Home → Elite → Football → Performance Analysis Football Replay Wyscout Studio Performance Analysis Coaching Miguel Moita: The Evolution of the Modern Performance Analyst 09 Feb, 2022 7 Min Read By Tony Sprangers @tonysprangers Miguel Moita is the performance analyst for Saudi Arabia’s champion team, Al-Hilal. And when we say champion, that means the last four seasons in a row. Not to mention their current ownership of the AFC Champions League crown. With a wide experience of performance analysis roles spanning across the Portuguese, Greek, French, and now Saudi top divisions, Moita is more than qualified to provide his insight on the role of the modern analyst, tactical approaches, and the technology that helps the modern analyst on a daily basis. Moita’s career in analysis traces as far back as 2009 with Portuguese club Beira-Mar, with subsequent stops at heavyweight clubs of their respective leagues - Oympiacos, Sporting Lisbon and AS Monaco. It’s the longevity of experience in Moita’s career that has allowed him to see the perspective of how the role of the analyst has changed (and become more valued) in recent times. “I think there is a lot of change from when I began working as a performance analyst, because I think the performance analyst was viewed as a man who simply filmed the games,” said Moita. “Now in 17 years from the moment I entered in football, this has changed because people now look to a performance analyst as a professional guy that knows how to read the game, that knows about the game, and a person that is completely competent to speak with the coach and to pass information. For me this is the biggest change in the role of the modern performance analyst.” Miguel Moita observes a training session at AS Monaco - he was present during the development of Monaco's latest Ligue 1 winning side. Moita has experienced championship seasons in many different leagues and understands the different style of football that each country provides. “In Portugal I think the coaches have a more tactical strategic approach, France have more fast and explosive players, and the championship it's more balanced., and in Greece, Olympiacos were at a great advantage with the other teams not so competitive at that time.” The Saudi Pro League poses its own unique challenge for the table-topping Al-Hilal - consistently playing against low block teams. “In Saudi Arabia there exists maybe three or four good teams, and after that there are a lot of teams that defend very low and try to counter attack and those ones are creating some difficulties,” said Moita. “We are having some difficulties in playing against low blocks, and the result is that in 7 draws, 5 are with that kind of teams, where we have the control of the match but we don't achieve to take advantage of all the opportunities that we create .” Al-Hilal celebrate victory in the 2021 AFC Champions League - their record fourth confederation title. In regard to Moita’s role as a performance analyst, the solution is to help prepare the players for these match scenarios in the days leading up to each game. The first thing we change is our training session, if we're going to play against one of the teams that defends low and counterattacks we will have more focus in an offensive situation in the opponent midfield, promoting a good positional game and circulation and a higher recovery of the ball when we lose it, avoiding the counter attack and protecting our back,” said Moita. Another example, “In one recent match, central defenders of the opposition team were very aggressive and defended low, so I showed footage of this to our striker to show him that you should not keep the ball and try to turn, you should touch the ball, one, two touches and link with the support that comes from the midfield and wingers and after give a passing line in depth to take advantage of the space that was created. In a normal week, that goes from Sunday to Sunday, we always make up a weekly presentation where we show to the players what kind of openings we're going to play, who we’re going to play with. Regarding to the opponent we are going to play against, we could make some different strategic approaches, and change some details in the tactic-strategic session giving focus to what we think it should happens more in next match." “I think there is a lot of change from when I began working as a performance analyst, because I think the performance analyst was viewed as a man who simply filmed the games. Now in 17 years from the moment I entered in football, this has changed because people now look to a performance analyst as a professional guy that knows how to read the game, that knows about the game, and a person that is completely competent to speak with the coach and to pass information." Miguel Moita - Performance Analyst, Al-Hilal. Moving from the training ground to match day, the Al-Hilal coaches and analysts use Hudl Replay to analyze match footage in real time, using an iPad from the bench. “Hudl Replay is very useful in live match situations, for example, in one game where I felt that we were losing the midfield battle, I clicked on the coach review and saw that our two central midfielders were not correctly in position,” said Moita. “We want one central midfielder to press up and join the attack, and the other to stay covering his back. When I looked at the live video feed, I was able to see that when the ball was on the left, both midfielders were up, and there was a hole in the middle where the ball entered and the opponent created dangerous situations. This happened a number of times in the first half, and I picked that situation to show to the coach at halftime. It worked because in the second we were more focused in that positional play and the team was then more balanced in the second half.” Once match day has concluded, and post-match analysis has begun, the Al-Hilal team have begun to use new visual drawing tools to better communicate with video content to the players. Live analysis setup for Al-Hilal, which combines Hudl Sportscode and Replay to influence in-game decision making. Studio is a brand-new analysis tool that allows dynamic drawings and graphics to be added to video match footage. It links seamlessly with the commonly used video analysis and cutting tool Hudl Sportscode. “Studio for me is a fantastic tool that permits a workflow that you don't often get out of a video editing tool,” said Moita. “You don't need to get out, you got everything in Sportscode, in an intuitive and objective way. With one click you're inside Studio, and after you treat the videos with graphics and drawings, the passage to the movie organizer is also fantastic. For example, when I have some suggestions to make to the coach, he can receive that feedback and we can make edits to our analysis right there and then in the Studio platform. This is very important because like that you don't need to block your work.” Visual example of the drawing tools Moita uses on his video presentations using Studio. Scouting is also an integral part of the modern analyst role. When asked what he looks for in a player, Moita explained it’s a mixture of characteristics. “For different positions, you're going to check for different characteristics, different things, but one thing that we should always look at is the intelligence of the player, the decision-making of the player in different contexts, because that is what is going to make a player different, ” said Moita. “A player can be fast, but beyond that, I'm going to see if he makes good decisions when he's fast, and if he is consistent across several matches in-a-row, because we cannot also forget that in long term, it's the mentality and resilience that of the human being that helps to create the best players” “Studio for me is a fantastic tool that permits a workflow that you don't often get out of a video editing tool." Miguel Moita - Performance Analyst, Al-Hilal. Moita and the Al-Hilal analysis team use Wyscout to assess their potential player targets. Wyscout has coverage of over 900 leagues and competitions, with over 550,000 players on the platform with video footage and player data. “That's a lot, we use Wyscout a lot to see players, of course, it's a great tool, and it's fantastic,” said Moita. “I have used Wyscout for a long time, since my time at Braga in 2011. We use Wyscout to see players remotely through video footage, and to check statistics in context, also. For example, in a central defender, I can look for things that I'm not going to see in an offensive midfielder. The main thing that we are looking at when reviewing players is his technical ability, but contextualized. The decisions that the player makes in the different situations, this is the most important for us.” Performance analysis is a constantly evolving area of sport, especially when considering the consistent advances of technology available to coaches and analysts. When asked about the future of performance analysis, Moita referred to a specific new vision. “Of course, nowadays there is a lot of technology that can help us, especially to permit the passing of objective ideas to the players,” said Moita. “I’ve heard a lot of professionals speaking about virtual reality, and I don't know how many have taken some steps in that area, but why not? A lot of VR projects are popping-up nowadays and people already use virtual reality in simulated games and I feel that kind of system could, for example, help to improve decision making in certain match situations. I don't know if it's going to be a thing that's going to develop in the future, but it's a thing that I hear a lot about, and maybe it's going to be a thing that could make the difference in the future.” The greater importance of the modern analyst in on-field decision making is fuelled by Hudl Pro Suite - a fully integrated stack of analysis tools that analysts such as Miguel Moita use on a daily basis. Learn more about Studio and Wyscout, by viewing our professional case studies with VfL Wolfsburg and the Brazilian Men's National Team.