Football

Uefa's Opinion Of Us Hasn't Changed At All From Euro 2012

Uefa's Opinion Of Us Hasn't Changed At All From Euro 2012

Uefa have released their extensive, 100-page technical report on Euro 2016, and to be fair to them, it is exceptionally detailed and interesting.

They've reviewed each game of the tournament from a tactical point of view, pointing out the different systems used by each manager in games, also deducing the main tactical trends to emerge from the tournament.

The report is put together by a team of Uefa technical experts. The panel featured Packie Bonner, and was headed up by Alex Ferguson.

It's fantastic, and you can access the whole thing on PDF here.

In all, only Northern Ireland (28% of their total attempted passes) and Iceland (22%) played more long balls than we did.

We are going to compare this year's stats to our numbers from Euro 2012. (That report can be read here).

Uefa's opinion of us

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Having analysed each side's performance, UEFA collated the data to give a number for characteristics of each team. Here's what they made of Ireland.

 

euro 2016 technical report

The 'outstanding work ethic, team spirit, never-say-die attitude' reads like they rolled off the tongue of an opposition manager asked about the challenge of Ireland ahead of an international game. All they are missing is a good word about the fans.

Compare this to their list of our key features from Euro 2012. Very little has changed, other than the fact Uefa have got the thesaurus out:

euro 2016 technical report

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Passing stats

This year, Uefa totted up our most frequent pass combinations. They didn't do this for Euro 2012.

euro 2016 technical report

In total, 21% of our passes were long, 55% were deemed to be 'medium', while 24% of those passes were short.

At Euro 2012, we actually played a lower percentage of long balls (19%) and we had a slightly higher percentage of short passes (25%). Medium accounted for 56% of our total four years ago.

Possession and distance stats

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Here are our passing stats from each game at Euro 2016:

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Compare this to the figures from four years ago:

euro 2016 technical report

 

Our average possession increased slightly under Martin O'Neill. Intriguingly, we attempted more than 200 extra passes against Croatia in the opening game of the Euros than we did against Sweden. Also noticeable is the massive drop off in terms of distance covered: in total, Ireland covered less ground at Euro 2016 than anybody else.

euro 2016 technical report

Elsewhere, Uefa's main findings from the tournament were the following:

Games were based around attack vs defence to a larger extent than ever before.

4-2-3-1 remained the most popular formation.

The number of goals scored from counter attacks has decreased significantly.

A number of teams sat very deep, leading to an increase in the number of crosses made, along with long balls played by goalkeepers.

See Also: The Big Interview: Richard Dunne On How Man City Has Lost Its Soul

 

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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