Florian Kainz at FC Koln 2019/2020 – scout report
IFlorian Kainz, already 27 years old, is at is peak age as a football player and the quality of his performances has been proof of that. The Austrian winger, a product of Sturm Graz’s youth academy, had a great season for FC Köln in the Bundesliga and has proved he is playing at a good level at the moment.
In this scout report, we will be taking a look at Florian Kainz’s performances for FC Köln Bundesliga this season as well as the Austrian’s statistical profile. A tactical analysis of his actions in the various moments of the game will allow us to identify his style of play, strengths and weaknesses. A good look and analysis of his statistical output will also allow for an assessment of his output and a comparison with other players in the same position form the Bundesliga.
Florian Kainz is a 27-year-old right-footed winger that can also play as an attacking midfielder. In the 2019/2020 season, Kainz played mostly as a winger, alternating between the right and the left sides of the pitch depending on the team’s tactics. The image below is his heat map for the mentioned season. The map shows us the areas of the pitch where most of his in-game actions occur and, therefore, gives us a good picture of where he usually operates inside the pitch.
As the heatmap above shows, Kainz operates mostly on the wide areas, however, he also comes inside to the half-spaces quite often due to his style of play. Florian Kainz is not a traditional winger so to speak, though he does operate in the wide areas and in advanced spaces. Nevertheless, his role is much more to be a wide playmaker. Besides coming inside to free up the wide areas to the wing-back, Kainz has other characteristics that separate him from a traditional winger, he is a player that likes to be involved in the build-up play whether it is deeper or to provide the final pass. Also indicative of his role as a wide playmaker is the fact that when FC Köln have possession, Kainz is rarely the player that attacks space and depth and usually the one playing the pass for the player that is making the run in behind the defensive line. Other examples of this will be provided throughout the report.
In order to have a better profile of the abilities and style of play of Florian Kainz, we took a look at the data. Calculating percentile ranks for some key stats allowed for a comparison with other wingers and attacking midfielders from the Bundesliga. The bar chart below shows the mentioned percentile ranks and allows us to see how Kainz scores in the analysed metrics having the median for the league as a reference.
An analysis of the bar chart shows us how Kainz had a very good season in terms of his output but also keeps showing us little hints about his style of play. The metric “Dangerous passes per 90” was created adding passes to the final third per 90, deep completions per 90 and passes to the penalty area per 90. Similarly, the metric “Dangerous crosses per 90” was created by adding crosses to the goalie box per 90 and deep completed crosses per 90. The metric “Chance creation contribution per 90” was created by adding third assists per 90, second assists per 90, assists per 90 and key passes per 90. Florian Kainz scores high on most metrics on the chart, however, he really stands out in terms of chance creation and goal contribution. The Austrian is amongst the best in the league in terms of dangerous passes and dangerous crosses, while also being above the 90th percentile when it comes to chance creation contribution compared to players in much bigger teams like Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund that play in the Champions League. This, combined with his also high rank in progressive actions, shows how Kainz is very important when it comes to building plays and providing the final pass but, if we take the analysis a bit further, we can also see that he is being successful in doing so. Kainz also ranks very high in terms of goal contribution and xG contribution per 90, proving his involvement in playmaking events is leading to goals or assists.
Having established Florian Kainz’s statistical profile, as well as seen the first signs of his role as a wide playmaker, we will now turn our attention to a tactical analysis of his in-game actions in order to make this a more in-depth scout report and continue to learn and understand the Austrian’s style of play.
When his team has the ball, Kainz usually looks for space on the wide areas or in the half space depending on his fellow full-back’s positioning. The Austrian is a player that receives the ball and immediately looks for a pass he can make and will only progress with the ball himself if there is space available and no passing option that its a better solution. Kainz is a technically strong player and that enables him to keep the ball well and manoeuvre in tight spaces. Not only that, but his technical ability also translates into good passing and crossing technique and he is not afraid of making use of it. One of the aspects in Kainz’s game that resembles a wide playmaker is the fact that he often plays as a support for the player occupying the wide-area and for the player occupying the half space. In other words, he falls back a bit more so he can be a back passing option for his teammates but also so he can “face the game” and be able to play through passes in behind the defensive line.
In the image below we can see an example of the mentioned situation. Kainz portions himself in a deeper position so he can face the game and play a line-breaking pass to his teammate positioned in the half-space.
There are games where Kainz takes up wider positions on the pitch, probably due to the team’s tactics, but that doesn’t mean he is not involved in creating plays as a wide playmaker. The Austrian is great at progressing the ball up the pitch. In fact, he is always looking to play forward and we can say that a progressive pass will always be his first choice. Due to that, he often surprises opponents by playing the “harder pass” instead of the most obvious one, but that sometimes also results in a lower percentage of accurate passes. Nevertheless, Kainz has no problem in taking the risk in order to be able to play progressively, even if that means beating a man on his own first so he can find the right angle to play a pass.
In the image below we can see Kainz receiving the ball in the wide area, being right-footed his natural tendency to come inside or play a pass in that direction. However, he surprises the opposition by playing a less obvious pass into space for the run of his teammate.
In the final third
When Kainz receives the ball in the final third his vision, passing, dribbling and crossing technique all come into play. The Austrian is always looking for a through pass or a cross that he can play in order to create a dangerous situation for his team. One key aspect that allows him to be so creative is the fact that he is able to play comfortably with both feet. Receiving the ball on either side of the pitch, Kainz is always ready to play an early through ball or an early cross with his left or with his right foot and that makes for better angles and faster execution. The high score we already saw Kainz achieves in terms of dangerous passes and dangerous crosses per 90 goes to show just how expedient the Austrian is to get the ball to the danger areas, as soon as he sees the opportunity for a ball to be played into the penalty box, or to areas around it, he will take it.
In the image below we can see Kainz playing a very good pass/cross into the penalty area after spotting the run os two teammates. His vision and execution are great and he ends up getting his teammate in a privileged position to score.
Through passes like the one seen below are more common in Kainz’s game when he is in the half-space or in more central areas, and that is normal because those are the best areas to make them. When Kainz is in wider areas, however, he is also able to create danger with high crosses or low driven passes/crosses into the box. Crossing is a big part of the Austrian’s game, Kainz likes to cross the ball into the area if he spots a teammate lurking behind a defender even if he is still in deeper areas of the pitch. His passing/crossing technique and range allow him to deliver the ball into dangerous areas from anywhere he is in the pitch and his already mentioned ability to play with both feet makes him even more capable because he can pass or cross with the best angles from both sides of the pitch.
In the image below we can see Kainz playing an early cross into the box in an attempt to find his teammates making blind side runs behind the opposition’s centre-backs.
On the counter-attack
The counter-attack is probably the moment of the game where Kainz’s characteristics thrive the most. He is not a very fast player, nevertheless, he is still quick and he is able to drive the attack forward if necessary. “If necessary” is, however, the key to the way Kainz operates in the offensive transition. The Austrian is very capable at progressing the ball and carrying it up the pitch. He can avoid the opposing press and take on a player if needed to get to more advanced areas and play the final pass or score himself.
In the image below we can see Kainz after driving the ball forward in the counter-attack, he attracts the opposing defenders to him and creating space for his teammate on the other side so he can then play the killer pass onto his path.
Following what was said before, Kainz will only carry the ball himself if he doesn’t see an immediate chance to play a through pass and isolate a teammate. The Austrian is defiantly a “passing” man in the sense that he prefers to launch the counter-attack via a long through ball rather than carrying the ball up the pitch himself. This other approach to launching a counter-attack adopted by Kainz pairs very well with his characteristics and that only shows that he is an intelligent player all around. The quickness with which Kainz plays the ball forward is often a surprise to the opponents and that paired with the fact that his teammates make the appropriate runs when they see Kainz has the ball often results in dangerous counter-attacks for FC Köln.
In the image below we can see one of the mentioned situations, Kainz gets the ball in his own half and immediately plays a wonderful through ball with his left foot and gets his team’s forward in a 1vs1 situation against the goalkeeper.
This scout report showed how Florian Kainz had a very good season for FC Köln playing as a wide playmaker. The winger from Austria has an impressive statistical profile when compared to other wingers and attacking midfielders in the Bundesliga and appears to be in his prime at the moment. At the age of 27, Kainz is very much at his peak age and he is now a consistent and quality player that has the ability to add value to many teams across the top 5 European leagues should he move from FC Köln in the near future.