“We are very fortunate to have Anders here for us.”
Tokyo. In the stands sits one of Sweden’s most valuable team members.
Analyst Anders Ericsson has been singled out as an important factor in the success of recent years.
As prepared as we are, says Magdalena Erickson, it is Anders’ hard work that stands behind it.
Anders Ericsson talks about the World Cup draw in Paris in the winter of 2018.
Perhaps this isn’t the first time I’ve heard his name, but there, in the catacombs of La Seine Musicale, an image of a man working behind the scenes was formed.
league captain Peter Gerhardson He takes questions about the upcoming mass resistance – the United States, Chile, Thailand – and says calmly:
– Perhaps our analyst Anders was already watching their matches. He’ll report back when we get to Sweden tomorrow.
Admittedly, the latter is said with a twinkle in the eye, but judging by the testimonies over the years, it’s not far from the truth.
“Sitting with Anders after the games”
The pattern is repeated before all tournament matches: three days before kick-off, Swedish players usually answer questions about the opponent and their playing style.
With one day left, it’s like they know everything. Like they’re better prepared than anyone else.
– It’s really great which team we have, says Magdalena Erickson and develops:
We’re a small group that often sits down with Anders after games and sees what we could have done better. So much in the defensive team but also to prepare for the next match and watch the individual clips. Anders helps us a lot with our preparation and allows us to go into a match and feel 100 percent ready. What we need to know, we know. Then just go out and play the game.
When we ask the national team management if it is possible to speak to Anders Ericsson during the tournament, the answer is that he probably does not have the time. It’s hard to blame him, tournament arrangements are always intense, but the Olympics are very hectic with matches every three days.
function in two parts
During the quarter-final meeting between Sweden and Japan, Ericsson sits as high as possible on the press stand. Before the World Cup 2019 Tell me about his role As an analyst for Sports News and what they mean.
You can divide it into two parts, explains Anders Ericsson.
– The first part is observing the opponent. This is the work we do to get information about those we are going to meet. Then it comes to getting the matches in the movie, which we can then start to break down.
The Swedish Football Association has developed its own model from which the analysts operate. With the help of tools, a structure is created that makes it easy to go back and compare matches.
However, “splitting” the match is not as easy as it seems.
– It’s one thing to see a team playing ten games and mentioning that they “always play this way”. But if they meet 10 teams who play very differently from us, how relevant is this information to Sweden? So it’s also about valuing which matches are interesting, says Erickson.
Can send clips to the bench
The second part of the work is to analyze the matches of Sweden, partly during training but above all the matches.
– Direct seat calling from my location is now allowed. So I often stand as high as possible in the stands with a camera, a computer and a radio. Which means I can talk, communicate, and sometimes send clips to the bench, says Erickson.
– We also have the opportunity to go down in the first half, with or without the computer, to make notes for the captains of the national team or ball situations that arise during the first half.
The advantage of the system is that players can access information wherever they are in the world. The national football team differs from the club teams in that the groups are short and the time is short.
Now they can sit in England or Germany or wherever and get all their shares in one match, says Eriksson.
Gerhardson: “A lot has happened since the ’96 Olympics”
How to become an analyst? Anders Ericsson became interested in the statistical side of football after his boots were shelved around 2010. A few years at IK Sirius led to him joining the union in 2016.
Another who also has a background as an analyst – or perhaps a scout – for the women’s national team is the national team captain since 2017, Peter Gerhardsson.
Although at a different time.
During the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, I sat and took notes on a lot of papers. A lot has happened since then, says Gerhardson, smiling.
When the last signal went off at Saitama Stadium, when Sweden had clearly reached the semi-finals, it overtook Anders Eriksson’s place in the stands.
Someone on the other side of the earpiece was told they would take charge of Great Britain and Australia as the match started an hour before the Swedish kick-off.
Erickson says the hardest thing about my job is dealing with the amount of data we have.
– To boil it in a short time, what matters to us. Find ways to present it to the players as well as the coaches so that they can absorb it. It’s something we’re constantly working on, how we present information.
“A key factor”
Anders Eriksson also believes that the recipe for success is, as in the case of SvFF, to have the same modus operandi for all teams regardless of age.
– I think that’s a major factor. Then the players are already accustomed to working with video and sharing information. The fact that we have done this over time and that we do it on both young and old makes us unique.
The Sweden players don’t seem to have any major problems understanding Anders Eriksson and the rest of the squad.
All credit to them and the hard work they put in, says Magdalena Erickson.
– Once you have finished playing our game, they analyze it and collect information about the opponent. We see how many hours they spend and it’s very important to us.
Should having someone to help their work mean they are as passionate about their work as Anders?
– Yes, we are very fortunate that Anders is here for us. He has such knowledge and you trust him a lot. He spent a lot of time finding the information to provide. Of course, you can’t prepare for everything, but because we are as prepared as we are, it is Anders’ hard work that stands behind it.
Sweden’s semi-final match with Australia kicks off at 12:00, Swedish time, on Monday.
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