Liverpool FC continues to reinvent itself technologically
On previous occasions we have already talked about Liverpool FC as a pioneering and benchmark team when it comes to applying technology to sport. Their meeting in the Champions League final 2022 with Real Madrid CF, we want to highlight that the English team has achieved a large number of important titles in recent times and wants to stay on the same trend. That is why, thanks to new techniques, it remains at the top of the world of football.
NEURO11, the system for not failing penalties
Thanks to new techniques, it remains at the top of the world of football. This time they have chosen to incorporate a system that allows them to miss as few penalties as possible. At the end of February, the final of the Carabao Cup was played in England. Chelsea and Liverpool matched up at Wembley and at the end of the match everything was so tight that there was no choice but to go to a penalty shootout. However, it is not always chance that determines this process. The Reds had a weapon ready and their plan went perfectly as they managed because they win the trophy.
That tool we are talking about is Neuro11, a company that works with neuroscience. They have been collaborating with Liverpool FC during the season to obtain the best possible results from set pieces. They analyze the players and their techniques to examine the nerve impulses that are produced in their brains when football players face a shot. The result was excellent in the final of the Carabao Cup, achieving the win by eleven to ten, without any miss.
Jürgen Klopp explained how everything happened in the winning of his fifth title as coach of the English team. «The managers of Neuro11 gave us a list of throwers. We had the first five players and then up to six, seven and eight. From then on some of the players on the list were no longer on the field and not even they were approaching that list. It was really exciting. Congratulations to the boys and to neuro11», commented the German at the end of the game.
The founders of neuro11, Dr. Niklas Häusler and Patrick Häntschke have managed to find a formula that is working. Liverpool have scored 15 goals from set pieces, not including penalties, in the Premier League this 2021/22 season. The club also has the best record for goals from set pieces in this edition of the Champions League.
How to do it
The task has been to register all the neuroscientific data with a kind of headphones with electrodes that measure the brain’s electrical activity. In conclusion, the objective sought is to know if the player is totally concentrated in the activity that he is going to do. In this particular case it is about taking the penalty, but data is also recorded for corners and fouls. The difference is made by neuroscience, but also by the work with Klopp’s assistant Peter Krawietz’s set pieces.
It all started during the team’s preseason in Evian-les-Bains, France. In this first Neuro11 job, Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, James Milner and Harvey Elliott made themselves at company’s disposal. With these special helmets, they did a neuroscientific study to find out if they automatically executed the movements or if they had to think about what they were trying to do. The goal was for them to be able to do the first thing every time.
«We look at brain activation live during our set piece training. We can see when and how much the player is in the zone or what could make him get out of it. Coupled with proper neuropsychological training, the player ends up knowing in great detail what aspects help him. The importance is not to judge anything as good or bad, but to let each player get to know himself better,» explained Dr. Haüsler in The Sunday Times.
Each player is different and has different abilities when performing an action. One might need to look at just one point of focus, such as the ball or the target, very intensely, while another might need to switch the point of focus between the ball and the target frequently to send the ball where they want. In this way, it is possible to improve according to the characteristics of each one.
All the players have undergone Neuro11 tests to try to find that formula that makes them be especially focused and direct their shot to the side of the goal they choose. Part of the decision to bet on these new procedures was based on UEFA eliminating the double value of away goals. Liverpool thought that in this way there would be more qualifiers that would be decided on penalties and due to chance, it has finally served them for other competitions such as the Carabao Cup.
A completely mechanized squad
Throughout this article we have been commenting on the abilities that neuroscience has given to Liverpool FC. The English club takes advantage of any resource to progress and if we have to talk about a leading club it is the one led by Jürgen Klopp. The Reds are careful to a fault. Another aspect of the game in which it might seem that it does not have great relevance is throw-ins. However, at Anfield they have a specialist dedicated exclusively to improving this resource. This is Thomas Gronnemark, the person in charge to help players to find ways to create space and retain possession from throw-ins, in the hope that chances will subsequently be created.
Before Gronnemark arrived, they could barely hold the ball on 45.4 per cent of throw-ins. The numbers speak for themselves and after the 2018-19 season, this figure rose to 68.4 percent. Another sign of success.
Innovation gives good results if it is used effectively and techniques are still sought to be able to continue at the top. So far, Liverpool FC have won a title this season, are fighting for the Premier League and they have reached the Champions League final again. An infallible method accompanied by great victories.