Football Manager 2018: Bournemouth guide, player ratings & tactics

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Bournemouth continue to surprise. The Cherries were in League Two in 2010, but Eddie Howe has taken them from the fourth tier of English football to the top flight, with the Dorset club finishing ninth in the Premier League last season.

After flirting with the drop zone in the current campaign, the club look to be finishing strong, and they are now eying up another top half finish. Is that the limit for Bournemouth though? Their stadium can hold just 11,000 supporters and perhaps raising the brand of the club is the next step.

Table of Contents

Can you be the man to continue the development of the club on Football Manager 2018? We bring you all you need to know as you step into your new office as the manager of Bournemouth.



There are no philosophies you need to follow as you begin your tenure at Bournemouth. You can present your own to the board, but for your first season you should take the pressure off yourself by leaving things as they are. 


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Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn will welcome you to the club and then present the expectations for the season. The higher you aim, the larger your transfer and wage budgets will be. The default expectations are to avoid relegation, reach the fifth round of the FA Cup and reach the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

Targeting a mid-table finish will give you an extra £3.2 million, with trips to both cup quarterfinals worthy of £120,000. 



Transfer: £14 million

Wage: £1.03 million per week (Current spend: £974,000)


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Bournemouth have found success with a simplistic 4-4-2 under Eddie Howe, and we tweaked this slightly to a 4-3-3 asymmetric.


Asmir Begovic is between the sticks, with a back four comprising Adam Smith, Simon Francis, Steve Cook and Charlie Daniels. Nathan Ake will come in for Francis when he returns from injury. 

Andrew Surman and Harry Arter are in central midfield, with Marc Pugh on the left and Jordon Ibe slightly more advanced on the right. Consider bringing in Junior Stanislas on the left after his injury. 

Jermain Defoe partners Joshua King in attack, but the injured Callum Wilson will start when he recovers. 

On the bench go for Artur Boruc, Tyrone Mings, Brad Smith, Lewis Cook, Emerson Hyndman, Dan Gosling and Lys Mousset.

Key players

It’s a useful squad at Bournemouth, with their top players now among the Premier League’s finest.

Asmir Begovic – CA 4 star (150), PA 4 star (165)

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Asmir Begovic was wasting away on Chelsea’s bench for two seasons, and his ability in goal has shored things up defensively for the Cherries. The Bosnian proved his worth at Stoke, playing over 107 times for the club, before winning the Premier League title at Chelsea.

Begovic has a CA rating of 150 on the game and aged 30 there is still time for him to reach his 165 potential. His best stats include 18 jumping, 17 consistency and 17 determination. 


Callum Wilson – CA 4 star (142), PA 4 star (150)

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Despite Bournemouth picking up Jermain Defoe in the summer, Callum Wilson is the premier striker. The 26-year-old has been hampered by two serious injuries since stepping foot in the Premier League, but his 19 goals in three seasons is not a bad return for someone who has missed so much football.

Wilson’s 142 current ability rating can improve to a PA of 150. The Englishman holds attributes of 17 pace, 17 acceleration and 15 strength. 


Harry Arter – CA 4 star (142), PA 4 star (147)

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An aggressive central midfielder, Harry Arter makes the Bournemouth team tick in attack and defence. The central midfielder has been with the Cherries since they were in League One back in 2010, making over 250 appearances for the club.

The Republic of Ireland international has skills of 16 important matches, 16 ambition and 16 temperament which give him a 142 CA. At the age of 27, he can still improve to a potential of 147.


Young talent

With Bournemouth rising rapidly over the past decade, they have very few notable graduates from their academy. Sam Vokes and Danny Ings are the only two in the Premier League, but the manager did start his playing career with the club over 20 years ago. 

Ryan Glover – CA youth 3 star (47), PA 4 star (130-160)

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At just 16, Ryan Glover looks set for a big future. The wide midfielder can improve from a 47 CA to a potential between 130 and 160, so be sure to keep tabs on the youngster.


Corey Jordan – CA 1 star (74), PA 3-4 star (120-150)

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Corey Jordan made his debut for Bournemouth in the EFL Cup earlier this season. The 18-year-old centre back is still a couple of seasons away from regular first team action with a CA of 74, but with a potential between 120 and 150 he is someone you will want to keep at the club. 


Brennan Camp – CA 1 star (65), PA 2-3 star (120-150)

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Another centre half, Brennan Camp should be a man to nurture at just 16 years’ old. The defender can improve from a CA of 65 to a potential between 120 and 150. 

Team report

Strengths Weaknesses


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Team Leaders - Simon Francis (c), Andrew Surman (vice-captain), Steve Cook


Highly influential - Jermain Defoe, Artur Boruc, Harry Arter, Marc Pugh, Charlie Daniels, Adam Smith, Asmir Begovic, Callum Wilson, Rhoys Wiggins

Dynamics is the main new feature for FM 18. This section depicts the atmosphere inside the dressing room at your club, and the various social groups in your squad. Be sure to identify who the most influential members of the playing staff are as the words you say to them will have a knock-on effect on the rest of the squad. 

Transfer targets

£14 million is enough for you to bring one player in over the summer, and with four players currently out injured you should have plenty of options by the time the season starts.

Right back – Mariano (CA 145, PA 152)

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With limited options available in your budget, bringing in Galatasaray’s Mariano would be a superb signing. There is a slight lack of depth in defence currently but bringing in another right back would leave you with back-up options across the back four.

The Brazilian Mariano can be signed for just £10 million, getting you his 145 CA. At the age of 31, it is unlikely he will improve towards his 152 potential but you will still get his stats of 16 stamina, 15 acceleration and 14 agility. 

Alternative options:

  • Stephan Lichtsteiner – Age 33, Juventus, Switzerland, CA 145, PA 159, Value: £3.6m, Wage: £89k
  • Branislav Ivanovic – Age 33, Zenit, Serbia, CA 142, PA 155, Value: £5.5m, Wage: £62k
  • Gabriel Mercado – Age 30, Sevilla, Argentina, CA 142, PA 144, Value: £8.6m, Wage: £33k
  • Juanfran – Age 28, Coruna, Spain, CA 143, PA 145, Value: £8.7m, Wage: £25k

Players to sell

With a small squad, there are very few candidates to sell, but if you wish to sell, you must do your business early in the window to have enough time to sign a replacement. 

Rhoys Wiggins

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Left back Rhoys Wiggins returned to Bournemouth in 2014 after a four-year absence from the club. The fact he hasn’t played since says it all, with the defender facing competition from Charlie Daniels, Nathan Ake, Tyrone Mings and Brad Smith. With the Welshman holding a CA of just 116 and PA of 118, you need to sell him on. 



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With Bournemouth punching above their weight in the Premier League and spending £30 million last summer, there isn’t a great deal of riches at the club.

The overall balance of the club is on the decline, with the turnover soon to drop as well. The biggest worry is the club’s profits swiftly turning into loss and at an alarming rate. Your first season is therefore vital to guarantee Premier League survival and start building towards becoming an established Premier League club. All being well, you should have £60 million in your transfer budget next season. 


Continue to rise

Bournemouth fans will be pinching themselves as to how well things have gone in the past few seasons. 

The club looks set for mid-table once again this season, and a nice platform is being built for the club to join in with the Evertons and Leicesters of the division to be parked just outside the European places. Southampton and West Ham have flirted with that in the past, but you must always move forward in the Premier League. 

If Bournemouth can maintain and build on their success, they could surprise once again and step into Europe. With you in charge on Football Manager, try not to change too much too soon and you will slowly creep up that table. 

Bournemouth first team squad, player role and ratings

Player Age Pos Role Duty Role Ability CA/ PA
Starting lineup
Asmir Begovic30GKGoalkeeperDefend4 star150/ 165
Adam Smith26DRFull-backAttack3 star133/ 139
Simon Francis32DCRCentral/ Ball playing defender/ Full-BackDefend/ Support3 star132/ 145
Steve Cook26DCLBall playing defenderDefend3.5 star140/ 148
Charlie Daniels30DLWing-backDefend3 star135/ 140
Andrew Surman30MCRDeep lying playmakerDefend3.5 star136/ 136
Harry Arter27MCLBox to box midfielder/ Deep lying playmaker/ MezzalaSupport/ Defend4 star142/ 147
Marc Pugh30MLWide midfielderSupport3 star132/ 135
Jordon Ibe21AMRWingerSupport3.5 star136/ 152
Jermain Defoe34STCRAdvanced forwardAttack3.5 star135/ 155
Joshua King25STCLComplete forward/ WingerAttack/ Support3 star137/ 145
Artur Boruc37GKGoalkeeperDefend3 star134/ 142
Tyrone Mings24D (LC)Full-backAttack3 star123/ 143
Brad Smith23D (L) WB (L)Full-backAttack2.5 star126/ <160
Lewis Cook20DM M (C)Mezzala/ Advanced playmakerSupport3 star124/ 169
Dan Gosling27M (C)Box to box midfielder/ Mezzala/ CarrileroSupport3 star130/ 130
Emerson Hyndman21M (C)Deep lying playmakerDefend3 star125/ <160
Lys Mousset21AM (R) ST (C)PoacherAttack2.5 star116/ 143
Rhoys Wiggins29D (L) WB (L)Full-backAttack2.5 star116/ 118
Nathan Ake22D (LC) DMBall playing defenderDefend3 star136/ 161
Ryan Fraser23M (RL) AM (RL)WingerSupport3 star130/ 148
Junior Stanislas27M (RL) AM (RL)WingerSupport3 star135/ 146
Callum Wilson25ST (C)Complete forwardAttack4 star142/ 150

Who have you signed on FM? Let us know in the comments section below. 


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