90mins total: 15mins warm-up, 15mins for each defensive principle, 15mins game, 15mins cool down and individual feedback
This session is about defensive organisation, and speciﬁcally two points: depth control and double marking.
Its importance depends on the principles contained within a team’s tactical model. The session is important for teams with a high defensive block, who allow space in behind the defensive line – this is a familiar situation in defensive transitions.
Ultimately, the coach has to work what he feels is right into the team dynamic.
While this organisation is simple in terms of training method, the complexity comes through the fundamentals of team tactics.
In the session, we go from a smaller area to a larger one in the ﬁnal exercise – giving a global application of the principles we train.
What do I get the players to do?
Each of the principles we rehearse is practised in the same way.
The ball starts with an attacking central midfielder and is played out wide.
When the ball goes dead play restarts with the central midfielder. If defenders win the ball they aim for the target goal on the halfway line.
Principle 1: Depth control by defenders
Principle 2:Controlling defensive areas
Principle 3: Press the man on the ball
Application of principles trained before
Play 11v11 on a full-width pitch from box to box. Players must put into practice the elements rehearsed up until now.
Attacking moves must come from the flank, with defenders showing depth control, the skill and organisation to double mark, and the confidence to move across in closing down the threat from the flanks.
This is a continuous game played for 15 minutes. All normal laws and restarts apply.