At the end of a remarkable 2022/2023 campaign, Willem II clinched a fourth-place position and came close to reclaiming a spot in the Dutch Eredivisie. We had the opportunity to sit down with Rick Mennes, the performance analyst of Willem II, to ask a couple of questions. In this case study, we explore how MyGamePlan's platform has empowered Rick to enhance their analysis, save time, and convey valuable findings to coaches and staff members.
How has MyGamePlan helped you improve your analysis of football matches?
There are multiple features that I use. Partly, I use it as a helpful tool for opponent analysis. For example the set pieces, which can be filtered quickly using the platform.
Based on our own analysis, we have an understanding of ball possession and other team metrics. And with the MyGamePlan platform, you can actually zoom in at an individual level. This allows you to give more attention to a specific player or line. For example, you can see the number of crosses and how many of them are successful and what percentage of them are early crosses. These are useful things to quickly understand.
Similarly, for our own players, when we look at our playing style, it's quite quick to see how often we reach the final third, how often we make crosses, how many of those crosses are successful, and how we ultimately create shots. It helps us understand in which stages of the game we have fewer or more shots or attacks from a particular side.
It's just handy that it provides quick insights. It's not difficult to understand because everyone can see the clear lines in the visualizations. It significantly contributes to how I have been conducting my analysis in recent years.
What is the first or most important thing you want to see from the opponent?
The most important things we want to see from the opponent are primarily what is called "Start of Play" in the MyGamePlan platform. Here, we look at how their first balls are played, where they are successful, and to whom they are played. This helps us identify on which side we can create pressing moments, for example.
which is referred to as "Chance Creation" in the platform. Here, we examine how the opponent progresses, whether they play through the middle or the flanks, who delivers crosses, and from what height those crosses come. This information allows us to work with our defensive line and decide, let’s say, if we should send a midfielder out to cover the flank. These are things that can be directly seen in the platform through the visualizations and filters that you can set yourself.
How has MyGamePlan helped you save time and improve efficiency?
Initially, I created my own playlist automations for individual players. Enabling us to send video playlists to players automatically each week. Our players found the mobile app incredibly convenient. It's clear and fast. And they like watching their videos. To give you an idea, all the set pieces that our goalkeepers get to see are through the MyGamePlan platform, like the opponent's crosses.
On top of that I, make frequent use of the dashboards to quickly check information. Relevant information I copy and paste to incorporate into presentations or communicate it to the coaches.
How has MyGamePlan helped you convey your findings to coaches and other staff members?
We use data processing to quickly analyze the frequency and success rate of specific events, which applies to nearly all the events available on the MyGamePlan platform, such as crosses, start of plays, free kicks, pressing, and shots.
I now send all the flank balls, open play chances, who's involved, and whether they are successful to the goalkeeper coach. I also provide information on which angle the balls are received. As well, when the head coach asks, "Can you take a look at how often we have reached the final third of the field in the past three matches?", it's easy to find that information quickly in the platform using the filter function.
Which features in the future would help you further?
I believe there is room for improvement in terms of historical data. The current functionality does not allow for detailed analysis at an individual level, mainly for events that occur less frequently, like penalties. This limitation is due to the available underlying data of 1 season.
Also, the dashboards mainly focus on the first phase (Build-Up / Start of Play) and the last phase (Chance Creation). But, there is still some context missing in the second phase. I understand that this depends on how other clubs define their phases. Since we use multiple phases, I would be interested in having more dashboards covering the middle phases. I think this could be a valuable addition.
Would you recommend MyGamePlan to other video analysts?
Absolutely, 100%. I think it's super useful for providing feedback to players. What I have received from the players: The accessibility of this application for players is super easy. The app is user-friendly, and nowadays it should require less effort and look good, otherwise the current generation won't understand it. And that makes it accessible to players.
It also depends on the extent to which teams utilize video footage and data, as that determines how much you can extract from it. At our club, we have the advantage of having a coach who is highly interested in video footage and match data. That's an additional reason to recommend it because I make extensive use of it for opponent analysis, match recaps, and more. It's easy to work with; it's not a complicated platform. And the feedback to players is easier than any other app I've used, both in terms of uploading and watching videos.
In summary, this case study featuring Rick, the performance analyst of Willem II, showcases the significant impact of MyGamePlan in improving football match analysis, saving time, and enhancing communication with coaches and staff members. Through MyGamePlan's versatile features, Rick gains valuable insights into opponent analysis and individual player performance, allowing for more focused attention on specific aspects of the game. The platform's user-friendly interface and quick access to data empower Rick to efficiently convey findings to the team, enhancing their understanding and strategic decision-making.
While Rick highlights the missing historical aspect and the potential for more dashboards covering middle phases, his strong recommendation of MyGamePlan to fellow video analysts speaks to its effectiveness and accessibility, making it an invaluable tool in the modern era of data-driven football analysis.