Team Report : Dundalk FC – Offensive Organization

After the 2011/12 season Shamrock Rovers FC have reached the group stage of UEFA European League, sadly not having got a single point in the end. This season,  the Dundalk FC, for the first time in it´s history, writes a beautiful page in this European adventure and above all, leaves a positive and different image of the Irish football, compared to Shamrock Rovers FC in the 2011/12 season.

So far, things have gone well for the team led by Stephen Kenny. Inserted in Group D along with Zenit FC, AZ Alkmaar and Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team adds 4 points result of the draw with AZ Alkmaar and victory (first ever by an Irish team in the UEFA Europa League) against the Israelis of Maccabi Tel Aviv, thereby occupying this time the 2nd place behind the Zenit FC.

Based on this Matchday 2 victory,  we present their offensive organization analysis.

Game System: 1x4x4x2

Offensive Organization

1st Phase of Construction

The team starts the offensive organization in a short, supported, in possession way. The central defenders and the full-backs are searching for width. In this initial stage, Chris Shields (5) the most defensive midfielder, searches for frontal support in the central lane and inside the box.

In addition, Chris Shields (5), Robbie Benson (18) e Ronan Finn (10) are also trying to step back on the field, searching for interior passing lines and attracting the opponent for a higher pressure in order to explore a more direct style (taking advantage of the space in the defense’s back) and get closer to the goal. The team also goes for a direct style to the striker David McMillan (9).

Phase of Creation

At this stage, we can observe the winger’s interior movements, which results in a gathering in the central lane. The winger’s interior diagonals try to attract the opponent in order to create space for attacking depth in the side lane.

The winger’s interior movements makes one of the forwards, McEleney (11) and also Ronan Finn (10) attack the space in the side lanes for the long pass and for the passes coming from the middle.

Goal Creation

Placing 3 to 4 players in the finishing zone, here they choose to attack the areas coming from the opposite side of the ball, with interior diagonals and approaching the second post. One of the central midfielders is positioned in the goal area entrance.

The only goal results from a cross of Daryl Hornag (7) in the left side. Ciarán Kilduff (16) replaced McMillan (9) (65 ‘) and took advantage of the free space left by the Maccabi defenders inside the small box and shoots for the 1-0.

Offensive Stats

The Dundalk FC team had a total of 11 crosses ( 4 made, 2 unsuccessful and 5 intercepted) with a slight preference for the left side and crosses predominance to the second post. The left winger Dane Massey (14) and the forward Patrick McEleney (11) were the players with more crosses.

With a total of 11 shots, 3 were defended by the goalkeeper, 5 unsuccessful, 2 intercepted and 1 scored. The central midfielder Ronan Finn (10) and the forward Patrick McEleney (11) were the ones with more crosses each – 4 and 3 respectively. The period between 60´ and 75´was the most intense in terms of shots, when Dundalk FC scored the winning goal.