Thursday, 04.06.2020

The Evolution of Counterattacking

As we move forward through the years football continues to evolve. The developments are not often massive evolutions such as Sacchi’s zonal congestion from the 80s or Michels’ and Cruyff’s total football from the 70s, but most frequently minor positional or role adjustments within the different phases of the game. Every goal scored for your team and every goal conceded that is prevented for your team has high value – and as analytics continue to grow within our sport, we are seeing its impact on football’s phases little by little.

Video Analysis: Atalanta’s possession system

Just by looking at the numbers, we can see that Atalanta is 3rd (70) in goals scored – after PSG (75) and Bayern (73)- amongst the top 5 league teams, and 1st in shots per game, leading with 20,1 attempts -just for comparison, Barcelona have 12,7 (scored 63), Dortmund have 13,8 (scored 68), Juventus have 17,5 (scored 50), and the closest is Manchester City with 19,4 (scored 68). As these numbers looks very intriguing, this analysis will focus on their strategy in possession (link can be found at the end of the article).

Liverpool: Throw-In Analysis

Such as set-pieces generally, throw-in strategies are often neglected, even though some simple guidelines could easily help to utilize them better. A great example for that is Liverpool, who even hired a throw-in coach, Thomas Gronnemark, in order to increase their effectiveness in this part of the game. Since Liverpool has a very high success rate (around 70% or maybe even more) in maintaining possession after a throw-in (just to put that into context, usually the average is around 50% at best). This article focuses on the main principles, movements that Liverpool use during throw-ins.

Neuer vs Nübel: Who has the edge?

FC Bayern could be faced with an exciting contest in the goalkeeper position next season. In Alexander Nübel, they have signed an ambitious young goalkeeping talent, but Manuel Neuer certainly won’t give up his place as Bayern’s number one without a fight. However, one thing is certain: Nübel can still learn a lot from Neuer.

Video Analysis: RB Leipzig defensive system vs. Borussia Dortmund

To turn their season around, Favre decided to switch to a 3-4-3 system, causing huge issues for the opponent’s to adjust (last 5 games: 4 wins, 1 draw). As a reaction, Leipzig started in a modified 4-3-1-2 system, forming a 4-3-3 in defending. Dortmund dominated the 1st half, thanks to exploiting some of the weaknesses of the RBL defensive scheme, which forced Nagelsmann to switch to a 4-4-2 shape in the 35th minute (this analysis only focuses on these 35th mins).

Tactical Theory: Set-Pieces

Set-pieces are both under- and overrated in several ways. Some coaches & teams tend to overvalue them, focusing on them too much, whilst there are probably significantly more cases, where they don’t even work on this aspect of the game with their teams. Although there are more interests, articles towards the set-pieces, that show the increasing importance and complexity of a well-executed routine and strategy.