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The 3 pillars of dynamic analysis in a football team

Football is a sport that goes beyond the simple sum of individuals on the pitch. The dynamics of a team, its ability to adapt and its collective functioning are fundamental aspects that determine its success on the pitch.

To understand in depth how a team operates during a match, it is crucial to analyse three dynamic aspects: the identification of intervals, the formation of sub-blocks and the changes of positions and lines.

  1. The Identification of Intervals

The first pillar of dynamic analysis in a football team is the identification of intervals. This involves observing and understanding the distances between players, as well as the respective distances between lines and between players in the same line, in both attacking and defensive situations.

How are players organised on the pitch and what distances do they keep from each other? These are key questions that help us to understand the collective structure of the team and its ability to adapt to different playing scenarios.

These aspects are general, but the objective of knowing them in advance will allow us to anticipate more specific possible behaviours in the in-depth analysis.


1.1. Short central midfielder interval: We find teams playing with two central midfielders whose movements are always coordinated, keeping very short distances between them to provide constant support.

1.2. Long defensive interval between midfielders: There are teams that give more freedom to their full backs, allowing them to venture out of their zones to press further away from their natural positions. Player profile and defensive principles will be crucial in this approach.

dinámico 2 Picture 1: Representative image of the two examples of intervals described in the text. Source MBP
  1. Formation of Sub-Blocks

The second pillar focuses on the formation of sub-blocks within the collective, i.e. groups of players who play specific roles in the group, either deliberately or conditionally. Likewise, the identification of these allows us to understand how the group structures its play in the different phases and moments.

At MBP School of Coaches, we divide the sub-blocks into two categories: functional and conditional.

2.1. When we talk about functional sub-blocks, we mean when the team generates this behaviour with the intention of creating a specific situation.

For example, if the team’s style of play revolves around taking advantage of attacking transitions and they have two very powerful and fast players, they may not participate in the defensive phase and instead wait for the moment when the team gets the ball back to launch a counterattack.

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Picture 2: Representative image of functional sub-block described in the text. Source MBP

2.2. On the other hand, when functional sub-blocks occur, this is due to two possible reasons: fatigue and the outcome of the match.

Functional sub-blocks can be the consequence of deliberate tactical choices or be influenced by factors such as player fatigue and match dynamics.


  1. Changes of Positions and Lines

Finally, it is essential to analyse the positional and line changes that occur during the game. Mobility and dynamism in attack are increasingly important in modern football, and understanding how players interchange positions to create scoring opportunities or close intervals in defence is essential to a team’s success. Whether it is interchanges between players on the same line or movements between different lines, positional changes can make all the difference in the development of the play.

Below are some of the most frequent changes of position:

– The holding midfielder drops in to play as a central midfielder in the team’s build-up.

– The full back moves forward to play as a winger at the moment of the progression of the play.

– The striker drops back into the line of midfielders or defenders at the moment of the dynamic build-up.

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Photo 3: Representative image of positional changes (holding midfielder drops as a centre back in the dynamic build-up) described in the text. Source MBP

In summary, the dynamic analysis of a team in football requires careful attention to three key aspects: the identification of intervals, the formation of sub-blocks, and positional and line changes. Understanding these aspects allows us to unravel the complexity of the play and make informed decisions to improve team performance on the pitch.

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