The 3-5-2 formation remains hugely popular in modern football, though with so many teams becoming smart to its threat, we need players to be adept and precise in their execution of the set-up if it is to continue to reap rewards. MORE
Playing through teams in a 4-4-2 formation
This session is about wide players or strikers receiving in between the lines. The focus is on quality of passing and timing of movements, and it’s a scenario that we want to see come into play regularly when we use 4-4-2.
The zoned nature of the practice means we know where opposition players will be and can train with that in mind. It’s a dynamic way of linking up play, and builds communication and rapport between team mates, particularly the wide players and strikers.
|Up to the space between the boxes, full width|
|Balls, cones, goals|
|Number of Players|
|Up to 11v11|
|Screens 10mins each, Zone Conditioned game 30mins|
What do I get the players to do?
In the first screen, the ball is played across the central midfielders and into the wide player, who steps in to play as the ball arrives. He moves the ball on first time.
In the progression, the player steps in, controls, turns, then passes it out the other side, ensuring the run is made outside the wide mannequin. The timing of the movement here is vital in terms of receiving the pass and moving it to the right man whilst playing between the lines.
We will also add in variations to keep players on their toes – for instance, instructing quick one-twos with the end player.
The next screen looks at the timing of rotation. Here, players on the corners pass into the middle then jog down the side ready to rotate with the central player. As the corner man runs towards .his team mate, he instructs as to where and how the switch will occur, enabling the two individuals to comfortably achieve the learning objective, namely to understand the rotation and the clearing space for a team mate to run into.
Zone Conditioned game
Setting up as shown, the defending team (yellows) must stay in their zones, while blue attackers can move between areas in creating overloads.
Play as you would do a normal game, but as soon as possession is turned over, the other team assumes the role of attackers and can then move about with those privileges.
How do I progress the game?
As a progression, the full-backs are allowed to follow wide players into the next zone.
What are the key things to look out for?
This is a passing drill so we want to see quality and speed of pass in attempting to break the lines. Receiving between and in behind players is obviously essential, as is the timing of movement coming in off the line.
When on the attack, full-backs must use their first touch to open up with the intention of either playing down the side or inside.