I love Italian football but I realised I haven’t looked at anything concerning Serie A Women, and I wanted to change that. How could I possibly do this better, than talking about one of my favourite players who has recently moved to Italy? It’s Elin Landström.
In this article, I will look more closely to her defensive abilities in her first games with Internazionale. I will use video to illustrate how she operated, what her strengths are and what she needs to work to become an even better wing-back/full-back.
In the video above you see Landström in the game against Empoli, which she demonstrates defensive positioning after a transition from attack to defence. Landström plays high up the pitch as she shows her attacking qualities, but when they lose the ball it’s her task to get back as quickly as possible. She not only sprints back, but also covers the area she is responsible for and clears the ball before the Empoli winger could get dangerous on the ball.
In the video above you see her trailing back after a transition from attack to defence and this time she is not that high on the pitch. She manages to cover the area behind her while at the same time also being able to make the most of the situation and engage in preventing Empoli from rushing down the right flank. She buys time for the defensive midfielder to assist her.
In the video above, you see Landström in the game against Lazio and she plays in the left-back position. In this case, Lazio tries to split up the midfield and engage in an attack on the right flank. Landström anticipates the progressive pass and attempts to intercept the ball. She is slightly too late, hence she blocks the run without the ball – but if she does this a second earlier, she will intercept it and start the transition.
In the video above, we see another example of a 1v1 in the game against Lazio by Inter’s Landström. A cross goes deep and over Landströms head, but she follows the attacker and stays close to the player, and makes sure there’s no room for the attacker to get past her.
In the video above we see Inter in their same game against Lazio, when you see Landström intercepting a throw-in by positioning herself in the path of it. This seems not like a special thing to do, but when intercepting a ball, it’s all about timing too. If you position yourself well, you can also use the interception well to start an attack of your own.
In the video above we that Landström does the interception after pressing the opposition. It gives no room to progress down the line for the attacking side, but also very difficult to pass. That’s what Landström does well in this case, as she also blocks the passing line, as well as pressing the player.
This has only been a brief overview of the defensive qualities of Elin Landström, but she has only played a few games in Serie A. I will revisit her defensive qualities again, backed with data, after the season has gone into a further stage.