Team defending

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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 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

Cutting out counter-attacks

by Keith Hill in Attacking

Analysis at the end of our 2008/09 League Two campaign showed we needed to develop a new collective responsibility to defend against the counter-attack. We knew this would increase our potential to keep clean sheets whilst also ensuring that we had players in good areas of the pitch in order to regain and maintain possession.... 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

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

When to press and when to drop

by Nathan Jones in Defending

This session is all about teaching players when to press and when to drop as a defensive unit and it encourages them to identify and respond to the visual triggers shown by their opponents. As a practice, it allows for the consistent repetition of the key triggers but within varied circumstances, helping players to quickly... MORE

Press & protect

by Paul Buckle in Defending

This is a simple defensive session that encourages players to press high and press aggressively. It also conditions players to respond with speed to a successful turnover of possession, resulting in quick counter-attacks. The players really enjoy this session, as it’s fast and intense and it relies on quick reactions. When their team is in... MORE

Improving defending

by David Moyes in Defending

This session is all about establishing and improving defensive principles. It is essential that players know how to defend in all situations: in 1v1s, as a defensive unit, and as a team. MORE

Decisive defending

by Roberto Mancini in Defending

Use this exclusive session to focus on showing the opposition outside from the front, incorporating solid formation play and effective covering of team mates. The emphasis is always on getting the ball to the relative safety of the wing. MORE

Defensive principles

by Roy Hodgson in Defending

All basic defending principles can be developed and practised with this session, particularly holding up attacks, pushing up from the back, covering over and getting out quickly to meet the wingers. MORE


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