November 9 – Manchester City are the least direct team across the top 27 leagues in world football, according to the latest data report by the CIES Football Observatory.
The CIES used physical and tactical data gathered by partner SkillCorner, combined with fellow partner Wyscout’s technical data, to create a direct play index that reveals the teams with the most direct attacking styles.
The direct play index is calculated by multiplying the frequency of sprints per player during possession and the proportion of ‘call-for-the-ball’ runs in space, divided by the number of kilometres ‘covered’ by the ball in possession.
Rated on a scale of 100, this index ranks teams across 27 leagues globally based on their attacking styles, from direct play to more elaborated offensive strategies.
With a record-low index of just 21, Pep Guardiola’s men are known globally for their dominance on the football pitch that has earned the team a historic treble in the past 12 months, preferring a slow, intricate build-up using some of the best ball-players and tacticians in world football.
On the flip side, top rankings for direct play include Portugal’s SC Farense (100 overall), with Luton Town (87) claiming the top spot in the big-5 leagues. Meanwhile, CA Banfield (83) are top for non-European teams, and Newcastle United (56) are the most direct among UEFA Champions League participants.
Joining Manchester City as the teams with the most elaborate attacking styles include Paris St-Germain (23) led by Luis Enrique, and Arsenal (27), managed by Miguel Arteta. The trio of Spaniards have built a brand of possession-based football developed in their homeland.
The report also highlights extreme values for specific variables in the index. SC Farense and SC Freiburg top sprints during possession phases, while Cercle Brugge and Burnley lead in ‘call-for-the-ball’ runs into space.
Paris St-Germain and FK Teplice showcase the most and least kilometers ‘covered’ by the ball in possession, respectively.
To see the full data click here.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at email@example.com