The data that explain Luis Enrique’s Spain

Category: Team Analysis

We analyze how Luis Enrique's Spain is coming into the World Cup and how the data shows its strengths and weaknesses.

Published:11/11/2022

Luis Enrique Martínez has built in the Spanish National Team his most personal and protagonist team of all those he has coached. If in Vigo some of his ideas appeared without the necessary talent to consolidate them, in Barcelona he tried to adapt to the immense and historic quality of his attackers, and in Rome he did not finish transferring all his methods well, in Spain, it can be said, he has managed to express everything that defines him as a coach, aligning game proposals with prolonged results, not without shortcomings and weaknesses, turning the national team into an integral team instead of a combination of players: these at the service of the idea and never the other way around.

So, starting to introduce some data and visualizations, Spain has been characterized by working meticulously each and every one of the postulates of the classic positional game so present in Spain: positions at the back of each rival line, high rates of possession and a demanding and constant pressure, becoming the national team, during Luis Enrique’s leadership, with a lower PPDA among all European teams (during the Euro, Spain reached a PPDA of 6, more than the champion, Italy).

No team has made a higher percentage of high defensive actions and high recoveries than Spain, and no European national team has added more passes on average per possession (more than 7 passes per possession).

To this end, he has insisted on working in detail the position of his players in the phases with the ball, forming the characteristic triangles of the most recognizable positional 4-3-3. This idea has been adding to the cause players of great control, retention, passing and possession, becoming a team of very high rhythm and very high recoveries, an idea more typical of a club than of a national team, where the principles tend to focus more on the talent of the best players.

Among its main weaknesses is its defensive line, which contributes to generate a context of dominance through its quality touching the ball and finding the best options to progress, but with difficulties, both individually and collectively, to defend such wide spaces and as last men. To explain this situation of the game, fundamental when facing some of the best attackers in the world, if not all of them, we have chosen two statistical events visualized on a map:

  1. Aerial Duels. Spain has continued to have a problem defending in the air, mainly in their own area, as can be seen on the map. Neither goalkeeper nor central defenders have become strong enough against all kinds of deliveries and crosses, making them a team that needs, and generally shows, to recover early after having accumulated a large number of passes: in the Nations League, Spain averaged 51 passes before taking a shot. An enlightening statistic.
  1. Tackles in their own half. Similarly, when the opponent has managed to attack up top or come out after a steal and overcome Spain’s front two lines, both on the sides of the midfield and behind the fullbacks and inside the box, Spain has shown a really low percentage when they have made a takcle to try to steal the ball, generating a feeling of defensive vulnerability near Unai Simon.

After four tournaments leading Spain, Luis Enrique will continue to bet on a style that has brought him closer to competing, insisting on an idea that has never consisted in names but in interpreters of an idea that the data show as attractive as competitively unstable, which will have new episodes in the World Cup in Qatar that will begin next November 20.

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
For Team Analysis we also recommend you:

Who can replace Ruslan Malinosvkyi?

Ruslan Malinovskyi could leave Atalanta next summer. With a hypothetical exit in mind, we look at five players who could replace him.

The great evolution of football: the average shot distance

There is no greater desire for statistical science than to be able to explain something complex and long-lasting in time with a single image. To be able to generate an immediate impact with a visualisation that condenses a story and its concept(s) in a second. And...

Directness: how direct each team is with their passes

We explain how our ‘Verticality’ metric works and visualise the data with the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Qatar 2022: La Gazzetta dello Sport collabora con Driblab (Italian)

In occasione della Coppa del Mondo in Qatar, Driblab non solo fornisce supporto statistico e di consulenza a tutti i suoi clienti, ma collabora anche con i principali media per far prendere sempre più coscienza delle statistiche avanzate attraverso progetti di ampio...

Il protagonista inatteso dei Mondiali in Qatar (Italian)

Il protagonista dei Mondiali del Qatar 2022 potrebbe essere lo stesso dei Mondiali di Russia 2018. I dati riflettono il suo dominio nelle competizioni internazionali.

Cercasi sostituto per Ruslan Malinovskyi (Italian)

Ruslan Malinovskyi potrebbe lasciare l’Atalanta la prossima estate. In vista di un’ipotetica uscita di scena, analizziamo cinque giocatori che potrebbero sostituirlo.

The unexpected protagonist of the Qatar World Cup

The protagonist of the Qatar 2022 World Cup could be the same as in the Russia 2018 World Cup. The data has been reflecting its dominance in international competitions.

Qatar 2022: style metrics of the 32 national teams

We selected eight style metrics to learn more about the 32 teams at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The most offensive fullbacks in La Liga

We discover the most offensive fullbacks in La Liga and those who cover the most meters with carries, two metrics to measure the most important fullbacks in La Liga.

How did Ibarra lead Boca Juniors to the title?

Boca Juniors’ title, as seen through the data: What happened to make Boca go 15 games without defeat?

Driblab

Información corporativa

Somos una empresa con sede en Madrid fundada en 2017 por Salvador Carmona y Cristian Coré Ramiro. Desde nuestros inicios nuestro trabajo se ha centrado en el análisis estadístico de datos para ayudar a los clubes en la planificación deportiva. Somos una consultora big data que ofrece servicios personalizados para cada cliente y defiende un modelo de gestión mixto y una comunicación constante para acompañar el día a día de las instituciones. Nuestro punto fuerte es la más amplia cobertura disponible en número de torneos profesionales y juveniles. Para más detalles, póngase en contacto con nosotros.

Colaboramos con:

           

Hemos aparecido en:


Talk to our speciali