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Team of the Week #19

This weeks’ team is composed out of the best defending players. Based on our defensive-statistics in round 19 of the Eredivisie, we selected the players with the most defensive duels won. From the players who were tied for a spot in the team, we picked the one with the highest percentage (%) defensive duels won. If this was also the same, possession regain in play by duel was the decisive statistic.

Defensive duel = A duel engaged by a player of a team that is not in ball possession. Duels can be divided into air, standing, sliding, and ground duels.

Optimize your stats: 
– On average Danny Post (VVV Venlo) has the most defensive duels won with 7,48 per match. Post is also the player with the record for the most defensive duels won in one match this season (20), in game week 7 (Willem II – VVV Venlo).
– The player with the highest average percentage of defensive duels won is Leon Guwara of FC Utrecht. He wins on average 82% of his defensive duels per 90 minutes (45 out of 55 duels).
– Edson Alverez (Ajax) has the most possession regains by duel, with on average 3,44 per match.
– Heracles Almelo has the most defensive duels won (799). FC Groningen is the current number two with 777 defensive duels won. AZ (590) had the smallest number of defensive duels won.
– On average there are 74 defensive duels won per match, divided over both teams. With on average 42 defensive duels won per match, Heracles is on top of the Eredivisie. For reference: In the Big 5 leagues of Europe, only Southampton (Premier League) scores higher with 41.7 defensive duels won per match. Valencia (Primera Division) had the smallest number of defensive duels won, with on average 25 per match.


Below you will find the Top 10 players with the most defensive duels won in the 2019-2020 Eredivisie season.

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.


Team of the Nationalities

This week we present 2 Teams of the Week, both composed out of the best players in the Eredivisie. We made a distinction in the best Dutch players and the best foreign players based on our player performance score.

We selected a maximum of three players per club. A player should have played 45 minutes per game in at least 10 matches.  The performance score gives a score from 1-5 on several statistics. The statistics are chose on a specific profile for their position. The final score is the average of all chosen statistic scores. For each statistic the performance of the player can be compared with the league average, which is equal to 2.5.

The performance score is based on the following statistics: Involved in goal, Passes, Completed passes (%), Crosses, Forward passes, First pass in possession received, Attacking duels, Attacking duels won (%), Goal attempts on target, Shots, Goals, Key actions, Assists, Possession regain in play and Possession regain in play by duel. For the goalkeepers we used the following statistics: Passes, Completed passes (%), Save on goal attempts, Saves caught, Saves (%), Interceptions and Clean sheets.

Optimize your stats:
– In total the Dutch team has a performance score of 36,67 and the foreign team a performance score of 34,97. On average the score is 3,36 vs 3,17 per player, so based on the performance score the Dutch team is better.
– When we compare these stats per line, we have the following overview:

Line Dutch Foreign
Goalkeeper   2,95 2,80
Defenders 13,51 11,89
Midfielders 10,09   10,84
Attackers 10,12 9,44

–> The Dutch team performs better in goalkeeper, defenders and attackers and the foreign team has the better midfielders.
– Because we selected a maximum of three players per club, Nico Tagliafico didn’t make it in the squad with the best foreign players. He had a performance score of 3,27. This was higher than Clark, but lower than teammates Ziyech, Tadic and Martinez.
– When we combine both of these teams, Hakim Ziyech is by far (!) the player with the highest performance score. Ziyech provided a score of 4,31 while number two Daley Blind ‘only’ had a score of 3,68.
– Ajax dominated these Teams of the Week with 5 players in total. AZ and Feyenoord delivered 4 players, PSV and FC Emmen 2, and FC Twente, Fortuna Sittard, FC Utrecht, Vitesse and Willem II all 1.

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.


Rookies of the Eredivisie

This weeks’ team is composed out of the best rookies in the Eredivisie. Based on our player performance score in this first half season of the Eredivisie, we selected the players with the highest score and with a maximum age of 21. The players should have played at least 45 minutes in 10 matches. The performance score gives a score from 1-5 to each statistic that is taken into account in a chosen profile. The final score is the average of all statitistic scores. For each statistic the performance of the player is compared with the league average which is equal to 2.5.

The performance score is based on the following statistics: Involved in goal, Passes, Completed passes (%), Crosses, Forward passes, First pass in possession received, Attacking duels, Attacking duels won (%), Goal attempts on target, Shots, Goals, Key actions, Assists, Possession regain in play and Possession regain in play by duel. For the goalkeeper we used the following statistics: Passes, Completed passes (%), Save on goal attempts, Saves caught, Saves (%), Interceptions and Clean sheets.

Optimize your stats:
– After Chidera Ejuke (28), Luis Sinisterra has the most attacking sliding duels (26). Sinisterra is also the 2nd best player with the most defensive sliding duels won (6), after Mats Kohlert (8).
– Together with Cyriel Dessers, Steven Berghuis and Myron Boadu, Donyell Malen is the top scorer of the Eredivisie with 11 goals. 8 with his right foot and 3 with his head.
– Calvin Stengs has the most through passes (23).
– Koopmeiners had the most penalty’s taken (6), he scored all six of them.
– Together with Fredrik Midtsjo, Mohamed Ihattaren is the midfielder with the most key actions (36). Ihattaren is also the midfielder who had the most passes in the final third (330), completing 252 of them (76%)
– Lisandro Martinez is the midfielder who completed the most passes on the opponent half (527). Martinez also is the midfielder with the most shots on the post (2).  
– Wijndal has the most low crosses (61) and late crosses (77).
– Sven Botman won the most defensive air duels (64). In total he had 82 defensive air duels, winning 78% of them, highest percentage of the Eredivisie. Botman also has the most regains in play (201).
– With 67% of his total duels won, Melle Meulensteen is in the top 10 players with the highest percentage of total duels won.
– Deyovaisio Zeefuik won the most duels (162) in this half season of the Eredivisie
– Maarten Paes saved 1 of his 3 penalties faced
– Below you will find the Top 10 Rookies (age under 21) with the highest performance score per line in this first halfseason of the Eredivisie:

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.


Team of the Half-season

This weeks’ team is composed out of the best players in the Eredivisie. Based on our player performance score in this first half season of the Eredivisie, we selected the players with the highest score. We selected a maximum of three players per club in this Team of the Half-season and they should have played at least 45 minutes in 10 matches. The performance score gives a score from 1-5 to each statistic that is taken into account in a chosen profile and the final score is the average of all statitistic scores. For each statistic the performance of the player is compared with the league average which is equal to 2.5.

The performance score is based on the following statistics: Involved in goal, Passes, Completed passes (%), Crosses, Forward passes, First pass in possession received, Attacking duels, Attacking duels won (%), Goal attempts on target, Shots, Goals, Key actions, Assists, Possession regain in play and Possession regain in play by duel. For the goalkeeper we used the following statistics: Passes, Completed passes (%), Save on goal attempts, Saves caught, Saves (%), Interceptions and Clean sheets.

Optimize your stats:
– Dusan Tadic delivered the most assists, 12. He also had the most key actions (63) and key passes (56).
– Steven Bergwijn is the attacker who completed the most final third passes (88%). With 87% he is also the attacker with the highest percentage of completed passes in general.
– Together with Cyriel Dessers, Donyell Malen and Myron Boadu, Steven Berghuis is the top scorer of the Eredivisie with 11 goals. 9 of his 11 goals were with his left foot.
– Hakim Ziyech completed the most passes on the opponent half (565). Ziyech also provided the most goal attempts (78) and dribbles (146).
– Koopmeiners had the most penalty’s taken (6), he scored all six of them.
– Mark Diemers suffered the most fouls (59)
– With 75%, Haps won on average the most defensive duels
– Daley Blind had the most ball actions (1914) and the most passes (1430). He completed 1274 of his 1430 passes, a percentage of 89%.
– Ibrahim Drešević is the defender with the most switch passes of play (93).
– After Max Clark and Sean Klaiber, Glenn Bijl had the most passes into the opposite box (73). Bijl is also in the top 3 with providing high, low and early crosses.
– Marco Bizot had the most clean sheets (13).
– Below you will find the Top 10 players with the highest performance score per line in this first halfseason of the Eredivisie:

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.


Team of the Week #18

This weeks’ team is composed out of the best ball conquerors. Based on our regain-statistics in round 18 of the Eredivisie, we selected the players with the most possession regains in play.

Possession regain in play = The moment that makes a team regains ball possession. A regain ball possession only counts when the ball did not go out of play. Therefore, set plays do not count as regain ball possession. Regain ball possession can be divided into: Regain by duel or Regain by interception.

Optimize your stats:
– On average Daley Blind (Ajax) has the most possession regains with 11,57 per match. In this season of the Eredivisie the record for most possession regains in one match is 21; provided by Sven Botman in round 17, SC Heerenveen – Willem II.
– Edson Alverez (Ajax) has the most possession regains by duel, with on average 3,44 per match. Eric Botteghin (Feyenoord) has the most possession regains by interception, with on average 8,07 per match.
– Ajax has the most possession regains on the opponent half (289). PSV is the current number two with 251 possession regains on the opponent half. VVV Venlo (135) had the least amount of possession regains on the opponent half.
– On average there are 119 possession regains per match, divided over both teams. With on average 66,5 possession regains per match (a total of 1196), Ajax is on top of the Eredivisie. For reference: In the Big 5 leagues of Europe, only VFL Wolfsburg (Bundesliga) is close with 65,6 possession regains per match. Genoa CFC (Serie A) had the least amount of possession regains, with on average 48,7 per match.
– Below you will find the Top 10 players with the possession regains per line in this season of the Eredivisie.

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.


Team of the Week #17

This weeks’ team is composed out of the most dangerous players in a squad. Based on our scoring-statistics in round 17 of the Eredivisie, we selected the players with the most goal attempts per position.

A goal attempt is a ball action with the purpose to score a goal. It can be performed by a shot/header, a penalty or a free kick. For the goalkeeper we chose the statistic of involvement in a goal attempt.

Optimize your stats:
– On average Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) produces the most goal attempts with 5,11 per match. In this season of the Eredivisie the record for most goal attempts in one match is 9; provided by three players, namely: Hakim Ziyech, Ajax – FC Emmen, Mark Diemers, Vitesse – Fortuna Sittard, and Quincy Promes, Sparta Rotterdam – Ajax.
– Ajax produces by far the most goal attempts (393) in this season of the Eredivisie. PSV is the current number two with 292 goal attempts. FC Twente (170) had the least amount of goal attempts. Despite the fact that FC Twente had the least amount of goal attempts, they managed to get the highest % of goal attempt conversion. With 26 goals out of 170 goal attempts, FC Twente has a conversion rate of 17%. With 9%, FC Groningen had the lowest percentage goal attempt conversion rate.
– Reza Ghoochannejhad* (PEC Zwolle) is with 30% the player with the highest % of goal attempt conversion. 6 of his 20 goal attempts resulted in a goal.
*For this statistic a player should have at least 1 goal attempt per match.
– On average there are 27,6 goal attempts per match in this season of the Eredivisie. With on average 23,11 goal attempts per match, Ajax is on top of the Eredivisie. For example: In the Big 5 leagues of Europe, only Manchester City (Premier League) is close with 20,2 goal attempts per match. Deportivo Alaves (Primera Division) had the least amount of goal attempts, with on average 7,8 per match.
– Below you will find the Top 10 players with the most goal attempts per line in this season of the Eredivisie.*

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.



Team of the Week #16

This weeks’ team is composed out of the key players in a squad. Based on our scoring-statistics in round 16 of the Eredivisie, we selected the players per position who are the most involved in goals.

A player is involved in a goal if the player has one or more touches in the possession moment in which this team scores.

Optimize your stats:
– PSV dominated this Team of the Week with 6 players.
– This weekend PSV won 5-0 against Fortuna Sittard and scored two penalties. In the other 3 field goals, three defenders of PSV were involved three times.
– On average Quincy Promes (Ajax) is the player who is the most involved in a goal with 2,27 per 90 minutes. For example, in the Big 5 leagues only Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) and Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig) have an higher average. Mahrez has an average of 2,48 and Nkunku had an average of 2,29. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) is coming close with an average of 2,23.
– In this season of the Eredivisie the record for most involvement in goals in one match is 6; by goalkeeper Xavier Mous in round 6 (PEC Zwolle – RKC Waalwijk).
– Below you will find the Top 10 players with on average the most involved goals per line in this season of the Eredivisie.*

Minimum of 5 matches played

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.


European Qualifiers 2020 vs World Cup Qualifiers 2018; What was the difference? 

In the last 6 years The Netherlands did not qualify for a big international tournament. On the 16th of November the Dutch national men’s team managed to qualify for the European Championship of 2020. What was the difference between this successful last campaign and the one before, the qualification for the World Cup in 2018?

We analyzed the qualification games for the World Cup 2018 and the European Championship 2020 to see what was different and why the Netherlands did succeed this year. For the European Championship Qualifiers 2020 we analyzed the first 7 matches because the Netherlands qualified after the match against North-Ireland.

Playing Style
Was there a difference in playing style? ORTEC Sports analyzed the offensive and defensive statistics of both qualification campaigns. See the overview below:

Figure 1: Attacking statistics 2018 vs 2020

Passing
We start with the attacking statistics: What stands out is the amount of passes given. In the European Championship Qualification 2020 the Netherlands gave on average 640.1 passes per game which is significantly higher compared with the 567.6 passes per game in the World Cup Qualifiers 2018.

The number of passes is higher but also the pass completion is higher. It might seem a small difference between the 84% completed passes in 2018 and the 87% completed passes in 2020, but actually this is a big difference on elite level. For example, in the Dutch Eredivisie, number 1 ranked AFC Ajax completed 86% of their passes and RKC Waalwijk, bottom of the league, completed 82% of their passes; only 4% less.

The difference in amount and precision in passing is even more relevant when you realize that the Netherlands managed 76 more passes per match at the opponents half in compared to the 2018 campaign.

Possession
The Dutch National team passed the ball more so logically the possession time and the average time in possession is also higher. We could state that in the qualification for EURO 2020 the Netherlands dominated more games than in the qualification of 2018.

Despite the domination of the Netherlands they did not manage to create more goal attempts. With 16.7 goal attempts in 2018 and 16.6 goal attempts in 2020 it had not much of an impact. What did make an impact was the quality of the goal attempts. On average 6,4 goal attempts were on target in 2020, compared to the 5.6 shots on target in 2018. They also scored more goals (2.7 versus 2.1) and more assists (2.1 versus 1.0) in the European Qualifiers 2020. In figure 1 we also see that the goal attempt conversion was higher in 2020.

In the graphs below (figure 2 and 3) we see the type of goals made by the Netherlands in the World Cup Qualifiers 2018 and the European Championship Qualifiers 2020. As concluded the Netherlands gave more passes in the qualification of the European Championship 2020 and that resulted in more goals from build-up (= the possession moment started on own half, and contained five or more passes) and more goals from offensive (= the possession moment started on opponent half, and contained five or more passes). In the qualifiers of 2018, The Netherlands scored more goals from set-play moments, from counter and from turn overs. In total the Netherlands scored 21 times in 10 matches in the World Cup Qualifiers 2018 and 24 times in 8 matches in the European Championship Qualifiers 2020.

Of course we compared the defensive statistics of the World Cup Qualifiers in 2018 and the European Championship Qualifiers 2020 as well, seen in figure 4. Despite the fact that the Netherlands won less defensive and attacking duels, it did not lead to more goal(s) attempts against. In contrast, the Netherlands received almost 3 shots on target less per match and in total 0,2 goals per match less than in the World Cup Qualifiers of 2018. In total The Netherlands conceded 12 times in 10 matches in the World Cup Qualifiers 2018 and 7 times in 8 matches in the European Championship Qualifiers 2020. The only thing to worry about is the fact that Jasper Cillessen had a much higher goal attempt conversion against and much less saves (%) than in the World Cup Qualifiers in 2018.

Figure 4: Defensive statistics 2018 vs 2020

Strength of the group
You could state that the statistics of 2020 are better because the level of the opponents is lower, but is this true? The average FIFA World Ranking of all the countries in Poule A in the World Cup Qualifiers 2018 was #58 and the FIFA World Ranking of all the countries in Poule C in the World Cup Qualifiers 2020 was #48. When we exclude The Netherlands, the average FIFA World Ranking of the opponents was in 2018 #65 and it was #57 in 2020. So, based on the FIFA World Ranking the Netherlands was in a stronger group in the European Qualifiers, but they managed to get way better statistics.

Squad
Ronald Koeman said it many times: he wanted to build a solid team with a core of players and and a minimum amount of changes.

So was there a big difference between the qualification for 2018 and 2020 in the amount of players used? When we compare the number of players used by Danny Blind and Dick Advocaat (both national coaches in the qualification of 2018) to the players Ronald Koeman used we see a big difference: Blind and Advocaat used 39 players, while Koeman only used 21.

Based on the ‘Useful Squad’ format it is proven that the less players a team uses the more stable a team will perform, see figure 6.

In comparison with the qualification in 2018 and in 2020 it means the following:

In the qualification campaign for Euro 2020 there was a core squad of six players: Matthijs de Ligt, Daley Blind, Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Ryan Babel and Jasper Cillessen. Georginio Wijnaldum missed 1 match due an illness and Memphis Depay missed 2 matches due an injury. Because of this solid squad, 14 players accounted for approximately 88% of each team’s total minutes. 80% of the total minutes accounted the 11 most used players. For comparison: in the World Cup Qualifiers 2018 it would take 22 players accounted for approximately 88% of each team’s total minutes and 61% of the total minutes accounted for by most used 11 players.

Additional Koeman only selected only two players who played only 1 match. In comparison with the qualification in 2018, there were thirteen players who only played 1 match. It is clear Koeman build a solid squad.

Conclusion
In the European Qualifiers 2020 the Netherlands was clearly more solid and dominant than in the campaign to the World Cup 2018. With the European Championship coming up next summer The Netherlands are finally back where they belong; on the big stage!


Team of the Week #15

This weeks’ team is composed out of chance creators. Based on our offensive-statistics in round 15 of the Eredivisie, we selected the players with the most key actions per position.

Key action = An action that leads to a shot of another teammate. The following actions can be categorized as a key action: Pass, Corner, Free kick, Throw in, Goal kick or Air duel. 

Optimize your stats:
– Vitesse dominated this Team of the Week with 3 players.
– On average Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) produces the most key actions with 3,8 per match. In this season of the Eredivisie the record for most key actions in one match is 11, provided by Bryan Smeets, PEC Zwolle – Sparta Rotterdam, and Nikolai Laursen, FC Emmen – PEC Zwolle.
–  The following players have the most key actions of a specific type: 
Max Clark (Vitesse) gave the most crosses labeled as key action (16);
Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) provided the most key actions by corner, namely (15); 
John Goossens (ADO Den Haag) is the most successful with free kicks, 8 of his free kicks ended up in a goal attempt.
– Ajax produces by far the most key actions (271) in this season of the Eredivisie. AZ and PSV are the current number two with 191 key actions. FC Twente (108) had the least amount of key actions.
– On average there are 20,5 key actions per match in this season of the Eredivisie. With on average 18,1 key actions per match, Ajax is on top of the Eredivisie. For example: In the Big 5 leagues of Europe, Manchester City (Premier League) produces the most key actions, with 15,5 key actions per match. Deportivo Alaves (Primera Division) had the least amount of key actions, with on average 5,5 per match.
– Below you will find the Top 10 players with on average the most key actions per line in this season of the Eredivisie.*

*Minimum of 5 matches played

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.


Team of the Week #14

This weeks’ team is composed out of unstoppable players who can only be stopped by fouls. Based on our offensive-statistics in round 14 of the Eredivisie, we selected the players with the most suffered fouls per position.

Optimize your stats:
– Mark Diemers suffered the most fouls (47) this season in the Eredivisie. The record for most fouls suffered in one match this season is 7, provided by Ridgeciano Haps (twice), Oussama Tannane, Teun Koopmeiners and Crysencio Summerville. Aitor Cantalapiedra won the most penalties for his team, he was fouled 3 times this season in the penalty area.
– On average ADO Den Haag suffered the most fouls in this season, with 13 suffered fouls per match. Sparta Rotterdam suffered the least amount of fouls, with 8,5 per match. Overall, the matches involving Heracles Almelo have the most fouls per match. When Heracles plays, on average 26.2 free kicks are awarded for fouls.
– In the Big 5 leagues of Europe, Bologna FC (Serie A) suffered on average the most fouls, with 16,1 suffered fouls per match. Watford (Premier League) suffered the least amount of fouls, with on average 7 per match.
– On average there are 21,5 suffered fouls per match in this season of the Eredivisie. This is slightly more than in the English Premier League where players suffer on average 20.2 fouls per match and is significantly less than the Italian Serie A where the average is 26.8 per match.
– Below you will find the Top 10 players with the most suffered fouls per line in total of this season in the Eredivisie.

Tactic Tree:

The ORTEC Sports Team of the Week is released every Monday and will present the best performing players on a specific aspect of the Tactic Tree. The Tactic Tree is used to categorize statistics into the two main stages of a game: ‘being in possession’ and the counterpart ‘possession opponent’, both divided into 4 subcategories.

Every week we pick one statistic that is used in a subcategory and based on that statistic the best scoring players on each position will be presented in the team of the week.



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