Pundits and fans alike have noticed, but here are the numbers to back it up. Statistics on FC Barcelona’s football this season under Tito Vilanova point to a more direct approach. Possession and total number of passes per game have not fluctuated in any significant way from other recent season, remaining around 70% and 700 respectively, but there has been a key variation specifically related to territory.
Tito Vilanova’s team thus far are playing higher up the pitch and in a more vertical manner. Only 9.7% of total passes are within the defensive third versus 13% under Pep Guardiola. This territorial advancement has seen an improved number of touches in the opponent box with 33.6 touches per game this year versus 31 last season. In order to accelerate movement up the field, Barça this season are attempting 9.6 “long balls” per game, a 1.2 increase from 8.6 in 2011/12.
Source: GuillemBalague.com; Image: fcbarcelona.cat