‘Style metrics’: 10+ pass sequences per 90′

Category: Team Analysis

We discover which teams complete the most +10 pass sequences in each match and which complete the least in the five major leagues, an interesting style metric for analysis.

Published:15/02/2024


Football is hardly categorizable. It can be played in a thousand ways, all of which can be successful and all of which can be modified if they encounter moments of difficulty. Within that generality, advanced statistics have the virtue of being able to filter and separate performance metrics from style metrics. Scoring more goals is a performance metric that establishes whether teams are bad, good, or great, but giving more passes per possession does not immediately imply that one team is better than another.

Among the numerous style metrics we have available to analyze a team, we have some related to possession: passes per possession, average distance progressed per possession, or, as in this case, analyzing how many sequences of more than 10 passes teams complete to establish a new parameter of analysis that gives us valuable information.

If we compare two teams with the style radar, we will quickly see how they retain, progress, and keep the ball in their possession. In the radar above, we see the similarities that the style radar shows us between Manchester City and Bayer Leverkusen, but the numerical data that appears around the radar, in each metric, tells us that Leverkusen is more vertical, covering more distance per possession and pressing slightly less. However, it is quickly apparent that both teams have a very similar style of play.

That’s why they are the two teams that complete the most sequences of more than 10 passes per 90 minutes. Both hover around 25 possessions that exceed ten passes in Europe, followed by other dominant teams in their respective competitions: PSG, Bayern, Real Madrid. Always among the most dominant and ‘possessive’ teams, Brighton under Roberto de Zerbi stands out, followed by the surprising Stuttgart.

Midway between a choice of style and a difficulty in the game are teams like Sheffield United, Everton, or Getafe, while Alavés and Cádiz are the teams from the top five leagues with the fewest sequences of more than 10 passes, with fewer than 4 per 90 minutes. An interesting metric to instantly know which teams in any league in the world elaborate and dominate more and which ones less.

Founded in 2017 as a consultancy, Driblab has driven innovation through data in all aspects of professional football. Thanks to a transversal model, its database collects and models statistics in all directions. From converting matches and videos into bespoke data for training academies to developing cutting-edge technology, helping clubs, federations and representative agencies in talent scouting and transfer markets. Driblab’s smart data is used by clubs all over the world, with success stories such as Dinamo Zagreb, Real Betis and Girondins Bordeaux among others. Here you can find out more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Alejandro Arroyo
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