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Jason

Super Frank Thread

Started by Jason,

4,748 posts in this topic
11 hours ago, Vesper said:

Arteta out-thought Lampard with tactical masterclass down the left

https://theathletic.com/1968627/2020/08/03/mikel-arteta-lampard-chelsea-arsenal-maitland-niles-azpilicueta-james-reece-aubameyang/

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In basic terms, Arsenal won this weekend’s FA Cup final because they had the only established world-class attacker on the pitch.

Just as he did in the semi-final victory over Manchester City, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice to hand Arsenal their 14th FA Cup, giving Mikel Arteta his first trophy after just half a season in management.

Aubameyang’s starring role, however, owed much to Arteta’s tactical approach. There was much talk before the game about how both sides were lining up in a 3-4-3 formation, just as they did in the FA Cup final of three years ago — also a 2-1 Arsenal victory.

But the two shapes were actually very different. Frank Lampard used more of a 3-4-2-1, with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic roaming centrally behind Olivier Giroud, which worked well in the opening stages and resulted in Pulisic’s opener. However, Arteta’s attackers offered more width in an unconventional system. Arsenal effectively used three centre-backs in the defensive phase of play, before Kieran Tierney shuffled across to left-back when the ball was won, allowing Ainsley Maitland-Niles to take up a variety of positions.

This was the same approach Arteta used in the semi-final victory over Manchester City, so shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise to Lampard. Finding a solution, however, appeared beyond him.

Arsenal’s main tactic throughout this game was hitting long balls from their left-back zone down the line for either Maitland-Niles or Aubameyang to chase. Arsenal’s first entry into the final third was a good example: Tierney had the ball on the far touchline and Maitland-Niles made a run off the back of his opposing wing-back, Reece James. Tierney thumped the ball down the line…

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…and Maitland-Niles crossed towards Aubameyang.

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Nothing too complex there.

But things became slightly more interesting once it became clear that Aubameyang and Maitland-Niles’ movement was helping to drag Chelsea out of position, with the other exploiting the space created on that side of the pitch. Here’s another example of a similar pass, this time from David Luiz.

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As the Brazilian thumps the ball down the line and the camera pans forward, you can see that Chelsea’s defence has become disorganised because of Arsenal’s movement. Cesar Azpilicueta, the right-sided centre-back, has pushed up into the opposition half to stick tight to Aubameyang and wing-back James is now Chelsea’s deepest defender, trying to match the run of Maitland-Niles.

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James’ speed and strength usually meant he was capable of covering effectively. Here, he held up Maitland-Niles rather than letting him run through on goal.

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But Maitland-Niles still caused problems. Here, he again runs in behind from a narrower position. It’s worth noting that, over on the far side, James is now tracking Aubameyang. Maitland-Niles is, therefore, running beyond Azpilicueta…

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…and, evidently, has enough to speed to get on the end of Nicolas Pepe’s pass easily. He could perhaps have made more of this situation.

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The same thing happened throughout the first half. Here’s another example of a Tierney chip behind James…

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…which results in Maitland-Niles being Arsenal’s most advanced player, and in a good crossing situation.

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It was also notable that Azpilicueta wanted to stick very tight to Aubameyang, which sometimes resulted in James being asked to cover a large amount of space in behind him.

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The interesting thing about Maitland-Niles’ role is that he wasn’t simply becoming an advanced left-sided attacker when Tierney had possession. The nature of his movement caused James problems: here’s an example of Maitland-Niles starting in a more central midfield position, then suddenly sprinting over to the far side when Tierney takes possession. The change of direction catches out James and causes him to slip.

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James’ confusion was because Maitland-Niles had often made the reverse movement, drifting inside to become an extra central midfielder. Here, as David Luiz chips the ball over the top, Maitland-Niles is bringing James infield.

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David Luiz’s chip is played straight to Azpilicueta, who intercepts, but a better-placed pass would have put Aubameyang in behind the Chelsea captain.

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Here’s a similar situation two minutes later, with Chelsea’s right-sided wing-back (James) following Arsenal’s left-sided wing-back (Maitland-Niles) into a very central position.

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And another example from later in the game. This time, James gets a foot in and tackles Maitland-Niles.

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This was obviously a tactical ploy from Arsenal, seeking to bring James out of position and increase the space available to Aubameyang higher up the pitch. After 20 minutes there was an interesting example, from another David Luiz chip forward, with Maitland-Niles in a central role…

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…but this time James didn’t follow, and his recovery speed — and the curl on the pass — allows him to sweep on the outside of Azpilicueta and collect David Luiz’s chip before Aubameyang can reach it.

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Midway through the first half, despite being behind, Arsenal were rallying.

Here’s the move that led to Pepe’s disallowed goal and shows Arsenal further causing Chelsea issues down the far side. This time, Tierney is (unusually) in the role of a typical overlapping left-back on the far touchline, which occupies James. Maitland-Niles is up against Azpilicueta, which leaves Aubameyang free in an inside-left position. A ball from Dani Ceballos into Maitland-Niles allows him to knock the ball back for Aubameyang, who then feeds the ball across to Pepe on the near side to sweep the ball home.

It’s notable that the move originated from this flank, however — and telling that the player caught offside, meaning the goal was disallowed, was the left-wing-back Maitland-Niles, rather than one of the conventional forwards.

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By this point, Arsenal’s favoured move was clear, and their equaliser followed a familiar pattern. Tierney on the far touchline, knocking the ball long into the channel, and James closely following Maitland-Niles, who this time remained in a deep position.

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And this meant Azpilicueta was forced to cover a large amount of space. Aubameyang ran in behind him on to Tierney’s pass and Azpilicueta felt compelled to haul him down for a penalty, which Aubameyang converted.

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It wasn’t long afterwards that Azpilicueta pulled his hamstring when chasing yet another long ball from Arsenal. Lampard summoned Andreas Christensen in his place, using him in the middle of the Chelsea back three, with Kurt Zouma moving into the right-centre role Azpilicueta had previously been playing. Maybe this actually helped Chelsea. In the example below, Tierney again plays the ball down the line, with James defending high against Maitland-Niles…

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…but Chelsea now had the speedier Zouma up against Aubameyang. This pass ran through to goalkeeper Willy Caballero but Zouma was probably more suited to tracking these runs than Azpilicueta.

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Nevertheless, in the second half, Arsenal still caused problems, with Aubameyang attacking the space on the outside of Zouma and behind James.

Here’s a promising counter-attack that starts with Pepe on the far side. On paper, there’s nothing inherently wrong with James’ positioning. But, given the problems Chelsea had faced throughout the first half, Lampard perhaps could have instructed James to play 10 yards deeper, concerning himself primarily with Aubameyang rather than Maitland-Niles.

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Here, Zouma closes down Alexandre Lacazette well, blocking off the ideal angle for the pass. The eventual ball is behind Aubameyang and the shot is blocked. But this was another warning sign for Chelsea.

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Ten minutes later, Arsenal scored their winner from a similar situation. James was pressing high up the pitch, this time closing down Tierney in Arsenal’s left-back zone. Tierney pops the ball over James’ head first-time.

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As Arsenal’s attack builds, the situation is similar to the above chance, with Zouma forced to cover half the pitch himself, and no sign of James. Zouma is able to shift his position and get goal-side of Aubameyang…

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…but Aubameyang goes past him on the outside and dinks home Arsenal’s winner.

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Lampard was critical of his players at full-time, accusing them of complacency and taking too long on the ball. But on reviewing the tape of this match, Lampard might feel he could have intervened to stop Arsenal repeatedly causing so many problems in the same position.

Lampard’s switch from 3-4-3 to a four-man defence turned the game at the Emirates shortly after Christmas, allowing Chelsea to come back from 1-0 down to win 2-1, and perhaps Azpilicueta’s early injury was an opportunity to change the system. Alternatively, simply moving James deeper to help Chelsea cope against Aubameyang might have done the trick. Instead, Chelsea allowed Arsenal’s best player far too much space and were punished twice.

Thank you.

With some of the comments on RJ, you would think he was a Sunday league player, when in reality, this was a fuck up by FL and azpi.

I mean for heaven's sake, there is something called self-correction and you are the fucking captain. Cant you call the shots when you see you are getting exposed time and again? Azpi needed to step up. I mean i cant see this happening with JT on the pitch. 

Arteta had a game plan to totally nullify RJ, and we simply could not do anything to stop it from happening, despite FL having 3 breaks to address the situation (2 drinks and HT). The problem should be with FL and lack of leadership, not with a 20 year old talented RB

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30 minutes ago, Puliiszola said:

Thank you.

With some of the comments on RJ, you would think he was a Sunday league player, when in reality, this was a fuck up by FL and azpi.

I mean for heaven's sake, there is something called self-correction and you are the fucking captain. Cant you call the shots when you see you are getting exposed time and again? Azpi needed to step up. I mean i cant see this happening with JT on the pitch. 

Arteta had a game plan to totally nullify RJ, and we simply could not do anything to stop it from happening, despite FL having 3 breaks to address the situation (2 drinks and HT). The problem should be with FL and lack of leadership, not with a 20 year old talented RB

Here's the thing, if the players don't follow the manager's instructions and something wrong happens, they get criticized. If they follow the instructions and something wrong happens, they also get criticized. So, who exactly is at fault here? 

Why did we even play a high line against Arsenal to begin with? We should have defended deeper for a start, especially when we were not going to press or capable of pressing effectively. That setup is from Lampard and he didn't change anything during the game. 

To say Arteta had a game plan to nullify James is sort of kind for us when he had Arsenal repeatedly exploit the area between James and Azpi (later Zouma) and Lampard did nothing to sort that problem out. Can't believe I'm saying but we probably missed Willian doing the "donkey work" down that side on Saturday.

Also, I know JT is arguably our best captain ever but there is a tendency to say things that makes him perfect when in reality, he also got exploited a lot while playing in a high line under AVB.

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12 minutes ago, Jason said:

Here's the thing, if the players don't follow the manager's instructions and something wrong happens, they get criticized. If they follow the instructions and something wrong happens, they also get criticized. So, who exactly is at fault here? 

Why did we even play a high line against Arsenal to begin with? We should have defended deeper for a start, especially when we were not going to press or capable of pressing effectively. That setup is from Lampard and he didn't change anything during the game. 

To say Arteta had a game plan to nullify James is sort of kind for us when he had Arsenal repeatedly exploit the area between James and Azpi (later Zouma) and Lampard did nothing to sort that problem out. Can't believe I'm saying but we probably missed Willian doing the "donkey work" down that side on Saturday.

Also, I know JT is arguably our best captain ever but there is a tendency to say things that makes him perfect when in reality, he also got exploited a lot while playing in a high line under AVB.

Totally agree with you. Infact, I am putting the blame on FL. 

My only point is the kind of shit people have said about RJ after the game. The kid is so talented, anyone can see it. The tactics made him and us look shit.

Fair point on JT, but i feel when push came to shove (which it will definitely do in a cup final), I dont think he would not intervene specially after suffering with the same plan for 70 odd minutes. I think FL got it wrong here, but it was a one-off game. I am still overall delighted with how the season has gone.

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1 minute ago, Puliiszola said:

Fair point on JT, but i feel when push came to shove (which it will definitely do in a cup final), I dont think he would not intervene specially after suffering with the same plan for 70 odd minutes.

JT from that 3-5 Arsenal game would like to say 'hi'.

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4 minutes ago, Jason said:

JT from that 3-5 Arsenal game would like to say 'hi'.

That was not a cup final though. 

You can similarly say - barca x2, benficax2, napoli x1. Where we played the way that suited us. 

 

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12 hours ago, Vesper said:

Seeing this just proved what a lot of us saw in the match thread. Arteta came with a game plan and Lampard didn't have a game plan to expose Arsenals backline too. Lampard didn't also try to stop the constant exposure from Aubameyang and Naitland-miles.

He should have asked the team to sit deep if they were too tired to press, then try to come up with a strategy at halftime. He only put a faster zouma there, but the high line still showed up the tactical naivety of that.

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1 minute ago, Puliiszola said:

That was not a cup final though. 

Does it matter? It is just suicidal to play a high line against pacey opponents if the team can't press effectively.

2 minutes ago, Puliiszola said:

You can similarly say - barca x2, benficax2, napoli x1. Where we played the way that suited us. 

Yes and that's because RDM reverted to the pragmatic style that suited the players. 

We didn't play a high line against Man City and Man United recently for example but decided to do so for whatever reason against Arsenal. 

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1 hour ago, Jason said:

Does it matter? It is just suicidal to play a high line against pacey opponents if the team can't press effectively.

Yes and that's because RDM reverted to the pragmatic style that suited the players. 

We didn't play a high line against Man City and Man United recently for example but decided to do so for whatever reason against Arsenal. 

Obviously it matters. Managers want to set up the team in their style and preferences. You can't be "pragmatic" for 40 games a season and say we have an attacking game play. Avb wanted us to play a certain way, so it's understanable.

What is not, is exactly what you pointed out. Cup final, yet another pacy attack. I feel if the team actually had leaders, they would have said something. Well, our captain and vice-captaon were 2 of the worst performers due to the tactical fallacy, they themselves should have said something.

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17 minutes ago, Puliiszola said:

Obviously it matters. Managers want to set up the team in their style and preferences. You can't be "pragmatic" for 40 games a season and say we have an attacking game play. Avb wanted us to play a certain way, so it's understanable.

What is not, is exactly what you pointed out. Cup final, yet another pacy attack. I feel if the team actually had leaders, they would have said something. Well, our captain and vice-captaon were 2 of the worst performers due to the tactical fallacy, they themselves should have said something.

But why does it need leaders to tell Lampard that the team can't cope with pace? He is the manager and he should know the players better than most. We even have the recent Liverpool game as an example.

Lampard may have a certain way of playing but defending deeper or doing anything similar doesn't mean he has to sacrifice that and he has shown that he can be adaptable with how we set up - see games against Man City or Man United. So the way he set the team up made little sense, even more so when he failed to sort things out during the game. 

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1 minute ago, Jason said:

But why does it need leaders to tell Lampard that the team can't cope with pace? He is the manager and he should know the players better than most. We even have the recent Liverpool game as an example.

Lampard may have a certain way of playing but defending deeper or doing anything similar doesn't mean he has to sacrifice that and he has shown that he can be adaptable with how we set up - see games against Man City or Man United. So the way he set the team up made little sense, even more so when he failed to sort things out during the game. 

I am honestly not making excuses for FL. I think he fucked up in the final big time. Not just with the way we set up, but also, by showing no flexibility when the tactics simply were not working. Whats worse is that, he did change from a back 3 to 4 against the same opposition at the back of a very similar performance. And we suddenly became a 10x better team. 

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14 minutes ago, killer1257 said:

Didn't Terry coach the second worst defense in PL this season? Hardly an improvement

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Whether or not Terry is a good defensive coach or the right fit for us is debatable but saying he is a bad one just because of Villa's defensive too simplistic. We don't know how the dynamic between him and Dean Smith works and since we are all screaming for new and better defenders, maybe Terry just have crap ones to work with at Villa? 

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Whether or not Terry is a good defensive coach or the right fit for us is debatable but saying he is a bad one just because of Villa's defensive too simplistic. We don't know how the dynamic between him and Dean Smith works and since we are all screaming for new and better defenders, maybe Terry just have crap ones to work with at Villa? 

 

It is not like guys like Alonso, Rüdiger and AC are that great either. We just have expensive crap

 

I am also not sure if Terry would accept being only a defensive coach.

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7 minutes ago, killer1257 said:

It is not like guys like Alonso, Rüdiger and AC are that great either. We just have expensive crap

Like I said, it depends on several factors. And mind you, Conte and to an extent Sarri, managed to get good contribution out of those defenders you mentioned there. In Alonso's case, it's his physical attributes that let him down but that can't be helped.

8 minutes ago, killer1257 said:

I am also not sure if Terry would accept being only a defensive coach.

In the long term, probably not. Short term, possibly.

Having said that, I am not sure whether Terry and Lampard will be able to co-exist within the same coaching team. Not sure if they will have the right dynamic. 

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4 hours ago, Fulham Broadway said:

One person cost us the Anthony Taylor Final. 

Clue's in the name

may a white horse and the ghost of Stanley Matthews fly up his arse and lay the spawn of thousand carrion maggots (adopted from an old Arabic curse)

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How data and analytics work at Chelsea from top to bottom

https://theathletic.com/1951313/2020/08/04/chelsea-analytics-data-gps/

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On a normal day at Cobham, the majority of Chelsea’s first-team squad will arrive ‪between 10am and half-past‬. Some will head to the canteen for breakfast, while others will have eaten theirs at home. When they gather in the dressing room to get changed, part of the routine includes putting on the Catapult vests, fitted with GPS units, that have been left in their boot holes.

As they put their kit on, the eyes of some will be drawn to either of the two TVs in the room. One will be showing an edited highlights package of each player’s best physical actions from the previous match, the other displays a more basic table of their performance metrics: total distance covered, top speed, number of high-intensity sprints and more. The thinking is that appealing to the players’ competitive nature is the best way to get them to engage with the data, and the screens are frequently a source of banter as individual numbers are compared.

Out on the training pitch — which is lined with Catapult sensors — head coach Frank Lampard and his staff will be accompanied by an analyst carrying a laptop or tablet. Chelsea have refined their system to provide live data reports that can be viewed as the session progresses and every player has his own individual targets to hit for each performance metric every day.

Within an hour of the end of a session, the fitness coaches will be provided with a report; the first page containing an easily digestible statistical summary of what happened during the session, and the subsequent one consisting of a more detailed breakdown of how each player is doing relative to their performance targets. This information is discussed in the afternoon and incorporated into the training plan so that, by the next morning, the coaching staff have a clear idea of how much work to load on to every member of the squad.

It’s a smooth, sophisticated process in keeping with Chelsea’s status as one of European football’s modern giants — and it’s just one example of how the club’s analytics operation has grown in influence and resources during the second decade of Roman Abramovich’s ownership.

Matt Hallam is not a name you’re likely to recognise, but he is a very significant figure in the story of Chelsea’s evolving relationship with data analysis.

A psychology graduate of Loughborough University, he arrived at Cobham on an internship to work under Tim Harkness, who was brought to the club with Carlo Ancelotti in 2009 and now holds the title of head of sports science and psychology.

So impressed was Harkness with Hallam that when Michael Emenalo was made technical director in July 2011 and signalled he was looking for someone to help him with the technological side of gathering and presenting information on players, Harkness told him he knew someone already at Cobham who would be suitable.

Emenalo explained to Hallam what he wanted: a bespoke database that would house all of Chelsea’s scouting reports and other information on players they were monitoring, and present it in a fashion that would be clear and accessible to any key staff who wished to view it, as well as owner Abramovich. Above all, Emenalo wanted a tool to help increase the level of internal transparency of player signing recommendations made to the club’s hierarchy.

Hallam asked for two weeks to come up with a solution, but returned to Emenalo after only one. The idea he presented was to use a data analysis tool called QlikView as the platform for a Chelsea-specific player database that would allow for the club’s scouts to upload their reports, video clips to be viewed and edited into highlights packages, and advanced metrics compiled.

The concept struck Emenalo as much more secure and discreet than the approach favoured by many other clubs of having their scouts upload reports to Scout7, a platform more vulnerable to unauthorised access (Liverpool paid Manchester City £1 million in a private settlement in 2013 after a complaint that three Liverpool employees had repeatedly accessed City’s Scout7 account). Hallam was given the green light, went away and created Chelsea’s player database.

Most top clubs now use sophisticated analytics programmes and databases to underpin their recruitment but, in 2011, Hallam’s advocation of QlikView and adaptation of the software to suit Chelsea’s specific needs put the club ahead of the curve. He has worked closely with head of international scouting Scott McLachlan in the years since to make their process of talent identification more data and analytics-driven, and is regarded internally as indispensable.


As the loan system Emenalo devised rapidly expanded in the following years, Hallam’s database was also used to monitor players Chelsea sent out to develop at other clubs.

Fabian Unwin, a former sergeant in the Norwegian air force, is the analyst specifically detailed to work on the club’s many loan players and his responsibilities include sifting through the stream of information that travels from loan clubs to Cobham, as well as compiling tailored video packages from their matches to feed back to them.

For the players involved, the process is efficient and individually-focused.

Richard Nartey is a Chelsea academy graduate who spent this past season on loan at Burton Albion in League One, before being released by his parent club. “When I was at Burton I could go on this app that they’d set up and I could view all my clips that the loan analyst person puts together,” he tells The Athletic.

“The loan analyst sends it to Chelsea, and Chelsea send it to you. I have had all my clips from this year and I have put them in a shorter highlights reel from my time at Burton lasting eight, nine minutes. If people want to see more, I can get it. Thanks to Chelsea I have them. Clubs that are looking for players in a certain position can see what they are looking for.”

Nartey was already accustomed to this level of detailed feedback from his journey through Chelsea’s renowned academy, where every age group from under-14s onwards have a dedicated performance analyst. “If you go and speak to them about it, they will give you any stat from any game,” he adds. “One time, they gave everyone their pass completion rate for short distance, medium distance and long distance.

“After every game, you get the amount of distance you covered, you can look back at distances you covered on every game you played, the fastest speed you’ve hit in any match, the deceleration time. They have everything for you. You kind of learn as they tell you. I didn’t know they could track some of the things they give you.

“One of the main things I learned was… it’s called a VC load, it’s how much force you put through your body. The higher your VC load, the more force is going through your body and that means potential injuries can be worse, if you don’t learn how to deal and cope with different things. They can manage your training, depending how your VC load is. They also showed my peak speed at the start of the year and halfway through the year, to show whether it was working or not.

“You can call them any time. Last season, when I was trying to go on loan I spoke to Michael Emmerson (under-23s’ lead performance analyst). I told him that I was trying to go on loan and wanted a highlight reel of my under-23s clips. He sat down with me and we made a six, seven-minute video of different parts of my game: heading, long passing, short passing, tackling. He does that for anyone who asks to go on loan.”

Some of the more senior figures in Chelsea’s analytics operation have been at the club as long or longer than Hallam and Harkness.

James Melbourne, head of first-team analysis, joined from Prozone in 2005. First-team match analyst Christy Fenwick was recruited from Wolverhampton Wanderers two years later and is credited as being the first person at the club to collect and analyse performance data on individual players and the team as a whole over differing periods of time.

Chelsea are also open to hiring analysts who have worked in other sports.

One of the more recent additions is lead recruitment and data analyst Dan Pelchen, who arrived at Cobham in the summer of 2018 after spending six years with Melbourne-based Aussie rules football club Collingwood. Pelchen initially came to England to learn more about how analytics work in football, but is now considered key to the unit.

First-team performance analyst Paul Quilter is one of several members of staff who, like Hallam, were brought in on internships and impressed enough to be offered permanent roles and contracts.

Giving opportunities to smart young people has always been prominent in Chelsea’s thinking when building out their analytics operation, and brings the added benefit of engendering a deeper sense of loyalty among those hired. The vast majority have academic backgrounds in sports science, and all pride themselves on keeping a low profile.


“As a club, we’re not data-led,” Ben Smith, Chelsea’s head of research and development, said in a presentation at the Sports Analytics Innovation Summit in 2013. “We’ve got a huge range of experts and we try to use our data as a support tool. Very rarely are we going to present data and make a decision based solely off that — it’s just an extra source of information that our coaches will take on board; and if it’s good data, hopefully it’s going to have an impact and be seen in our results.”

It’s fair to say, however, that advanced data analysis informs virtually every decision made on the football side of the club.

Many of the most significant recent advances have come in the sports science department, reformed during Antonio Conte’s two years as manager and overseen by Harkness.

QlikView is still used at Chelsea, but a technology partnership with Microsoft has enabled the club to transition to using a more powerful data visualisation tool, Power BI, for much of their data analysis. It is this software which allows the club’s analysts to monitor live data during training sessions and to quickly create the reports which are sent to Lampard’s fitness coaches each afternoon and inform the next day’s session.

Training workload is now highly individualised, subject to adjustment based on proximity to matches and a number of other variables. Lampard has benefited this season from the strides data analysis helped Chelsea make in maintaining the fitness and sharpness of substitutes and squad players during Conte’s title-winning 2016-17 campaign, when Cesc Fabregas was one of the club’s best performers despite only starting 13 league matches.

Data gathered on academy prospects who train with the first team is particularly useful when assessing whether or not they are ready to play senior minutes, and is regarded within the club as more indicative than anything that can be gathered from youth football. Sources have told The Athletic that Billy Gilmour’s impressive physical metrics in training and games backed up Lampard’s belief that the teenager was capable of making an immediate impact in senior football, despite his relatively slight frame.

Some first-team players are more interested in their performance data than others. It should come as a surprise to no-one that Cesar Azpilicueta is always keen to learn everything he can about his physical output on the pitch, from the total distance he covers to the number of high-intensity sprints he completes.

The sophistication of Chelsea’s analytics operation has other uses. Devising the individual rehabilitation regimes to help Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek come back from their respective achilles ruptures was a joint effort between the club’s medical and sports science departments, with data analysis fundamental to the decisions of when both players could be given the green light to step up their recoveries in matches for the under-18s and development squad.

Whether it is scouting, managing loan players, assessing first-team performance or injury prevention and recovery, the professionalism and progressive mindset underpinning Chelsea’s analytics operation stands up to comparison with any of Europe’s better run elite clubs.

The work they do off the pitch will continue to be vitally important to any success achieved on it.

 

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1 hour ago, Vesper said:

(Liverpool paid Manchester City £1 million in a private settlement in 2013 after a complaint that three Liverpool employees had repeatedly accessed City’s Scout7 account).

Says it all about that club 

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