Playing Strategy before and after Goal Scoring in FA Premier League Soccer
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Playing strategy within soccer has been the focus of much research. Variables that are used to identify the application of strategy have ranged from phases of possession to passing sequences. Previous studies have also focussed upon the effect of score line upon facets of soccer including work rate and passing. The current study’s aim was to investigate the playing strategy of FA Premier League soccer teams 5 minutes before and after goal scoring. In total, 5965 passes were recorded from 8 FA Premier League matches. During the pre goal scoring periods, significant differences were found regarding the pitch zone where passes were played towards (p < 0.05). During post goal scoring periods, significant differences were found regarding the pitch zone where passes were played towards (p < 0.05) and played from (p < 0.05). Teams tend to adopt more defensive strategies post goal scoring. It was suggested that coaches should actively try and encourage their team to consciously not slip into more defensive strategies after goal scoring unless it is to take the lead in the closing stages of a match. By changing strategy, the opposition is encouraged to attack and could lead to goals being conceded after previously scoring a goal. It was also suggested that psychological processes may go some way to describing the findings of the study and the author advised future investigations to take into account these factors and others including the possible use of cluster sampling to ensure that similar ranked teams/strategies are analysed together.
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