SC's World Cup Tactical Autopsy Thread

Discussion in '2014 WORLD CUP' started by Bus-Conductor, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    OK pop pickers, This world cup has been tactical jamboree. We've had LVG outfoxing tiki taka, the Chilians blitzkrieging their way through to the quarters and Brazil kicking their way through to the semis. We've had 433's, 4231's, 532's and various other variations.

    Feel free to wade in with your take on all.

    I'm going to start with a BC staple. POSSESSION. Nine tenths of the (BC's) law and all that. So how's it been hanging at the Cup of Worldness ? Does the law still apply ?

    Here's the simple facts thus far:

    of the 48 group games, 39 resulted in win/lose results, not draws. I've only analysed these. Of those 39 21.5 (one was 50/50) went with possession. Thats 55%


    Of the last 16 round there were 8 games. Of the 6 completed without pens (i.e. positive result), 5 went with possession. That's 83%. Of the total of eight games 5 went with possession (in other words the best not having the ball got the other two was a draw), giving an overall 63% for the last 16.

    4 Quarters gave us 3 clear results, 2 with possession - 66%. Of the 4 teams who went through, 3 games went with possession. 75%.


    So the bottom line regarding the old possessionola this world cup, so far 64% of games go with the team who takes care of the ball. The longer the tournament has gone, the more possession has become a major factor.

    Suggesting the death of possession has been somewhat exaggerated. Sing it with me people;

    We'll take more care of you, baaaaaaallllllllll, baaaallllllll.
     
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  2. Sandro

    Sandro Well-Known Member

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    Good post, brother.
    Personally I'm always intrigued by such things as statistical breakdowns, play-by-play analysis, tactical approach, etc.
    Thanks for the research!

    Cheers

    PS. I suppose the only that I'd add in regards to this particular WC is the fact that many teams surprised me by abandoning (so-called) "modern" formations, e.g. 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, in favor of more unconventional 5-2-3, 5-3-2, and such like variants.
     
  3. tobi

    tobi Devin Booker is the future.

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    Very few teams have played fluid formations and fluid football, Germany and Columbia had moments but I can only think of Chile being consistent in this regard.

    Alsp lots of teams didn't get the best of their squad.
     
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  4. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    This brings us nicely round to what, for me, has been the major aspect of this world cup.

    TACTICS & THE PRESS

    This has been "The Tactical & Pressing World Cup". With the exception of the Croatians and the Belgians, every nation seems to have the pressing sussed and nearly every nation has been tactically very proficient. The reason there has seemingly been so little "fluid football" is that teams aren't allowing it. They have been disciplined, organised and diligent, even the so called shit teams.

    Chile have been the pressing cheerleaders (a little taste of what may be in stall for us this season ???) allowing the opposition an average of something like 11sec max on the ball, but even the Iranians and Algerians were at it like busy ****s. Costa Rica (with their high line setting offside records) and the USA also profited more from what they did off the ball than they did on it.

    If Croatia had been half decent without the ball (and tactically more astute) they were as good as anyone in this tournament, with probably the best midfield in it.

    For me this world cup has been the best WC. What has made it the best is that it really has showcased tactical variations of all kinds, formations, application, off the ball diligence and that is what has made almost every game a close affair that could go either way, which is what has made it so watchable. There has been very few easy wins where after 50 minutes you're sitting there thinking "3-0 game over" this is boring now. Clever tactical application has kept nearly every game worth watching for 90+ minutes.
     
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  5. tobi

    tobi Devin Booker is the future.

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    The discipline has been impressive but I still feel that some teams could have imposed themselves better onto the opposition with better suited systems and smarter team selections.
     
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  6. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    In many cases I think it's genuinely been a case of teams not really being given the opportunity or are just playing to their strengths. Some teams could have been marginally better if tweaked tactically.

    Two teams stood out to me as having been tactically poor throughout and that was Croatia and Belgium. Both managers wasted their resources IMO by poor tactical applications. Kovac would surely have been much better off playing a proper 433 and getting Modric and Rakatic pivoting off a central hub, feeding Pranjic and Srna wide with Mandzukic, Peresic and maybe Olic/Rebic outside left. Instead we got a real dogs dinner, culminating in the debacle of the Mexico game. His inability to get the best out of a very talented group is criminal, despite them having a very tough group.

    Wilmots also failed to get the balance right in terms of personnel and also application of his team. The result was they were too deep, lethargic and Hazard and the striker too often found themselves isolated and peripheral. It's hard to say if they would have beaten Argentina anyway, and going out 1-0 in a quarter to Argentina is no disgrace, you just never got the impression that his side were "right".
     
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  7. tobi

    tobi Devin Booker is the future.

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    Modric and Rakatic had too much to do without a proper DM, I think Kovacic suffered the most in the first game.

    I agree about Belgium, Brazil would be entertaining to watch if Scolari didn't insist on favourites.

    Argentina have no one in midfield to give incisive passes (Banega not selected), Gago looks like a different player these days.

    Germany (Ozil more specifically because he needs runners/constant movement ahead of him) miss Marco Reus a lot.

    France had a good run but need another striker alternative to Benzema.

    A common theme amongst most teams during the tournament is the selfish play in the final third.
     
  8. RichieS

    RichieS Well-Known Member

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    I thought Spain could have tested Chile much more by dropping off a few yards. Their insistence on maintaining their high line played into Chile's hands.
     
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  9. Sandro

    Sandro Well-Known Member

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    In regards to the first bit in bold, I'd have to respectfully disagree. Gago actually contributed quite a bit in terms of ball distribution and incisive passing. While he did in fact decline just a bit, he still managed to generate 228 accurate passes in the group stages of the WC (surpassed only by our dear Mr. Pirlo, who's leading with 250).

    I do however agree with your take on Germany (specifically Marco Reus being sorely missed). I think Low would've benefited greatly from utilizing the good ole Dortmund duo of Reus + Gotze up front ((Perhaps in the same 4-2-3-1 that he used vs France, but I'd slide Muller up front in the false 9-er, with Gotze in the hole, and Reus + Ozil on either flank (preferably Reus Left and Ozil Right, but either could work))). Failing that, I'd sub out Klose for Ozil, with Klose in the lone fox in the box role, and Muller falling back into the RW/RWF spot.
    And as a last resort, I'd sub Schurrle for Reus at LW, and/or try Draxler ((yes I'm that progressive LOL)) in the Gotze advanced play-maker role.

    I don't know if those changes would be good enough for Argentina, but they're definitely exciting possibilities to consider.
     
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  10. tobi

    tobi Devin Booker is the future.

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    I'm surprised about that Gago stat, it didn't seem obvious watching their games.

    I'm also surprised that Draxler hasn't been used more. Schurrle is the closet direct sub for Reus but its still a downgrade.

    I think Draxler, Gotze and Ozil behind Muller would work vs Argentina. Muller would drag their CB's all over the place.
     
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  11. Bus-Conductor

    Bus-Conductor SC Supporter

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    Yeah, very good points, the Germans haven't been tactically great either, I guess I spared them my wrath because despite this they have found a way to progress to the semis and I figured maybe what they have been doing is effective at least.

    But you are right, they haven't looked balanced or comfortable in most of their games. The whole Lahm at CM instead of RB, Mertesacker, Klose and Muller stuff has looked a mess at times.

    I think @tobi suggestion of a front 4 of Drexler (AL), Gotze(C), Ozil (AR) with Muller up front would have been as good attack as there is at this WC.
     
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  12. Sandro

    Sandro Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean. I was slightly surprised about the actual number of accurately distributed passes by Gago. On the flipside, I think I was also a bit blinded by little bias (because I used to be a Gago fan back in the day). So I kinda expected him to do good. At first glance though it doesn't seem as he's had much of an impact on the flow of Argentina's game, you're right there.
     
  13. Sandro

    Sandro Well-Known Member

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    Spot on brother.
    I also think Lahm should be back at RB (IIRC he had that little mess-up where he slipped and caused a goal in one of the opening games of the tournament). He's caught up a bit and can manage to a certain extent in DM/CM but I really prefer to see him in the back 4 nevertheless.
    And in terms of what @tobi suggested, I agree. That would be a very solid front 4 with a good portion of flair, creative intelligence, and dynamic/aggressive energy derived from Muller up front as well. (y)
     

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