Assessing Offensive/Defensive Strategies in a Football Match Using DEA

G. Villa and S. Lozano

Football teams play following two strategies: defensive and offensive. The length of time in which the team plays under each of these two modes will depend on who the rival team is and the technical play developed. Once the match is over, an analysis of the team’s performance is necessary to determine which aspects of the offensive/defensive strategies used during the game failed and which succeeded. Although there are some studies in the literature that assess the offensive and defensive efficiencies of football teams in a season, none of them deal with the performance in a single match. In this paper, a multiple modes of functioning (MMF) data envelopment analysis (DEA) model is pro-posed. This methodology determines the percentage of time in which the team should have played in defensive and offensive modes in order to maximize those efficiencies. The procedure has been applied to the Spanish First Division league in the 2014/2015 season.