|dc.description.abstract||Match analysis in professional football has rarely focussed on individual players’ actual technical ability or execution of skill. Performance indicators were selected to analyse the skill executions used across the differing positional roles of goalkeeper, centre half, full back, central midfield, winger and striker. Post event analysis of 18 matches, involving Arsenal (n=6), Liverpool (n=6) and Newcastle United (n=6), was undertaken from the 2007/08 English Premiership season, using Sportscode to record
every on the ball action performed by each player.
Intra-observer reliability procedures were conducted on the system, with results from the Kappa statistic indicating a very good strength of agreement. Execution breakdown revealed contributions of performance indicators can be associated with positional roles, centre halves perform increased clearances and defensive headers, full backs and wingers, crossing and dribbling, central midfielders passing and tackling, strikers shooting and attacking headers. Executions were predominately performed in the midfield third (59.18%) with 21.82% in the defensive third and 20.30% in the final third. Of total executions central midfielders’ performed the most executions (32.45%) hence the justification for the study to explore and further assess the contributions of central midfielders.
Non-parametric statistical measures, Kruskal-Wallis and exploratory Mann-Whitney U tests reported significant differences with the frequencies and distribution of team executions (p<0.05), except for shooting and crossing (p>0.05). For overall team performance significant differences were evident for Arsenal when compared with Liverpool and Newcastle (p<0.05). Arsenal demonstrated the highest team mean execution scores for all variables except shooting, and consistently higher mean positional scores across performance indicators associated to positional role. Centre halves display the greatest clearance and defensive heading means, full backs dribbling and crossing, but strikers and wingers did not have the highest shooting and crossing means respectively.
Positional rating scores saw significant differences in the distributions between goalkeepers, centre halves, full backs, central midfielders and strikers (p<0.05), but no significant differences were seen in overall winger performance (p>0.05) between the teams. This was evident for centre halves’ executions of defensive heading and tackling (p<0.05), full backs’ tackling and dribbling (p<0.05), central midfielders’ tackling, passing, shooting, set piece and attacking heading (p<0.05), wingers’ crossing and dribbling (p<0.05) and strikers’ dribbling and shooting (p<0.05).
In conclusion, from the selected sample, Arsenal were technically superior to both Liverpool and Newcastle, as a team and positionally.||en_UK