Marc Rochon Interview: How the Croatian National Football Team Win with Video

Marc Rochon Interview: How the Croatian National Football Team Win with Video

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 Portsmouth FC, 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.”

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.”

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.“