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Coaches / Analysis / Details

Quantitative analysis (4)

Statistics

Performance analysis of the non-European teams

Only three non-European teams (QAT, EGY and BRA) qualified for the round of 16 at the 2017 World Championship in France.

At GER/DEN 2019, we saw some improvements:

  • Three teams (EGY, BRA and TUN) were amongst the best 12 teams in the main round.
  • EGY finished 8th with good prospects as hosts of the World Championship in 2021.
  • BRA surprised with their sensational main round win against CRO. They finished 9th, which is their best World Championship ranking ever.
  • CHI also performed very well and achieved their best-ever ranking (16th).
  • The places 20 to 24 were all taken exclusively by non-European teams. The unified team of Korea performed well throughout the entire tournament, with prospects for the future.

{9ff69884-81d5-459a-8389-88b2c157c3a6,Figure 15} provides an overview of the non-European teams’ most important match statistics.

For example, if we compare the attack effectiveness of these teams with the result of the new world champions, we can clearly see some big differences in the attacking performance. The considerably improved teams from Egypt (52.5%) and Qatar (54.1%) are the only exceptions.

The analysis of the position-specific shot effectiveness illustrates that the non-European teams’ deficit is mostly due to the playing skills and effectiveness of the back-court players. The results of many teams are lower than 4 percent (ARG: 26.9%; BRN: 32.5%; KSA: 32.8%; JPN: 33.9%; CHI: 34.9%; COR: 35.7%).  

In the other positions, the differences are a bit smaller: Japan’s wing players achieved an excellent shot effectiveness of 64.9%, and Bahrain’s line players even achieve a higher shot effectiveness (68.9%) than Denmark.

The number of technical faults per match (for example, ANG: 14.1; KSA: 13.6; CHI: 13.1) and the goalkeeping efficiency (for example, CHI: 21.6%; JPN: 21.2%; BRN: 22.9%; KSA: 23.6%; ANG: 23.9%) also clearly illustrate the performance gap. This proves that both goalkeeper training and the improvement of the cooperation between defenders and goalkeepers must be intensified.

 

Court time and substitution tactics

{6941fa64-fe17-459a-baff-e475cb23b401,Figure 16} provides an overview of the extent to which the eight best teams used their 17 or 18 players in all matches of the 2019 World Championship. The overall court time of each player (in percent) was grouped into four categories.

We can clearly see that the two finalists Denmark and Norway basically rely on their seven to eight regulars in all matches. Let’s take a closer look at Denmark, who used the following starting line-up in the final:

  • Left wing: Landin (80.1%)
  • Right wing: Svan (75.5%)
  • Line player: Zachariassen (53.6%)
  • Left back: Lauge (69.9%)
  • Centre back: Olsen (12.6%)
  • Right back: Hansen (61.6%)
  • Defence specialist: Mollgaard (54.0%)
  • Goalkeeper: Landin (61.9%)

Both wing players’ court time in a total of ten matches amounts to more than 75%. The two key players Lauge and Hansen as well as goalkeeper Landin get a very long court time throughout the tournament.

Olsen is their only player, who got a rather short court time in the final. However, he made a clear impact whenever he was on the court during this decisive match.

A bit more than two-thirds of players of all eight teams may be considered mere bench players with a short court time (in part clearly below 25% of the entire playing time in all matches). The data show that only Sweden use a different substitution strategy.

The following players got the longest court time (i.e. more than 70%):

  • 81.3%: Bjornsen, NOR, right wing
  • 80.9%: Horvat, CRO, right wing
  • 80.1%: Landin, DEN, left wing
  • 78.8%: Jondal, NOR, left wing
  • 78.6%: Groetzki, GER, right wing
  • 75.5%: Svan, DEN, right wing
  • 74.6%: Sanad, EGY, right wing
  • 73.9%: Gensheimer, GER, left wing
  • 73.5%: Fabregas, FRA, line player

Eight out of the above nine players with a court time of more than 70% are wing players. During positional attacks, wing players often stay in their position at the corner, which is why they do not get into as many intense duels with physical contact as for example back-court players. This also applies when in defence.

Most of the top teams’ key players also have a rather long court time. On the one hand, this is understandable, as coaches are success-oriented and rely on their best players in every game. On the other hand, the question arises as to why more than a third of the players only get a very short court time.

In view of the extensive strain on the players during a season (in the national federation as well as at continental and world championships), we must also reflect on whether, traditional substitution strategies will have to be reconsidered in the future in order to better distribute the strain on the players or control it more systematically. This would also be an essential part of a comprehensive injury prevention.