The undervalued set piece: Analysis of Soccer Throw-ins during the English Premier League 2018-2019 Season

STONE, Joseph, SMITH, Adam and BARRY, Anthony (2021). The undervalued set piece: Analysis of Soccer Throw-ins during the English Premier League 2018-2019 Season. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching.

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    Abstract

    Set pieces in soccer (i.e., free kicks and corners) have been examined in detail and are a common focus for coaches during training and performance preparation. However, limited evidence is available on the impact of throw-ins on soccer performance and if coaches should dedicate time in training towards this specific set piece. Therefore, this research aimed to firstly examine if throw-in performance is linked with soccer performance, and secondly the effect throw-in direction and length has on first contact success rate, possession retention, mean time in possession and shot creation. 16,154 throw-ins from 380 English Premier League matches during the 2018-2019 season were analysed. Higher final league position was correlated to increased throw-in first contact success and possession retention. 83% of throw-in’s resulted in a successful first contact, 54% resulted in possession being retained and 8.8% of throw-ins led to a shot at goal from the possession achieved after a successful first contact. Throw-in’s which went backwards or laterally in direction resulted in increased first contact success, retaining of possession, and shot creation. The least efficient throw-in was forwards and long, which resulted in both reduced first contact success and possession retention. Findings highlight, that throwing the ball laterally or backwards should be a focus for coaches and players during attacking training. In contrast, a team’s defensive strategy should reduce the opportunities to throw backwards or laterally with a higher press and look to force a long forward throw-in, therefore, increasing the likelihood of winning possession and counter attacking.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 15:05
    Last Modified: 12 Jan 2021 15:15
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27964

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