This session is designed to encourage attacking midfielders and wide players to make deep runs in behind the opposition defenders. MORE
Here’s a simple yet devastatingly effective passing drill that works on combinations in and through midfield, up to the front player. It relies on good movement, players knowing their duties and responsibilities, and a willingness to adopt key tactical ideas such as third man running.
At Wolves, our football philosophy revolves around playing an attractive and expansive passing game, and this session has given a great deal of success this season.
|Up to a full pitch|
|Balls, cones, goals|
|Number of Players|
|Up to 11v11|
Box release and Thirds game
We set up as shown (1) – the first pass is square across the bottom of the area. A first-time pass is then made into the middle to player 3, with the ball being set back for player 1, who passes ahead, where player 2 receives and feeds out diagonally to the other side of the area.
The move then comes back in the other direction.
A simple progression is to reduce the size of the playing area. This ensures players must be tighter, quicker and more accurate with their passing.
Once players have mastered the first set-up we create a new practice on a half pitch (2a). Near the halfway line is a 20×5-yard box – it’s 6v3 in this. Gold players working with the overload must make four to six passes before playing out – if it is intercepted, the ball must be won back and the count restarts.
When the ball is released from the box, two gold attackers and one red can also move out (2b). The challenge now is for gold players (who are attacking 7v7) to use the types of passing mechanics practised in the first part to work a way through the red defence in order to test the keeper.
Gold attackers must pass and move quickly, and we want to see one midfielder ‘drifting’ behind the midfield line. In addition, one centre-forward should drop in to receive the ball, with the midfielder running past him.
We now set up as shown (3a/3b) playing 11v11. The aim is to play out from the back, with the ball being passed through the thirds and one player from each team moving into the next zone as the ball progresses. We can encourage the ball to go wide into the channels or to keep play narrow, depending on the challenge.
We can progress this by expanding to a full pitch 11v11 game.
Midfielders must rotate, trying to receive the ball facing forwards, with a willingness to combine. This means real attention must be paid to movement behind the opposition’s midfield line, with a direct mode of attacking and a willingness to shoot.
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