Defence in Euro 2004
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Soccer has been subjected to many forms research concerning the attacking aspect of play within notational analysis (Harris and Reilly, 1988 and Bate, 1988). However, where studies have cited the importance of defensive play as a whole (Luhtanen et al., 1997; Luhtanen et al., 2001 and Hughes et al., 2001a); specific studies concerning this phase of play within the game have been neglected within the research, as has the technical ability of players. It was therefore the responsibility of the present study to create a reliable hand notation system so that the success rates of performance variables made by the players of successful and unsuccessful teams (at Euro 2004) in the defensive third of the field could be analysed. The results of the study indicate, that although limited differences exist between the success rates of performance variables made by successful and unsuccessful teams; the overall performance a goalkeepers was found to have significant affect (p<0.05 at 0.03) on the overall success of teams, as was the ability of players to effectively clear the ball (p<0.05 at 0.006) and tackle opponents. The conclusions suggest further improvements to the external validity of the study. Such is through the form of recording whether or not performance variables occurred opposed or unopposed and to include a larger sample size. The system itself can also be used to identify the ability of a teams defence when subjected to different attacking moves.
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