Explaining the Direct Goal-Scorer – Player Role Analysis

When on their day, 'Direct Goal-Scorers' can be some of the most entertaining footballers to watch, with a sense of raw intensity beating inside their heart every step of the way. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has shown everyone exactly that this season at Serie A leaders Napoli, but the likes of Sadio Mané and Serge Gnabry have demonstrated their goal-scoring exploits for years.

Replacing Alejandro Diaz at Pacific FC

Following the loss of eventual CPL Golden Boot winner Alejandro Diaz, Pacific FC immediately went from title contenders to top four contenders, scraping into the playoffs with a fourth-place finish come the end of the season. The repeated line as the likes of myself and CPL.ca wrote about Pacific became all about how things could have been very different for Pacific in front of goal had they only had that missing link. Diaz was everything to the Pacific attack, acting as both a 'False 9' capable of dropping deep and receiving the ball, and somehow even fulfilling duties as an occasional 'Target Man' despite his 5'10 height. He linked up with Marco Bustos and Manny Aparicio magnificently well as the three of them dovetailed around each other, and his desire to drop deep often allowed Joshua Heard to run into the vacated space behind. Pacific signed Electric City striker Jordan Brown to try and make up for the loss, but it was clear that Brown was a far less dynamic player, and far less clinical in front of goal. With that, we analyze the essential characteristics in need of replacing when it comes to Diaz and his game, and four possible replacements from around the globe.

Explaining the Dynamic Dribbler – Player Role Analysis

Throughout this series, we've endeavoured to avoid player types signified by a single set of actions and statistics. The 'Dynamic Dribbler' is one of the rare exceptions, as the art of 'dribbling' is an essential way for wingers to enact magic on the pitch, and become the magic wand sorcerers that we all know they can be. Here is our analysis of the 'Dynamic Dribbler', and their importance on the pitch.

Stephen Hart – Halifax Wanderers FC – Tactical Analysis

On October 13, 2022, Halifax Wanderers officially parted ways with Halifax Wanderers boss Stephen Hart. The former Trinidad & Tobago coach had been in charge since the Wanderers' inception in 2018, and won the Coach of the Year award for his efforts in 2020. But life inside the Canadian Premier League did not go as smoothly as planned in 2022, with the Wanderers stumbling down to a 7th place finish (in an 8 team league), as Hart's time at the club inevitably coming to an end. So with that, we examine Hart's tactics in his final season with the Wanderers, and how to fix the club moving forward!

Explaining the Inverted Winger – Player Role Analysis

Unlike their name might imply, 'Inverted Wingers' are far more than just wingers that cut or drift inside. That is only one small part of an overarching role that prioritizes playmaking in the final third, and dynamically linking play between the other members of the front-line. The best of the art will often post high numbers in goals and assists, but 'Inverted Wingers' need to be so much more than just creative goal-scorers - generally tasked with creating space, rotating with teammates, and moving off the ball to exploit the half-spaces at the right moments.

Performance Analysis 101

What's this new fancy word you've been hearing floating around the football industry, you ask? A 'performance analyst' is someone who lives and breathes the tactical and analytical side of the game, who may not even ever enter the football pitch itself. They are interested in analyzing anything that has to do with performance, whether that be through quantitative (such as data, statistics, numbers, etc.) or qualitative means (opinion-based insights).

Microsoft Excel: Inputting data + creating graphs and charts

Microsoft Excel is one of the most commonly used platforms in businesses around the world, particularly for inputting and analyzing data. As an analyst, it will become a useful tool for you to keep information in one place, and create stunning graphs and charts on the data you find. It's used so much so that most platforms you will find (FBRef, Wyscout, etc.) even have the ability for you to download their statistics for your own purposes on Excel. Let's jump into how to use this well-known platform to your benefit when conducting football analysis.

Football analysis with FBRef

In the past year of football analysis, FBRef has become my favourite platform for collecting data, comparing players, and identifying hidden success stories. The website, powered by StatsBomb, is an awesomely free open-source platform for football statistics. In this article, as part of our Introduction to Football Analysis course, I'm going to be taking you through how to get the most out of FBRef, and how to use the well-known platform as a tool to strengthen your analysis. Let's dive in!

How to use Wyscout for successful football analysis

As football analysis has risen to prominence in the past decade, platforms like Wyscout, InStat, StatsBomb and smarterscout have become commonplace for clubs, analysts, scouts, coaches and even players around the world. In today's article, as part of our Introduction to Football Analysis course, we detail how to successfully use Wyscout to enhance your analytical mind and football analysis frame.

Conceptualizing analysis within the football industry

Analysis within the realms of football remains an ever-growing industry. In the modern age, top professional clubs have entire departments around analysis. As the game evolves and analysis within football grows to new heights, teams may soon identify unique ways to exploit the opposition and expand their performance on the pitch.

Explaining the Creative Ten – Player Role Analysis

When we say 'Creative Ten', I'm sure you immediately conjure up an image of a classical painter of a player, who wonderfully creates art with their passing and incisiveness in the final third. But as has been well documented over the past few years, that type of player does not tend to exist in the modern game. The Mesut Ozil's, David Silva's and Cesc Fabregas's of this world no longer tend to exist as they once did, or play in the same positions that they once held. Nowadays, 'number ten's' must not only be capable contributors in the final third, but highly active in pressing from the front, and contributing to rotations that spread the width of the pitch.

Explaining the Midfield Maestro – Player Role Analysis

As the ball-dominant magic-wand sorcerers in central midfield, 'Midfield Maestros' accomplish feats that few other players would be capable of showcasing to the world. They ooze class every time they touch the ball, always looking dangerous as they dribble, carry or skillfully dance their way around the opposition. But beyond technical precision and pizzazz, 'Midfield Maestros' might be some of the most tactically adept out there, possessing the awareness of space that very few have mastered. Here is our analysis of the Midfield Maestro.

Explaining the Tempo Setter – Player Role Analysis

The 'Tempo Setter' is a unique player type to our system, taking into account the possession-based players that operate in a 'number 8' position, and thrive when given the ball in the half-spaces. Youri Tielemans, Christian Eriksen and Jordan Henderson feature as some of the best within the role from an emblematic perspective, perfectly exuding the cucumber coolness required. But the likes of Thiago and Tchouaméni also stake a claim despite their extreme exceptionalities on the ball, due to the high influence they present in keeping the game moving along from a withdrawn position. Beyond the streamlined skill of Thiago, they tend not to be the flashiest of players in their teams. But 'Tempo Setters' are key to setting the tone of a football match, and conducting the orchestra from start to finish. Quite simply, without their class and composure in possession, the whole entire musical production could crumble.