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Tier-specific evolution of match performance characteristics in the English Premier League: it's getting tougher at the top

Bradley, PS and Archer, DT and Hogg, B and Schuth, G and Bush, M and Carling, C and Barnes, C (2016) Tier-specific evolution of match performance characteristics in the English Premier League: it's getting tougher at the top. JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, 34 (10). pp. 980-987. ISSN 0264-0414

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Abstract

This study investigated the evolution of physical and technical performances in the English Premier League (EPL), with special reference to league ranking. Match performance observations (n = 14,700) were collected using a multiple-camera computerised tracking system across seven consecutive EPL seasons (2006–07 to 2012–13). Final league rankings were classified into Tiers: (A) 1st–4th ranking (n = 2519), (B) 5th–8th ranking (n = 2965), (C) 9th–14th ranking (n = 4448) and (D) 15th–20th ranking (n = 4768). Teams in Tier B demonstrated moderate increases in high-intensity running distance while in ball possession from the 2006–07 to 2012–13 season (P < 0.001; effect size [ES]: 0.68), with Tiers A, C and D producing less pronounced increases across the same period (P < 0.005; ES: 0.26, 0.41 and 0.33, respectively). Large increases in sprint distance were observed from the 2006–07 to 2012–13 season for Tier B (P < 0.001; ES: 1.21), while only moderate increases were evident for Tiers A, C and D (P < 0.001; ES: 0.75, 0.97 and 0.84, respectively). Tier B demonstrated large increases in the number of passes performed and received in 2012–13 compared to 2006–07 (P < 0.001; ES: 1.32–1.53) with small-to-moderate increases in Tier A (P < 0.001; ES: 0.30–0.38), Tier C (P < 0.001; ES: 0.46–0.54) and Tier D (P < 0.001; ES: 0.69–0.87). The demarcation line between 4th (bottom of Tier A) and 5th ranking (top of Tier B) in the 2006–07 season was 8 points, but this decreased to just a single point in the 2012–13 season. The data demonstrate that physical and technical performances have evolved more in Tier B than any other Tier in the EPL and could indicate a narrowing of the performance gap between the top two Tiers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES on 11/9/15 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com10.1080/02640414.2015.1082614
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement And Sports Science, 1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 15:32
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2016 15:32
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/02640414.2015.1082614
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3370

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