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Pressure in Elite Youth Soccer Competition in Germany and China

Title data

Liang, Yapu:
Pressure in Elite Youth Soccer Competition in Germany and China.
Bayreuth , 2020 . - 5, 160 p.
( Doctoral thesis, 2020 , Universität Bayreuth, Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät)

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Abstract in another language

Pressure is the sharpest weapon in modern football games, including individual defensive tactics, group defensive tactics, and team defensive tactics. European football has always been the highest standard in the world of football, and it provides a broad window to study and analyze the characteristics and development trends of world-class football tactics. In the European arena, each team has its own offensive and defensive playing styles and tactical means. A serious study of the different tactical performance characteristics in the elite competition level in Europe (or South America) will not only help reflect the development of modern football and the latest tactical performance characteristics, but also help to improve football performances in lower level countries. Therefore, the aim of this study is to summarize the predominant characteristics of the mainstream offensive tactics in German elite youth soccer in the Under-17 age group, analyze the common similarities and differences when compared to Chinese elite youth soccer, and provide some active enlightenment and theoretical support for the improvement of football skills and tactics and the development of training in both countries. The small-sided game (SSG) formats 3v3 and 4v4 are the most reflected sub-units of the soccer team's organization. The more complex offensive and defensive organizational patterns of teamwork are based on and composed by 4v4-elements. Furthermore, the SSG format 4v4 serves as the basic training form in modern soccer education and training. This study is based on quantitative game observation by means of kinematics videography, and descriptive and analytical statistical analyses. The empirical part focusses on the video analysis of selected U17 competition games of the German Bundesliga-clubs SG 1899 Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig, as well as on the Chinese first-league team FC Beijing Guoan. In all games, the analysis focused on the comprehensive systematic statistical parameters of the 3v3- and 4v4-use situation. The following aims shall be focused on throughout the research: 1. Comparison of 3v3 and 4v4 pressure levels and intermediate and final match results. 2. Comparison of 3v3 and 4v4 pressure levels and match durations. 3. Comparison of 3v3 and 4v4 pressure levels in German and Chinese elite U17 soccer. 4. At the moment of the ball release, the average pressure on the player at the moment of receiving the ball is lower than the pressure on the same player at the moment of the release of the ball. 5. Inside the 30-meter-zone in front of the goal, pressure is higher than in the midfield zone. 6. The pressure is higher in forced release errors than in successful release situations. 7. When the offensive 3v3 and 4v4 area is larger, the result of the game will be better and this offensive behavior is associated with a positive effect. In the second half of the match, the area of the 3v3 and 4v4 configurations in team offense, as well as the total area of the six and eight resp. athletes of both teams increased compared to the first half of the match. The reason for this phenomenon might be the general increase of fatigue and, depending on the match standing, the decline of the player's will to further invest in his team’s performance. The reduction in running distances might have led to the widening of the pitch area covered by the players in the 3v3- and 4v4-formats. At the same time, on the 3v3 and 4v4 defensive end, there was no significant change as the game time prolonged. Although the defensive player’s fatigue in-creased, the team on defense executed an unchanged level of compression on the pitch similar to the first half. Thus, it can be seen that the basic 3v3 and 4v4 defensive formation is stable, and the defense might be easier to perform from a fixed and drawn-back formation to resist the opponents’ attacks, with a reduced need to frequently cover long distances. However, as the offensive team advances in pitch space, the distance between the defensive players and the nearest players with and without the ball gets gradually smaller, leading to more physical contact and more fouls, forcing the opponent to protect the ball possession and not to allow for attacking and playing comfortably. In the case of behind scores, the defensive pressure is higher. The team in the lead position experiences the weakest pressure. According to the data analysis, there is a significant difference in a team’s behavior when they are in the lead, in a tie situation, and in a behind score. That is to say, the pressure of athletes is different according to the actual score of the match. In general, the winning team is able to create a larger area in the 4v4 confrontation situation, and the distance to the nearest defender is higher than in the team that lost the competition. This difference in the 4v4 area is significant. When the Goal Difference is negative, the defender who is behind the score is positioned farther away from the player with the ball, and this value changes significantly, indicating that the losing team demonstrated tactical flaws and instability in defensive play. When the score is in lead, the overall pressure on the player with the ball will rise on the pitch, and the size of the area covered by six and eight players, respectively, is the most obvious parameter, indicating that more intense pressure makes the possession of the ball more difficult, and as the players’ density on the court continues to increase around the ball zone, the pressure on the offensive players becomes greater. At the ball release, the average pressure on the releasing player is higher than the pressure at the time when the ball is received. The difference between the release and the receive in the game is significant. The absolute difference between these two instances in the 3v3 and 4v4 areas in German games is far higher than in Chinese competitions. It shows that in the receive situation, the distance between the German athletes and the defenders was higher, but at the release, the distance was dramatically reduced. This shows that German athletes are more active and more synchronized in the run-up. Chinese athletes show relatively fewer running activities and are less interactive when possessing the ball; thus, they lack the ability to change offensive behavior and to actively increase the opponent’s defensive range. Moreover, the pressure at the release of the ball is higher than the pressure at the receipt of the ball, which is underlined by the reduction of the distance between the nearest de-fender and the player with the ball. The soccer field is divided into three parts: the backcourt, the midfield, and the frontcourt. The 30-meter front field is a dangerous area, and all players will be more active inside this part of the offensive and defensive zones. Thirty meters away from the goal, the 3v3 and 4v4 confrontation has the most vigorous intensity. As the offensive players advance to the 30-meter zone in front of the opponents’ goal, this is the most effective area where the attackers can directly shoot or indirectly score. So, this zone will be more protected by the defensive team. In the area of 30 meters in front of the defensive goal, the defending teams will generally arrange 6–8 defenders to execute one-on-one situations, two-on-one, or even three-on-one man-up defense on the player with the ball to prevent a goal. The defense will invest more effort and develop higher pressure against the offensive players. To avoid such pressure of the defensive players, in the German offensive 3v3 and 4v4 configurations, the area is larger than in the Chinese teams. This is true both in terms of offensive area and distance of the player with the ball to the nearest defender. In the case of a successful release, the distance between the ball-handling player and the nearest opponent is significantly higher than when an erroneous release is performed. Therefore, the level of pressure on passing mistakes is higher than the level of pressure at the time of successful release. This could also be seen consistently in the comparison between the soccer teams from China and Ger-many. If the player with the ball does not have enough time to make the right decision, or if the defender executes too high pressure on the player with the ball, this will lead to a higher probability of a release error. The defensive team can strengthen its defensive success by increasing the pressure on the player with the ball, forcing him to make mistakes. If the pressure level is low, the player with the ball can better concentrate on the ball release, making better decisions, and releasing the ball safely to his teammates. Therefore, a higher quota of successful releases usually occurs at a low-pressure level. The higher the average distance between the player with the ball and the nearest defender, the higher the probability of winning the game. According to the investigation of the different game situations, the reduction of the defensive 3v3 and 4v4 area has a close relationship to the overall result of the competition. If the distance to the player with the ball is reduced or properly controlled at a low level, there will be a positive effect on the game result, increasing the probability of a final victory.

Abstract in another language

Druck ist die schärfste Waffe im modernen Fußballspiel, einschließlich individueller Defensivtaktiken, Gruppen- und Mannschaftsverteidigungstaktiken. Eine sorgfältige Untersuchung der verschiedenen taktischen Leistungsmerkmale auf europäischer (oder südamerikanischer) Elite-Ebene würde nicht nur dazu beitragen, die Entwicklung und die neuesten taktischen Leistungsmerkmale des modernen Fussballs widerzuspiegeln, sondern auch dazu beitragen, die Länder mit niedrigem Leistungsniveau im Fussball zu verbessern. Ziel dieser Studie ist es daher, die Grundzüge der Mainstream-Offensivstrategien des deutschen Jugendfußballs in der Altersgruppe unter 17 Jahren zusammenzufassen, die Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede im Vergleich zum chinesischen Jugendfußball zu analysieren und positive Anregungen und theoretische Unterstützung für die Verbesserung von Fähigkeiten und Taktiken sowie die Entwicklung der Ausbildung in beiden Ländern zu geben. Die Studie basiert auf quantitativen Spielbeobachtungen mittels kinematischer Fotografie sowie deskriptiver und analytischer statistischer Analyse. Der empirische Teil konzentriert sich auf die Videoanalyse einiger U17-Spiele zwischen den deutschen Bundesligisten SG 1899 Hoffenheim und RB Leipzig sowie auf die Videoanalyse von Peking Guoan in der ersten Chinesischen Liga. Bei allen Spielen konzentrierte sich die Analyse auf umfassende systemstatistische Parameter für die 3v3- und 4v4-Nutzung.

Further data

Item Type: Doctoral thesis
Keywords: Football; 3v3 and 4v4 area; local pressure; attack and defense
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Sport Science > Chair Sport Science I - Training Science and Kinesiology > Chair Sport Science I - Training Science and Kinesiology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Hohmann
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Sport Science
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Department of Sport Science > Chair Sport Science I - Training Science and Kinesiology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2020 21:00
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2020 07:18