Zone Entries from Rangers exit from Europe

written by – Rangers Report    photo courtesy of – Ben Majerus

A glossary & rationale for tracking attacking zone entries can be found here in a previous post.

Rangers at Progres Niederkorn:  July 4, 2017

Controlled Zone Entries (CZE)

  • James Tavernier &  Ryan Jack combined for 47% of the team’s controlled entries into the final third.  The positive results were muted by a lack of cohesion in the final third once Rangers established possession in the attacking zone.  Only 25% of Jack’s CZE led to a first/next pass being completed (first after a dribbled entry & next after a controlled entry via a pass).  Last week, 100% of Jack’s 11 controlled entries led to a completed first/next pass.
  • Lee Wallace looks isolated out on the left without the supporting runs from Barrie McKay.  Wallace only had the two controlled entries & while both led to effective results (including a shot being created), it’s not nearly enough.
  • Jordan Rossiter accounted for four of the team’s five central controlled entries (the most dangerous kind of CZE).  They didn’t lead to much but it’s a good sign that he can make that difficult pass into a more dangerous area.
  • Hey look!  Proof that Daniel Candeias played on Tuesday.
  • Rangers only created a shot directly from 5% of their controlled entries into the final third.  Normally that rate should be 17-20%.  That’s a real indicator of woeful play in the final third.
  • It is interesting to note that controlled entries that were dribbled in led to a positive result 91% of the time, while entries that came from a controlled pass into the zone only led to a positive result 53% of the time.
Niko Kranjcar, courtesy of Ben Majerus

Non-Controlled Entries

Controlled % is the rate of total entries that were controlled.

  • The fact that only 44% of Niko Kranjcar’s entries were controlled is worrying.  In the first match the rate was slightly better at 53%.  Yes, he has vision & can play the ball into space for his teammates to chase.  But, I’d much rather see him enter the final third with a controlled play to keep the build-up going.
  • Last week, 60% of the team’s entries were controlled.  This week that dipped to 52%.  You can see when trying to get the ball into the final third on a Non-Controlled Entry that the ultimate results aren’t going to be pretty —- 3% of the first/next pass being completed & 23% of the entries leading to a positive result.

Entry Share is the percentage of the team’s total entries into the final third that the player accounted for.

  • The offense went through James Tavernier.  He accounted for 25% of the team’s entries into the final third.  Kenny Miller had the next highest rate at 14%.  Lee Wallace (buried behind Cardoso’s dot) only accounted for 5% of the team’s entries into the final third.  That makes for a pretty imbalanced attack.  Fortunately, the central midfielders were able to be involved in driving possession into the final third.  But, again everything started with Tavernier.
  • It’s not good to see attacking players like Candeias, Windass, Dalcio & Morelos as Passengers.  Even though none of them played the full 90, none of them were driving possession into the final third with any effectiveness at all.

  • Again you can see that the left side of the Rangers attack was not as involved in getting the ball into the final third.  This was either a conscious tactical approach to exploit the right side or an inability to get the ball into the final third from the left sided players.  Last week, 24% of the entries were on the left side & like last week it was easier to get into the final third on a controlled entry.  For two games in a row, Rangers truly struggled to get the ball into the final third via controlled entries on the right side (vs. the left sided defenders).
  • When Rangers were able to enter the final third on the left, good things happened – 55% of the entries led to the first/next pass being completed & 73% of the entries led to a positive result.
courtesy of Ben Majerus

  • Note the markings of left, center, & right are from the point of view of Progres Niederkorn’s attack.  So, a left sided entry is actually against the right side of Rangers defense (Tavernier & Bates), while a right sided entry is against Wallace & Cardoso.
  • Last week 45% of Progres Niederkorn’s entries were up their left flank & this week 45% of their entries were up their left flank.  The trend being that they were getting into the final third in Tavernier & Bates’ zone of influence.  The majority of the entries were not controlled though & you can see that once they got into the final third — not much happened.  Only 17% of those CZE led to positive results.
  • Overall you can see that Tavernier & Bates & their supporting players limited Progres’ success when entering the zone against them, with low success rates for both kind of entries.  Last week, they struggled & were tabbed to be targeted again so credit to both players (despite the ultimate result).

Lastly, it is interesting to combine that entry data with where key passes came from (key passes are the passes that set up shots).

  • 33% of Progres’ Key Passes came from Zone 10 & 17% came from Zone 8.  That means 50% of the Key Passes came from deep. That’s a sign of poor defensive play &/or a defense being stretched out by counter attacks.
  • The other 50% of Key Passes came from Zones 14, 15 & 17.

For Rangers…

  • Most of the Key Passes (67%) came from corners.
  • From open play, two Key Passes came from Zone 16 & one came from Zone 14.  Each of those came from passes from the full backs.
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