Here at the Rangers review, we love all things tactics. But we won’t pretend that we’ve never scurried the web, searching for a glossary to break down the significance of some nuance phrase.

Ok, perhaps that’s a little over the top. However, with tactics and tactical language increasingly becoming a key part of football conversation, it’s important to have clear, concise definitions to avoid confusion.

With that said, and with help from the Wyscout glossary and StatsBomb, we present to you the Rangers Review’s Tactical Jargon page. Which will be hyperlinked to each xG, half space and transition for you perusal.

Half space: By splitting the pitch into fifths vertically, we have the wings, the centre and the half spaces. The half spaces are the zones in between the middle of the pitch and the wing.

Dismarking: The technique of evading your marker.

xG: Expected Goals. A predictive model that assesses the likelihood of scoring from a shot, taking into account the location, type of assist and context.

xA: Expected Assists. A predictive model that defines the xA value by the xG of the shot the pass led to.

Counterattack: An attack that includes a quick transition, in an attempt to take advantage of the opponent being out of position.

Counterpress: An immediate attempt to regain possession within five seconds of losing the ball.

Progressive runs: A continuous ball control by a player that draws their team significantly closer to the opposition goal.

Progressive pass: A forward pass attempted to move a team significantly closer to the opposition goal.

PPDA: Passes Per Defensive Action: The number of passes made by the opposition divided by defensive actions, to measure the defensive team’s pressure.

Match tempo: The number of passes made by a team per minute of possession.

Rest defence: The defensive the structure of a team when they’re in possession.

Duel: A challenge between two players to control, progress or change direction of the ball. For every offensive duel, there is an offensive duel.

Second assist: A pass that immediately leads to an assist Third man run (off the ball movement): A significant movement made without the ball.

Rest defence: The structure of a team in possession that focuses on a quick defensive transition if possession is lost, to counterpress and win the ball back or retreat into a defensive shape.

Transition: Active change in the possession of the ball.

Overload: Having more players in one zone of the pitch than the opposition.

Passing lane: A space available for a ball to be played through.

Recovery: Any Action that ends a Possession of the opposition team (the last action of this possession is a Loss) and starts a Possession for current team.

Double pivot: A team playing with two defensive midfielders, or pivots, as opposed to a single pivot.

Passes into the final third: Any pass that originates outside of the final third and the next ball touch occurs within the final third.

Forward passes: Total number of passes in a 90° angle rotated by 45° facing forwards.

Low block: A tactic that sees a side aim to restrict the space the opposition has to play in by defending from a deep starting position which leaves minimal space between the lines.

Long pass: A ground pass longer than 45 meters or a high pass longer than 25 meters.

Possession-adjusted: (styled as PAdj or Opp30) is a method to calculate defensive statistics to take possession values into account.

Deep Progressions: Passes and dribbles/carries into the opposition final third.

xGBuildup: A model that attributes the xG value of the final shot to all players involved in the entire possession. 

Shot Touch%: The amount of shots a player takes as a proportion of their touches of the ball.

Counterpressure Regains: Times a player’s team won the ball back within 5 seconds of the player pressuring an opponent, per 90 minutes.

Tack/Dribbled Past%: Percentage of time a player makes a tackle when going into a duel vs getting dribbled past.

Pressures: The number of times a player pressures an opposition player.

Successful Box Cross%: What percentage of a player's completed passes into the box are crosses. See Event Specification for details of cross location definition.

Pressure Regains: Times a player’s team won the ball back within 5 seconds of the player pressuring an opponent.

Open Play xG: Expected goal value of shots from open play.

Turnovers: How often a player loses the ball via a miscontrol or a failed dribble.

xG/Shot: A measure of shot quality, this looks at the average non-penalty expected goal value per shot a player takes.

Post-Shot xG: Calculated after the shot has been taken, once it is known that the shot is on-target, taking into account the quality of the shot.

Defensive distance: The average distance from a team's goal from which it makes defensive actions