In a few hours I will be flying out to the UK for 10 days catch up with family before onto Barcelona where I will be coaching our National Medical Football Team- The DOCCEROOS- in the 2016 World Medical Championships. Along with 23 other nations from around the world, we will be contesting the 15th World Medical Championships at the prestigious FC Barcelona training grounds.
However before I go, just wanted to mention briefly the Euros in France and results from my usual survey, I attempt for each major tournament/ championships on the dominant pattern of play leading to goals being scored.
So far, this tournament has had the lowest goals to game ratio since the 1992 Euros when the ratio then was 1.75 goals per game. After two rounds of play in France the ratio was 1.82 goals/ game due I feel to a few factors. In my humble opinion, I believe with the new system for these championships having 4 best placed 3rd finishes in the group qualifying for the last 16 , teams were playing very cautiously not to loose knowing draws may well be enough to take them through to the next round.
Also the proven goalscorers, from the major countries going into the tournament, had so far after the second round of group games not troubled the scoreboard. Now was that down to the good defending or fatigue coming off a long season. Further reports at the end of the tournament may shed more light on this. The goals ratio improved slightly during the final group round of games as teams appeared to attack more when results were vital to progress with the ratio slightly improving to 1.91 goals/ game- 69 goals in 36 games.
I am hopefully as we now reach the knock out phase of the tournament teams may well be more adventurous wanting to win games outright to progress but we will see. However, it has also shown the ' smaller nations' have certainly improved collectively and being helped by having some of their players playing in major leagues around the world and it has been wonderful to see the scenes of joy as teams from Iceland, Albania, Austria, Switzerland, Wales, Ireland- both North and the Republic and Croatia gain results that have their supporters both in France and back home, celebrating as if they have actually WON the cup!!! Great for football!
I will attempt to continue my goal scoring analysis as I travel around Europe, but as it stands now, based on my own personal template of goal scoring patterns, here are my findings. I will leave it up to you currently to figure out why this particular pattern.
CROSSES 13 Goals
THRU/ DIAGONAL BALLS 11 Goals
COUNTER ATTACKS 9 Goals
INDIVIDUAL BRILLIANCE 6 Goals
LR SHOT 4 Goals
PENALTIES 4 Goals
DIRECT FREE KICK 4 Goals
COMBINATION PLAY 4 Goals
FREE KICKS 3 Goals
CORNER 2 Goals
DEFENSIVE MISTAKES 2 Goals
CUT BACKS 2 Goals
OWN GOALS 2 Goals
THROW IN 1 Goal
REBOUND 1 Goal
SHOT- UNABLE TO DEFINE- 1 Goal
Include all the Set Plays together and we have 14 Goals giving us the top three reasons so far why goals are being scored at EURO 2016 are
SET PLAYS 14 Goals
CROSSES 13 Goals
C/ATTACKS 9 Goals
Interesting as well to note that the two Own Goals both came about via a cross delivered into the 6 yd box deflected into their own net by a defender.
I have been saying for years how important crosses still are to the modern game and yet some coaches disagree. What do you think???
Enjoy the rest of the EUROS and we will take a further look at the completion of the tournament re the patterns of goal scoring.