Tag Archives for " tactics "

Movement to Manipulate Man Marking in the Midfield

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: Half Field

Teams: 20 mins

Players: 8 v 8

Objectives

  • To make the center of the field big to spread the player out.
  • To manipulate the man marking players away from the ball.

Set-Up

Two teams, the team you are working with is to be set up in a 2-1-2-2 (to replicate a 3 in midfield) against a 3-2-1-1.

 

Execution

Occasionally you will come up a team in youth soccer that their defensive organization is to man mark your central midfielders. This is because it is the easiest form of defending that necessarily doesn’t involve any coaching. The coach just tells the player to follow their counterpart. Is it effective? Yes. Is there a time and place to go man to man? Yes. Should you do it all the time? In my opinion, no.

The good thing about man to man when defending is your players are close, however if the opposition players spread out and move in a way to combat the man marking it becomes a problem for the defending team. This is what I will talk about in this article, how to manipulate the players who man mark.

It is important that when playing out from the back that your 3 midfielders start in high positions. This will allow the CB’s more time and allow more space to move into. With a 3 v 1 at the back, which is usually what happens with today’s preference of the 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formations, your defenders can move the ball away from the single striker.

When the CB looks up, the defensive midfielder (#6) drops into the space, the attacking midfielder on the CB side with the ball rotates with the wide player, who stars high and comes down and in. Because the defending midfielders are man marking they follow these players and space is created.

As the wide player receives the ball they can either (1) turn and drive with the ball if there is no pressure behind them or (2) the can set the ball back to the #6, who has run behind the player marking them as they look at the ball.

If/when the midfielder doesn’t go with the defensive midfielder as they drop the CB now plays the ball to them. The attacking midfielder on the ball’s side drops down and the attacking midfielder on the opposite side moves up the field. This creates space for the wide player to drop in to and the CB to move up in to. The #6 can then choose which option is best to play depending on the movements of the defending team.

 

Variations

  • Use different formations
  • Have the team’s flip when the ball goes out for a goal kick

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

Speed of Play – Possession

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: 45 x 25 (2 x (20 x 25)) + 5 x 25

Teams: 20 mins

Players: 5 v 5 + 5

Objectives

  • To move the ball quickly with fast paced passes
  • Decide whether to play through or over due to pressure

Set-Up

Three areas, 2 x 20 x 25 possession areas for a 4 v 3 and a 5 x 25 Area for 2 defenders. Four neutrals on the ends and 1 neutral who is allowed in both possession areas.

Execution

The aim is to move the ball from one end of the field to the other using the neutral players. The team in possession, as well as the neutral players, decide what is the best way to keep possession and move the ball by looking at the defensive positioning.

The neutral that is allowed in the possession areas helps the team in possession to be in a 4 v 3 overload. The team look to play across to the other side, where 2 of their teammates are waiting to receive the ball. When deciding when and how to play across, players look at the positioning of the two players in the middle zone and pass either between or around them.

When the ball moves across to the opposite possession area, 3 defensive players (including the 2 players in the middle zone) move across. 3 players who play for the team in possession also move across as well as the neutral.

If there is pressure on the end neutral, they have the option to play long and over the top to either the opposite neutrals or the players in the opposite area.

If the defending team manages to win possession the players in the middle zone and opposite possession area switch and the new team in possession aims to play across to keep possession.

Variations

  • Allow the neutrals on the ends to step forward if there is space to do so.
  • Limit touches
  • Only allow 1 time long passes

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

Counter Attacking Overloads

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: 40 x 30 Yards

Teams: 20 mins

Players: 3 v 2 & 4 v 3 + GK

Objectives

  • To use width against inferior opposition
  • Attack with speed and be positive in decision making

Set-Up

Two teams with players in wide positions off the field and next to the goal. There are 2 GK’s and 2 sets of balls next to each goal.

Execution

One team attacks 3 v 2 and looks to use width and decisions to beat the 2 defenders to get a shot. If they score all players come off and the other team comes onto the field and attacks 3 v 2.

If the 2 defenders manage to either tackle, intercept or make the attacking team make a mistake and lose possession, they can then counter attack with 2 players coming in (1 from each side) to attack the previous team 4 v 3.

Once the team either has scored or had a shot at goal then both teams exit the field to the side to allow the next attack from a team to start straight away. Players return to where they started. You can alternate where players start from throughout the practice.

When the next players start the attack the 3 v 2 is reversed. Encourage quick decisions and a fast temp to the attacks.

 

 

Variations

  • Only allow forward passes
  • Teams must shoot within 8 seconds

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

Defending as a Unit

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: 1/3 of a field

Teams: 20 mins

Players: 4 v 4 + GK

Objectives

  • To work together as a unit to deny penetration by the attacking team
  • To move up the field together when the ball is passed forwards

Set-Up

1/3 of the field is needed. There are 3 teams that alternate being the defending team. The players at the back are neutrals. Set up 4 areas for each defender to force them to stay in position. Off side is in effect.

defending-as-a-unit-1

Execution

The aim is for the 4 defenders to work as a unit. By that they should be organized and know who should press and who should cover depending on where the ball is and who has the control of it. Whether it be in front, to the side or behind.

Whichever section the ball is in, the defender in that section pressures and the players either side cover them, this is to deny any space to penetrate through the unit. Communication is needed for the group to slide left or right, press & cover. Body shape is taken from the pressuring defender.

defending-as-a-unit-7

Defenders look to anticipate passes across the area and intercept them. Then pass the ball up to the neutral players to continue game realism.

defending-as-a-unit-2

When a player passes up to the neutrals all the players must act like the ball is going forward to the midfielders when playing a game. Thus sprint up to first line and reach it together so players can’t be onside if the ball gets played over or through from the midfielders losing possession.

defending-as-a-unit-3

Then have the 4 defenders face the 4 attackers using width. Place two players wide of the 18-yard line. Whenever the ball begins to travel that’s when players should start to sprint to pressure them to stop any potential cross.

defending-as-a-unit-4

Eventually, when each team reacts quickly to passing forwards and moving up together the next progression is to have a neutral, immediately as the defenders get to the first line, pass a ball behind them. The pass can be in many directions and in the air or on the ground. The defending team now has to run back to recover their defensive position.

defending-as-a-unit-5

Finally, add a neutral to be a striker so the defenders have another player to think about. This now requires the defenders to communicate more and puts them under more duress with being in an underload situation.

defending-as-a-unit-6

 

Variations

  • Allow attacking players to move areas
  • Players can shoot if there is no pressure

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