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To what extent does "Home Advantage" really exist?


BlueStar
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This is always something that's played on my mind, but it comes to the forefront when we're playing such negative tactics away from home, more positive tactics at home and we're having negative and positive results accordingly.  Where does this "home advantage" come from?  At the end of the day, you've got a field, 11 blokes, a ball and two goals.  We're not playing teams on a home turf with a high altitude, extremes of temperature or a vastly inferior pitch quality that they're used to and we're not.  Sure, you've got the home support, but that can work both ways - it's fine if they're behind you, can have a negative effect if they start getting tetchy.  And anyway,  away support is often far more vocal and, crucially, tends to keep getting behind the team when things are going wrong more than the home support.

 

So does a home advantage exist anywhere except in the minds of players and managers and, if so, surely once you realise that should it not be a relatively easy to overturn?  I think pundits tend to look at it backwards and imply that away teams play cautious football because it's easier for the home team to win when actually it's the other way round -  i.e. teams tend to have a better home record because they play more positive football at home, rather than them feeling free to play more positive football because they have a better home record.  By all means play in a more reserved fashion if that's the best way you can utilise your players against the opposition we're facing, but I don't see why if we're playing in Newcastle or London should effect that decision.

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I don't see why it should affect anything, I've never understood how it does. But it has a major impact, for some reason.

 

I think you're right though, the impact is more because of the different attitude that seems to be expected away from home than any real differences.

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I suppose its all ingrained so much that it works in a circular way and people are too scared to break out of it.  One manager's reasoning is that he's going to sit back and bit and absorb pressure because he knows the home team is going to attack, the other manager's thinking he should play an attacking formation because the away team is going to sit deeper.

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When I played Sunday morning football I wasn't bothered whether I was playing at home or away, apart from the fact that we had to travel in various states of alcohol induced states to some other venue, everything else was the same.

 

The best team always seemed to win the match!

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It seems to speak volumes of the modern footballer's ability to motivate himself for 90 minutes.

 

In what way? This "home advantage" mindset has been around for as long as I can remember. Has it always been this way?

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I think travel has a lot to do with it as well. Playing at home you get to be around your house, wife, kids etc...on your travels you are staying in hotels, living out of suitcases and kept under strict in-house rules.

 

It's all to do with psychology, some teams will fear playing in front of their crowd as they'll just get on their backs, therefore home advantage is out of the window, then some teams prefer it, have a good loud crowd and enjoy playing football on their own pitch, including factors like width, length, grass cut, and condition.

 

There is such thing as home advantage without a doubt.

 

PS: Bluey, that Av is horrible.  :razz:

 

 

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Guest Stephen927

International games its more of an excuse, but club games it shouldn't effect the players too much, if they play well they win. It is all psychological, some teams know how to deal with it, these are generally the teams at the top of the league which tells you something.

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It seems to speak volumes of the modern footballer's ability to motivate himself for 90 minutes.

 

Because home advantage never used to exist in the olden days?

 

 

I don't pretend to know why, but home advantage is indisputably a reality. Look at managers and teams who do not modify their game home and away. There's still nearly always a difference in results.

 

I don't have the source to back it up, but I remember reading once that the likelihood of a win was indirectly proportional to the distance travelled. This would explain a number of phenomena such as derby equilibrium (most derby records through the years are very close between 2 clubs). Our poor London and South coast record (and vice versa) and why we're at more of a disadvantage than most clubs playing at Wembley. The reason Liverpool & Man U have been strong (central and lots of NW clubs).

It's not our fault we've not won anything for ages, it's Geography. ;)

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I think it's one of the most fascinating psychological aspects of sport.

 

For my AVCE i studied black ball pressure; for months possibly even a year after I couldn't pot a black to save my life knowing what I did.

 

 

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It is all in the head.

Not entirely but at least partially. When I played I knew the pitch well, the surface, any faults, size of the size of the area etc. I knew the ground (what there was of it), the surroundings, changing rooms etc and you got used to playing there. Anywhere else with factors different to that meant an advantage had gone - however small it may have been. I certainly knew what could and couldnt be done on the surface we played regularly on and didnt on the others.
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Its because players are scared of playing shit and looking like a cunt infront of a hostile crowd at away games that puts them at an immediate disadvantage.

 

I experienced this on occasion at schoolboy level so its got to be the case at Professional level too.

 

Then again maybe I was just a soft cunt.

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I remember a report that must've been posted on here that claimed the main advantage gained from playing at home is that teams are more attacking and that if they adopted those same tactics on the road, they'd win more matches. Something along those lines, at least.

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How often do you see Man Utd change their game plan for away games? Pretty much never.

They play their football the same way whether they are at home or away and the success they've had doing this is unrivalled.

Ferguson instills extraordinary mental strength into his players and I would imagine part of that involves talking about how home advantage means fuck all.

 

 

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