Defending

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Defending principles

by Tanya Oxtoby in Defending

This session is about players developing their decision-making skills by executing our defending principles at the right times and in the right areas. It incorporates 1v1 defending, reading cues and triggers, making play predictable, and winning the ball back in the first, second or third lines. MORE

Defending principles

by Paul Heckingbottom in Defending

This session is all about building the defensive role of every position when out of possession. It starts with individuals defending in 1v1 and 3v2 situations and builds all the way through the units to whole team defending when out of possession. I like this session because all the problems posed to players are realistic to game situations. 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

Emergency defending with a back three

by Derek Egan in Defending

This training session is focused on making the three centre backs understand the four D’s – that they should delay, deny, dictate and defend when outnumbered. The practices create numerous occasions when players are exposed to stressful situations that are related to the area of the pitch in which they play and that are realistic to the game. MORE

Defending against counter-attacks

by Ben Garner in Defending

Defending against the counter-attack and reacting quickly to these transitions of play is important. That’s because in the modern era, once teams win possession they are capable of breaking forward at great speed and with real quality. The ability to make the correct countering defensive decisions is a core part of being a successful defender.... MORE

Defending as a zonal back four

by John Still in Defending

In this session, we try to give players an understanding of their roles and responsibilities in defensive zones in and around the box – this includes defending individually and as a back four unit. We also look at covering, team balance, and the ability to support. It’s important to practise this because, more than anywhere... MORE

Defending against a 4-2-3-1 formation

by Chris Powell in Defending

This is a session focused on defending against a particular formation. It is aimed at stopping a team that plans to attack in a 4-2-3-1 set-up. When facing a team who have the ability to pass through you or exploit spaces with their running on the ball, being unbalanced in your shape and not closing... MORE

Defending shapes

by Jimmy Bell in Defending

This session is looks at defensive structure – movement from side to side, pressure on the ball and cover from supporting players. Good defensive organisation is obviously called upon throughout matches, so these are principles that must always be practised. We believe that the unity of defenders and a shared knowledge of how to deal... MORE

Defending in and around the box

by Keith Hill in Defending

This session is about defending the 18-yard box when in control and when in states of ‘chaos’. It’s a great practice that improves both individuals and collective units, and instills rare fundamentals of the art of defending the red zone/danger zone (or 18-yard box). The reason I like this session so much is because the... MORE

Defending compact in midfield

by Alex Morris in Defending

This session places an emphasis on midfield units staying compact and being hard to penetrate when out of possession. I like to run this because although it is midfield weighted, it strongly focuses on defensive ideas, which is important because defending is traditionally a less appealing topic in the minds of players. The introduction of... MORE

Adopting a high back four

by Andy Scott in Defending

This session is about defending as a group or unit. It looks at the relationships between players and teaches them how to use recovery moves to maximum advantage. Recovering quickly and early lays the foundation for a sound defensive platform, something upon which all successful sides are built. At Brentford, we will work on this... MORE

Back four understanding

by Iain Dowie in Defending

This overview session is about the responsibilities of the back four, and how they use distance, movement and angles in order to produce a formidable defensive unit. This is an important session for improving confidence, because a proficient defensive base acts as a springboard for the whole team, not least in a side’s ability to counter-attack... MORE

Defensive transition

by Miguel Cardoso in Defending

This session is all about the transition to defence. What do we want our team to do when we lose the ball and how do we expect our players to react? These are key questions to be answered when we think about setting principles for this moment of the game. We want players to take... MORE

Pressing initiation

by Mauricio Pochettino in Defending

This session coaches players on understanding defensive pressing. It’s important to practise the key elements to identify how, when and where we can apply pressing technique, and that includes adopting the right shape tactically and togetherness of the group, as well as being able to identify the right moment to closedown. We see the benefits... MORE

The back four

by Paul Simpson in Defending

This session is all about making sure the defensive unit is organised. A strong, intelligent defence is crucial for keeping clean sheets, and achieving that aim is halfway towards winning matches. No matter who the opposition is, there will come a time in every game when the back four will be asked the toughest of... MORE

Balancing the back four

by Andy Thorn in Defending

This session is about the back four working as a unit. It looks for them to clear the ball past a target when dealing with a range of deliveries from different areas of the pitch. It’s important to practise this because in the last 10-15 minutes of close games, opposition teams looking for a goal... MORE

Counter-pressing

by Danny Cowley in Defending

This session is aimed at influencing player behaviour on the loss of possession. We work very hard to affect player behaviour in the transition from attack to defence, as the counter-press is an important feature of our playing style. We aim to be a high energy, hyper mobile team. We see giving the ball away... MORE

Clearing defensive danger

by John Sheridan in Defending

This session is about the reactions and movements of defensive players. It looks primarily at the role of the back four in squeezing up and condensing play as they would do in a match day situation, yet also checks on how players in other areas need to adapt their movements so as to protect the... MORE

High tempo attacking and defending

by Bobby Davison in Attacking, Defending

This session incorporates the key elements of both attacking and defending at pace. From the time spent coaching Ferencvaros in Hungary through to my involvement in the England Under-19 set-up, developing an individual’s skills through passing, creating space, supporting, closing down, tracking and counter-attacking has always gone on to be of huge benefit to the... MORE

Back four protocols

by Lee Johnson in Defending

The purpose of this session is to assess and coach the specific roles of the defensive unit, to include defensive protocols, communication and recognising triggers. It’s a session pivotal to how we organise our defensive thinking at Barnsley, and although it is specific to our back four, it is introduced in the context of the... MORE

Defensive transition

by Mark Sampson in Defending

With this session, we are looking to develop the player’s decision-making ability and the execution of his/her actions in the moment that possession is turned over. Working with the players to understand the importance of balance, both in attack and defence, are consistent themes for us as a group. A key aspect of our balance... 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


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