Technical demands of soccer match-play in the English Championship

Mark Russell, Gethin Rees, Michael Kingsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of match play on the performance of technical actions in professional soccer players. Using computerized notational analysis, technical performance was quantified for the outfield players of one team during the 2010/2011 English Championship season. This retrospective study evaluated temporal patterns in the performance of players who completed more than 10 games (n = 10). Total possessions and number of ball distributions were lower in the second versus the first half of match play (10 ± 7%, p = 0.010 and 11 ± 8% p = 0.009, respectively). Analysis across 15-minute intervals revealed reductions during the last 15-minutes of match play in the total number of possessions (0:00–14:59 minutes: 11.8 ± 1.9 vs. 75:00–89:59 minutes: 9.5 ± 1.7, p < 0.05) and distributions (0:00–14:59 minutes: 10.9 ± 2.3 vs. 75:00–89:59 minutes: 8.7 ± 2.1, p < 0.05). The number of touches taken per possession, number of challenges, percentage of challenges won, length of forward distributions and percentage success of distributions were all similar between halves and across 15-minute intervals. These results demonstrate that match-specific factors reduced total possessions and number of passes in the second half of match play. Coaching staff could use this information to inform team tactics and technical training sessions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2869-2873
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • fatigue
  • football
  • passing
  • skill
  • technique
  • possession


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