Tag Archives for " tactics "

Wingers Attacking Off the Line

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: 18 yard area + 5 yards

Teams: 20 mins

Players: 6 v 7 (Underload)

Objectives

  • To drive inside, off the line, at every opportunity
  • For other players to make supporting runs off the ball to move opposition players for the winger to make decisions on what to do with the ball.

Set-Up

The attacking team sets up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but with just the midfield and striker. The defending team does the same. Three goals are at the top of the area for the defense to score in if they win possession. Each time the ball goes out at the ends either #8 or #6 retrieve a new ball.

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Execution

First of all, it is important that you switch your wingers so their strong foot is on the opposite side. As the attacking team you must get the ball to the #7 or #11 as often as possible. When they receive the ball their first touch should be inside, they should aim to drive at and commit the closest CB. At the same time the #9 should move to the opposite side the ball went, they should run along the line of the CB’s and look to run in behind the CB as the winger players the ball into space. The #10 and #11 also make runs behind the defense.

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Once the defending team can stop this pass, have the winger continue their run across the field, The #10 should make a curved run and opposite winger a run behind the full back. Depending on how far in the full back has come this decides their pass.

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Finally, If the #7 or #11 receives the ball deeper, have them run more of a flat line across the 18yard area, (see most Arjen Robben goals on YouTube). Have the #9 run across the 1st CB, to almost screen the #7. Have the #10 do the same with 2nd CB. Right now is the time for the #7 or #11 to shoot.

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Variations

  • With more players you can use FB’s on the attacking team
  • Try different options with players such as a ball to the opposite winger behind the defense

By Sean Pearson.  Sean is also the author Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1, Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1  and Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3

Finding the Forward

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: 18 yard area + 15 yards

Teams: 15-20mins

Players: 4 v 3

Time: 15-20 Minutes

Objectives

  • To combine with the striker through different combinations
  • To use the position of the defenders to make decisions on which combination should be used

Set-Up

This is for teams that play in a 4-2-3-1 formation or something similar for the 7v7 or 9v9 models. It can easily be adapted for a 4-3-3 system. Set your players up in a diamond against the 2 CBs and GK below.

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Execution

The starting trigger is when the striker (#9) checks away and moved down, diagonally towards the #10. The #9 sets with the left foot if they go left and right if they go right. This is so the angle of the pass back to the #10 can’t be intercepted by a CB. The #10 then plays a pass into space to the #7 or #11, depending on which side the #9 runs.

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Next, work on having the striker run in between the CB’s after the set. Have the #10 play either (1) an opposite (reverse) field pass to the opposite winger or (2) play through the CB’s to the striker. This depends on where the CB’s position themselves. Play (1) if they are narrow (2) if they are separated by a large space.

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If the defenders are able to get out to a wide player before they can get forward explain the pass to the #10 should be on. The #10 can either (1) shoot or (2) pass across if the 2nd CB blocks the shooting opportunity.

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Variations

  • Add a 3rd defender to act as a defensive midfielder
  • Play 2 touch

By Sean Pearson.  Sean is also the author Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1, Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1  and Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3

Getting Forward and Negative Passes

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: Half a Field

Teams: 2 teams (7 v 7)

Time: 15 Minutes

Objectives

  • Aim to get as far forward as possible by either runs or passes from deep
  • To understand when and where to pass backwards

Set-Up

Half a field with one main goal and 3 small goals at the half way line. Have a line of cones half way to separate the field into 2. One team attacking the main goal sets up with 4 players across the midfield and 3 strikers or 1 striker and 2 attacking midfielders. The defending team sets up centrally to stop progression through the middle.

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Execution

Because of how both teams are set up, the way to get forward for the attacking team is using the wide midfielders. The objective is to get them as high as possible to cross into the box, while the defenses job is to stop any forward progression by being compact and recovering when their lines have been broken.

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If the defense does their job and stops forward progression, then the attacking team must use negative passes to 1) keep possession and 2) look to change the point of attack. Keep 2 or 3 players in the zone furthest away from the main goal to support any player with the ball. Change the point of attack with speed and precision to not allow the defense to slide across to stop forward progression again. But if they do there should always be players to help with keeping possession through negative passes.

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If the defense becomes spread in anticipation of the attacks coming from the wide area the attacking team should look to penetrate centrally by either driving with the ball or passing to the striker. If the striker can’t turn and shoot and is being stopped by a center back then look to 1) set the ball for another player to strike on goal or 2) if the defense condenses switch the ball out wide to now attack from the side again. If the defense win the ball at any point they can score in any of the 3 goals.

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The point of this practice is to get players to be more aware of their surroundings by realizing that, at any particular point in an attack, they may not be able to continue to go forward and the best course of continuing an attack is to go backwards. I see it a lot in games at tournaments where players should go backwards and instead they either turn into pressure and get tackled or the 2 players hack at the ball until someone wins or the ball moves.

 

Variations

  • Try different formations to attack with such as the 4-3-3
  • Once the ball crosses the line into the attacking zone the team has a limited number of passes to shoot, such as 4 before it must go back. This is to help with speed of decision.

By Sean Pearson.  Sean is also the author Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1, Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1  and Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3

Training to Slow the Attack

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: half a 7 v 7/9 v 9 field

Teams: 2 teams (4 v 3)

Time: 15 Minutes

Objectives

  • To slow progression of the attacking team down
  • To recover into positions of support

Set-Up

The area needed is half a field, teams are in 3’s (plus a GK) the attackers start with 2 players wide and one centrally. The defenders start with one on the ‘D’ and 2 the same distance as the central attacker. The one defender on the ‘D’ is very important to the recovery of the other 2 defenders.

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Execution

The central attacker starts each time and passes the ball to a wide player. The central defender moves to the side of the ball. But, unlike other defending sessions, does not sprint to pressure the ball. This would allow an easy pass across for other attackers to advance on goal too easily.

Remember the main objective of this central defender is to slow the attack down, not to win possession, so the other defenders have time to recover.

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As soon as the central attacker passes the ball the 2 recovering defenders start their runs to get behind the ball to act as cover and balance. The central defender makes sure to slide across and allow the attacker with the ball to advance. At the same time going roughly half their speed backwards to allow the attacker the come on to them. Their position is such that they do not allow a clear run on goal but also delay/cut any pass to the opposite wide player off. Passes backwards are fine as this allows further time for the recovery defenders to get into position.

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Explain to the 2 recovering defenders that they must sprint back into a position to support and slow down the attack. Once they are in position they can then aim to win possession. If they intercept a pass while recovering, then this is fine. Once the defenders win possession the play stops. If you have the players have another 2 recovery defenders ready to go as players will need time to rest after each repetition.

Next tell the central attacker to dribble the ball forward, straight at the central defender. Remember the central defender’s aim is to slow the attack down and should not go sprinting to the ball. When the ball is passed out wide, one of the recovering defenders gets close, on the inside, of the attacker and aims to force them out wide.

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The central and opposite defender then become cover and balance respectively to support the recovering defender pressuring the ball.

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A GK is also used for game realism. The main objective for the initial defender is to slow the attack down by not committing themselves to get close to the attacker with the ball. If possible force the attacker away from goal while the recovering defenders get back into a position to help. Force the attackers into making either poor shot selections or into making predictable/slow decisions like passing backwards/sideways or slowing down.

Variations

  • Have different starting positions for both defenders and attackers
  • Have goals for the defenders to score in when they win possession back
  • For really advanced players have less defenders than attackers (underloads)

By Sean Pearson.  Sean is also the author Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1, Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1  and Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3

4 v 4 Four Goal Game

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: 30 x 30 yards

Teams: 2 teams (4 v 4)

Time: 15 Minutes

Objectives

  • To be aware of where your team is and the position of opposing players
  • To understand when, where and why to decide to switch the ball

Set-Up

Place 4 goals in each corner of the area, 2 for each team to score in and defend. You can only score with a 1-time finish.

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Execution

This practice is about the awareness of your players. I find too many young players have tunnel vision when it comes to soccer or sports in general and just want to go one way and only one way. This practice therefore has 2 goals at opposite sides of the field for each team to allow players to decide on which goal to score on. Their decision is based on the opposition player positioning.

When in possession the team looks to spread out and see which goal has the most opportunity to score in.

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If opposition players shift to block 1 goal it is at this point that players must understand that this goal (or direction) is closed off and the team should change directions and switch the play to the other side. So as well as passing and moving, players should also be looking at the position of opposition players.

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Variations

  • Add a neutral
  • Can only score after a set number of passes, 3, 5, 8 etc.
  • Must dribble past someone before the team can score
  • 2/1 touch max
  • Must be 1 pass with the outside of the foot before you can score

By Sean Pearson.  Sean is also the author Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1, Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1  and Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3