Bournemouth FC tactics in 2020

April 21, 2020

by xfcedi

Eduard Bănulescu

Bournemouth FC may be a team lumbering down the bottom of the Premier League table in 2020. But, don’t let that fool you! Under the clever and responsible management of Eddie Howe, Bournemouth AFC has shown to be one of the more exciting EPL teams in recent history. Here are the football tactics and how they’ve achieved this.

Eddie Howe and the modern 4-4-2

Eddie Howe is synonymous with the recent ascent of Bournemouth FC. A former player for the organization, Howe has guided the Poppies through multiple promotions, starting off in the fourth tier of English football.

Bournemouth AFC, under Eddie Howe, tends to play in a 4-4-2, or alternatively in a 4-4-1-1 shape. Against top opposition, they may also develop into a 4-1-4-1, where one of the central midfielders drops down to help the defense. The team is encouraged to maintain possession regardless of opponent and build, steadily, from the back.

This strategy can be a hit and miss. Bournemouth FC impressed in previous terms of the Premier League, with Eddie Howe even drawing the interest of numerous top clubs. However, in the 2020 campaign, these tactics have largely lead to failed attempts at creating significant goal threats. The club has the third worse goal record in the league.

Tactical roles in Bournemouth FC’s 2020 season

Bournemouth AFC has benefitted, since re-entering the Premier League, from a very sound transfer policy. This has lead to them having a strong set of options in most areas of the pitch. This accounts for the club’s previous record, while the dip in the form is concerning and surprising.


Eddie Howe demands that his players keep the formation’s shape while attacking. These attacks are channeled patiently with short passing or safe direct passes. However, players often find themselves playing with their back to the net. This results in Bournemouth’s pros needing to make use of considerable skill and strength to retain possession.

Bournemouth’s ball-playing defenders and patient attacks

Bournemouth FC seeks to make use of all its players while building from the back. Center-backs will usually prefer a pass to the right or left-back. They, in turn, most often will pass vertically towards the midfielders, or opt for a secure short pass.

Strikers Callum Wilson and Joshua King are expected to be able to hold the ball and field a back or sideways pass. The two are also required to attempt to get on the receiving end of long passes forward. While their story this year for Bournemouth FC is not sensational, previous seasons announced them as two of the best forwards in the league.

Manager Eddie Howe (Bournemouth AFC). Source:

Central defenders Steve Cook and Nathan Ake play an important role in the team’s setup. They are expected to deliver short passes and also to quickly press and stop opposition attacks that often develop as a consequence of Bournemouth playing in their own half for most of the time.

Left-back Diego Rico has been one of the Poppies’ best players in 2020. The defender was responsible for many of the team’s attacks, which when not developed through a slow process of passes, begins on the left side.

Bournemouth FC against Premier League sides

Eddie Howe is one of the most respected managers in England. Many have predicted a future in which Howe will manage a world-class club or even the England national team.

This season has proven difficult for Bournemouth AFC. The team finds themselves in a relegation battle. The points they’ve managed to win have usually come at the expense of mid-table clubs.

Whatever the 2020 campaign has in store, it is certain that this is not the last time Premier League fans get to hear of either Bournemouth or Eddie Howe.

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