Hanna Glas: Recovering the ball – Bayern München 2021/2022

Today we will focus on women’s football in Germany. I have always admired women’s football in Germany, but for some reason the Frauen-Bundesliga has gotten less coverage of the last few years and it can be seen in Wyscout as well, no full video coverage, unfortunately. InStat does have that, but it would be evident that both services would offer this in my opinion.

Anyway, today I’m looking at a defender, Swedish international Hanna Glas. I’m going to look at how she recovers the ball and what her defensive positioning is after the fact. I will focus on the ball recoveries on the right flank (as she plays there) and will do that in the middle third on the opposition’s half, to illustrate how she does when she is high up the pitch.

The data and video comes from InStat and has been retrieved on December 12th 2021.

In the pitch above you can see a map divided into 18 zones. Every third is divided into 6 zones. What you can see is where Glas does make ball recoveries on the pitch and as we are looking at the right flank, middle third, and the opposition’s half. As you can this means we are looking at 28 events that occurred in that particular zone. There have been 186 events in total which means that this zone makes up for 15,05% of the ball recovery events.

As said above, I want to look at how Glas conducts ball recoveries up the pitch, as the high press can lead to that and how she adds to the attacking transition for her team. In the videos below I will demonstrate how she does that.

In the video above you see Bayern München in their game against SC Sand. The ball is played long by the goalkeeper to their left flank. The player receiving the ball isn’t open and because of that Glas can make the most of it. She presses the player aggressively and wins the ball. After that, a teammate can easily pass the ball back to the defensive duo and construct the attack from there. As soon as Glas has made her action, she moves towards the wide areas on the halfway line and makes herself available for a run down the line in the case she gets the ball.

In the video above you Bayern München in their game against Benfica. In this example, we see how Benfica have the ball on the flank with some space and are facing Bayern’s goal. Now Glas isn’t defending with her back to her own goal, but she has to come from the central areas as she inverted. She closes down the wide midfielder and blocks not only the passing lane, but also blocks a pass. She doesn’t immediately get the ball but due the other Bayern players pressing as well, they overload in this situation and can get the attack going. She doesn’t drop deep after that but stays relatively high as she knows Bayern will move forward.

In the video above you see Bayern München in their game against SC Freiburg. There is pressing from the front from Bayern, which makes the Freiburg keeper play the ball long to the middle third. Glas does very well in pressing the receiving player, winning the aerial duel, and heading it to a teammate. After the ball is recovered, she assumes the position on the halfway line and doesn’t deviate from it. She does this because progressing would mean more vulnerability in transition, but she also doesn’t want to give the opposition too much space in the middle third – as being dominant in the central areas is very important.

Final thoughts

This is micro analysis in the sense that we focus on one thing of a player and analyse how the player does it and what kind of an effect it has on the play. Defensive positioning of a defender after making a defensive actions is very important to take into account and that is what I wanted to illustrate.

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