Grassroots Coaching

How the game of Football has evolved over the last 20 years Part two

Technical Demands of playing football

Not only do players have to be fitter and quicker, but they also have to pass the ball much quicker, particularly in key attacking areas of the pitch.

The speed of the ball as it is passed between players in passing sequences is much faster than it was 10 – 15 years ago.

The need to retain possession of the ball is also so much more evident. More teams at the highest level make more passes per game than teams in the past, with leading teams often dominating possession in the ratio of nearly two to one (65% to 35%)

The best players will reach a passing success rate of some 80%. As a result there are many more passing and receiving situations for players during games, some 20% more than in 2002. The ball is also passed below head height much more frequently.

As we witnessed in the World Cup, particularly from Germany, counter attacking is a very potent attacking tactic. Some 40% of all goals are scored as a direct result of counter attacking.

Goals are scored within 10 seconds of the ball being regained in the defending and middle thirds of the pitch, with players having to run quickly with the ball much more than in the past.

One touch passing at the highest level is also so very important, with leading teams creating as many as 50% of their goal scoring chances with one touch passing sequences before the final strike at goal.

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