Attacking

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Crossing and finishing

by Dave Jones in Attacking

This is an all-round session for all players – strikers, midfielders, wide players, full-backs, defenders and goalkeepers – and uses the basis of attackers having three separate attempts on goal. I like this session because it can be adapted for any formation, and has the important feature of an end product – namely goals being... MORE

Transition, rotating and attacking

by Steve McClaren in Attacking

This session is about counter-attacking, transitioning, and players rotating in their positions. It relies on good link-up play and positive attacking, combining fast-paced and measured attacks on goal. Defenders benefit from dealing with overloads in this session, which we always find important to practise, given that there are 200 turnovers per team in each game.... MORE

Blind side runs

by Alan Irvine in Attacking

This session is about developing blind side runs in the final third in order to break the last line of defence. It’s important to practise this because goals are scored at the highest level as a result of blind side runs. In this session, the first practice was designed to recreate the goal scored by... MORE

Attacking overloads and positional play

by Chris Davies in Attacking

This session takes the form of a number of progressive exercises, each designed to develop players’ ability to progress the ball through the pitch. The idea is to create overloads because without them the game can become dependent on 1v1s, and that can mean it’s difficult to progress the ball unless you are far superior... MORE

Switching play when counter-attacking

by Manuel Pellegrini in Attacking

This session is all about changing the point of attack and switching play in counter-attacking situations. It will help the team get out of trouble when they’re being pressed, allowing them to turn pressured situations into quick counter-attacks. To make this tactic effective, teams must be well organised when attacking. By repeating these practices, the... MORE

Possession and finishing

by Jimmy Bell in Attacking

This is a possession session that develops into a finishing challenge. It requires high tempo throughout and lots of legwork from players. At every club I’ve worked at there has always been real attention paid to the core principles of possession and work rate. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the principles learned from... MORE

Diamond shooting game

by Nigel Worthington in Attacking

This is a game that practises shooting by restricting the playing area that players operate in. It requires pure attacking intent from players who must shoot on sight and be positive in everything they do. By narrowing the area players’ minds are subconsciously focused in on the goal, and we look for them to apply... MORE

Clinical Finishing

by Martin Allen in Attacking

I always instill in my strikers the difference between shooting and finishing. We see shooting in every game – a chance comes along and the forward puts his laces through the ball. But finishing is very different and much more valuable, particularly in the modern game where the number of clear-cut chances that develop in... MORE

Keeping the ball to move forwards

by Steve Foley in Attacking

This session is based around a series of possession-based practices that are aimed at breaking the lines to move forwards when possible. It involves lots of varied passing techniques and good decision making. It also begins with a warm-up that is relevant to the topic, one that will prepare the players for the activities that... MORE

Supporting from deep

by Dougie Freedman in Attacking

This session is about forward runs and the ability of players to work at pace, supporting from deep or getting beyond a front striker to attack danger areas. For teams looking to build attacking play, intelligent forward running is essential, as is the timing and execution of those breaks. Players must also work to vary... MORE

Attack and counter-attack

by Jose Gomes in Attacking

This exercise is about attacking and counter-attacking. On one hand it’s about the patience of a steady attacking build-up versus good defensive organization, while on the other hand it deals with quick defensive positioning when faced with a counter-attack. The idea is that the players are able to use both ways of attacking, depending on... MORE

Overload attacking

by Terry Skiverton in Attacking

This session is based on a small-sided game with overloads producing overlapping attacking play. It’s a great session for attackers and defenders and is played at high intensity, because this promotes a competitive edge in training. The tight playing area is good for concentration levels, with strikers encouraged to work for angles and develop proficient... MORE

Crossing and finishing

by Paul Lambert in Attacking

At Norwich City, we believe that you have to train the way you play, and this is a positive crossing and finishing routine that is direct and makes players adopt good habits. Crossing and finishing are fundamental elements for scoring goals and winning games. This rehearsed set-up of crossing with pace and timing, combined with... MORE

Quick play in the penalty box

by Steve Foley in Attacking

In the modern game, penalty boxes are tight, congested areas to work in and around. This session helps players practise elements of quick approach play, strong and dedicated support, along with the ability to dispatch immediate shots on goal. Individual skills are important, so we’ll encourage player traits such as subtle flicks or quick directional... MORE

Cutting out counter-attacks

by Keith Hill in Attacking

Analysis at the end of our 2008/09 League Two campaign showed we needed to develop a new collective responsibility to defend against the counter-attack. We knew this would increase our potential to keep clean sheets whilst also ensuring that we had players in good areas of the pitch in order to regain and maintain possession.... MORE

Attacking wing play

by Stephen Constantine in Attacking

With this session we can get everyone in the team involved in thinking about how can we get the ball forwards as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We want quality and speed in all areas and an end product – ideally a goal. In order for this to happen everyone needs to understand their... MORE

Beating the block with creative play

by Neil Howarth in Attacking

I have used this session in the past when coaching teams that are struggling to score goals or create chances in matches – particularly when finding it difficult to break down a well-organised defence. Quite often it has been used prior to a home match when we are expected to have a lot of possession... MORE

Finishing with transition

by Mikey Harris in Attacking

This is a high intensity session that works on improving player sharpness in and around the penalty box, arguably the most important area of the pitch and one where games are won or lost. It’s a finishing session but it is as much of a defending practice for the team out of possession. For the... MORE

Quick attacks

by Aaron Callaghan in Attacking

This session is about quick play going forward. Initially in the main practice the three attackers are faced with one defender and have to make the right decision about when and where to pass the ball in relation to the defender’s positioning. As the session progresses, attackers play against two defenders and then three. We... MORE

Beating the block

by Steven Gerrard in Attacking

This session is designed to improve player and team awareness within the game. The specific awareness we are looking to improve is how to read an opponent’s defensive block and identify the space to attack. MORE

Attacking and defending transitions

by Micky Mellon in Attacking, Defending

This session is about attacking and defending transitions, focusing on the key moments when the ball changes hands. We work on how we can defend and exploit these most exciting and important phases of the game, either by building a fast attack with the support of the full backs or by playing the ball early... MORE

Quick finishing

by Graham Alexander in Attacking

This session is mainly for attacking players but remains important for defenders who can take something from it as well. It’s ideally an afternoon session – 45 minutes maximum – focusing on producing an ‘end product’ to an attack. Individuals need to be good at what they are judged on and scoring goals is vital... MORE

Closing down and pressurising play

by Gary Waddock in Attacking

The more possession the team has, the more goalscoring opportunities they create. With that in mind, this session concerns itself with winning the ball back as quickly as possible by closing down and pressurising play. While regaining possession is the main aim, the session boosts fitness levels given that it is such an intensive workout.... MORE


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