A tactical comparison of attacking build-up play between domestic and international football
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The Purpose of this study was to identify if there were any differences between styles of attacking build up play between international and domestic football and if this also differed across different countries. The same number of competitive fixtures (N=6) were analysed for four teams, Two international teams, England and Germany, and two domestic teams from their respective leagues, Chelsea and Bayern Munich. A wide variety of performance indicators were used in order to record multiple variables that would allow differentiation between successful and unsuccessful performances (Hughes and Bartlett, 2004). For the domestic teams, footage was collected from six of their 2014/15 league fixtures, while for the international teams, Germany’s footage was collected from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while three matches came from this tournament for England and another three from the 2012 European Championship, due to their lack of progression in the tournaments. Footage was analysed using StudioCode V10 (Sportstec, Australia), with a pilot study used to provide data collection experience for the analyst using the system that was tested for reliability using Kappa values. Data collected was put through Microsoft Excel and SPSS so that it could be subjected to Mann-Whitney U tests and Cohen’s effect size to check data collected for significant differences. Statistical differences for the Mann-Whitney U test were set at (p<0.05) and for the Cohen’s effect size test at (d>0.8). Possession based results found that domestic teams had a greater number of possessions per game and used more passes prior to scoring a goal. Within this study, German teams were found to have more possession on average per game and began attacks from deeper within their own half than English teams, this proved their ability to make more progression up the pitch with each possession and penetrate the oppositions final third more often than English teams. The results of this research found that International teams were less successful than domestic teams at crossing the ball and making long passes, but did suggest that both the English teams in the study played in a more direct style by beginning possessions with longer forward passes and had shorter possession times than both the German sides. v It was therefore concluded that there are differences in the styles of play between international and domestic football, however one is not necessarily better than the other as they were both effective due to both international and domestic teams scoring the same number of combined goals (N=22). This research also found that a direct style of build-up is not always the most effective method, contradictorily to most previous research, as both methods had success throughout this study.
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