TACTICAL AND TECHNICAL COMPARISON OF SUCCESSFUL TEAMS AND UNSUCCESSFUL TEAMS IN THE 2010 WORLD CUP
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Match analysis tends to focus on one element of technical or tactical play, and do not look at a range of these performance indicators in conjunction. Unsuccessful teams within studies of the World Cups are predominantly those that failed to progress further than the group stages, but this does not give a true reflection of teams that were truly unsuccessful. The purpose of this study was to analyse a selection of technical and tactical performance indicators, to find out differences between two types of teams. Inter-observer reliability tests were conducted on the system, which deemed the system reliable with positive results from the Chi Squared and Percentage Error statistics. Post event analysis of sixteen matches from the 2010 World Cup was undertaken, from a selection of unsuccessful teams (n=8) and successful teams (n=8), using a hand notation system to code the desired events. Unsuccessful teams included England, France, Brazil and Italy because of their underperformances and premature exits from the tournament. Holland, Spain, Germany and Uruguay were selected as successful teams having reached the semi finals. Non-parametric measures by the means of Mann-Whitney U tests reported significant differences between the two types of teams. Successful teams were significantly superior with regards to their tackling outcomes, with more turnovers and less failed tackles (p<0.05). Unsuccessful teams demonstrated inferior abilities in terms of pass completion rates, with significant differences in forward passes, and in passes that were attempted in the left zones of the defensive and attacking areas (p<0.05). Successful teams distributed their completed pass evenly across the midfield, with 32.7%, 32.5% and 34.8% in the right, central and left zones, whereas unsuccessful teams seemed to opt for a more central route, with 39.0% of completed passes distributed in the middle area of the pitch compared to 30.1% and 30.9% in the right and left flanks. To conclude, successful teams were found to be significantly superior to unsuccessful teams in ten different performance indicators, highlighting their importance in relation to success.
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