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Int J Sports Med. 2014 Dec;35(13):1095-100. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1375695. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

The evolution of physical and technical performance parameters in the English Premier League.

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Sports Science, CB Sports Performance Ltd, Rugeley, United Kingdom.
Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, United Kingdom.


This study examined the evolution of physical and technical soccer performance across a 7-season period in the English Premier League. Match performance observations (n=14 700) were analysed for emergent trends. Total distance covered during a match was ~2% lower in 2006-07 compared to 2012-13. Across 7 seasons, high-intensity running distance and actions increased by ~30% (890±299 vs. 1 151±337 m, p<0.001; ES: 0.82) and ~50% (118±36 vs. 176±46, p<0.001; ES: 1.41), respectively. Sprint distance and number of sprints increased by ~35% (232±114 vs. 350±139 m, p<0.001; ES: 0.93) and ~85% (31±14 vs. 57±20, p<0.001; ES: 1.46), respectively. Mean sprint distance was shorter in 2012-13 compared to 2006-07 (5.9±0.8 vs. 6.9±1.3 m, p<0.001; ES: 0.91), with the proportion of explosive sprints increasing (34±11 vs. 47±9%, p<0.001; ES: 1.31). Players performed more passes (35±17 vs. 25±13, p<0.001; ES: 0.66) and successful passes (83±10% vs. 76±13%, p<0.001; ES: 0.60) in 2012-13 compared to 2006-07. Whereas the number of short and medium passes increased across time (p<0.001; ES>0.6), the number of long passes varied little (p<0.001; ES: 0.11). This data demonstrates evolution of physical and technical parameters in the English Premier League, and could be used to aid talent identification, training and conditioning preparation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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