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Dhaka Tribune

"Players must not be daunted by data collection insights"

FIFA is sharing in-depth match data, graphics and video from every World Cup match in Qatar

Update : 19 Nov 2022, 11:29 PM

FIFA's new insights into player performances based on a variety of metrics will change the way the game is viewed but players must not try to alter their style or hold themselves back as a result, Arsene Wenger said on Saturday.

FIFA is sharing in-depth match data, graphics and video from every World Cup match in Qatar with all participating teams as well as fans and media through a new performance analysis service that can analyse trends in the game.

With several analysts working to collect data on every player over 90 minutes, the service will have a 'player dashboard' where anyone can analyse any player's performance in detail.

Wenger said players should still take risks without thinking twice about how that might affect their metrics.

"We analyse what players do on and off the ball. For example, in the case of (Croatia's) Luka Modric, if he doesn't receive the ball enough in midfield, we analyse why," Wenger, FIFA's chief of global football development, said.

"Was he man-marked or did he not receive the ball from centre backs?

"It is a risk (where) players can become too conscious of the data. The science of the game must be used in a positive way to encourage players to take audacious risks."

The former Arsenal boss predicted that the defensive line at this World Cup, which kicks off in Qatar on Sunday, will be higher on average than it was in Russia in 2018 while pressing has become the biggest trend among teams.

"Pressing has become absolutely universal now. Teams all over the world press high up and counter-press very quickly to push the defensive line," Wenger said.

"Long balls behind the defensive lines will be interesting to analyse. Maybe the first dribble to get out of the press will also be important to analyse."

Wenger said the opening games would set the tone while teams that were forced into last-minute changes due to injuries -- such as Argentina who lost midfielder Giovani Lo Celso three weeks before the tournament -- could struggle.

"The first game is important. When you have no preparation, a team with no injuries -- a fully balanced team -- will have an advantage," Wenger said.

"Losing a player at the last minute will force you to change the structure of the team."

Juergen Klinsmann is also a member of the Technical Study Group led by Wenger and the former striker, who won the World Cup in 1990 with West Germany, said the tournament in Qatar could throw up some surprises.

"Underdogs like the Asian or African teams can spring surprises if they're courageous," Klinsmann said.

"You won't go far if you have a defensive approach in this tournament."

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