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Tactical analysis: Andrine Stolsmo Hegerberg - central midfielder or left winger?

Damallsvenskan

Andrine Stolsmo Hegerberg is guest in Fotbollskanalen's podcast Their Pitch. Mia Eriksson has written a small analysis about how the Norwegian is being used in BK Häcken.

Foto: Bildbyrån

Andrine Stolsmo Hegerberg is a central midfielder that currently plays for BK Häcken in the Damallsvenskan in Sweden. She has played in six European leagues over the years after making her professional debut at home in Norway with Kolbotn as a 16-year-old. Since then, she has played in the Frauen Bundesliga (Turbine Potsdam), the Damallsvenskan (Kopparbergs/Göteborgs FC), Women’s Super League (Birmingham), D1 Féminine (Paris St Germain), Serie A Femminile (AS Roma).

Hegerberg signed for BK Häcken in her football return after an ACL injury that she, unfortunately, picked up in Italy. 

The 29-year-old has a lot of experience in international club football, but she also has 25 caps with Norway’s national team on her resume. Determined to make her way back into the national team, she returned to the Swedish League to get playing time and good competition ahead of the UEFA Women’s Euro this summer.

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Although she did not get selected to represent her country in the summer of 2022, Hegerberg shows no signs of slowing down and is still hoping for a chance to get back into the national team.                      

It’s no surprise that her former coach, David Parker, from her time in Birmingham, has this to say about the midfielder, who is the recent guest in Fotbollskanalen’s podcast Their Pitch:

"Everything about Andrine was filled with class. From how she performed on the pitch and the elegant skilful player, she is to how she handled herself on and off the pitch. At a time in the women's game that was developing into the fully professional status it is today, she was already a true professional in everything she did. And for such a young player at the time, it was very impressive. I know this was grounded in her family and the wonderful people they are who support her enormously in her ambitions in the game."

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Since joining BK Häcken, the Norwegian midfielder has been, from the looks of it, inconsistently used by coach Robert Vilahamn.

Using the football analysis platform PlaymakerAi, it’s easy to see that Hegerberg’s player profile matches with a more defensive one, but she also has abilities in passing. 

Vilahamn’s first-choice defensive/holding/central midfielders are Swedish national team players Filippa Curmark and Elin Rubensson. Marika Bergman-Lundin is another midfielder that he has used in this double pivot. Häcken currently sits 4th in the Swedish league table, and this can’t be seen as anything other than a disappointment for the Gothenburg team.

What could be found interesting is that Häcken had the ball on average per 90 minutes at 61.5 % in the 2021 season, and in 2022 the exact number is 58.15 %. The same numbers for goals conceded in 2021 were 0.59 and this season: 0.84. This is not the full explanation for Häcken’s miscalculated result so far. Still, when we compare Hegerberg with Curmark, Rubensson and Bergman-Lundin, it is pretty clear that she is stronger in xT prevented and in the defensive parts of the game. So why play Hegerberg in a position on the left wing when she holds abilities as a central, balancing midfielder if Häcken needs to adapt to have less possession, prevent conceding goals and need to balance their midfield?

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