Swansea blog discussing our high press

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qprhoops81
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Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by qprhoops81 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:17 am

https://swansea.vitalfootball.co.uk/ana ... ftus-road/

Swansea City manager Graham Potter and midfielder Matt Grimes have both suggested that they were “caught off guard” at QPR on Saturday and stunned by their intense, high energy and high press approach that caused us all sorts of problems.

We couldn’t cope with QPR getting high and in our faces, we never had much time on the ball in our own half meaning everything was rushed and under pressure, resulting in possession lost in dangerous areas in the middle third.

An early goal from a corner didn’t help and an awful defensive error meant we were 2-0 down within five minutes. It was 3-0 by the 17th-minute mark and from there it was always going to a very tough task to get back into the game, especially when QPR were nullifying everything that we tried to do. They had clearly done their homework, read our build-up play and man-marked effectively.

After the 4-0 defeat, our heaviest scoreline of the season, midfielder Matt Grimes admitted that they were “caught off-guard” by QPR’s approach:

“They were so aggressive and we seemed caught off-guard and it’s really disappointing. They got after us, they did it well and thoroughly deserved the win.” – Matt Grimes

Manager Graham Potter said something similar, that they “didn’t understand that their pressure was coming high”, almost as if they prepared and expected QPR to sit back, defend and hit us on the counter.


Other teams have adopted similar tactics against us this season with similar results, most notably Sheffield Wednesday who raced into a 3-0 lead by half-time. Wigan too adopted a high press at the Liberty Stadium but we were able to claw our way back from 2-0 to draw the game 2-2.

“I think today we did not understand that their pressure was coming high, we did not turn their back four at any point really and we invited a bit of pressure on us.” – Graham Potter

@VitalSwansea
I think we expected QPR to sit back and hit us on the counter, rather than get in our faces. We've been stunned here, the opener from a corner helped them and it went from bad to worse from there.

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QPR’s high and energetic press stopped the Swans from advancing the ball up the pitch from their own defensive third as they like to do.

With Matt Grimes as usual dropping in deep to receive, turn and pick a pass, he wasn’t given time to do that, his usual targets ahead of him were also man-marked and with a good, structured high press, this gave QPR the chance to intercept passes in decent areas to help themselves get back on the front foot.

The screenshots below are both from within the first minute of the game and they show QPR’s high press. They ensure that they match the Swans man for man high up and get touch-tight on them when they’re in possession. It was the pressing that led to them winning the ball back, getting forward down the left and winning a corner that led to another corner being won that assisted their first goal.

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The pass radar map below helps to show the impact of QPR’s press. The chart for each player shows the angle of passes each player made in the game. The green bars represent successful passes and black indicates unsuccessful passes.

You can see how a large proportion of passes by the attacking quartet of James, McBurnie, Dyer and Routledge were played backwards – Dan James, in particular, as shown by the number of green backwards bars on his chart.

George Byers also made a large number of passes sideways and backwards. You can also see that the majority of forward passes were unsuccessful. Routledge’s passes over to the right side of the pitch were mostly off target and the same could be said for George Byers for passes made to the opposite side (angled slightly forward and to the left).

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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by dm » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am

Interesting analysis - thanks for posting.

Dyer's pass radar map gives another indicator of the excellent job Manning did on him.

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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by qprhoops81 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:10 am

dm wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am
Interesting analysis - thanks for posting.

Dyer's pass radar map gives another indicator of the excellent job Manning did on him.
If that doesn't show a player in your pocket i don't know what will. Very impressive.

Also looks like Routledge didn't get any passes to him either (at least not dangerous ones).
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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by DG » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:48 am

Really excellent post. Thanks :-)
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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by 222gers » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:28 am

Very interesting. The manager's post match comments and this analysis are pleasing to read.

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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by SM » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:25 am

What a brilliant post, thanks for sharing.

That Dyer graph is superb. It felt like he didn’t get a sniff all game, and that verifies it.

I still think Manning has something to offer through the middle, but he’s also looked very handy at left back over the past couple of games.
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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by 222gers » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:39 pm

So many of us have been calling for the team to “ start on the front foot “ instead of the ceding possession game we have played for much of the season.
Compare the Swansea game to that awful home game v Reading when our season started to fall apart.
Saturday was like a breath of fresh air compared to the Reading match.

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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by old pauline » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:04 pm

Interesting analysis and much more along the lines of what I would like to read on our Offish. However I do think the Swansea player and manager are being very naïve in saying that our high press surprised them and they didn't know how to deal with it. I would have thought that would have been one of the first things that they should have discussed on the training ground.
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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by Satch » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:07 pm

222gers wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:39 pm
So many of us have been calling for the team to “ start on the front foot “ instead of the ceding possession game we have played for much of the season.
Compare the Swansea game to that awful home game v Reading when our season started to fall apart.
Saturday was like a breath of fresh air compared to the Reading match.
It's not quite a simple as that. I recall Holloway using the high press to similar effect against an inform Reading side a season or so ago. Both Reading and Swansea shared the same tactic of liking to retain possession across their back four and play out from there (both times the possession stats didn't tell the story of the victors) this allowed us to box them in and put them under pressure. If Swansea had been more direct we'd have likely been caught out, so imo it's a tactic that is only viable against certain teams, Hasselbaink was a proponent of it but failed to make it effective on a consistent basis.

It's worth pointing out that our excellent run of form also came when ceding possession and then looking to break. I think to an extent the loss of Cameron was a large part in why that started to falter as well as other teams sussing it out. Whether the inability to adapt it or come up with an alternative was a limitation of the players or coaching, we'll never know.

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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by SM » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:19 pm

old pauline wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:04 pm
Interesting analysis and much more along the lines of what I would like to read on our Offish.
I totally agree.

That is an awful lot of data to put out about your team and it’s potential weakness though :shock:
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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by UxbridgeR » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:10 am

Satch wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:07 pm
222gers wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:39 pm
So many of us have been calling for the team to “ start on the front foot “ instead of the ceding possession game we have played for much of the season.
Compare the Swansea game to that awful home game v Reading when our season started to fall apart.
Saturday was like a breath of fresh air compared to the Reading match.
It's not quite a simple as that. I recall Holloway using the high press to similar effect against an inform Reading side a season or so ago. Both Reading and Swansea shared the same tactic of liking to retain possession across their back four and play out from there (both times the possession stats didn't tell the story of the victors) this allowed us to box them in and put them under pressure. If Swansea had been more direct we'd have likely been caught out, so imo it's a tactic that is only viable against certain teams, Hasselbaink was a proponent of it but failed to make it effective on a consistent basis.

It's worth pointing out that our excellent run of form also came when ceding possession and then looking to break. I think to an extent the loss of Cameron was a large part in why that started to falter as well as other teams sussing it out. Whether the inability to adapt it or come up with an alternative was a limitation of the players or coaching, we'll never know.
Totally agree. There is no single tactical approach that will pay dividends in every game.

It's also a bit rich to talk about not ceding possession in a game where Swansea had 72% of it. Two very soft early goals from a corner and a goal-kick were as big a factor as our high press.
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Re: Swansea blog discussing our high press

Post by Crabsandwich » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:36 am

Their goalkeeper had about 39% possession on his own...

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