Interview with the video analyst of the Belgium National Football team
The UEFA Euro 2016 is taking place these days in France. The Belgian National team is one of the teams that surprised by the big quality of its players, today it's a strong candidate to win the championship. For several years Belgium has been working with LongoMatch PRO to analyze their games. We recently had the pleasure to interview their video analyst: Herman de Landtsheer, a football professional with an extensive experience in his country.
What experience do you have in football ?
I have an experience as coach of football teams in lower divisions for a period of 23 years with good results. I was working as a Teacher at the Coach Education of the Belgian Football Federation, later as a specialist in the use of Multimedia in Football.
From 2006 to 2007, I’ve worked for KAA Gent as the Technical Assistant-Video Analyst for the A-team (1st division).
In 2007 I started working for Sporting Lokeren OV as the Technical Assistant- Video Analyst for the A-team (1st division), in a part-time job, until 2012.
In 2012, I worked for one year for the Club Brugge KV as the Technical Assistant- Video Analyst for the A-team (1st division), in a part-time job.
From 2010 - till now, I am working for the National Team as the Technical Assistant- Video Analyst for the A-team, in a part-time job.
From 2013 'till now, I work as the Multimedia Manager for the KBVB-URBSFA in a part-time job, so I do now the combination National Team – Belgian Football Federation.
How did you start your career as a video analyst?
I started my career as a video analyst after the request of Georges Leekens, an experienced and famous Belgian coach, who was attending a Recycling of the Course ‘Uefa Pro License’. So he asked me to work in his Technical Staff as the Video Analyst of KAA Gent in 2006.
Does Belgium have a long tradition in this kind of analysis?
Video Analysis has no long tradition in Belgium, because in Belgium there were at that moment no Video Analysts in a Technical Staff. The video analysis has been done by Assistant-Coaches who had also a job to do on the field. So with the courses at the Coach Education, I think that I was one the promotors of having a Video Analyst in every club of the first division.
Do you think that the video analyst profession has future?
The video analyst profession has a future that’s for sure, because the use of images can help the clubs, the coaches and the players. The clubs can make their own compilations for the scouting and/or transfers of players.
How did you start working with the Belgium National Team?
I started working for the national team after the request of Georges Leekens, who was then the coach of the national team in the period from 2010 till 2012.
Are you the only one in charge of the video analysis work in the National team?
In Belgium I’m the only one in charge for this work but I can also make use of a professional video platform to find some more information of clubs and players and also videoclips of teams and players.
What are the technical aspects (defense/offensive strategy, transitions, field occupancy…) that you analyse more?
The technical aspects I do analyse is first, finding out what is there offensive formation, and what is typical in their use of this formation, the field occupancy, the position of players, the running lines, the playmaker, how’s the transition in ball recuperation from defence to attack, are there automatisms in their way of playing, …
What’s there defensive formation, how’s the pressure, how is their way of defending, where are the spaces, how’s the transition in ball loss, …
What are the weaknesses and/or strongnesses of the team ( Offensive and Defensive)
I also work on analysing set plays, offensive and defensive. What’s their strategy, automatism, running lines, used zones, how’s the ball curve, …
Do they have weak zones, strong zones, players with a lack of stature, concentration, …
What matches do you analyse most (own matches, rivals or trainings)? How much time does it take you to prepare one match?
Most part of the time goes to analysing all the games of our opponents, and also analysing our own games.
For my way of analysing I need half a day for one game, what means a deep analysis of the game.
How long have you been using LongoMatch?
I think I use LongoMatch now for a period of 4-5 years.
What value does LongoMatch PRO provide to the team?
With Longomatch Pro I can make presentations of high level, to inform our players of the strongnesses and the weaknesses of our opponents. Presenting your videos, making compilations, graphics on the video, inserting other images or videos, it’s all possible in one software
How close do you work with the coach?
I work very close with the coach and the technical staff, because I’m a member of the technical staff and it’s is my responsibility to provide him from important information and images of the opponents. It’s also my job to give this presentation to the group of players the day before the game.
As a video analyst, how do you face the challenge of the UEFA Euro 2016?
Well it’s also a challenge for me to bring, in this very busy period, the best information as soon as possible on a professional way that can support the coach and the players.
Any prediction for the Euro 2016?
This is the most difficult question because in a tournament everything can happen. Everyone expects teams like Germany, Spain or France in the final round. But in the qualifiers it was clear that the gap between top countries and small countries has been smaller, so why not an edition of surprises this time.
About LongoMatch PRO
LongoMatch PRO, a product of the Spanish multimedia company Fluendo SA, has more than 6,000 users worldwide. It is a powerful, intuitive and customizable tool that allows video analysts and coaches of any team sport to analyse both their own players and the weaknesses of rival teams. It makes it possible to create playlists and presentations for each type of action or player in a match, generate statistics and easily share the information with the team. LongoMatch PRO allows users to store a team’s historical performance data, creating a long-term database that can be revisited in the future. The tool also aims to satisfy three basic needs: saving time in analysis, facilitating the work of the technical team and supplying information on the evolution of the team’s performance over time.
More info about LongoMatch PRO here.