Scouting Report Coaching Assessment

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Jake Sykes

Unit Title : Coaching for FootballUnit Code :LEI1340Assessment Title : Scouting ReportAssignment Title :WrittenYear of Study : 2Unit Leader : Clwyd JonesStudent Number : 10121943Submission Date : Thursday 1st May 2014 Word Count : 2,679

Scouting ReportSaint Etienne 3 v 0 Milsami Ursidos

The objective of this assignment is to evaluate and produce a scouting report on the performance of Saint Etienne forward passing against Milsami Ursidos in a 3rd round qualifying Europa league match which was played on the 1st of August 2013. (Jankovic et al, 2010) stated that passing is the most important basic football skill, by having a precise pass allows a team to keep possession of the ball and create a scoring opportunity. This outlines how important passing is within football from a teams perspective and this report will evaluate how forward passing played a big part in Saint Etiennes victory. The areas that will be looked at within this report consist of all the passes from Saint Etienne whether that is forward, sideways or backwards. As 3 goals were scored within this game the report will also look at the build up to these goals, and in which area of the pitch the ball was regained by Saint Etienne for the goals. The crosses in this game will also be evaluated to look for any correlations in patterns of crosses, and how they were delivered, and also the entries into the attacking third. The data that has been collected to help formulate this report will be shown in a variety of graphs and charts alongside certain percentages that are relevant to the match. In order to complete this report there were certain aspects that had to be carried out. Completing match analysis was one of these aspects. By carrying out match analysis of the game this allows certain information to be collected. According to (Carling, Williams, Reilly, 2005) Match analysis refers to the objective recording and examination of behavioural events occurring during competition, and may be focussed on the activities of either one player or the team as a whole. In relation to this report the focus of activities would be to monitor the forward passing and therefore primarily based around the team in order to find out how many forward passes were successful and resulted in goal scoring opportunities. However in order to evaluate the team as a whole the analysis required some focus on individual players when they had possession. This is so that passes could be monitored from which third they started in and where they travelled to. According to (Sarmento et al, 2014) Match analysis has assumed a very important role within sporting games, in order to help give a better understanding that promote sporting success. Within this report a quantitative approach was taken as it is an ideal method for detailing analysis of a single element (Carling Reilly, Williams, 2009), in this reports case that element was passing. In order to help collect the detailed analysis based around passing, notational analysis, a form of match analysis was used. Notational analysis is essentially a means of recording events so that there is an accurate and objective record of what actually took place (Carling, Williams, Reilly, 2005). This method requires key indicators to be present to enable notational analysis to work effectively. Within this report a variety of notational analysis occurred. The data is recorded on a spreadsheet and then put into graphs and tables to make the information easier to understand. As the spreadsheet shows below all the passes were recorded and coded so that it was an easier process to categorise. (Fig.1)(Bate, 1988) carried out some notational analysis within football and found that teams should pass the ball forward as often as possible rather than sideways or square, this would increase scoring opportunities. We can also look at the build up play for the goals and see how many forward passes were used. A strength of using manual notational analysis is that the information can be recorded quickly and are easy to design (Carling, Williams, Reilly, 2005). This is a strength as it enables information to be noted in a short period of time. One of the weaknesses of using notational analysis is that human error can occur. This is a weakness as the data may vary between different people due to different human errors. Firstly the starting formation needed to be assessed. Saint Etienne was using a 4-3-3 whereas Milsami Ursidos were using a 5-4-1. According to (Lucchesi, 2011) having 3 central midfields will provide solidarity in the middle of the pitch, and also reduces the opponents strikers chances of receiving the ball. Saint Etienne had 1 defensive midfielder and 2 central midfielders. (Lucchesi, 2011) also states that the positioning of the 3 strikers favours offensive pressing, especially when forcing the opposing defence to play sideways therefore creating opportunity to shorten the distance to the ball. Throughout the match Saint Etienne are pressing their opponents high up the field and using their 3 strikers to guide the ball into certain areas of the pitch to give them the best opportunity in regaining possession, and creating a goal scoring opportunity. However the attackers will be outnumbered and will rely on the full backs pushing forward. Within football there are a wide variety of styles of play. (Bangsbo & Peitersen, 2000) stated that a style of play is the characteristic way in which a team uses a system of play. The styles of play are split into attacking and defending styles. In regards to Saint Etienne the attacking style that they used within this match was Systematic build-up of play otherwise known as possession play. (Bangsbo & Peitersen, 2000) stated that this style is characterized by a meticulous build up consisting of many passes between defence and midfield. Therefore by keeping hold of possession it allows the team to dictate the pace of the game and wait for the opening to occur to enable a pass to split the defence. In relation to Saint Etienne throughout the game they passed out from defence and looked to keep possession until the opportunity arise to move forward with the ball. In terms of the defending style that Saint Etienne applied was pressure play. This style is an offence style of defending where the team tries to win the ball back quickly and close to the opponents goal, which requires speedy pressure on the player with the ball (Bangsbo & Peitersen, 2000).In football there are specific principles of play which need to occur within a match that are fundamental for a team in order to help them to become successful. There are 5 attacking principles that need to be in place in order to help a team in a match. These principles are support, movement, penetration, width or dispersal and improvisation. This report will show how Saint Etienne applied all 5 of these attacking principles throughout the match. Support allows a team to provide a variety of passing outlets for the player in possession, and is dependent on outlets being at the correct angle and distance from the ball (The FA, 2010). During the match there were plenty of examples of where Saint Etienne showed support for the player in possession. For example when the right back had possession certain players showed support, the central midfielder that was closest to the ball came short and so did the right attacking winger. This created an opportunity to pass the ball and begin to move the ball up the pitch. The attacking left winger also created an option by going long. This would allow the player in possession to hit a long lofted pass in order to try and cut out the oppositions midfield and try to create a scoring opportunity. By having 2 options available to the player in possession this will allow Saint Etienne to keep possession and dictate the game.


Movement is the intelligent movements of players to create opportunities to receive the ball, and possibly dislodging the position of defenders (The FA, 2010). Within the match players had to make clever movements in order to receive the ball which would therefore draw a defender in field and would create space either out wide or behind the defence. An example of when intelligent movement occurred during the game was when Saint Etienne where around the penalty area and a player would come short and look to receive the ball and this would lure a defender out of position. This movement then creates a space for a through ball for the central striker or a pass to the wide strikers to cross the ball into the box.


Penetration is the intelligent use of possession, support and movement to enter scoring areas with accuracy and timing (The FA, 2010). An example of how Saint Etienne have used penetration within the game is by making passes into the attacking third creating an opportunity to get into scoring areas. According to (Hughes, 1990) there is a passing checklist to consider that consists of 5 types of passes. These are passing into space behind defence; pass to feet of most advanced attacker, pass beyond at least one defender, cross field pass to switch line of attack and a backwards pass to supporting player. Below is a table that shows which of the passing checklist occurred when Saint Etienne were passing into the attacking 1/3. The backward pass isnt in the table as in this report the objective is to look at forward passing. (Fig.4)

Width of dispersal is the ability of a team to play out side to side to create as much time and space as possible in which to pass to others (The FA, 2010). Within the match Saint Etienne were playing the ball out wide which enabled them to get crosses into the box. According to (Hughes, 1990) when delivering crosses there is a prime target area in which the crosses should be delivered into. This target area is from 4 yards- 12 yards and the width of the 6 yard box