Comparative analysis of patterns of attacking play in elite International football
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this study was to provide a direct comparison between teams deemed to be 'successful' and 'unsuccessful' based on finishing positions at the 2010 World Cup finals tournament. The aim was to compare several key performance indicators to highlight specific differences between these team categories. A lot of match analysis in professional football has focussed on team possession and playing patterns. However, a limited amount of research has been conducted into the differences in attacking playing patterns between teams who are successful and unsuccessful, based on finishing positions, at international tournaments. Performance indicators were selected in order to analyse the result of individual possessions. Post event analysis took place of 20 matches from the group stages of the 2010 World Cup finals. Three matches involving each team were analysed and Sportscode was used to record every on the ball action performed by the teams. Intra-observer reliability procedures were conducted on the system, with results from the kappa statistic indicating a very good strength of agreement. Upon analysis it was found that the successful teams had a greater percentage of match possession (58%) compared to the unsuccessful teams (49%). The 0-3 passing sequence category was predominant for both sets of teams; however, the unsuccessful teams registered a greater frequency in this category. Successful teams registered more occurrences in passing sequences of greater duration. Non-parametric statistical measures (Mann-Whitney U tests) reported non-significant differences in median match possession (P > 0.05). For passing sequences non-statistical differences were found for the passing sequence categories (P > 0.05). For positive outcomes of possession statistical differences were not found in any performance indicator (P > 0.05) except for goals scored (P < 0.05). The negative outcomes of possession showed significant differences for pass misplaced and negative clearance (P < 0.05) but for no other performance indicator (P > 0.05) In conclusion, from the selected sample, successful teams registered higher match possession than the unsuccessful teams with the exception of Uruguay. However, no significant difference was determined for passing sequences or outcomes of possession between the two groups of teams
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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