Pressing within a shape is a vital part of any team’s set-up. It ensures strength, control and organisation, and provides a crucial element to any successful side’s training process.
I loved playing this way, and when you have team mates who understand how to put this into effect, it’s very difficult for the opposition to play against.
The trick to this session is to keep it at a low tempo. We are looking for planned, thought-out moves, suffocating opposition threat and slowing waves of attacks as much as possible.
What do I get the players to do?
Centre press game (1)
One of the two lines of four reds is fed the ball by a team mate positioned around the outside of the 20×20-yard area. Players pass left and right, waiting for a gap to appear where a pass can be played through to a team mate on the other side.
To progress, once the ball is passed through the blue line the box turns into a possession game and the teams play on until blues win the ball back (2).
Two squares game (3)
We now set up with two 20×20-yard squares placed end to end. Teams press in the opposite half in looking to steal the ball.
Setting up as shown on a 60×50-yard area, we play a 7v9 with pressing blues outnumbered. Reds must take their time in finding the target man at the bottom.
Now we use 9v9 on three quarters of a pitch, as shown. Reds are 4-4-1 and need to respect an offside line when attacking. Blues are 3-2-3-1, and the set-up means the game should feel like wave after wave of attacks by the blues.
What are the key things to look out for?
In the bigger set-ups, tempo of closing players down is noticeable, and that necessitates good communication. We also want to see a positive first pass
when possession is regained.