Long-Term Successful A Soccer Team
“The ball is round and the match takes 90 minutes. Everything else is just Theory” — Sepp Herberger
The culture is sports teams that often mirror that of the culture in your business. In both cases, a team that works together succeeds together. Research, led by a team from McKinsey Global Institute in cooperation with FCLT Global, found that companies that operate with a true long-term mindset have consistently outperformed their industry peers across almost every financial measure that matters.
In modern football, underdog success stories are no rarity, Take for example. Now, let’s take a look at a professional football club based in Mönchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Yes, it is Borussia Monchengladbach. Actually the club had a good reputation in the 70’s era, got 6 Bundesliga trophies. But every club has ups and downs of their performances. In 2015, Borussia Monchengladbach’s qualification for the UEFA Champions League round 4 years after the club just avoids relegation. Repeatedly, alleged underdogs manage to stun experts with their achievements and excite their fans, even over a longer period of time. As did Leicester City, winning the English Premier League in 2016.
From Gladbach’s point of view, the path from close-to-relegation to becoming an international contestant was a development over several years, closely linked to the working of the head coach Favre. Under his charge, the team tried repeatedly to enter the opposing penalty box by attacking down the flanks with very offensive wingbacks, but also managed to effectively pass through the center with the help of strong strikers. And sure, looking at the teams’ different playing philosophies, it is easy to recognize that quite diverse styles helped those teams to the top of the table.
The Fundamental Question
For a well-founded scientific analysis, it needs to be considered that a lot can happen in 90 minutes of a single match and that the final score doesn’t always accurately reflect the relative strength of the two teams of the pitch. Yet, after completing all 34 matches in the season, the 18 teams of the league usually find themselves at a position in the table that correctly mirrors their playing ability during the season-compared to their competitors.
Based on research by Football Observatory of the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) there are four key areas that allow the team to put themselves on the road to success: team chemistry, demographic culture, performance analysis, and transfer policy.
Team chemistry refers to the managers’ ability to create a performance-orientated relational context within the framework of a clearly established project that team members identify with by fully assuming their specific responsibilities.
The demographic structure defines the capacity of managers to make up a balanced squad from the point of view of age, experience and contract length so as to guarantee sufficient long term stability.
Performance analysis, tactical performance, refers to the managers’ ability to objectively identify the strengths and weaknesses of their teams in order to find collective and individual solutions to improve results or anticipate eventual problems.
Lastly, transfer policy defines the managers’ capacity to renew the pool of players available to optimize or maintain over the long term, group unity, demographic balance and performance levels.
Dominate The Game
Focusing exclusively on the team’s tactical performance, it is possible to analyze how successful teams are characterized by their playing performance, and which similarities they show despite different playing styles. In a recent study, researchers devoted themselves to exactly this question. Comparing the performances of both groups regarding progressed KPIs by different statistical tests, the result shows a markedly greater dominance of teams with more playing ability. In the evaluation, an especially distinct superiority in measurement concerning one of the newly designed KPIs comes to the fore: control of spaces!. That’s the way of all the top club does like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid.
The teams that are at the top of the table on average control more space when passing in midﬁeld and with passes back from the attacking to midﬁeld zone. Moreover, by using various combinations in midﬁeld, these teams are able to win space in the offensive area more efﬁciently — which are generally larger compared to the passes of the lesser teams.
Generally, it will be noted that top teams manage to gain and keep space in critical areas of the pitch more successfully. As noted, the way to the top can take different directions, indeed. However, apparently all of these directions are shaped strongly by characteristic tactical achievements, namely an efﬁcient use of space.
A frequent key topic in the discussion of the most effective way of playing football is the question concerning ball possession. On a tactical level, such insights can add a new dimension to this question. They clearly show that next to the ball possession, it is equally important how a team understands to handle space when attacking — at least in order to perform successfully in the longer term.
Yes, there are other key factors to make long-term success, it’s always trying connects every dots we have with every journal published by trusted journals and books, and also always following tactic trends just to get more ideas.
- Data Analytics in Football: Positional Data Collection, Modelling and Analysis Book by Daniel Memmert and Dominik Raabe