A proof that possession is crucial in football!


There has been a lot of talk about possession in football. Some say that possession doesn’t matter, while other say it is crucial for success. I will show you with a proof that possession is crucial in football.


In world of football there are always teams like Stoke (used to be), teams that will win games by deep defending and winning games by intimidation or strength to put it mildly.  Those kind of teams can cause all sort of problems to those more technical teams, and because of this, they are called a medieval teams. Although they get criticized a lot because of this, they usually get the results. But do this medieval teams really play that way on purpose? I believe that they have to play that way, because they have weaker players.

With the next picture, I will prove to you, that possession is crucial and that weaker teams play like that, not because they want to, but because they really have no choice.


In season 14/15, the clubs with most possessions are Manchester City, Roma, PSG, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Barcelona is, as expected, the team with most possession. They have 62% possession on average. Manchester City on the other hand is a club with the lowest possession among the clubs with the most possession.


All the clubs that have the most possessions also rank high in their domestic league. The worst being PSG which is 3rd in a league. Surprisingly only one team, that has the most possession (Bayern Munich), is first in their league. That means, if you have the most possession, it guarantees you top places, but not the 1st place.


On the other hand, the clubs with the lowest possession are Crystal Palace, Chievo, Metz, Almeria and Hertha Berlin. The club with the highest possession of the lowest ones, is Almeria with 47%. At the other end is Crystal Palace with 43%. Although 3 teams with lowest possession are in the so called relegation zone. Two teams are in 13 place, which is not that bad. It’s still not that good compared to the teams with the most possession.


This picture proofs that teams with possession are better teams that those without possession. I mean its kind of logical that a team, with better players will have more of the ball, than a team with worse players. Its also true that there isn’t that many differences between the teams with the most possession and between the teams that have the least possession. Between Barcelona and Manchester City there are only 6% while on the other end only 4%, but given the results, you could say that every percent counts.


This also proves that the weaker teams really don’t have a choice in their playing style. If they don’t have the ball, only thing they can do, is to defend deep and try their luck in counterattacks. When you are defending and chasing other players, there is more of a possibility that you will look like the rough team. There is also more chance of injuring other players because of it. This is also one of explanations why the better teams have more injuries.


All in all, I have proved that possession in football is important. Not only is important, but is crucial in getting good results on the field. Teams with less possession usually don’t get good results, but usually don’t have a choice in their playing style. In a way, better clubs are making smaller clubs to play like medieval teams, because they take the ball away from them. But if they would do otherwise, they would be making the weaker teams stronger, and because of that, stronger teams results would falter.
Štefan Japelj

About Štefan Japelj

Experienced content writer and marketing specialist. Football (soccer) expert that likes to watch Premier League (especially Arsenal). Knows a lot about other football leagues, too!