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Coaches / Analysis / Details

Qualitative analysis (6)


Our evaluation of the overall result of the 2019 Men's World Championship shows the following developments:

  • Denmark almost ‘effortlessly’ win the World Championship title. Both in the semi-final against defending champions France and in the final against Norway the team dominated from the very beginning. Both matches were decided early.
  • France must systematically introduce young players. Although they have lost the advantage of the ‘golden generation’ (Karabatic, etc.) from the last 10 years, new talents are constantly being introduced to the top level thanks to a long-term playing and training philosophy – which can be seen in all of their younger-age teams.
  • Norway reached the World Championship final for the second consecutive time, but had basically no chance against Denmark. However, Norway’s fast play is absolutely exemplary in modern top-level handball.
  • Behind Norway there are five to eight teams, whose performance levels are quite similar, which is why the outcome of matches between these teams in such tournaments usually depends on the form on the day.

Like no other team, the new world champions Denmark in particular set clear trends in international handball with their style of play. We have been observing these trends for quite some time now:

  • 6-0 defence with very flexible variations, especially in depth, depending on the situation and opponents
  • Consistent fast play with tactically systematic changes of pace and rhythm
  • Tendency towards shorter attacking actions from tactically systematic changes in pace

The basic prerequisite are the outstanding player profiles in the individual positions. Key players like Lauge or Hansen make the difference.

The team play with an incredibly high attack effectiveness and hardly commit any technical faults; 5.5 technical faults per match is a record result.

In addition, it should be noted that playing seven against six hardly plays a role in international top-level handball so far. This is not the case for playing six against six without goalkeeper (after a two-minute suspension). Many teams substitute the goalkeeper for an additional field player, but then often play, as in the past, five against six (e.g. long build-up phases, tactical means of attack without dynamics and orientation towards finishing).

Interestingly, as already predicted in the analysis of the 2017 World Championship, more and more teams defend actively or even switch their defence formations in such match situations. This is an important trend in international handball.