Get a behind-the-scenes look at how this team pulled off the strongest result in Croatian football history.
Originally from the United Kingdom, Marc Rochon began his football analysis career at local club PortsmouthFC, before taking an opportunity at Al-Ain in the Middle East. There he met current Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić.
After working together over three and a half years, Dalić joined the Croatian national team and asked his analyst to join him for the World Cup qualification games against Greece. After a resounding 4 – 1 aggregate victory, they’ve been together ever since.
How is video analysis used in the Croatian National Team?
Rochon uses video analysis in both live and post-match situations to link the players, staff and coaches of the Croatian team together.
“I’m using Hudl to share the video to the players, to the staff, so they now have access to everything that I have access to,” explains Rochon.“ That includes our training footage and our match day footage. During the match itself, we will be looking at doing our live window, taking that down into the changing rooms at half time. Thing is we have to be very specific on what statistic we are going to look at and have maybe two or three video clips that I can show.”
National team environments require players and coaches to come together for short periods of time to train and play qualification matches and tournament fixtures. This environment requires fast and accurate information exchanges to ensure game preparations can be optimised on a short timeframe.
“Using the Hudl platform, we are able to get a quick turnaround to staff and players,” said Rochon.“ I export all the code from Sportscode, upload it to the Hudl platform, and then the players are able to review the training and matches very quickly. We have it available within our training camps.”
Video analysis has also become extremely important for executing their game plan and analysing opposition weaknesses.
“The coach is really enthusiastic about video analysis and statistical analysis, so we use a lot of that in our match preparations, and we use a lot of it in our training preparations as well,” said Rochon. “We look at areas that we can make sure we can attack, we look at areas we need to be aware of that we need to defend, then we will take that to our training session and implement it in there.”
The 2018 World Cup campaign
Finishing as a finalist in the 2018 FIFA World Cup was the strongest result in Croatian football history. With only three games in the group stage to take points from, every result matters and tactical changes need to be made swiftly and effectively. Rochon’s video analysis was vital to Croatia’s players being able to review visual information and make adjustments quickly.
“In the World Cup it was key to the way we were preparing for matches and how we were able to share information,” said Rochon.
”An example from during the World Cup where we used live analysis to influence something in a positive manner, we would be looking at the Nigeria game, our first game of the World Cup. During halftime we came down and had a lot of issues with shape. We were able to quickly highlight some key points within the halftime. Then when we went back out in the second half we improved slightly, but then we able to take it again to the second game which happened to be Argentina, where we won.”
“We look at areas that we can make sure we can attack, we look at areas we need to be aware of that we need to defend, then we will take that to our training session and implement it in there.”Marc Rochon
That win against Lionel Messi’s Argentina was a resounding 3 – 0 victory to Croatia.
The impact of video analysis didn’t go unmissed by the Croatian team in such a historical campaign for their nation.
“Obviously we used Hudl during the World Cup, and reaching the World Cup final was something that none of us could have dreamed of before ever,” said Rochon.“Having achieved that was the ultimate sort of experience, and Hudl and Sportscode were very important during that run.”
What do modern players want from video analysis?
With a wide range of statistics and information now available, having a platform that makes this immediately available to players allows for the most effective consumption of information.
“What the players want is something they can take away,” said Rochon.“For example the Hudl platform, on their phone or iPad, to be able to view their own clips and discuss things through there. A lot of players are wanting more and more information, they want to see more video, they want to see more statistics, they want to see more of everything they can get their hands on.”
“Obviously we used Hudl during the World Cup, and reaching the World Cup final was something that none of us could have dreamed of before ever.”Marc Rochon
Looking to the future
When asked about the future of video analysis with the Croatian national team, Rochon is quick to explain the value of using a real-time analysis solution.
“We are looking at areas where we can then improve how we provide information directly to the bench, and impacting things in real time, not just at half time,” said Rochon.“So we would look to take something like Hudl Replay and implement that into our stadium plans, so that would be a key thing we are looking at, obviously building up into the Euros, hopefully we qualify, and we will be able to take something like Hudl Replay and utilise it in a big competition.“