- King Power Stadium hosted Tactical Insights 2020 on Wednesday
- Industry experts descended upon Leicestershire for a detailed conference about analytics in football
- The panel included representatives from FC Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea and the German FA
- The event was hosted by ITV Sport’s Ed Chamberlain
Boasting a panel that consisted of keynote speakers from FC Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea and the German FA, as well as authors, consultants and, of course, members of Leicester City staff, it was a day of sharing and absorbing expertise and industry knowledge.
Broadcast journalist Ed Chamberlain hosted the event, having also done so in 2016, and welcomed those in attendance, alongside Leicester City's Head of Performance Innovation, Paul Balsom, and Head of Football Analytics, Mladen Sormaz.
David Slemen, founder of Elite Performance Partners, began the day with a discussion about opportunities in the data-driven era, and he was followed up by author of Die Fußballmatrix, Christopher Biermann and Eamonn Salmon, the founder and CEO of the Football Medicine & Performance Association.
After lunch, a wealth of professionals from the fields of club and national football took to the stage, with Javier Fernandez de la Rosa, Carles Bargalló and Jordi Fernández of Barcelona taking an extensive look at an integrative analytical approach to analysis and coaching, defensive transitions, and pressure and counter-pressure within the game.
De la Rosa said: "We make a lot of emphasis in communication and understanding how people are thinking more than specific questions, so I think that’s what you can get from the conference.
"When you see people, not about the specific things they talk about, but how they approach problems or what’s important for them. I think that’s what most [people] can get from the conference. We come from a different country and as Carles [Bargalló] said, it helps not to get different visions, to get different perspectives in football.
"It’s a complex sport and it’s an infinite game, so we need to keep analysing it or understanding it, and also feeling it."
Meanwhile, Game Analyst and Strategy Coach for Chelsea’s women's team, Lisa Fallon, then spoke about how to find match-winning margins, while Arsenal’s Ryan Garry, Sarah Rudd and James Krause elaborated on analytical processes in an academy environment.
The German FA’s Jannis Scheibe and Stefan Kuntz were also on hand provide an insight into the German Under-21s’ offensive style of play before the day concluded with a look at identifying patterns in attacking play thanks to Sportlogiq’s Sam Gregory and Jens Fjellström.
Fallon said: "You learn from everybody you listen to, everybody has experiences and it’s always really important I think to come into these things with an open mind.
"We’ve looked at the bridge between data analysis to coaching. What I think is really important is that we don’t forget that all of that has to get to the players and unless it gets to the players and they buy into the information of it, the information actually helps them in some way in terms of a decision they make and an execution on the pitch.
"All of that work doesn’t matter unless it means something on the pitch. You look at any sport, and sometimes the margin between first and second place is so small and big games are won by one goal.
"It’s where does that goal come from, can we find the margin that gets us that goal or influences our ability to get that goal, or influences our ability to prevent the other team from getting it?"
For further information about Tactical Insights 2020, click here.
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