Monday, July 14, 2014

(Part of) How the world cup was won

Hello World,
I haven't written anything in a while (there is this thing called thesis looming...). But today for some reason I do not feel like working (I feel more like drinking Krombacher or something like that). After seeing everybody on the German team running his ass off yesterday (either that or getting punched in the face), I wanted to show a plot related to this. It shows all field players that played in at least 5 games (so you needed to at least reach the quarter finals). The x-axis is minutes per game and the  y-axis kilometer per 90 minutes (as always, click on the image to enlarge).
As you can see, there is a clear negative correlation between minutes per game and average speed. But if you focus on those players that played more than 80 minutes per game, you can see that all of Germany's offensive players and full-backs are running a lot. And Boateng and Hummels are also running quite much for centre-backs. (Note: In German full-back and centre-back is simply outside and inside defender - makes way more sense in my opinion...)
Now, I do not want to imply that this is the best way to play. After all, the Finals were super close and Argentina could have won as well. And if your strategy is to defend deep and then try to strike quickly, your offense doesn't need to run that much (so, if you want to bash Messi or brazilian one syllable strikers do it somewhere else please).
BUT, I wanted to show that a big part of the German game style is to run as much as possible as a team.
So, thanks to Schweinsteiger, Müller, Lahm and everybody else for playing great football the last 10 years (Klose since 2002!). I appreciate that you are running your asses off.