Home Advantage in the Brazilian Elite Football: Verifying managers' capacity to outperform their disadvantage

23 Jul 2020  ·  Santos Carlos Denner dos, Alves Jessica ·

Home advantage (HA) in football, soccer is well documented in the literature; however, the explanation for such phenomenon is yet to be completed, as this paper demonstrates that it is possible to overcome such disadvantage through managerial planning and intervention (tactics), an effect so far absent in the literature. To accomplish that, this study develops an integrative theoretical model of team performance to explain HA based on prior literature, pushing its limits to unfold the manager role in such a persistent pattern of performance in soccer... Data on one decade of the national tournament of Brazil was obtained from public sources, including information about matches and coaches of all 12 teams who played these competitions. Our conceptual modeling allows an empirical analysis of HA and performance that covers the effects of tactics, presence of supporters in matches and team fatigue via logistic regression. The results confirm the HA in the elite division of Brazilian soccer across all levels of comparative technical quality, a new variable introduced to control for a potential technical gap between teams (something that would turn the managerial influence null). Further analysis provides evidence that highlights managerial capacity to block the HA effect above and beyond the influences of fatigue (distance traveled) and density of people in the matches. This is the case of coaches Abel Braga, Marcelo Fernandes and Roger Machado, who were capable to reverse HA when playing against teams of similar quality. Overall, the home advantage diminishes as the comparative quality increases but disappears only when the two teams are of extremely different technical quality. read more

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