Faced with the headache of home training without a fixed date to resume the championships in this period of confinement due to coronavirus, football players are increasingly using video analysis. To converse or even outright progress.
Since the start of the containment implemented in several countries worldwide, many videos have flourished on social networks on the training of high performance athletes. Some footballers wish to take advantage of this period of inactivity to go beyond simple physical support, by adding the video tool before and after the sessions to try to erase certain details of their game.
When the physical trainers are there to allow athletes to maintain a certain condition, video analysts try to make the players think about how they evolve on the field. This is the case of the company "Playmaker", which has worked for five years, individually, with several footballers. Since January, its creator, Serge Costa (32), has joined the staff of Luka Elsner in Amiens. This does not prevent him, with his partners, from following certain players during this confinement period.
From the University of Lisbon, Serge Costa started helping Idrissa Gueye, in his Lille era. "With the Ayew brothers, they were my first 'clients'. Idrissa Gueye was introduced to me by Bouna N'Diaye (famous agent, especially in basketball editor's note). The goal for Idrissa was to be more profitable in the last 30 meters, to have a better offensive contribution, and then aim for a transfer to the Premier League. Since then, I have been working a lot with players from agents Joseph Mohan and Jonathan Kebe. Joseph was one of the first to understand the importance of analytical work. Since I have been in Amiens, I had to delegate and reduce these activities. But we are helping during confinement. "
Koundé, Ayew or Pavard
With new constraints and a different way of helping players. While his work normally focused on the before and after the match, Serge Costa and his team are now developing certain phases of the game which allow the athletes to be more "decisive" according to their position on the field. "Before, we moved around a lot with the players for personalized sessions, explains the one who was assistant coach of the reserve in Strasbourg before starting his own business. But since we have more and more players, we are doing a lot of remote work. Containment only reinforces that, offering exercises for players to do at home. "
Among the most demanding, are Jules Koundé (Seville), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich) or Dodi Lukebakio (Hertha Berlin). "I take this opportunity to do some work on my preferential dribbling, specifies the Belgian midfielder. More specifically on the changes of rhythm and tempo and the management of one against two. I also favor my decision making in the last pass and in the last gesture. " Serge Costa continues: "We first advise on the video right now with the players. We have more time, so we spend more time on the details. We look back over the last six months, especially in terms of threat of the adversary and projection on the future. We then adjust. "
Take the example of Jules Koundé to better understand the work of analysts at the moment. "We are implementing a relaunch strategy to support what our coach (Julen Lopetegui) is asking for. It is important to always be a complement to the staff in place. And not wanting to do their job. Lopetegui, sessions, use certain stimulus circuits. We start from this base to work. Once we have established our strengths and weaknesses together on video, Jules does very simple exercises at home. He takes a ball, he advances , he pretends to go to the left, then raises to the right. Sometimes even without the ball. So on, so that in a match, the gesture is easy, and above all that it allows him to be one step ahead for use the right strategy. "
Jules Koundé: "I have made a lot of progress thanks to this"
The central defender agrees: "The video allows you to see things that we could not see in a match. A pass that we could have done, for example. Serge explains this to us with a different eye, without to replace the coach. He is there to provide new solutions. "
Jules Koundé also worked in recent months his ability to defend on imposing templates, type Ludovic Ajorque (Strasbourg), he rubbed shoulders in Ligue 1 last season, after identifying a weakness in these duels. "In this specific case, we are looking at how to better defend in a duel, details the former Bordeaux player. The goal is to limit the attacker's field of action, so either by anticipating his deviation, or by sticking it to his first touch, that is by putting a little bit, and all these options, we study them with Serge, and we work them behind to progress. "
The analysis requires hindsight and criticism from the player on his own level. Understand, before correcting. While adapting to its environment. "We rely a lot on statistics and comparison with partners, says Serge Costa. The player must know the strengths and weaknesses of his partners. That is the work of the video. We also create our own statistics on players related to the typical actions that a player must master for a given position. With a Premier League environment for example, we do a lot on his playing intentions forward. A normal intention is a statistic at 100. A slightly more difficult intention is 120. An extraordinary intention, which eliminates several adversaries, is 180. And conversely, we can go down to negative if it isn’t is really not good. We thus determine the intention of the game and the achievement. Based on that, we determine the exercises to do at home to improve the pass and risk taking. "
"I feel that I have made progress since I started with Serge when I was in Bordeaux, analyzes Jules Koundé. And that continues, Serge must send me some video sequences in the coming days for a new session . "
To work, players don't need a lot of equipment. "Jordan Ayew, at the moment, only needs a small goal, says the analyst. We are working on travel and decision-making." Despite scoring eight goals since the start of the season, the Crystal Palace forward wanted to be more decisive when the Premier League resumes. For him, as for the others, and if we do not yet know the dates of recovery, we will be watching the results of these specific sessions.