Counterpressing LaLiga 22/23: Agressive Actions & Quick Recoveries

Category: Player Analysis
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Counterpressing measured through two specific metrics developed by Driblab at the request of our customers: aggressive actions and quick recoveries.

Published:12/01/2023

One of the aspects that has been most revalued nowadays and after the evolution of football in the last 15 years is the pressure after loss or post-loss, which is identified above all in teams that play positional play or those that are recognised as ‘counter-pressing’. This specific moment of the game is related to the ability to recover the ball quickly after losing it, being a principle of play belonging to a specific model of play, the opposite being to retreat and not to press once the ball is lost.

To know which teams and players are successful and insistent in a specific championship or championships, Driblab has two very specific statistics that bring us closer to verify the value of that game situation and that were born at the request of our customers, reinforcing our ability to continue innovating and maintaining a constant adaptation and flexibility to their needs:

  • Aggressive actions: Tackles attempted within 2 seconds after a turnover
  • Quick recoveries: Recoveries 40 metres or more from own goal in the next 5 seconds after loss.

With these two metrics, mainly indicated for midfielders because of the area in which they are usually carried out and with which we can intuit the defensive principle of a team, although in centre backs and forwards it could also be identified in the same way, we can obtain good general and particular data on which team presses well after the loss and which players are the most effective at getting their leg in and forcing recoveries.

Players such as Mikel Merino, Brais Mendez, Pedri or Vinicius explain well their way of defending after the loss and, consequently, of their teams. On the other hand, if we mix aggressive actions with recoveries in the opponent’s half we can have a more complete view of those players, mainly midfielders who try to recover or tackle in the opponent’s half. Although aggressive actions are not always related to the opponent’s half, many of them occur in this way. Here is a list of midfielders such as Tchouameni, Valentin or Romeu.

In terms of the collective, two teams stand out above the rest in terms of quick recovery and aggressive actions after losing the ball. One is Real Sociedad, with a lower PPDA playing away from home than any other team in the big five European leagues. The other is Barcelona, the team that recovers most often in the opposition half in the Spanish championship.

We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in the statistical analysis of players and teams; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 200,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Alejandro Arroyo
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