Friday, 14.08.2020

Strategies to Maximize Performance and Recovery in Football

Football is a highly competitive and demanding sport that is typically played over a year-long season. Regardless of the competitive level (e.g. youth vs. professional), teams are scheduled to play up to 3 matches per week. This sometimes includes congested fixtures, doubleheader weekends and competitive tournaments where 3 matches may be played over a 4-day period. Over the long season, the coaching and support staff must consider many factors such as player availability (i.e. the number of players available to train/play), risk of injury associated with congested fixtures and multi-game tournaments, player status (e.g. recovery and freshness), and opponents. Furthermore, the demands of travel, sleep, and nutritional considerations are additional areas of consideration when competing throughout the year.

Pressing traps available in a 3-4-3

Pressing systems involving a back three formation offer the opportunity to commit more players to press in higher areas. With seven players within the first and second lines of the press, there are opportunities for numerical advantages in specific moments within the opposition’s build-up.

How (not) to constrain your principles.

The game of football is a game with a specified purpose, laws and means. Two teams are facing off against each other with the objective of scoring a goal utilizing the ball. These rules are the same all around the globe. Similarly, the principles following these laws of the game will be the same – as will be the purpose of training. Football is a game that is trained and therefore coached, with most coaches focusing on doing so within their specific interpretation of these principles, for attacking, defending and the transition in both directions between these two.

Player Analysis: Sergio Ramos – attacking set-pieces

When it comes to attacking set-pieces, Sergio Ramos is probably the best player in the world right now -along with Cristiano Ronaldo. Over the years he saved Real Madrid a lot of times with his goals from set-pieces – his most famously is definitely the 95th minute goal against Atletico Madrid back in the 2014 Champions League Final. So, we decided to take a deeper look into it in a video analysis (video link at the end of the article).

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).