The Impact of Score-Line on the Use of Possession in Soccer
University of Wales
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The issue of score-line effects on possession in soccer has been examined in very little detail in the literature (Redwood-Brown, 2008; Jones et al., 2004; Lago &Martin 2007; Bloomfield et al., 2004a). The studies have shown mixed results involving the differences seen when behind, level and ahead. The current study aimed to examine possession effects including locations and methods used to start and end possessions, the number of players and number of passes in each sequence. Ten Premier League matches were examined from the 2009/2010 season with a Kappa inter reliability undertaken resulting in good levels of agreement (>0.70) for all variables analysed (Altman, 1991). Chi squared tests of significance were carried out to determine differences between the score-line states and there was found to be no significant differences between the number of passes per possession and the number of players (p>0.05). Significant differences were seen for the methods in which possessions started and the locations of where possessions started and ended (p<0.05). When behind a greater number of passing sequences started on the wings, ending in the centre. In comparison, when teams were ahead a greater number of possessions started in the centre and ended on the wings with very little variation seen when level. The differences observed were suggested to be because of the desperation of teams when behind and their need to get balls into the box, creating chances to score goals and get back into the game.
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