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AFC Bournemouth - A 10 Game Team Analysis

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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)

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AFC Bournemouth - A 10 Game Team Analysis

  1. 1. Team Study By Gavin Lee 10 Match Analysis 2014/15 - 2015/16
  2. 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. 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. 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. 5. Key Statistics Avg. Passing AccuracyGoals Scored - Location Avg. Possession Avg. Pass Length Chances Created 5Gavin Lee Data from www.squawka.com
  6. 6. Match Information
  7. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  18. 18. Squad Information
  19. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. **
  26. 26. Style of Play
  27. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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)
  38. 38. System of Play
  39. 39. Offensive System of Play 39Gavin Lee General Shape Build Up Phase Attacking 3rd
  40. 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. 41. Defensive System of Play 41Gavin Lee Pressing Shape 4-1-4-1 Shape4-4-1-1 Shape
  42. 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)
  43. 43. Offensive Analysis by Thirds
  44. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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)
  54. 54. Defensive Analysis by Thirds
  55. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  63. 63. Attacking Set Plays
  64. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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)
  72. 72. Defensive Set Plays
  73. 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. 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. 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. 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. 77. AFC Bournemouth Season 2014/15 - 2015/16 10 Match Team Study By Gavin Lee gavinlee13@gmail.com 2015

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