Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Finding the chinks in other teams

AFCB have a lot of homework to do as the Premier League gets underway. The research on other teams has to be of the utmost quality to be of benefit to Eddie Howe and his players and the researchers will be hard at work scanning formations and pre-season performances of  some teams just to get more of a feel of what they are about.
AFCB players come up with a master plan.
Some of the Premier League's elite might not be so rigid in their formations these days as rotation has become the byword for resting players and altering tactics when bad runs become all to frequent. But with the return of the Tinkerman to the top flight at Leicester City it might be very difficult to know what the Foxes will be putting out as their first 11 every week. Finding that chink in the opposition where there is a genuine weakness aided by the use of complicated computer programmes has not seen the Premier League routinely turn into 10-0 matches, so I wonder how important some of the data that is collected on players is and am even more interested to know how it is best used.

We can all see when a player has a bad day and makes a howler but it's the overall habits of the team that need to come in for closer scrutiny. But can we say an Aston Villa team, who play in one way one week, will try something totally different the next because their key player has been injured? Will AFCB's work on the Villa with Benteke at its spearhead now be thrown away (until the Liverpool fixture) and an entirely new thought process added to the model with Ghana's Jordan Ayew now monitored for his key movements and preferences for how he likes to take the ball forward in attack? 

The work that researches can do is almost endless and it must be heart wrenching at this time of the year when so many events are shifting opinions about how teams will play in the new season. "We don't worry about the opposition, we only make sure what we are doing is working for us" - that is the mindset of more than a few managers and I kind of agree that how every helpful today's data is it has to be respected but not adjudged to be the only way of getting the better of the opposition. When your team has the ball, it has the ability to inflict damage by scoring a goal, and the work that Eddie Howe and his players do on trying to get his striker comfortable at finding the back of the net a regular habit is time well spent, and it's not something that is necessarily dependant on what team the opposition turn up with on the day.

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