Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

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1.5x speed

At normal speed, you catch all the actions after the pass, but I find it easier to spot what the context for an off-the-ball movement is, in relation to the ball, before the pass, when the game is sped up to 1.5x speed.

Figure 1.1 - Video of a short passage of play during the Italy versus Bosnia and Herzegovina match, sped up to 1.5x speed.

The context is the movement of the opposition. The opposition moves, the player scans, and then the player moves into the unoccupied space.

At normal speed, I’d see Saric receive the ball, but I wouldn’t be able to as easily spot the context for why he moved. When it is sped up, you see Italy’s defensive shape and movement in relation to the ball, and it is easier to spot the tiny changes in movement from his marker before the pass.

Figure 2.1 - Dario Saric scans ahead of play before checking into the unoccupied space.
Figure 2.2 - As Dario Saric receives the pass, Haris Hajradinovic scans and sees the space.

Once you obtain the context for Saric’s movement, you can immediately move on to focus on Hajradinovic. You can’t see them scan; you can see that at normal speed or when you pause, but when it is sped up, you can more easily spot the intent of the move.

Figure 2.3 - Haris Hajradinovic moves wide into the space, and Benjamin Tahirovic continues running forward.
Figure 2.4 - Benjamin Tahirovic scans ahead of play before checking for the ball behind play.
Figure 2.5 - Benjamin Tahirovic receives the pass in space.

Bosnia and Herzegovina are finding space on the fringes of Italy’s core. They are reacting to each jump and lunge from Italy’s defense as they shift side to side with the ball.

I always look forward to reviewing the footage after the game because then you can go back and spot the context for certain actions. Speeding up the video is a useful tool because not only does it save time, it can also make it easier to see a range of smaller positional changes across the pitch.

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