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Almeida’s first step shows that he knows where he is taking AEK

by | Aug 25, 2022

Vassilis Sambrakos compares AEK’s performance data with Lamia’s in the league premiere, and writes about the Argentinian coach’s methodology.

When one compares the performance of AEK and Lamia in the league premiere, through Comparisonator – the leading platform for comparing the performance of teams and footballers – one easily confirms the feeling he formed while watching the match: the biggest difference in the competitive behavior of the two teams was in the parameters related to defense and defensive transitions.

AEK excelled in all performance parameters, with the exception of duels. The biggest difference in the performance figures, however, was in the defensive parameters. Made more and more successful defensive tactical actions than their opponent, recovered possession of the ball more times in the opponent’s half compared to Lamia, allowed less valuable chances compared to those allowed by Lamia.

The analysis comes to show or confirm the first assessment one could make while watching the game: against an opponent that closed the spaces and played with a priority to adapt its defense to the development routines of AEK’s attacks, Matias Almeida managed the match with patience. He estimated that the individual quality and the work he has been able to do in positioning his team when they put pressure on the opposition could make up for the normal deficits he has in team functioning during the attacking phase.

Against a closed defense, a team must develop attacks at a high tempo to be able to move opponents and create spaces to attack them and exploit them. In order to reach a high tempo, a team must have acquired rhythm, and tempo is acquired through games. When a team is new, and still in the stage of understanding and solidifying the principles that the new coach puts into the game model, the footballers need to think more before they decide and act – and therefore the pace of development slows down. And when it comes to footballers who haven’t played together for a long time and haven’t gotten to know and familiarize themselves with each other’s game, the pace slows down more.

I noticed it 15 days ago, we don’t know Almeida’s AEK, or rather we haven’t seen it yet, because the Argentinian coach didn’t have all the players, he didn’t have time and still hasn’t had time to get to know all the players well and try all the different combinations of faces , pairs and formations to understand who are the ones who put in the teamwork the elements that he wants to put in the competitive identity of his team. What we saw in the premiere, however, is that some of the virtues of his own racing model are starting to show. The pressure exerted by AEK in the phase of the first goal, and the positioning of the players in the phase of the second goal,

In the premiere, the AEK coach gave the impression that he continues to work on improving the defensive function – both the organization of the defense and the transition to the attack phase. And obviously this is crucial at the start of such a young team, especially when it possesses a lot of individual quality creatively and executively. The defensive function favors efficiency, and the results create in the locker room the feeling of trust in the coach. We have seen very little from the new AEK as we have only just watched their first official game. First impressions, however, reinforce the general initial feeling.

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