Do you find that your team has most of the ball yet finds it difficult to break through in the final third? Use this session to get your players retaining possession and finding players in key positions. MORE
Support play and swapping roles
This session encourages players to problem solve and find space, and is formed of four different game scenarios. The practice offers lessons in how players can really work positional flexibility to their advantage.
By rehearsing this and playing it out in match situations, we can fashion long sustainable periods of pressure, and the longer an attack lasts, the more chance the team has of scoring.
The session is also great for defenders because it necessitates strong communication. We always state that the success of how we attack is identifiable in how well we can then defend.
|Balls, cones, goals|
|Number of Players|
|Small-sided games 3x10mins
Full size 30mins
What do I get the players to do?
Game one: Play off a target player
This is a 3v3 game in a 30×10 area, split into three zones. It’s 1v1 in each zone, plus a neutral target player at each end.
The attacking team must pass the ball through the zones to their target man at the end (1a). While defenders cannot change zones, attackers can in order to work space and angles, though one team mate must remain in each box (1b). If attackers succeed in working the ball to the opposite end they score a point, then play back the other way.
Game two: Dribble to the end zone
Now we add a two-yard scoring zone at each end. This time, players pass then dribble through into the end zone (2).
Game three: Pass, dribble and finish
Extending to a six-yard scoring zone and placing a goal and keeper at each end, we now revert to 4v4. Players rehearse elements from the first two games – playing off a target man in the main zones, then dribbling the ball into the scoring zone, except now attackers must shoot past the keeper for a point (3).
Game four: Full match
In a full-sized 11v11 game, there are channels on both sides outside the width of the 18-yard box. We set up 4-3-3 against 4-4-2 to produce varying attacking approaches, with two wingers from each side out wide (one in each half), and a 3v3 in each half in the middle.
Players must always occupy each of the zones, so we’re looking for rotation of the front five, communication, and clever interchanges (4a/4b).
What are the key things to look for technically/tactically?
For attackers, timing, angle of movement and hitting space is vital. They must be versatile and on the same wavelength, knowing when to fill or vacate a zone.
Because defenders cannot change zones, communication is key. Given the 1v1 situations, they should avoid going to ground, and must be prepared to make recovery runs.