TACTICAL ANALYSIS OF SUCCESSFUL AND UNSUCCESSFUL TEAMS IN THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This study is a comparative analysis of the technical and tactical patterns of play and their influence on successful and unsuccessful teams in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Successful teams were defined as the teams that made it to the knockout stages (1st or 2nd placed in the group stage) and unsuccessful teams were those eliminated in the group stage (3rd and 4th place). 28 teams and 28 games were analysed from group stage matches only. This study aims to extend the knowledge offered by the work of Hughes et al (1988) and similar studies, by presenting a more up to date analysis on the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful teams in major international tournaments. A hand notational analysis system was developed and used in the analysis of the 28 games under investigation. The performance indicators incorporated in this study included pass length, pass direction, pass outcome, area of the pitch the pass was made, cross outcome and tackle outcome. The data was hand notated post-tournament using video footage of the matches from the World Cup. The data was then transferred to spreadsheet form and significant differences were calculated using the Mann-Whitney U test. The main results from this study demonstrated three significant differences (P<0.05) between the successful and unsuccessful teams. Firstly, the successful team’s overall long pass completion (%) was significantly higher than that of unsuccessful teams. Secondly, the successful teams showed a significantly higher total pass frequency in zone ‘C’ than unsuccessful teams. Finally, the successful teams pass completion (%) in zone ‘H’ was significantly higher than the unsuccessful teams. In conclusion it was evident that teams that were able to effectively access the ‘goal area’ and teams that had high pass completion percentage, especially in defensive areas, patiently building attacks, were successful in the 2010 World Cup.
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