
Possession 56% 44% Fouls 15 14
Passes 540 (79%) 362 (72%) Challenges 226 (58%) 226 (42%)
Key Passes 15 6 Tackles 29 (62%) 42 (52%)
36’ K. Lee
96’ C. Maguire
Match 7 - (a) vs Charlton Atl.
14Gavin Lee
Sky BET Championship 2014/15
02/05/15
Charlton Atl. Bournemouth0 - 3
1. S. Henderson
21. M. Fox
22. R. Johnson
26. T. Ben Haim
20. C. Solly
17. Y. Buyens
12. A. Diarra
8. F. Bulot
7. J. Gudmundsson
32. T. Watt
14. Vetokele
Subs Used
18. S. Church
9. C. Eagles
3. J. Gomez
31. A. Boruc
11. C. Daniels
3. S. Cook
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
6. A. Surman
8. H. Arter
7. M. Pugh
30. M. Ritchie
13. C. Wilson
18. Y. Kermorgant
Subs Used
49. K. Jones
4. D. Gosling
15. A. Smith
Charlton Atl. Bournemouth Charlton Atl. Bournemouth
Possession 38% 62% Fouls 5 6
Passes 400 (78%) 654 (86%) Challenges 159 (50%) 159 (50%)
Key Passes 12 34 Tackles 38 (42%) 36 (39%)
10’, 85’ M. Ritchie
12’ H. Arter
Match 8 - (h) vs Aston Villa
15Gavin Lee
Barclays Premier League 2015/16
08/08/15
Bournemouth Aston Villa0 - 1
31. A. Boruc
11. C. Daniels
3. S. Cook
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
4. D. Gosling
6. A. Surman
7. M. Pugh
30. M. Ritchie
13. C. Wilson
17. J. King
Subs Used
18. Y. Kermorgant
10. M. Gradel
32. E. O’Kane
1. B. Guzan
23. J. Amavi
6. C. Clark
4. M. Richards
7. L. Bacuna
15. A. Westwood
8. I. Gueye
17. J. Veretout
9. S. Sinclair
19. J. Ayew
11. G. Agbaonlahor
Subs Used
39. R. Gestede
24. C. Sanchez
18. K. Richardson
Bournemouth Aston Villa Bournemouth Aston Villa
Possession 56% 44% Fouls 14 12
Passes 603 (86%) 447 (79%) Challenges 198 (43%) 198 (57%)
Key Passes 26 11 Tackles 39 (39%) 45 (64%)
72’ R. Gestede
Match 9 - (a) vs Liverpool
16Gavin Lee
Barclays Premier League 2015/16
08/08/15
Liverpool Bournemouth1 - 0
22. S. Mignolet
12. J. Gomez
37. M. Skrtel
6. D. Lovren
2. N. Clyne
7. J. Milner
33. J. Ibe
14. J. Henderson
20. A. Lallana
10. P. Coutinho
9. C. Benteke
Subs Used
23. E. Can
11. R. Firmino
18. A. Moreno
1. A. Boruc
11. C. Daniels
3. S. Cook
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
32. E. O’Kane
6. A. Surman
30. M. Ritchie
17. J. King
10. M. Gradel
13. C. Wilson
Subs Used
24. L. Tomlin
15. A. Smith
4. D. Gosling
26’ C. Benteke
Liverpool Bournemouth Liverpool Bournemouth
Possession 55% 45% Fouls 11 18
Passes 546 (84%) 438 (78%) Challenges 208 (56%) 208 (44%)
Key Passes 24 8 Tackles 36 (58%) 46 (46%)
Match 10 - (a) vs West Ham
17Gavin Lee
Barclays Premier League 2015/16
22/08/15
West Ham Bournemouth1 - 0
1. D. Randolph
3. A. Cresswell
21. A. Ogbonna
2. W. Reid
12. C. Jenkinson
14. P. Obiang
16. M. Noble
27. D. Payet
4. K. Nolan
8. C. Kouyate
15. D. Sakho
Subs Used
5. J. Tomkins
7. M. Jarvis
20. M. Maiga
1. A. Boruc
11. C. Daniels
3. S. Cook
5. T. Elphick
2. S. Francis
32. E. O’Kane
6. A. Surman
30. M. Ritchie
17. J. King
10. M. Gradel
13. C. Wilson
Subs Used
7. M. Pugh
15. A. Smith
4. D. Gosling
48’ M. Noble
53’ C. Kouyate
West Ham Bournemouth West Ham Bournemouth
Possession 45% 55% Fouls 9 11
Passes 445 (75%) 527 (78%) Challenges 192 (44%) 192 (56%)
Key Passes 16 17 Tackles 27 (59%) 28 (54%)
82’ M. Maiga 11’, 28’, 79’ C. Wilson
66’ M. Pugh
Squad Information
Technical Staff
19Gavin Lee
Eddie Howe, Manager
As a kid, Eddie Howe watched Bournemouth from the
terraces and became a Bournemouth scholar at 13. He went
on to captain his side and spent most of his professional
career there as a defender. However, due to a knee injury,
his playing career was numbered and at 29 years of age, he
was appointed player-coach by then manager Kevin Bond.
Two years on in 2008, he became manager but the club
were in financial troubles. In addition, they were struggling
in League Two as they faced a 17-point deduction for
financial irregularities. Howe and his assistant saved them
from relegation disaster and the club has not looked back
since.
After gaining promotion to League One, Howe joined
Burnley in in January 2011. However, after 15 months, he
decided to head back home to Bournemouth under new
owner Maxim Demin.
A keen student of the game, Howe has visited clubs in
Spain and had lengthy conversations with the likes of
Brendan Rodgers to further his education. With his hard
work and dedication, Howe has brought optimism and belief
that they can compete and perform well in their maiden
Premier League campaign.
Technical Staff
20Gavin Lee
Jason Tindall
Assistant Manager
Simon Weatherstone
First Team Coach
Niel Moss
Goalkeeping Coach
Dan Hodges
Head of Sports Science
Garvan Stewart
Performance Analyst
Steve Hard
Physiotherapist
Players
21Gavin Lee
Artur Boruc

Polish

35 years old
Right Foot
193cm
87kg
Goalkeeper #1
Has prior premier league
experience as well as at
International level. Makes good
decisions and executes well when
distributing possession from the
back and his ability to with his
feet is crucial to Bournemouth’s
style of play. Is a good shot
stopper and deals with crosses
well. Important figure to
Bournemouth’s defines.
Simon Francis

English

30 years old
Right Foot
183cm
90kg
Right Defender #2
A consistent fixture in Eddie
Howe’s first 11. Is dominant in the
air and is very quick in covering
ground. He chooses his moments
for his forward (over/underlap)
runs very well and provides
offensive width often during the
game. He recovers back on the
counter attacks very quickly too.
However, his decision making in
the Att. 3rd lets him down at
times.
Steve Cook

English

24 years old
Right Foot
185cm
82kg
Center Defender #3
Forms a very good partnership
with defensive partner, Elphick.
Very competent in the air and is
comfortable in possession too.
Positions himself well during build
up stages for the team and is also
discipline in his role when dealing
with attacks from wide areas. He
defends 1v1s well in the
championship but might initially
struggle with the higher tempo of
the Premier League.
Tommy Elphick
English

28 years old
Right Foot
180cm
85kg
Center Defender #5
Captain of the team and was
instrumental in Bournemouth’s
promotion to the Premier League.
Also very competent in the air,
seldom loses out in an aerial
duel. Similar to S. Cook, he is
comfortable in possession when
not under severe pressure but
would not deal well with forward
lines that press quicker like in the
Premier League.
Players
22Gavin Lee
Center Defender #38
Is a young talented defender and
has been part of the England
youth set up. Very capable with
aerial challenges and is quick
over distances too. He is a good
back up to the two regular center
defenders.
Adam Smith

English

24 years old
Right Foot
180cm
78kg
Left & Right Def./Mid. #15
A player who is comfortable in
possession and performs
consistency whenever called
upon. Has featured mainly from
the bench last season. A reliable
player who can perform multiple
roles for the team.
Dan Gosling
English

25 years old
Right Foot
183cm
80kg
Center Midfielder #4
He covers plenty of ground
executing both defensive and
attacking actions required for his
team. In possession, he is
capable in tight situations and
makes good decisions when on
the ball. Positions himself well
during the team’s possession
phases too. Defensively, he is
disciplined with his role and
provides good cover for his
defence.
Charlie Daniels

English

29 years old
Left Foot
178cm
75kg
Left Defender #11
Offensive minded fullback but
chooses his moments to get
forward very well. Has a good
understanding with LW Pugh,
combines well down the left
channel and provides key passes
into key areas (zone 14 & 17).
However, does not defend crosses
coming from opposite flank very
well and can get caught in
possession when under pressure.
Bailey Cargill
English

20 years old
Right Foot
189cm
79kg
Players
23Gavin Lee
Center Midfielder #6
A good decision maker and very
capable of finding players in gaps
or tight areas, often performing it
with a disguise pass. Given
Bournemouth’s style of play, he
performs a crucial role in
transferring possession through
the thirds. He is discipline with
his role during defensive phases
too, getting back to protect and
screen the defence.
Harry Arter
English

26 years old
Left Foot
180cm
78kg
Center Midfielder #8
A hardworking player who covers
plenty of ground and chooses his
moments to press in midfield
very well too. Similar to Surman,
is comfortable with possession
and makes good decisions both
on and off the ball. A good
alternative to the current midfield
options that Eddie Howe has.
Eunan O’Kane
English

25 years old
Right Foot
168cm
84kg
Center Midfielder #32
Performs very well as a screen in
front of the defence with his hard
working nature and pressing
qualities. Very quick in possession
and when he is on the ball, he is
always searching for forward
options, helping to move the play
past oppositions’ lines.
Yann Kermorgant
French

34 years old
Right Foot
184cm
84kg
Attacking Midfielder #18
Plays as a #10 role. Is able to find
key passes into the final attacking
third especially in Zone 14. In
addition, he times his runs into the
box very well and has chipped in a
few goals from such movements.
However, he is not as quick as his
teammates of the same position
(King, Gradel) and has appeared less
frequently in the Premier League
campaign, which might be due to the
higher tempo of the league.
Andrew Surman
English

29 years old
Left Foot
177cm
72kg
Players
24Gavin Lee
Left Winger #7
A right footer playing on the left
flank as an “inverted winger”.
When on the ball, enjoys cutting
inside to his favourite foot. Works
very well with C. Daniels, where
their movements are well in sync
to dominate the wide left channel.
Defensively, he is very disciplined
to get back and protect the left
flank with Daniels; also
performing his 1v1s well.
Matt Ritchie
English

26 years old
Left Foot
180cm
78kg
Right Winger #30
Just like Pugh, performs an
“inverted winger” role for the
team. Enjoys drifting into the
central areas, creating overloads
there as well as creating space on
the outside channels for Francis.
His movements are also very well
in synced with Francis which helps
in dominating the right channel.
Very quick on the ball and also
disciplined in performing his
defensive duties.
Max Gradel
Ivorian

28 years old
Right Foot
180cm
69kg
Left Winger #10
Observed over 3 games, he has
showed moments of quality in
1v1 situations and is successful in
making safe passes to retain
possession. Perhaps he needs
more time to adjust and adapt to
the style and tempo of the
Premier League. Is one of the set
piece takers for the team.
Junior Stanislas
English

26 years old
Right Foot
182cm
76kg
Left & Right Winger #19
Has operated on both flanks for
Bournemouth. Not as “technical”
as the players ahead of him in his
position. Might struggle in the
Premier League where the tempo
of play and speed of defenders
are higher.
Marc Pugh
English

28 years old
Right Foot
180cm
72kg
Players
25Gavin Lee
Striker #13
Performs defensive duties
according to team strategy very
well, even when team is pressing
high. Very quick-direct player and
is always a threat behind the
defence. Plays as a target player
especially during moments when
team has been or is under
pressure in defensive third. Is
capable of holding up play but
linking up/combination play would
be an area to work on.
Joshua King
Norwegian

23 years old
Right Foot
180cm
74kg
Right Winger #30
A Norwegian International who is
very quick with and without the
ball. When partnered with Callum
Wilson, he is usually deployed
deeper but not as a traditional
No. 10. Both him and Wilson
pose great threats getting in
behind defences. Works hard to
get back defensively in front of
the midfield line when team is sat
deeper in their own half.
Callum Wilson
English

23 years old
Right Foot
180cm
66kg
** Players analysed have appeared in at least 2 games observed. **
Style of Play
Style of Play
27Gavin Lee
Offensive
AFC Bournemouth are a possession-based outfit and they often look to build their attacks
through the thirds. They rely on patient build up whenever possible, as they look to get their
attackers into key areas of the field to receive play. Plenty of movement off the ball is executed
by players ahead of the line of the ball to create opportunities for possession to skip past the
next line of pressure from the opponents. These movements are usually performed in set
patterns, such as inward movement by the “wrong-footed” wingers that they look to set out and
that has helped them to be quite successful in possession phases.
The Cherries also look to create numerical advantage with their movement. The tempo of play is
not as “slow” and “patient” as other teams who looks to dominate possession (like Manchester
United under Van Gaal, Barcelona under Guardiola) and the tempo appears faster as
Bournemouth often look to play vertical passes down the field. Fullbacks would advance further
up when the attack is on their side, while the type of support provided by them largely depends
on the position of the ball and/or the winger on their side. In the attacking thirds, rather than
playing through defensive blocks, AFC Bournemouth looks to instead work around oppositions to
penetrate.
During periods of high pressure, AFC Bournemouth would ease the pressure by looking for direct
passes into their point striker and this would usually come in the form of longer passes into
space in behind or into feet for hold up. This provides an opportunity for the defence to squeeze
up, push the line and to reorganise again.
The big diagonal switch is used on occasions to isolate the 1v1s when they favour the match up
against the opposition’s Fullback. In addition, there is very little exchange of positions, players
are mobile but within their set positioning.
Style of Play
28Gavin Lee
Strengths
Support in Possession
• Especially when possession is in central areas,
players around the ball carrier would make
themselves available within gaps and/or spaces
outside the opposition’s defensive structure. Very
often, as much as possible, supporting players would
be looking to provide forward playing options as
shown in Images B & C).
• Many at times, the forwards would push the
defensive line back (by appearing to make runs in
behind to receive) before dropping into the space
created in front of the defence. This type of
movement not only creates opportunities for them to
receive but also it stretches the space in midfield
vertically, creating more room/gaps for midfielders
to receive in.
• This support provides the player in possession with
many options and also allows play to move forward
to get behind an opposition line quicker.
(A)
(B)
(C)
Style of Play
29Gavin Lee
Strengths
Counter Attack
• Having an extremely quick forward like
Callum Wilson provides Bournemouth a
very good option for quick break aways
and his pace is a threat to defenders,
especially when spaces are available
behind the defensive line (image A).
• Fullbacks and wingers are very quick to
get forward to support the attack,
especially during counter attack
moments (image B). Such ability to do
so has seen teams in the championship
become more cautious with their
approach during their attacks as they
prefer to have numbers to deal with
Bournemouth’s counter attacks.
(A)
(B)
Style of Play
30Gavin Lee
Strengths
Numerical Overloads
• To aid in retaining possession in the
opposition half, players often look to
create superior numbers than the
opposition around the ball. This
provides them opportunities to keep the
ball as there would always be a spare
man in these outcomes. (image A)
(A) (B)
• Players are observed to position
themselves to form diamonds, which
enhances the number of options
available. Such movement and
positioning creates situations such as
shown in image B (5v3), increases
success to build possession.
Style of Play
31Gavin Lee
Strengths
Positioning in Gaps/Spaces between lines
• The team moves possession forward past opposition lines successfully
because of 1) ability to position within gaps/spaces between midfield and
defence lines and also 2) players ability to play passes that are well directed
enough through oppositions compact structures
• Image A shows 2 players (marked out in red) positioned between the
oppositions’ lines.
• Image B shows 3 players as options behind the midfield line
(A) (B)
Style of Play
32Gavin Lee
Weaknesses
Higher level opposition
• When Bournemouth play against Premier
League oppositions with almost the
identical set of players when they were
in the championship and with the similar
style of possession based attacking
football, a couple of problems were
evident:
• Example shown in image A: Lower
quality of technical execution under
pressure. When placed under
pressure, Matt Ritchie over hit his
passed, which was subsequently
intercepted and possession was lost
close to the defensive third.
• Example shown in image B:
Because of quicker pressing by
higher level oppositions,
Bournemouth players are trapped
and forced into playing non accurate
long passes, causing them to lose
possession.
(A)
(B)
Style of Play
33Gavin Lee
Defensive
AFC Bournemouth has a preference in taking the initiation to regain possession whenever
possible. Especially when possession is lost, the closest players would look to apply
immediate pressure, attempting to delay or prevent the counter attack. In the
Championship, the strikers often look to start the pressing in the oppositions’ defensive
third, which is supported well by the midfielders on the nearest passing options. However,
when playing against higher level oppositions from the premier league, they often look to
be patient and apply a delayed press (STs looking to cut off oppositions’ CMs) instead.
When opposition escapes their first line of press or when they have sustained possession
for a duration, The Cherries would look to drop into a medium compact block. Here, they
look to gain horizontal and vertical compactness, looking to funnel the play out to the
wide areas. The team do break out and press more actively when they have managed to
trap oppositions at wide areas and/or when the pressing triggers are seen.
Closer to their goal, AFC Bournemouth defends wide areas with central strength where
they have enough players to mark in the box to deal with any crosses. In addition, they
rely on their wingers to return quickly to provide the numbers in the defensive third. The
team as well utilises 2 Center Midfielders to screen the back four during these defensive
phases of the game
Style of Play
34Gavin Lee
Strengths
Delaying the Counters
• When possession is lost, the closest players
look to apply pressure immediately to delay/
prevent the opposition from starting a
counter attack. (Image A) This is executed
not only by the nearest player but is
supported by those around him as well,
hence creating an overload in a small area of
space, cutting out possible lanes quickly as
well.
Trapping & Pressing
• When oppositions are “guided” to wide
areas, players would look to “trap” them to
the touch line and often out number them in
those locations. (Image B & C) In these
situations, players close the oppositions
quicker and get tighter to them too, often
forcing a mistake - bad touch or bad pass.
(A)
(B)
(C)
Style of Play
35Gavin Lee
Strengths
Medium Block
• When opposition escapes the initial press, or
when they have “good”/sustained possession
for periods, the team would look to drop into
a low compact block with both wingers
dropping back to make 2 banks of 4 (Image
A). The main priority in here is to reduce the
spaces available in the central areas,
especially zone 14, with the objective to
show the oppositions into wide areas.
Compactness
• The team regroups quickly and looks to be
patient in that block. As shown in Image B,
when in such defensive moments, defensive
block looks to maintain horizontal and
vertical compactness.
(A)
(B)
Style of Play
36Gavin Lee
Strengths
Defensive Security - In the Box
• When oppositions’ possession is close to the
goal, Bournemouth relies on having numbers in
& around the box to deal with potential threats
(image A).
(A) (B)
Marking in the box - 2 CBs & FB
• They look to defend crosses into the box with
both CBs in the box (& not going out to
support the FB), along with the opposite FB
tucking in with them in the box (image B).
Double team to prevent crosses
• They look to defend crosses by having their
wingers tracking back quickly to support the
fullback.
Style of Play
37Gavin Lee
Weaknesses
Counter attacks
• Because of the offensive style of play that
AFC Bournemouth looks to execute, the
players tend to be well positioned out on the
field, which would mean that there are more
spaces available (image A).
Higher Level Opposition
• As The Cherries compete against higher level
opposition, the quality of the attackers that
the defence faces can pose a serious threat
in 1v1 situations. As such, they have been
and will continue to face such problems
unless they recruit higher level defenders or
help the current defenders improve their
quality.
(A)
System of Play
Offensive System of Play
39Gavin Lee
General Shape
Build Up Phase Attacking 3rd
Offensive System of Play
40Gavin Lee
Possession Phases
• CBs split wide when building play from the back.
When unable to play out the first pass, one/two CM
will drop in between to create an extra option.
Having 2 CMs in the spaces left by the CBs, would
provide central cover in case of a counter attack.
(Image A)
• FBs are advanced when team has good possession,
often able to do so as spaces are left in the channel
by the inwards movements of the wingers (Image
B). In addition, the wingers move in probably to
create numerical superiorities, which aids in the
development or maintenance of possession. In
addition, the movements made off the ball by the
wingers are usually within the gaps of oppositions’
defensive & midfield lines. These overloads occur
higher up the pitch (attacking thirds) as well, where
combinations with the strikers are often.
• The center forward of the team (usually Wilson),
often looks to work off the shoulders, which
stretches the oppositions lines further.
(A)
(B)
Defensive System of Play
41Gavin Lee
Pressing Shape
4-1-4-1 Shape4-4-1-1 Shape
Defensive System of Play
42Gavin Lee
Out of Possession Phases
• Depending on the oppositions’ set-up and/or
tactical requirements of the game. The midfield
might set up with a 1-2 or 2-1 formation, which
means a 4-1-4-1 (Image A) or 4-4-1-1 (Image B).
• In the Championship, Bournemouth looked to be
pressing on more occasions high up the pitch,
probably because of fewer risks with the spaces
they leave behind at that level of play. However, in
the Premier League, they are more patient and not
applying higher pressure as often, possibly because
they understand the calibre of attackers they face
can hurt them with the spaces behind.
• The team however, are consistent in their pressing
triggers like: passes to wide areas, bad passes, bad
touch, etc.
• Wingers has the physical capability to regroup back
into their defensive positions quickly to form a
midfield 4 during defensive moments through out
the game. They are organised and disciplined with
regards to this respect.
(A)
(B)
Offensive Analysis by Thirds
Possession in Defensive 3rd
44Gavin Lee
• When the team builds possession patiently out
from the back, both CMs would look to position
themselves in front of the two CBs as options to
carry the play forward. The CMS would further
position themselves ahead of the line of
opposition strikers, making the pass to them, a
pass that beats an opposition line.
• This set up to facilitate the build up phase,
allows the FBs push up further the field. In
addition, it creates spaces in Zones 8 & 11 for
the wingers to drift inwards to (which place
oppositions’ defenders in a difficult position as
they have to make a choice whether or not to
follow the wingers in). Also, the CMs would
provide defensive security in the event,
possession is lost during the process.
Possession in Defensive 3rd
45Gavin Lee
• When under pressure as the RB is under in
Image A, AFC Bournemouth would look for the
safe direct pass forward into the striker for hold
up or into space in behind the defence as they
possess a very quick striker in Callum Wilson, as
well as wingers, such as Matt Ritchie. This option
can be seen as a safety option as well as one to
create relief periods for the defence under
pressure.
• There is no hesitation to make use of options
that can move the possession up into the next
third quickly. As shown in Image B, often
possession would be shifted wide for fullback to
carry the ball up into spaces available.
(A) (B)
Possession in Midfield 3rd
46Gavin Lee
• Very often, possession is moved into the middle
third of the field via the wide channels. These often
come about through inward movements by the
wingers into the inside channels, while the FBs
provides the width as they advance up line (Image A
& B). These movements often place the oppositions
in a position, where they have to make difficult
decisions. In addition, space is created for a give &
go between the FB and WG.
• Also, these movements often allows play to be
transferred through the wide areas, as defenders
making any decision to close in on FB or winger will
open up a space or leave someone else free (Image
C).
(A) (B)
(C)
Possession in Midfield 3rd
47Gavin Lee
• Following up from the previous movements that
occur at the wide areas, the FBs would look to
arrange their position in relation to where the
winger is.
• If the winger is in the outside channel, with or
without the ball, the FB will instead position
themselves in the inside channel (Image A & B)
• It is safe to conclude that AFC Bournemouth
would want to occupy both the wide channel as
well as the inside channel (Image C) as having
players in those locations, would serve to distort
the oppositions’ defensive shape, where by
spare players and spaces can be created.
(A) (B)
(C)
Possession in Midfield 3rd
48Gavin Lee
• Sticking to their style of building play into the
midfield third majority of the time from wide
areas, AFC Bournemouth finds further solutions
to achieve their objectives.
• On top of the movements by the FBs and WGs as
highlighted earlier, the Strikers are usually
mobile and provides options to allow play to be
carried forward.
• The wingers inward movement to position
himself in the inside channel/gaps brings
defenders to him and allows the FB to be free to
receive play (Image A) and drive forward if more
space is available. However if not possible,
Striker will make movements into these wide
areas to receive possession (Image B).
(A)
(B)
Possession in Attacking 3rd
49Gavin Lee
• A lot of their penetration into the penalty box
originates from wide areas. Going back again to
the usage of “wrong footed” wingers where you
get right footed wingers playing on the left and
vice versa. Due to the “unnatural” side of play,
these wingers tend drift inwards, looking for the
possible shots/combination plays.
• These inward movement/inside positioning of the
wingers will draw surrounding defenders in to
them, creating spaces at the wide channels of the
field. This gives rise to opportunities for the
offensive minded fullbacks (especially Steven
Francis, RB) to go on overlaps and deliver crosses
into the box. (Image A & B)
(A)
(B)
Move that led to the 1st goal against West Ham FC.
Possession in Attacking 3rd
50Gavin Lee
• In addition, AFC Bournemouth utilises these
overlap runs by FB to overload the oppositions in
a 2v1 situation which can end up with the FB free
down the channel or the winger with space to
drive inside as the opponent follows the FB.
(Image A & B)
(A)
(B)
Possession in Attacking 3rd
51Gavin Lee
• As mentioned before, the FBs adjusts their movement
according to the position of the winger and this happens
likewise in the attacking third too. As such, if the winger is in
possession or about to receive possession at the wide channel,
FBs will make an underlap run instead of an overlap to occupy
the inside channel.
• This underlap movement, draws opponents towards him and
creates spaces for him to drive inwards (Image A).
• In the event that the oppositions are drawn to the ball and not
the underlap run or inside positioning, that leaves the FB with
space to receive and drive into the oppositions defensive
structure (Image B).
• Also because the wingers have high ability in taking defenders
on in 1v1 situations, such FB movement can isolate these 1v1
opportunities at wide areas for the wingers (Image C).
(A)
(B)
(C)
Possession in Attacking 3rd
52Gavin Lee
(A)
(B)
• Another form of penetration used by AFC Bournemouth is
through finding attackers in between the defensive and
midfield lines (within the gaps of the oppositions’ defensive
structure)
• The players that are usually found in these spaces of the
field are the wingers. The wingers again look to perform
the same inward movements and/or to position themselves
in those available pockets of spaces (Image A & B).
• As the strikers of the team are usually making movements
to get in behind the defense, the defensive line is therefore
stretched deeper, also forcing the defenders to pay more
attention to their runs than the players finding spaces in
front of them (Image C).
(C)
Possession in Attacking 3rd
53Gavin Lee
(A)
(B)
• Around the penalty, the strikers and wingers are
positioned close, which gives rise to the possible
combination plays to get around/through the
defensive lines (Image A).
• Wingers too look for opportunities to make the
3rd man runs, which many at times catches the
defence off guard if they do not track their
runners well (Image B).
(B)
Defensive Analysis by
Thirds
Defending in Attacking 3rd
55Gavin Lee
(A)
Pressing High
• Especially in the Championships, where the
team likes to take the initiative in regaining
possession, the striker would put pressure
on to the CB. The striker’s pressure would
come in the form of a curved run, pushing
the ball carrier to wide areas. (Image A)
Defending in Attacking 3rd
56Gavin Lee
Pressing High
• However, one constant behaviour that
stays in both the Championships &
the Premier League are the quicker or
more aggressive pressing on triggers. 

- Backward Pass (Image B)

- Mis-directed Pass (Image C)

- Bad control (Image D)
(B)
(C) (D)
Defending in Midfield 3rd
57Gavin Lee
Medium Block
• As mentioned before, when playing against
better oppositions and/or physical conditions
of players (state and stage within a game and
season), instead of taking the proactive role in
retrieving possession higher up the field, The
Cherries would look to sit into a compact
middle block in the midfield third.
• Here they would allow the oppositions’ CBs to
have possession but are actively trying to cut
out the passing lanes into the CMs, with the
main intention to force possession into wide
areas. (Image A)
• In the event that the opposition CMs are
ahead of the STs, the main objective now is to
force them back to the CBs. (Image B)
(A)
(B)
Defending in Midfield 3rd
58Gavin Lee
Medium Block
• In the event that 1 ST decides that
he would step out and put pressure
on the CB with possession, the other
attacker would follow and support
the press by closing in on the
available CM/DM of the opposing
team. (Image A) This again reduces
the opportunities for the CBs to play
the ball forward to advance
possession.
(A)
Defending in Midfield 3rd
59Gavin Lee
Midfield Pressing
• If possession has been managed to be played
through into midfield, CMs would be quick to
close down the receiver looking to force them
back, preventing them to turn and face with
possession. (Image A & B)
• In addition, the nearest midfielders would also
quickly close down on the support options.
(Image C)
(A)
(B) (C)
60Gavin Lee
As shown before:
• When possession reaches wide areas of
the pitch through the middle block
behaviour (forcing play away from central
areas), the team looks to apply quick
pressure to trap oppositions in those
locations.
• This team press & trap behaviour is
usually performed with superior numbers
and ensuring that the nearest options are
all closed down.
(A)
(B) (C)
Defending in Midfield 3rd
61Gavin Lee
Deep Block
• When opponent has good possession in
the defensive 3rd, the team would look
to drop into a low block where the back 4
would remain compact horizontally and
the midfield would close the spaces
vertically between both lines.
• The main priority for the units are to
reduce spaces outside the penalty box
especially within the lines, denying
opposition possible gaps to play into.
• Similarly to the midfield block, the block
is looking to push the opposing teams’
possession into wide areas, where they
can look to press & trap them there.
(A)
(B)
Defending in Defensive 3rd
62Gavin Lee
Dealing with attacks from Wide Areas
• From a low defensive block, AFC
Bournemouth has often been able to
show the oppositions to wide areas of the
pitch. From there, they deal with attacks
effectively by having their FB/WG to
prevent the cross by executing good
defensive 1v1 techniques (Highlighted in
Yellow Squares)
• At the same time, the 2 CBs would stay
inside the box (often within the length of
the 6yard box), along with the opposite
FB. They would provide central strength
if a cross were to be delivered into the
box, as well as picking up any opponents
in the box.
• CBs would rarely step out to provide
cover for the FBs, instead looking to
protect the center of goal. Showing that
the team places plenty of emphasis in
their defensive capabilities.
Defending in Defensive 3rd
Attacking Set Plays
Corners
64Gavin Lee
(A)
4 main options:

Option 1
• Players making a decoy run together
towards the near post zone. Creating
space for a player who appear to be
locking up the box to make a run into
the space created. (Image A)
Option 2
• 4 of their bigger physical players
surround the goalkeeper, reducing the
space he has to move, making it hard
for the GK to come advance out for the
cross. (Image B)
(B)
Corners
65Gavin Lee
(A)
Option 3
• Players starting together in a pile at the
edge of the box, before making separate
individual runs into pre-designated zones
at the signal of the taker. (Image A)
Option 4
• Short corner option, drawing out
opposition to the side of the corner,
while emptying the space on the
opposite side for an opportunity to
find a shot or cross back into the box
(B)
Goal Kick
66Gavin Lee
(A)
Short option
• Both CBs looks to split out wide to
the edge of the penalty box with one
CM dropping in to the front of the
box. This provides the GK with 3
possible short options (Image A & B).
(B)
Goal Kick
67Gavin Lee
(A)
Long option
• From their dispersed shape on goal-
kicks, FBs are wider advanced
options (Image A).
• They look to set up the split CBs and
DM shape, but when placed under
pressure by the oppositions, which
places the build up under certain
risks, they look to take the longer
direct option (Image B & C).
(C)(B)
Freekick
68Gavin Lee
(A)
Direct option
• Free-kicks that are within striking
range, are usually taken directly by
#30 or #10. But on occasions, they
might look to perform decoy
movements for a short set-up like
shown in Image A & B.
(B)
Freekick
69Gavin Lee
(A)
Wide Free kicks
• #30, Ritchie, usually takes the free
kicks from wide areas from both
sides of the field with runners into
the box (Image A)
• Usual set up would include 5
runners, each taking up different
zones in the penalty box with their
individual runs (Image B)
(B)
Freekick
70Gavin Lee
(A)
Deep Free kicks
• Whenever possible, if there are
available options, deep free kicks
would be taken quickly and look to
be played to the short option. This
is part of the possession mindset/
style that AFC Bournemouth is
utilising. (Image A)
• However, if the opposition reacts
quick enough and applies pressure
on their nearest options, then the
defender on the ball would make
the decision to play a longer direct
ball to the ST for a flick on or hold
up. (Image B)
(B)
Penalties & Kick Off
71Gavin Lee
(A)
Penalties
• Only 1 penalty was observed
and was taken by #13, Wilson,
placed to the bottom right
(goalkeeper’s left). (Image A)
(B) (C)
Kick Off
• On most occasions, possession
is looked to be retained by
playing the passes backward.
(Image B & C)
Defensive Set Plays
Corners
73Gavin Lee
(A)
• There would always be one player on the near
post and one positioned in the front post zone.
The rest of the team will be back man-marking
either in the box or outside the box. (The smaller
players would usually be responsible for
oppositions outside the box) (Image A & B)
• When the corner is played short, the player on the
near post would be responsible to step out and
make it 2v2 with a teammate that is already out
there. (Image C)
(B) (C)
Wide Freekicks
74Gavin Lee
(A)
• When the free kicks are located at wide areas and no
threat of a direct shot, they would look to have 1 man
in the wall, while the rest of the team holding the line
together. There would be a player or two in front of
the main line to pick up the drop downs.
• The players in line would drop off together into the
zones behind them.
• The player in the wall is usually their striker #13,
possibly as a counter attack option if they were to
regain possession quickly.
(B) (C)
Central Freekicks
75Gavin Lee
(A)
• When free kicks are in central areas and/or within
striking distance, there will be a minimum of 4
players in the wall. The wall would usually
comprise the tallest players on the pitch at that
time. While the rest of the team would either be
man marking in the box or look to charge out to a
short free kick.
(B) (C)
Kick Offs
76Gavin Lee
(A)
• Both attackers (STs) would look to apply quick
pressure on oppositions’ CM on kick off. (Image A)
• However, the midfield line is more cautious than the
forward line in pressing the ball on kick off. Like
shown in Image B, if the attackers looks to move
forward with the ball instead, Bournemouth’s
midfielders would stay and contain their progression.
But if the oppositions look to play backwards like in
Image C, the midfielders would step forward and
support the press.
(B) (C)
AFC Bournemouth
Season 2014/15 - 2015/16
10 Match Team Study
By Gavin Lee
gavinlee13@gmail.com
2015

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AFC Bournemouth Tactical Analysis 2014-16

  • 1. Team Study By Gavin Lee 10 Match Analysis 2014/15 - 2015/16
  • 2. Content 1. The Club (pg.3) 2. Key Statistics (pg.5) 3. Match Information (pg.6) 4. Squad (pg.18) 5. Style of Play (pg.26) 6. System of Play (pg.38) 7. Offensive Analysis by Thirds (pg.43) 8. Defensive Analysis by Thirds (pg.54) 9. Offensive Set Plays (pg.63) 10. Defensive Set Plays (pg.72) 2Gavin Lee
  • 3. The Club Brief History Known as ‘The Cherries’, AFC Bournemouth was founded in 1890. In 1996, the club came within 15 minutes of closing down and was only saved by a supporters’ trust fund, forming Europe’s first ever community club. However, Bournemouth again faced financial troubles in 2008 and narrowly avoided dropping out of the English Football League. New owners took over in 2009 and at 31 years of age, Eddie Howe was appointed the new manager. By April 2010, they had earned promotion to League One and had Russian oil magnate Maxim Demin purchasing 50% of the club in November 2011. Continuing their remarkable rise, The Cherries won promotion to the championship in April 2013 and a 3 nil victory over Bolton on 28th April 2015 effectively secured their promotion to the Premier League. 3Gavin Lee
  • 4. The Club Vitality Stadium Capacity: 11,464 Field Size: 105 x 78m Surface: Grass Located at the south of England and was formerly known as Dean Court but has been renamed due to sponsorship reasons. 4Gavin Lee
  • 5. Key Statistics Avg. Passing AccuracyGoals Scored - Location Avg. Possession Avg. Pass Length Chances Created 5Gavin Lee Data from www.squawka.com
  • 7. Matches Observed 7Gavin Lee Season 2014/15 Match 1: 16/08/14 - Sky BET Championship - (h) vs Brentford - Won 1-0 Match 2: 23/09/14 - Sky BET Championship - (a) vs Cardiff City - Won 3-0 Match 3: 27/09/14 - Sky BET Championship - (h) vs Wigan Athletic - Won 2-0 Match 4: 17/12/14 - Capital One League Cup - (h) vs Liverpool FC - Lost 1-3 Match 5: 20/12/14 - Sky BET Championship - (a) vs Blackpool - Won 6-1 Match 6: 18/04/15 - Sky BET Championship - (h) vs Sheffield Wednesday - Drew 2-2 Match 7: 02/05/15 - Sky BET Championship - (a) vs Charlton Athletic - Won 3-0 Season 2015/16 Match 8: 08/08/15 - Premier League - (h) vs Aston Villa - Lost 0-1 Match 9: 17/08/15 - Premier League - (a) vs Liverpool FC - Lost 0-1 Match 10: 22/08/15 - Premier League - (a) vs West Ham - Won 4-3 Games Selection: To get a distributed overall view of AFC Bournemouth, of the games observed in the 2014/15 season: 3 games from the first two months (beginning of the season), 2 games in December (middle of the season) and 2 games in the final two months (end of the season). Following that, the first three games of the 2015/16 season were observed.
  • 8. Match 1 - (h) vs Brentford 8Gavin Lee Sky BET Championship 2014/15 16/08/14 Bournemouth Brentford1 - 0 1. L. Camp 11. C. Daniels 3. S. Cook 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 8. H. Arter 32. E. O’Kane 7. M. Pugh 30. M. Ritchie 18. Y. Kermorgant 13. C. Wilson Subs Used 20. R. Fraser 19. J. Stanislas 4. D. Gosling 27. D. Button 3. J. Bidwell 5. T. Craig 26. J. Tarkowski 12. A. McCormack 8. J. Douglas 14. M. Tebar 18. A. Judge 21. A. Pritchard 10. M. Odubajo 19. A. Gray Subs Used 15. S. Dallas 39. N. Proschwitz 24. T. Smith 72’ J. Stanislas Bournemouth Brentford Bournemouth Brentford Possession 54% 46% Fouls 15 7 Passes 565 (81%) 437 (74%) Challenges 130 (42%) 130 (58%) Key Passes 12 8 Tackles 23 (43%) 24 (83%)
  • 9. Match 2 - (a) vs Cardiff City 9Gavin Lee Sky BET Championship 2014/15 23/09/14 Cardiff City Bournemouth0 - 3 33. S. Moore 12. D. John 4. Juan Cala 39. D. Gabbidon 2. J. Brayford 17. A. Gunnarsson 18. T. Adeyemi 23. N. Maynard 10. A. Le Fondre 13. Bo-Kyung Kim 22. Javi Guerra Subs Used 14. F. Macheda 20. M. Daehli 19. A. Pilkington 31. A. Boruc 11. C. Daniels 38. B. Cargill 5. T. Elphick 15. A. Smith 4. D. Gosling 32. E. O’Kane 7. M. Pugh 19. J. Stanislas 16. S. MacDonald 10. B. Pitman Subs Used 8. H. Arter 2. S. Francis 9. T. Rantie 9’, 33’ D. Gosling 22’ C. Daniels Cardiff Bournemouth Cardiff Bournemouth Possession 44% 56% Fouls 10 6 Passes 509 (81%) 718 (85%) Challenges 137 (42%) 137 (58%) Key Passes 5 22 Tackles 26 (62%) 23 (78%)
  • 10. Match 3 - (h) vs Wigan 10Gavin Lee Sky BET Championship 2014/15 27/09/14 Bournemouth Wigan Atl.2 - 0 31. A. Boruc 14. I. Harte 3. S. Cook 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 8. H. Arter 6. A. Surman 19. J. Stanislas 30. M. Ritchie 13. C. Wilson 18. Y. Kermorgant Subs Used 32. E. O’Kane 7. M. Pugh 4. D. Gosling 1. S. Carson 30. R. Kiernan 4. Ramis 17. E. Boyce 14. E. Huws 29. A. Forshaw 3. A. Taylor 24. J. Perch 19. D. Cowie 33. M. Waghorn 32. M. Fortune Subs Used 9. O. Riera 25. L. Barnett 49. A. Delort 37’ Y. Kermorgant 70’ S. Francis Bournemouth Wigan Bournemouth Wigan Possession 49% 51% Fouls 11 11 Passes 528 (82%) 552 (84%) Challenges 127 (50%) 127 (50%) Key Passes 8 3 Tackles 19 (74%) 11 (73%)
  • 11. Match 4 - (h) vs Liverpool 11Gavin Lee Capital One League Cup 2014/15 17/12/14 Bournemouth Liverpool1 - 3 31. A. Boruc 15. A. Smith 38. B. Cargill 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 4. D. Gosling 32. E. O’Kane 19. J. Stanislas 30. M. Ritchie 13. C. Wilson 18. Y. Kermorgant Subs Used 8. H. Arter 20. R. Fraser 10. B. Pitman 1. B. Jones 2. D. Lovren 37. M. Skrtel 4. K. Toure 50. L. Markovic 21. L. Leiva 8. S. Gerrard 14. J. Henderson 20. A. Lallana 10. P. Coutinho 31. R. Sterling Subs Used 17. M. Sakho 23. E. Can 29. F. Borini 57’ D. Gosling Bournemouth Liverpool Bournemouth Liverpool Possession 45% 55% Fouls 8 7 Passes 527 (86%) 710 (89%) Challenges 145 (53%) 145 (47%) Key Passes 8 14 Tackles 31 (43%) 37 (35%) 20’, 51’ R. Sterling 27’ L. Markovic
  • 12. Match 5 - (a) vs Blackpool 12Gavin Lee Sky BET Championship 2014/15 20/12/14 Blackpool Bournemouth1 - 6 1. J. Lewis 35. T. Kennedy 6. P. Clarke 37. N. Nosworthy 26. K. Foley 31. J. O’Hara 4. D. Perkins 29. A. McMahon 38. S. O’Keefe 12. C. Eagles 9. S. Davies Subs Used 14. N. Defouneso 25. J. Murphy 48. D. O’Dea 31. A. Boruc 11. C. Daniels 3. S. Cook 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 6. A. Surman 8. H. Arter 7. M. Pugh 30. M. Ritchie 13. C. Wilson 10. B. Pitman Subs Used 18. Y. Kermorgant 4. D. Gosling 15. A. Smith 18’, 59’ M. Ritchie 42’ C. Wilson 67’ B. Pitman Blackpool Bournemouth Blackpool Bournemouth Possession 45% 55% Fouls 8 7 Passes 527 (86%) 710 (89%) Challenges 145 (53%) 145 (47%) Key Passes 8 14 Tackles 31 (42%) 37 (35%) 73’ M. Pugh 76’ H. Arter 65’ N. Delfouneso
  • 13. Match 6 - (h) vs Sheffield Wednesday 13Gavin Lee Capital One League Cup 2014/15 18/04/15 Bournemouth Sheffield Wed.2 - 2 31. A. Boruc 11. C. Daniels 3. S. Cook 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 8. H. Arter 6. A. Surman 7. M. Pugh 30. M. Ritchie 13. C. Wilson 18. Y. Kermorgant Subs Used 15. A. Smith 49. K. Jones 22. E. Ward 43. C. Kirkland 17. J. Helen 18. K. Zayatte 15. T. Lees 2. L. Buxton 33. Filipe Melo 4. S. Hutchinson 20. K. Lee 27. L. Isgrove 10. C. Maguire 13. C. Lavery Subs Used 19. J. Maghoma 36. M. Vermijl 9. A. Nuhiu 69’ Y. Kermorgant 84’ M. Ritchie Bournemouth Sheffield Wed Bournemouth Sheffield Wed Possession 56% 44% Fouls 15 14 Passes 540 (79%) 362 (72%) Challenges 226 (58%) 226 (42%) Key Passes 15 6 Tackles 29 (62%) 42 (52%) 36’ K. Lee 96’ C. Maguire
  • 14. Match 7 - (a) vs Charlton Atl. 14Gavin Lee Sky BET Championship 2014/15 02/05/15 Charlton Atl. Bournemouth0 - 3 1. S. Henderson 21. M. Fox 22. R. Johnson 26. T. Ben Haim 20. C. Solly 17. Y. Buyens 12. A. Diarra 8. F. Bulot 7. J. Gudmundsson 32. T. Watt 14. Vetokele Subs Used 18. S. Church 9. C. Eagles 3. J. Gomez 31. A. Boruc 11. C. Daniels 3. S. Cook 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 6. A. Surman 8. H. Arter 7. M. Pugh 30. M. Ritchie 13. C. Wilson 18. Y. Kermorgant Subs Used 49. K. Jones 4. D. Gosling 15. A. Smith Charlton Atl. Bournemouth Charlton Atl. Bournemouth Possession 38% 62% Fouls 5 6 Passes 400 (78%) 654 (86%) Challenges 159 (50%) 159 (50%) Key Passes 12 34 Tackles 38 (42%) 36 (39%) 10’, 85’ M. Ritchie 12’ H. Arter
  • 15. Match 8 - (h) vs Aston Villa 15Gavin Lee Barclays Premier League 2015/16 08/08/15 Bournemouth Aston Villa0 - 1 31. A. Boruc 11. C. Daniels 3. S. Cook 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 4. D. Gosling 6. A. Surman 7. M. Pugh 30. M. Ritchie 13. C. Wilson 17. J. King Subs Used 18. Y. Kermorgant 10. M. Gradel 32. E. O’Kane 1. B. Guzan 23. J. Amavi 6. C. Clark 4. M. Richards 7. L. Bacuna 15. A. Westwood 8. I. Gueye 17. J. Veretout 9. S. Sinclair 19. J. Ayew 11. G. Agbaonlahor Subs Used 39. R. Gestede 24. C. Sanchez 18. K. Richardson Bournemouth Aston Villa Bournemouth Aston Villa Possession 56% 44% Fouls 14 12 Passes 603 (86%) 447 (79%) Challenges 198 (43%) 198 (57%) Key Passes 26 11 Tackles 39 (39%) 45 (64%) 72’ R. Gestede
  • 16. Match 9 - (a) vs Liverpool 16Gavin Lee Barclays Premier League 2015/16 08/08/15 Liverpool Bournemouth1 - 0 22. S. Mignolet 12. J. Gomez 37. M. Skrtel 6. D. Lovren 2. N. Clyne 7. J. Milner 33. J. Ibe 14. J. Henderson 20. A. Lallana 10. P. Coutinho 9. C. Benteke Subs Used 23. E. Can 11. R. Firmino 18. A. Moreno 1. A. Boruc 11. C. Daniels 3. S. Cook 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 32. E. O’Kane 6. A. Surman 30. M. Ritchie 17. J. King 10. M. Gradel 13. C. Wilson Subs Used 24. L. Tomlin 15. A. Smith 4. D. Gosling 26’ C. Benteke Liverpool Bournemouth Liverpool Bournemouth Possession 55% 45% Fouls 11 18 Passes 546 (84%) 438 (78%) Challenges 208 (56%) 208 (44%) Key Passes 24 8 Tackles 36 (58%) 46 (46%)
  • 17. Match 10 - (a) vs West Ham 17Gavin Lee Barclays Premier League 2015/16 22/08/15 West Ham Bournemouth1 - 0 1. D. Randolph 3. A. Cresswell 21. A. Ogbonna 2. W. Reid 12. C. Jenkinson 14. P. Obiang 16. M. Noble 27. D. Payet 4. K. Nolan 8. C. Kouyate 15. D. Sakho Subs Used 5. J. Tomkins 7. M. Jarvis 20. M. Maiga 1. A. Boruc 11. C. Daniels 3. S. Cook 5. T. Elphick 2. S. Francis 32. E. O’Kane 6. A. Surman 30. M. Ritchie 17. J. King 10. M. Gradel 13. C. Wilson Subs Used 7. M. Pugh 15. A. Smith 4. D. Gosling 48’ M. Noble 53’ C. Kouyate West Ham Bournemouth West Ham Bournemouth Possession 45% 55% Fouls 9 11 Passes 445 (75%) 527 (78%) Challenges 192 (44%) 192 (56%) Key Passes 16 17 Tackles 27 (59%) 28 (54%) 82’ M. Maiga 11’, 28’, 79’ C. Wilson 66’ M. Pugh
  • 19. Technical Staff 19Gavin Lee Eddie Howe, Manager As a kid, Eddie Howe watched Bournemouth from the terraces and became a Bournemouth scholar at 13. He went on to captain his side and spent most of his professional career there as a defender. However, due to a knee injury, his playing career was numbered and at 29 years of age, he was appointed player-coach by then manager Kevin Bond. Two years on in 2008, he became manager but the club were in financial troubles. In addition, they were struggling in League Two as they faced a 17-point deduction for financial irregularities. Howe and his assistant saved them from relegation disaster and the club has not looked back since. After gaining promotion to League One, Howe joined Burnley in in January 2011. However, after 15 months, he decided to head back home to Bournemouth under new owner Maxim Demin. A keen student of the game, Howe has visited clubs in Spain and had lengthy conversations with the likes of Brendan Rodgers to further his education. With his hard work and dedication, Howe has brought optimism and belief that they can compete and perform well in their maiden Premier League campaign.
  • 20. Technical Staff 20Gavin Lee Jason Tindall Assistant Manager Simon Weatherstone First Team Coach Niel Moss Goalkeeping Coach Dan Hodges Head of Sports Science Garvan Stewart Performance Analyst Steve Hard Physiotherapist
  • 21. Players 21Gavin Lee Artur Boruc
 Polish
 35 years old Right Foot 193cm 87kg Goalkeeper #1 Has prior premier league experience as well as at International level. Makes good decisions and executes well when distributing possession from the back and his ability to with his feet is crucial to Bournemouth’s style of play. Is a good shot stopper and deals with crosses well. Important figure to Bournemouth’s defines. Simon Francis
 English
 30 years old Right Foot 183cm 90kg Right Defender #2 A consistent fixture in Eddie Howe’s first 11. Is dominant in the air and is very quick in covering ground. He chooses his moments for his forward (over/underlap) runs very well and provides offensive width often during the game. He recovers back on the counter attacks very quickly too. However, his decision making in the Att. 3rd lets him down at times. Steve Cook
 English
 24 years old Right Foot 185cm 82kg Center Defender #3 Forms a very good partnership with defensive partner, Elphick. Very competent in the air and is comfortable in possession too. Positions himself well during build up stages for the team and is also discipline in his role when dealing with attacks from wide areas. He defends 1v1s well in the championship but might initially struggle with the higher tempo of the Premier League. Tommy Elphick English
 28 years old Right Foot 180cm 85kg Center Defender #5 Captain of the team and was instrumental in Bournemouth’s promotion to the Premier League. Also very competent in the air, seldom loses out in an aerial duel. Similar to S. Cook, he is comfortable in possession when not under severe pressure but would not deal well with forward lines that press quicker like in the Premier League.
  • 22. Players 22Gavin Lee Center Defender #38 Is a young talented defender and has been part of the England youth set up. Very capable with aerial challenges and is quick over distances too. He is a good back up to the two regular center defenders. Adam Smith
 English
 24 years old Right Foot 180cm 78kg Left & Right Def./Mid. #15 A player who is comfortable in possession and performs consistency whenever called upon. Has featured mainly from the bench last season. A reliable player who can perform multiple roles for the team. Dan Gosling English
 25 years old Right Foot 183cm 80kg Center Midfielder #4 He covers plenty of ground executing both defensive and attacking actions required for his team. In possession, he is capable in tight situations and makes good decisions when on the ball. Positions himself well during the team’s possession phases too. Defensively, he is disciplined with his role and provides good cover for his defence. Charlie Daniels
 English
 29 years old Left Foot 178cm 75kg Left Defender #11 Offensive minded fullback but chooses his moments to get forward very well. Has a good understanding with LW Pugh, combines well down the left channel and provides key passes into key areas (zone 14 & 17). However, does not defend crosses coming from opposite flank very well and can get caught in possession when under pressure. Bailey Cargill English
 20 years old Right Foot 189cm 79kg
  • 23. Players 23Gavin Lee Center Midfielder #6 A good decision maker and very capable of finding players in gaps or tight areas, often performing it with a disguise pass. Given Bournemouth’s style of play, he performs a crucial role in transferring possession through the thirds. He is discipline with his role during defensive phases too, getting back to protect and screen the defence. Harry Arter English
 26 years old Left Foot 180cm 78kg Center Midfielder #8 A hardworking player who covers plenty of ground and chooses his moments to press in midfield very well too. Similar to Surman, is comfortable with possession and makes good decisions both on and off the ball. A good alternative to the current midfield options that Eddie Howe has. Eunan O’Kane English
 25 years old Right Foot 168cm 84kg Center Midfielder #32 Performs very well as a screen in front of the defence with his hard working nature and pressing qualities. Very quick in possession and when he is on the ball, he is always searching for forward options, helping to move the play past oppositions’ lines. Yann Kermorgant French
 34 years old Right Foot 184cm 84kg Attacking Midfielder #18 Plays as a #10 role. Is able to find key passes into the final attacking third especially in Zone 14. In addition, he times his runs into the box very well and has chipped in a few goals from such movements. However, he is not as quick as his teammates of the same position (King, Gradel) and has appeared less frequently in the Premier League campaign, which might be due to the higher tempo of the league. Andrew Surman English
 29 years old Left Foot 177cm 72kg
  • 24. Players 24Gavin Lee Left Winger #7 A right footer playing on the left flank as an “inverted winger”. When on the ball, enjoys cutting inside to his favourite foot. Works very well with C. Daniels, where their movements are well in sync to dominate the wide left channel. Defensively, he is very disciplined to get back and protect the left flank with Daniels; also performing his 1v1s well. Matt Ritchie English
 26 years old Left Foot 180cm 78kg Right Winger #30 Just like Pugh, performs an “inverted winger” role for the team. Enjoys drifting into the central areas, creating overloads there as well as creating space on the outside channels for Francis. His movements are also very well in synced with Francis which helps in dominating the right channel. Very quick on the ball and also disciplined in performing his defensive duties. Max Gradel Ivorian
 28 years old Right Foot 180cm 69kg Left Winger #10 Observed over 3 games, he has showed moments of quality in 1v1 situations and is successful in making safe passes to retain possession. Perhaps he needs more time to adjust and adapt to the style and tempo of the Premier League. Is one of the set piece takers for the team. Junior Stanislas English
 26 years old Right Foot 182cm 76kg Left & Right Winger #19 Has operated on both flanks for Bournemouth. Not as “technical” as the players ahead of him in his position. Might struggle in the Premier League where the tempo of play and speed of defenders are higher. Marc Pugh English
 28 years old Right Foot 180cm 72kg
  • 25. Players 25Gavin Lee Striker #13 Performs defensive duties according to team strategy very well, even when team is pressing high. Very quick-direct player and is always a threat behind the defence. Plays as a target player especially during moments when team has been or is under pressure in defensive third. Is capable of holding up play but linking up/combination play would be an area to work on. Joshua King Norwegian
 23 years old Right Foot 180cm 74kg Right Winger #30 A Norwegian International who is very quick with and without the ball. When partnered with Callum Wilson, he is usually deployed deeper but not as a traditional No. 10. Both him and Wilson pose great threats getting in behind defences. Works hard to get back defensively in front of the midfield line when team is sat deeper in their own half. Callum Wilson English
 23 years old Right Foot 180cm 66kg ** Players analysed have appeared in at least 2 games observed. **
  • 27. Style of Play 27Gavin Lee Offensive AFC Bournemouth are a possession-based outfit and they often look to build their attacks through the thirds. They rely on patient build up whenever possible, as they look to get their attackers into key areas of the field to receive play. Plenty of movement off the ball is executed by players ahead of the line of the ball to create opportunities for possession to skip past the next line of pressure from the opponents. These movements are usually performed in set patterns, such as inward movement by the “wrong-footed” wingers that they look to set out and that has helped them to be quite successful in possession phases. The Cherries also look to create numerical advantage with their movement. The tempo of play is not as “slow” and “patient” as other teams who looks to dominate possession (like Manchester United under Van Gaal, Barcelona under Guardiola) and the tempo appears faster as Bournemouth often look to play vertical passes down the field. Fullbacks would advance further up when the attack is on their side, while the type of support provided by them largely depends on the position of the ball and/or the winger on their side. In the attacking thirds, rather than playing through defensive blocks, AFC Bournemouth looks to instead work around oppositions to penetrate. During periods of high pressure, AFC Bournemouth would ease the pressure by looking for direct passes into their point striker and this would usually come in the form of longer passes into space in behind or into feet for hold up. This provides an opportunity for the defence to squeeze up, push the line and to reorganise again. The big diagonal switch is used on occasions to isolate the 1v1s when they favour the match up against the opposition’s Fullback. In addition, there is very little exchange of positions, players are mobile but within their set positioning.
  • 28. Style of Play 28Gavin Lee Strengths Support in Possession • Especially when possession is in central areas, players around the ball carrier would make themselves available within gaps and/or spaces outside the opposition’s defensive structure. Very often, as much as possible, supporting players would be looking to provide forward playing options as shown in Images B & C). • Many at times, the forwards would push the defensive line back (by appearing to make runs in behind to receive) before dropping into the space created in front of the defence. This type of movement not only creates opportunities for them to receive but also it stretches the space in midfield vertically, creating more room/gaps for midfielders to receive in. • This support provides the player in possession with many options and also allows play to move forward to get behind an opposition line quicker. (A) (B) (C)
  • 29. Style of Play 29Gavin Lee Strengths Counter Attack • Having an extremely quick forward like Callum Wilson provides Bournemouth a very good option for quick break aways and his pace is a threat to defenders, especially when spaces are available behind the defensive line (image A). • Fullbacks and wingers are very quick to get forward to support the attack, especially during counter attack moments (image B). Such ability to do so has seen teams in the championship become more cautious with their approach during their attacks as they prefer to have numbers to deal with Bournemouth’s counter attacks. (A) (B)
  • 30. Style of Play 30Gavin Lee Strengths Numerical Overloads • To aid in retaining possession in the opposition half, players often look to create superior numbers than the opposition around the ball. This provides them opportunities to keep the ball as there would always be a spare man in these outcomes. (image A) (A) (B) • Players are observed to position themselves to form diamonds, which enhances the number of options available. Such movement and positioning creates situations such as shown in image B (5v3), increases success to build possession.
  • 31. Style of Play 31Gavin Lee Strengths Positioning in Gaps/Spaces between lines • The team moves possession forward past opposition lines successfully because of 1) ability to position within gaps/spaces between midfield and defence lines and also 2) players ability to play passes that are well directed enough through oppositions compact structures • Image A shows 2 players (marked out in red) positioned between the oppositions’ lines. • Image B shows 3 players as options behind the midfield line (A) (B)
  • 32. Style of Play 32Gavin Lee Weaknesses Higher level opposition • When Bournemouth play against Premier League oppositions with almost the identical set of players when they were in the championship and with the similar style of possession based attacking football, a couple of problems were evident: • Example shown in image A: Lower quality of technical execution under pressure. When placed under pressure, Matt Ritchie over hit his passed, which was subsequently intercepted and possession was lost close to the defensive third. • Example shown in image B: Because of quicker pressing by higher level oppositions, Bournemouth players are trapped and forced into playing non accurate long passes, causing them to lose possession. (A) (B)
  • 33. Style of Play 33Gavin Lee Defensive AFC Bournemouth has a preference in taking the initiation to regain possession whenever possible. Especially when possession is lost, the closest players would look to apply immediate pressure, attempting to delay or prevent the counter attack. In the Championship, the strikers often look to start the pressing in the oppositions’ defensive third, which is supported well by the midfielders on the nearest passing options. However, when playing against higher level oppositions from the premier league, they often look to be patient and apply a delayed press (STs looking to cut off oppositions’ CMs) instead. When opposition escapes their first line of press or when they have sustained possession for a duration, The Cherries would look to drop into a medium compact block. Here, they look to gain horizontal and vertical compactness, looking to funnel the play out to the wide areas. The team do break out and press more actively when they have managed to trap oppositions at wide areas and/or when the pressing triggers are seen. Closer to their goal, AFC Bournemouth defends wide areas with central strength where they have enough players to mark in the box to deal with any crosses. In addition, they rely on their wingers to return quickly to provide the numbers in the defensive third. The team as well utilises 2 Center Midfielders to screen the back four during these defensive phases of the game
  • 34. Style of Play 34Gavin Lee Strengths Delaying the Counters • When possession is lost, the closest players look to apply pressure immediately to delay/ prevent the opposition from starting a counter attack. (Image A) This is executed not only by the nearest player but is supported by those around him as well, hence creating an overload in a small area of space, cutting out possible lanes quickly as well. Trapping & Pressing • When oppositions are “guided” to wide areas, players would look to “trap” them to the touch line and often out number them in those locations. (Image B & C) In these situations, players close the oppositions quicker and get tighter to them too, often forcing a mistake - bad touch or bad pass. (A) (B) (C)
  • 35. Style of Play 35Gavin Lee Strengths Medium Block • When opposition escapes the initial press, or when they have “good”/sustained possession for periods, the team would look to drop into a low compact block with both wingers dropping back to make 2 banks of 4 (Image A). The main priority in here is to reduce the spaces available in the central areas, especially zone 14, with the objective to show the oppositions into wide areas. Compactness • The team regroups quickly and looks to be patient in that block. As shown in Image B, when in such defensive moments, defensive block looks to maintain horizontal and vertical compactness. (A) (B)
  • 36. Style of Play 36Gavin Lee Strengths Defensive Security - In the Box • When oppositions’ possession is close to the goal, Bournemouth relies on having numbers in & around the box to deal with potential threats (image A). (A) (B) Marking in the box - 2 CBs & FB • They look to defend crosses into the box with both CBs in the box (& not going out to support the FB), along with the opposite FB tucking in with them in the box (image B). Double team to prevent crosses • They look to defend crosses by having their wingers tracking back quickly to support the fullback.
  • 37. Style of Play 37Gavin Lee Weaknesses Counter attacks • Because of the offensive style of play that AFC Bournemouth looks to execute, the players tend to be well positioned out on the field, which would mean that there are more spaces available (image A). Higher Level Opposition • As The Cherries compete against higher level opposition, the quality of the attackers that the defence faces can pose a serious threat in 1v1 situations. As such, they have been and will continue to face such problems unless they recruit higher level defenders or help the current defenders improve their quality. (A)
  • 39. Offensive System of Play 39Gavin Lee General Shape Build Up Phase Attacking 3rd
  • 40. Offensive System of Play 40Gavin Lee Possession Phases • CBs split wide when building play from the back. When unable to play out the first pass, one/two CM will drop in between to create an extra option. Having 2 CMs in the spaces left by the CBs, would provide central cover in case of a counter attack. (Image A) • FBs are advanced when team has good possession, often able to do so as spaces are left in the channel by the inwards movements of the wingers (Image B). In addition, the wingers move in probably to create numerical superiorities, which aids in the development or maintenance of possession. In addition, the movements made off the ball by the wingers are usually within the gaps of oppositions’ defensive & midfield lines. These overloads occur higher up the pitch (attacking thirds) as well, where combinations with the strikers are often. • The center forward of the team (usually Wilson), often looks to work off the shoulders, which stretches the oppositions lines further. (A) (B)
  • 41. Defensive System of Play 41Gavin Lee Pressing Shape 4-1-4-1 Shape4-4-1-1 Shape
  • 42. Defensive System of Play 42Gavin Lee Out of Possession Phases • Depending on the oppositions’ set-up and/or tactical requirements of the game. The midfield might set up with a 1-2 or 2-1 formation, which means a 4-1-4-1 (Image A) or 4-4-1-1 (Image B). • In the Championship, Bournemouth looked to be pressing on more occasions high up the pitch, probably because of fewer risks with the spaces they leave behind at that level of play. However, in the Premier League, they are more patient and not applying higher pressure as often, possibly because they understand the calibre of attackers they face can hurt them with the spaces behind. • The team however, are consistent in their pressing triggers like: passes to wide areas, bad passes, bad touch, etc. • Wingers has the physical capability to regroup back into their defensive positions quickly to form a midfield 4 during defensive moments through out the game. They are organised and disciplined with regards to this respect. (A) (B)
  • 44. Possession in Defensive 3rd 44Gavin Lee • When the team builds possession patiently out from the back, both CMs would look to position themselves in front of the two CBs as options to carry the play forward. The CMS would further position themselves ahead of the line of opposition strikers, making the pass to them, a pass that beats an opposition line. • This set up to facilitate the build up phase, allows the FBs push up further the field. In addition, it creates spaces in Zones 8 & 11 for the wingers to drift inwards to (which place oppositions’ defenders in a difficult position as they have to make a choice whether or not to follow the wingers in). Also, the CMs would provide defensive security in the event, possession is lost during the process.
  • 45. Possession in Defensive 3rd 45Gavin Lee • When under pressure as the RB is under in Image A, AFC Bournemouth would look for the safe direct pass forward into the striker for hold up or into space in behind the defence as they possess a very quick striker in Callum Wilson, as well as wingers, such as Matt Ritchie. This option can be seen as a safety option as well as one to create relief periods for the defence under pressure. • There is no hesitation to make use of options that can move the possession up into the next third quickly. As shown in Image B, often possession would be shifted wide for fullback to carry the ball up into spaces available. (A) (B)
  • 46. Possession in Midfield 3rd 46Gavin Lee • Very often, possession is moved into the middle third of the field via the wide channels. These often come about through inward movements by the wingers into the inside channels, while the FBs provides the width as they advance up line (Image A & B). These movements often place the oppositions in a position, where they have to make difficult decisions. In addition, space is created for a give & go between the FB and WG. • Also, these movements often allows play to be transferred through the wide areas, as defenders making any decision to close in on FB or winger will open up a space or leave someone else free (Image C). (A) (B) (C)
  • 47. Possession in Midfield 3rd 47Gavin Lee • Following up from the previous movements that occur at the wide areas, the FBs would look to arrange their position in relation to where the winger is. • If the winger is in the outside channel, with or without the ball, the FB will instead position themselves in the inside channel (Image A & B) • It is safe to conclude that AFC Bournemouth would want to occupy both the wide channel as well as the inside channel (Image C) as having players in those locations, would serve to distort the oppositions’ defensive shape, where by spare players and spaces can be created. (A) (B) (C)
  • 48. Possession in Midfield 3rd 48Gavin Lee • Sticking to their style of building play into the midfield third majority of the time from wide areas, AFC Bournemouth finds further solutions to achieve their objectives. • On top of the movements by the FBs and WGs as highlighted earlier, the Strikers are usually mobile and provides options to allow play to be carried forward. • The wingers inward movement to position himself in the inside channel/gaps brings defenders to him and allows the FB to be free to receive play (Image A) and drive forward if more space is available. However if not possible, Striker will make movements into these wide areas to receive possession (Image B). (A) (B)
  • 49. Possession in Attacking 3rd 49Gavin Lee • A lot of their penetration into the penalty box originates from wide areas. Going back again to the usage of “wrong footed” wingers where you get right footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa. Due to the “unnatural” side of play, these wingers tend drift inwards, looking for the possible shots/combination plays. • These inward movement/inside positioning of the wingers will draw surrounding defenders in to them, creating spaces at the wide channels of the field. This gives rise to opportunities for the offensive minded fullbacks (especially Steven Francis, RB) to go on overlaps and deliver crosses into the box. (Image A & B) (A) (B) Move that led to the 1st goal against West Ham FC.
  • 50. Possession in Attacking 3rd 50Gavin Lee • In addition, AFC Bournemouth utilises these overlap runs by FB to overload the oppositions in a 2v1 situation which can end up with the FB free down the channel or the winger with space to drive inside as the opponent follows the FB. (Image A & B) (A) (B)
  • 51. Possession in Attacking 3rd 51Gavin Lee • As mentioned before, the FBs adjusts their movement according to the position of the winger and this happens likewise in the attacking third too. As such, if the winger is in possession or about to receive possession at the wide channel, FBs will make an underlap run instead of an overlap to occupy the inside channel. • This underlap movement, draws opponents towards him and creates spaces for him to drive inwards (Image A). • In the event that the oppositions are drawn to the ball and not the underlap run or inside positioning, that leaves the FB with space to receive and drive into the oppositions defensive structure (Image B). • Also because the wingers have high ability in taking defenders on in 1v1 situations, such FB movement can isolate these 1v1 opportunities at wide areas for the wingers (Image C). (A) (B) (C)
  • 52. Possession in Attacking 3rd 52Gavin Lee (A) (B) • Another form of penetration used by AFC Bournemouth is through finding attackers in between the defensive and midfield lines (within the gaps of the oppositions’ defensive structure) • The players that are usually found in these spaces of the field are the wingers. The wingers again look to perform the same inward movements and/or to position themselves in those available pockets of spaces (Image A & B). • As the strikers of the team are usually making movements to get in behind the defense, the defensive line is therefore stretched deeper, also forcing the defenders to pay more attention to their runs than the players finding spaces in front of them (Image C). (C)
  • 53. Possession in Attacking 3rd 53Gavin Lee (A) (B) • Around the penalty, the strikers and wingers are positioned close, which gives rise to the possible combination plays to get around/through the defensive lines (Image A). • Wingers too look for opportunities to make the 3rd man runs, which many at times catches the defence off guard if they do not track their runners well (Image B). (B)
  • 55. Defending in Attacking 3rd 55Gavin Lee (A) Pressing High • Especially in the Championships, where the team likes to take the initiative in regaining possession, the striker would put pressure on to the CB. The striker’s pressure would come in the form of a curved run, pushing the ball carrier to wide areas. (Image A)
  • 56. Defending in Attacking 3rd 56Gavin Lee Pressing High • However, one constant behaviour that stays in both the Championships & the Premier League are the quicker or more aggressive pressing on triggers. 
 - Backward Pass (Image B)
 - Mis-directed Pass (Image C)
 - Bad control (Image D) (B) (C) (D)
  • 57. Defending in Midfield 3rd 57Gavin Lee Medium Block • As mentioned before, when playing against better oppositions and/or physical conditions of players (state and stage within a game and season), instead of taking the proactive role in retrieving possession higher up the field, The Cherries would look to sit into a compact middle block in the midfield third. • Here they would allow the oppositions’ CBs to have possession but are actively trying to cut out the passing lanes into the CMs, with the main intention to force possession into wide areas. (Image A) • In the event that the opposition CMs are ahead of the STs, the main objective now is to force them back to the CBs. (Image B) (A) (B)
  • 58. Defending in Midfield 3rd 58Gavin Lee Medium Block • In the event that 1 ST decides that he would step out and put pressure on the CB with possession, the other attacker would follow and support the press by closing in on the available CM/DM of the opposing team. (Image A) This again reduces the opportunities for the CBs to play the ball forward to advance possession. (A)
  • 59. Defending in Midfield 3rd 59Gavin Lee Midfield Pressing • If possession has been managed to be played through into midfield, CMs would be quick to close down the receiver looking to force them back, preventing them to turn and face with possession. (Image A & B) • In addition, the nearest midfielders would also quickly close down on the support options. (Image C) (A) (B) (C)
  • 60. 60Gavin Lee As shown before: • When possession reaches wide areas of the pitch through the middle block behaviour (forcing play away from central areas), the team looks to apply quick pressure to trap oppositions in those locations. • This team press & trap behaviour is usually performed with superior numbers and ensuring that the nearest options are all closed down. (A) (B) (C) Defending in Midfield 3rd
  • 61. 61Gavin Lee Deep Block • When opponent has good possession in the defensive 3rd, the team would look to drop into a low block where the back 4 would remain compact horizontally and the midfield would close the spaces vertically between both lines. • The main priority for the units are to reduce spaces outside the penalty box especially within the lines, denying opposition possible gaps to play into. • Similarly to the midfield block, the block is looking to push the opposing teams’ possession into wide areas, where they can look to press & trap them there. (A) (B) Defending in Defensive 3rd
  • 62. 62Gavin Lee Dealing with attacks from Wide Areas • From a low defensive block, AFC Bournemouth has often been able to show the oppositions to wide areas of the pitch. From there, they deal with attacks effectively by having their FB/WG to prevent the cross by executing good defensive 1v1 techniques (Highlighted in Yellow Squares) • At the same time, the 2 CBs would stay inside the box (often within the length of the 6yard box), along with the opposite FB. They would provide central strength if a cross were to be delivered into the box, as well as picking up any opponents in the box. • CBs would rarely step out to provide cover for the FBs, instead looking to protect the center of goal. Showing that the team places plenty of emphasis in their defensive capabilities. Defending in Defensive 3rd
  • 64. Corners 64Gavin Lee (A) 4 main options:
 Option 1 • Players making a decoy run together towards the near post zone. Creating space for a player who appear to be locking up the box to make a run into the space created. (Image A) Option 2 • 4 of their bigger physical players surround the goalkeeper, reducing the space he has to move, making it hard for the GK to come advance out for the cross. (Image B) (B)
  • 65. Corners 65Gavin Lee (A) Option 3 • Players starting together in a pile at the edge of the box, before making separate individual runs into pre-designated zones at the signal of the taker. (Image A) Option 4 • Short corner option, drawing out opposition to the side of the corner, while emptying the space on the opposite side for an opportunity to find a shot or cross back into the box (B)
  • 66. Goal Kick 66Gavin Lee (A) Short option • Both CBs looks to split out wide to the edge of the penalty box with one CM dropping in to the front of the box. This provides the GK with 3 possible short options (Image A & B). (B)
  • 67. Goal Kick 67Gavin Lee (A) Long option • From their dispersed shape on goal- kicks, FBs are wider advanced options (Image A). • They look to set up the split CBs and DM shape, but when placed under pressure by the oppositions, which places the build up under certain risks, they look to take the longer direct option (Image B & C). (C)(B)
  • 68. Freekick 68Gavin Lee (A) Direct option • Free-kicks that are within striking range, are usually taken directly by #30 or #10. But on occasions, they might look to perform decoy movements for a short set-up like shown in Image A & B. (B)
  • 69. Freekick 69Gavin Lee (A) Wide Free kicks • #30, Ritchie, usually takes the free kicks from wide areas from both sides of the field with runners into the box (Image A) • Usual set up would include 5 runners, each taking up different zones in the penalty box with their individual runs (Image B) (B)
  • 70. Freekick 70Gavin Lee (A) Deep Free kicks • Whenever possible, if there are available options, deep free kicks would be taken quickly and look to be played to the short option. This is part of the possession mindset/ style that AFC Bournemouth is utilising. (Image A) • However, if the opposition reacts quick enough and applies pressure on their nearest options, then the defender on the ball would make the decision to play a longer direct ball to the ST for a flick on or hold up. (Image B) (B)
  • 71. Penalties & Kick Off 71Gavin Lee (A) Penalties • Only 1 penalty was observed and was taken by #13, Wilson, placed to the bottom right (goalkeeper’s left). (Image A) (B) (C) Kick Off • On most occasions, possession is looked to be retained by playing the passes backward. (Image B & C)
  • 73. Corners 73Gavin Lee (A) • There would always be one player on the near post and one positioned in the front post zone. The rest of the team will be back man-marking either in the box or outside the box. (The smaller players would usually be responsible for oppositions outside the box) (Image A & B) • When the corner is played short, the player on the near post would be responsible to step out and make it 2v2 with a teammate that is already out there. (Image C) (B) (C)
  • 74. Wide Freekicks 74Gavin Lee (A) • When the free kicks are located at wide areas and no threat of a direct shot, they would look to have 1 man in the wall, while the rest of the team holding the line together. There would be a player or two in front of the main line to pick up the drop downs. • The players in line would drop off together into the zones behind them. • The player in the wall is usually their striker #13, possibly as a counter attack option if they were to regain possession quickly. (B) (C)
  • 75. Central Freekicks 75Gavin Lee (A) • When free kicks are in central areas and/or within striking distance, there will be a minimum of 4 players in the wall. The wall would usually comprise the tallest players on the pitch at that time. While the rest of the team would either be man marking in the box or look to charge out to a short free kick. (B) (C)
  • 76. Kick Offs 76Gavin Lee (A) • Both attackers (STs) would look to apply quick pressure on oppositions’ CM on kick off. (Image A) • However, the midfield line is more cautious than the forward line in pressing the ball on kick off. Like shown in Image B, if the attackers looks to move forward with the ball instead, Bournemouth’s midfielders would stay and contain their progression. But if the oppositions look to play backwards like in Image C, the midfielders would step forward and support the press. (B) (C)
  • 77. AFC Bournemouth Season 2014/15 - 2015/16 10 Match Team Study By Gavin Lee gavinlee13@gmail.com 2015