Attacking

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Attacking Aims

by Roberto Di Matteo in Attacking

This session improves and develops attacking balance when going forward. Often we have to switch play or break out at pace, and it’s important that we retain structure and don’t become one-dimensional. To help achieve this we adopt our club philosophy of utilising the full width of the pitch when attacking. We will practise this in training in the same way that we construct it in a match situation, ensuring that players understand how and when to move the ball from one side of the pitch to the other. MORE

Forward thinking

by Mick Wadsworth in Attacking

At any level, the ability to attack the opposition with quick, positive forward play can yield terrific rewards. This session requires determined and aggressive forward movement and clever passing, and the key is to always be moving forwards or sideways – so never backwards, and never remaining stationery. If players follow this simple blueprint, we, as a team, have the makings of fast, invasive attacks, which are so dangerous. MORE

Switching play

by Nigel Clough in Attacking

This session is about maximising space so as to be able to switch the ball quickly in creating positive attacking options. And at the heart of this is helping players recognise when to play forward and when to switch play. It’s important to practise this because moving the ball quickly with both short and long passes gives us the chance to create 1v1 situations or overloads, which are key situations for exploiting the opposition. Keeping possession under pressure and knowing when to switch is a major part of our style of play. For that reason, we’ll work on this type of session frequently. MORE

Changing the point of attack

by Owen Coyle in Attacking

Being able to quickly, efficiently and, at times, discretely change the point of attack is crucial for any team. The goal of this session is therefore to demonstrate the different ways the ball can be transitioned from one side of the field to the other, as well as highlighting what types of passes and movements... MORE

Penetrating or protecting the defensive line

by Ian Holloway in Attacking, Defending

We’re looking for attackers to fashion goalscoring opportunities both when in and out of possession, while defenders must concentrate on defensive compactness, discipline and communication. This resilience is a feature of every successful team, and being able to penetrate this line effectively on a consistent basis is central to winning football matches. MORE

Goalscoring opportunities

by Wayne Attard in Attacking

I love this session because, unapologetically, it’s about scoring goals! Of course strikers are intensely involved, but there’s also plenty of encouragement placed on midfielders to shoot from distance whenever they get the opportunity. MORE

Penetration in behind

by Brendan Rodgers in Attacking

It’s an engaging session for the players because it’s about creating and scoring goals and that’s what players love to do. It’s an attacking theme, based on expression and creativity with combination play, so players really enjoy it. MORE

Attacking & defending

by Nigel Clough in Attacking, Defending

This session focuses on the techniques of attacking and defending in and around the penalty area, giving players the opportunity to rehearse not only counter-attacking situations, but to attack and defend crosses from deep and from the by-line. It is a high intensity session that involves plenty of running and lots of accelerations and decelerations. MORE

Breaking lines

by Michael Duff in Attacking

This session is all about breaking lines in possession. Due to the way we play, our players need to be able to understand when to switch the play and when to split the opposition, all with the aim of penetrating opponents and allowing us to play forwards. MORE

Attacking in central areas

by Joe Montemurro in Attacking

This session is about identifying opportunities to play forwards in central areas. It shows players how to create central overloads and encourages them to face forward to play forward effectively. The session is designed to help players recognise certain cues, such as when to invite pressure in order to create space further up the pitch and this helps to set up goal scoring opportunities. MORE

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

Building from the back

by Josh Brehaut in Attacking

This session is focused on starting attacks from inside the defensive third of the pitch, specifically when playing against a front three that presses high with wide forwards once the centre backs have split. It’s a session that helps the players to see pictures that replicate situations in the 11v11 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


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