Chris Domogalla: Norwich approach wouldn't change in Premier League
Written by Simon Austin — March 16, 2021
NORWICH CITY Head of Performance Chris Domogalla says the team will still look to “dominate the ball and the game” if they get promoted to the Premier League.
The Canaries finished last season with a run of 10 successive defeats and ended in 20th position in the top flight. Manager Daniel Farke described the team as “naive” after their penultimate game, a 2-0 home defeat by Burnley.
However, they have quickly put their disappointments behind them and are currently 10 points clear at the top of the Championship with 10 game remaining.
Speaking at TGG’s Recovery Webinar last week, Domogalla said Norwich’s playing philosophy would not change if they were promoted.
“The philosophy of the manager is to control the game, have possession, play attractive football and always be on the wheel and the protagonists,” the German said.
“The intensity levels and how we approached it going into last season is now part of our game and we want to keep that up. We want to deliver the same intensities now [and] dominate the ball and the game.
“What me and my staff want to deliver is for our players to have a high physical profile where they can drive that philosophy forwards on the pitch, with a lot of high-intensity actions, so that when the game gets slowed down [we can] speed it up again at the right time, not just be at the hands of our opponent."
Last season Norwich were blighted by injuries at the start of the campaign, but Domogalla said they would still follow the strategy he had spoken to TGG about at the start of 2019/20.
“What we had already worked out from the stats was that the number of high-intensity sprints was more in the Premier League than we had been used to during our two seasons in the Championship," he had said. "This was something we clearly needed to be prepared for."
Speaking at the Recovery Webinar, Domogalla reflected: “I think the experience we made (in 2019/20), no-one can take away. Do we need to find the fine margins to make another end scenario next time? Yes, probably.
"Of course, with that overall experience we gained, there might be small decisions being made differently, but, nonetheless, we want to perform in the manner and with the style the club wants to perform in and to represent the area and community and what it stands for."
Domogalla admitted it had been hard to overcome the disappointments of last season - especially with such a short pre-season - but that the staff and players had managed to do it.
“Mentally and psychologically is probably the hardest turnaround, to just getting settled and finding that motivation again as quickly as possible to attack and don’t get the blues of being relegated,” he said. “You need that time to process it.
“With how the season ended for us and with the short turnaround we had, we had some processes in place relatively early to engage our players again for the mission we have. Then the disappointment settles quickly and we can attack it as soon as possible.
“At this stage of the season I must say it worked well and hopefully it will continue.”
Domogalla added that Playermaker, sponsors of the Recovery Webinar, had played an important role in Norwich’s performance strategy this season.
Playermaker is a smart sensor attached to a player’s boot that, using AI and machine learning, provides insights on team and individual performance via technical, tactical and physical data.
“As the Playermaker units are sitting outside every player’s left and right foot, it gives us literally every single step a player is performing and that then gives us ground contact time, flight time, step length, ratios for the limbs, symmetries of walking, running, sprinting performance, and that is very valuable - not only these days but in general,” Domogalla said.
“It’s having a great impact in how we see and evaluate the training sessions - we can now get a gait analysis out of standardised drills performed during warm-up or the session.
"We have points during our training set-up where we can get gait analysis for the players and compare them for different timings throughout the whole season to get another feedback - if their symmetry is coming up, if there is a change in step length for our contact time ratio, flight-time ratio, all that stuff where we can put another layer on looking at the performance levels of the players and the fatigue level of the players.
"It helps them to find the next performance level, to see what we are expecting and what is actually happening. That is how I see it and how my staff in the office are seeing it, as probably the future of football in that industry, to get data more frequently and combine the physical and technical data in a much easier way."