Stop Us If You Can: Sweden’s Own Analyst Releases Guide on How to Beat Them At UEFA Women’s Euro 2022
UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 is one of the biggest sporting events of the summer. The tournament will showcase the best of women’s football in Europe. Norway’s Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg will be back after a five-year break from international football, Vivianne Miedema will be looking to add to the 92 goals she has scored for the Netherlands, and Lauren Hemp is set to shine for hosts England. Nonetheless, Anders Eriksson is confident that Sweden will win.
Sweden are the highest-ranked team at the tournament and Eriksson is their Lead Match Analyst. He’s an analyst with a sense of humour. The Swedish team is so confident in their own abilities that Eriksson is offering their opponents a helping hand. He’s put together a comprehensive guide on how to stop the Swedish team. It starts with a summary of the team’s attacking and defensive style, using data to quantify the team’s strengths:
“First of all, since Sweden is one of the fastest playing teams in the world and also one of the very best at counter-attacking, do everything you can to reclaim the ball once you lost it. Sweden will turn 52% of counter-attacks into shots.”
The guide goes on to detail the strengths of every member of Sweden’s 23-woman tournament squad, including a graphic for each player to illustrate the data. It’s a really well-presented piece of analysis. If you don’t want to read it online, there’s another way to access it.
Erikkson’s guide to stopping Sweden has been printed on the inside of the team’s shirt collar. His performance analysis is part of the national team’s kit.
“Sweden is a country famous for its transparency and openness, and that’s very much manifested by this jersey and the guide,” says Helena Taube Rehnmark, Marketing and Sales Director at the Swedish Football Association. “But the jersey is as much about just celebrating our national team—coming in as one of the favorites this summer, we’re looking to make it a long summer and come back with the gold.”
In his job, Eriksson combines opposition analysis with analysing Sweden’s own performances in training and matches. “Anders helps us a lot in our preparation and allows us to go into a match feeling one 100% prepared,” defender Magdalena Eriksson has revealed. “What we need to know, we know.”
He’s been Sweden’s match analyst for nearly nine years, starting off working freelance before becoming full-time in 2016. Before that, he worked as an academy coach and analyst in Sweden’s domestic game. Over the years he’s become an important part of the international set-up.
For him, the hardest part of the job is dealing with the large amount of data available. “It’s a challenge to boil it down quickly to what is relevant to us, to find ways to present it to the players and also the coaches so that they can absorb it.”
Presenting the analysis on the inside of the kit might not be a long-term solution to this challenge, but it goes to show just how much performance analysis has become an integral part of the modern game. It’s now literally woven into the fabric of the game.
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