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UNLOCK COMPACT DEFENCES LIKE TOP TEAMS DO

KEY

INTRODUCTION

The following project analyzes how top teams like Real Madrid, Bayern Munchen,
Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax create tactical situations during the games, in order
to unlock compact defences and create scoring chances. Additionally, it is provided a
training session composed of three or four practices (total 32) for each one of these
situations to help coaches create similar tactical situations during the games.


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1
st
TACTICAL SITUATION
AJAX AMSTERDAM: CREATING SPACE FOR THE ATTACKING MIDFIELDER

On diagram 1 Ajax is building the attack from the back and Moisander passes to
Aderweireld. Both the fullback and the winger of Ajax are placed near the sideline and keep
the four oppositions defenders as well as the four midfielders stretched. This means that
the four defenders are not placed close to each other and it is easier for gaps to be created.
Furthermore passing lanes are created between the four midfielders and it is easier for the
players placed behind them to receive potential passes. Finally the attacking midfielder De
Jong takes up a position between the lines.

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The centre forward Eriksen drops back and towards the passing lane to provide a passing
option. Oppositions No 5 follows him deeper in the field and space is created behind him.

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De Jong attacks the free space and receives the ball after the quick (using one touch)
passing combination between Eriksen and Lukoki. No 21 Boeriggter and No 6 Enoh enter
the box to provide passing options during De Jongs cross.


What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players carrying out the specific passing pattern in the specific part of the field
- To train player in synchronizing their movements
- To train players in retaining possession at the back and find the available time and
space to obtain a forward pass



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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1

Objective: To train players in the specific passing pattern as well as in synchronizing their
movements when creating and exploiting the free space.
Players: 10
Description: The drill is executed in a playing area of 35X35 yards. "A" players pass the
ball to each other. As soon as one of them decides to move forward with the ball and drive
the ball through the cones (trigger) player C of the strong side drops back to provide a
passing option. A passes to C and C passes one touch to D while player B has already
moved towards the free space (blue marked area). D uses also one touch play and passes
towards the path of B. The last one makes a shoot towards the small goal. The players
move one position forward (A to B, B to C, C to D).

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Coaching points:
Quick combination play
Synchronized movements
Quick and accurate finishing
DRILL 2

Objective: To find time and space in order to obtain a forward pass as well as to create
and take advantage of the free space.
Players: 13+GK
Description: Inside the blue marked area there is a situation of 3+2 v 2. Inside the yellow
area there are two red players (attacking midfielders) who help the three red players inside
the blue area to retain possession.

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Furthermore there are two wingers placed outside the playing area and provide passing
options for the two forwards placed inside the light blue area in a 2 v 2 against the two blue
defenders. The aim of the red players inside the dark blue area is to find a way to drive the
ball between the goals indicated by the yellow cones and obtain a forward pass towards the
forwards. On the other hand the blue players try to win possession and drive the ball
through the red end line in order to score. The two attacking midfielders (No 6 and No 10)
help the three red players to achieve their aim. As soon as one of the reds moves with the
ball between the yellow cones, the forward of the strong side drops deep outside of the light
blue area to provide a passing option and create space. The attacking midfielder must
attack the free space, receive the ball after the quick passing combination and shoot on
goal.
Restrictions: The defenders should man mark the forwards and follow them outside the
area. They cannot cross the white line which divides the light blue playing area. The
wingers outside the playing area as well as the attacking midfielders inside the yellow one
(when playing as outside players) should use one touch.
Coaching points:
Retaining possession
Quick combination play
Synchronized movements
Quick and accurate finishing










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DRILL 3

Objective: To find time and space to obtain a forward pass as well as to create and take
advantage of the free space.
Players: 13+GK
Description: The two teams play 3 + 4 outside players + GK v 4 inside the low area of the
field. The red players with the help of the GK and the four outside players try to retain
possession and find a way to make a forward pass towards the centre forward who is
placed inside the blue area. As soon as one of the reds is ready to make a forward pass
the centre forward must drop deep outside the blue area and carry out a passing
combination with the help of the winger who is inside the dark blue area. The attacking
midfielder should take advantage of the free space, receive the ball inside the blue area
and score. In case the blue players inside the low area win possession they can score.

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Restrictions: The defenders cannot cross the white line and they should man mark the
forward and follow him outside the area. The outside players use one touch or should pass
within three seconds after receiving, while the wingers inside the dark blue area should use
one touch.
Coaching points:
Retaining possession
Quick combination play
Synchronized movements
Quick and accurate finishing





















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2
nd
TACTICAL SITUATION
AJAX AMSTERDAM: OVERLOADING A CENTRAL PART OF THE FIELD

On diagram 1 Ajax is trying to build up through the centre. As Alderweireld observes that
the centre forward Eriksen is placed towards the weak side he passes to the defensive
midfielder Poulsen. (If Poulsen wasnt free the switch of play could have been made
through a pass towards the other central defender). The two attacking midfielders Enoh
and De Jong are placed between the lines. Enoh makes a move to take up position
towards a potential passing lane.

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The blue midfielders shift and try to create a defensive triangle but Enoh takes up a good
position and is able to receive a potential diagonal pass behind them. This positioning
creates a 3 v 2 situation which is difficult for the blues to deal with. So the blue right fullback
No2 is between two opponents Enoh and Boeriggter.









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As No2 decides not to move close to Enoh in order to avoid creating space for Boeriggter,
Ajaxs attacking midfielder receives free of marking and turns quickly facing the oppositions
goal. As the opponent defenders shift, the centre forward Eriksen moves diagonally behind
No 4 while Boeriggter on the left moves forward. Enoh has two passing options.

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In case No2 had decided to move close to Enoh in order to close him down quickly if the
ball was directed to him, space is created for Boeriggter. Poulsen reads the tactical
situation and makes a long pass towards Ajaxs winger.










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What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players in retaining possession at the back and finding the available time and
space to obtain a forward pass
- To train players in reading the positioning of the forwards and recognizing where the
overload takes place
- To synchronize the attacking midfielders movement towards the available passing
lanes with the moment that the player in possession is available to pass the ball forward
- To train the man in possession in making the appropriate decision according to the
tactical situation





















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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1


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Objective: To train players to identify which part is overloaded in order to direct the ball
towards this area. To train players to move towards the passing lanes at the right time in
order to receive the potential passes between the lines.
Players: 8+GK
Description: The two central defenders pass the ball to each other and as soon as one of
them decides to enter the dark blue area with the ball (trigger), the centre forward
overloads the left or the right blue marked area and the attacking midfielder of the strong
side should take up position towards a passing lane. If the ball is passed to the defensive
midfielder with the aim of directing the ball towards the weak sides light blue area, because
the overload takes place there, the attacking midfielder of this area should take up a
position towards the passing lane when the man in possession is able to pass the ball
forward.

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It is the centre forwards decision which area will be overloaded and it is the defenders
responsibility to read the tactical situation, recognize where the overload is and direct the
ball towards the attacking midfielder of the overloaded side. This can happen either through
the defensive midfielder as it is shown on diagram 1 or after a direct pass as it is presented
on diagram 2. The new player in possession should turn quickly and choose one of the two
options shown in the analysis in order for his team to score a goal. Variation: In case the
team is using the 4-2-3-1 formation the most advanced positioned defensive midfielder
must move forward and take up a position behind the oppositions midfielders as it is shown
on diagram 2.
Coaching points:
Reading the tactical situation
Synchronized movements
Passing accuracy
Quick and accurate finishing
















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DRILL 2

Objective: To train players in identifying which part is overloaded in order to direct the ball
towards this area. To train players in moving towards the passing lanes at the right time in
order to receive the potential passes between the lines. To train players in making the right
decision according to the tactical situation on the field.
Players: 15+GK
Description: This is a progression of the previous drill. The red team has now to attack
against the blue team and score. The three blue midfielders are placed inside the yellow
area trying to intercept the through passes. The man in possession has to read the tactical
situation and make the right decision. On the example above the defensive midfielder
directs the ball towards the winger who takes advantage the free space on the flank.

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Restrictions: The blue midfielders move only inside the yellow areas but they cannot enter
the red ones which stand for the passing lanes. The blue defenders have to defend inside
their own areas, however they can move outside of them if the reds have managed to drive
the ball or pass the ball outside of them.
Coaching points:
Reading the tactical situation
Synchronized movements
Passing accuracy
Quick and accurate finishing





















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DRILL 3

Objective: All the objectives of the previous drills as well as to train players in retaining
possession at the back in order to find available time and space to make a forward pass.
Players: 17+GK
Description: The two teams play 3 v 2 inside the dark blue area whereas inside the light
blue areas there is a 2 v 2 situation. The centre forward is placed in the central unmarked
area and moves freely either right or left to create a 3 v 2. The three blue midfielders are
placed inside the yellow area and seek to intercept the through passes. The red players
inside the dark blue area try to retain possession and find a way to pass the ball forward
towards the overloaded part of the field. When this takes place the blue midfielders can
move out of the yellow area while the reds seek to take advantage of the 3 v 2 and score a

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goal. If the blues win possession they try to score within 8-10 seconds by moving one
player inside the dark blue area (3 v 3).
Restrictions: The blue midfielders cannot enter the red areas which stand for the passing
lanes. The blue defenders have to defend inside their own areas, however they can move
outside of them if the reds have managed to drive the ball or pass the ball outside of them.
Coaching points:
Reading the tactical situation
Synchronized movements
Passing accuracy
Quick and accurate finishing




















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3
rd
TACTICAL SITUATION
AJAX AMSTERDAM: OVERLOADING THE FLANK

The central defender Moisander passes to the left fullback Blind. The winger Boeriggter is
placed towards the centre while the attacking midfielder Enoh takes up a position behind
the blue midfielders. Boeriggters position creates space near the side line.

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Enoh moves to take advantage of the free space and creates a 2 v 1 situation on the flank
as blue No 8 is away from him.

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Blind passes to Enoh and the last one receives and moves forward. No2 moves to close
him down while Boeriggter moves behind him and Eriksen shifts to provide a passing
option. The blue team has to deal with a situation of inferiority in numbers as No2 has to
defend against two opponents. Enoh has two passing options.

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Passing option 1 leads No 21 in possession near the corner flag while there is a 2 v 2
inside the penalty area and Eriksen makes a move to receive just outside the box. The red
team is balanced and ready to carry out successfully the negative transition as there are
three defenders (No4, No3 and No2) against two forwards (No9 and No10) while the
defensive midfielder (No5) and left fullback (No17) are in balanced positions.

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In case No 4 follows No 21 the centre forward Eriksen stays free of marking. Enoh passes
him the ball, while No 10 and No27 use diagonal runs. Eriksen has two passing options.


What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players in creating space near the sideline
- To synchronize the attacking midfielders movement towards the available space as well
as the centre forwards movement towards the strong side with the moment that the
pass towards the fullback is available
- To train the man in possession in making the appropriate decision according to the
tactical situation on the field


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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1

Objective: To train players in identifying towards which side of the field is the ball going to
be directed. To train players in creating and exploiting space on the flanks.
Players: 16+GK
Description: The blue players take up positions indicated by the yellow cones. There are
two blue players inside each yellow marked area near the side lines and the nearest central
defender is free to decide whether is going to enter it or not. There are two centre forwards
for the red team on the blue cones, however only one is permitted to participate in the
attack. The two central defenders pass the ball to each other and as soon as one of them
decides to drive the ball through the two blue cones (trigger), the winger of the strong side
converges and creates space on the flank.

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At the same time the attacking midfielder moves to take advantage of it. The fullback
receives and passes the ball to the attacking midfielder who then has to make the right
decision according to the tactical situation. If the central defender decides to follow the
winger the pass is going to be directed to No8. On the other hand if the central defender
stays close to the centre forward, then the pass is going to be made behind the fullback
and towards the winger.
Restrictions: Only the central defender of the strong side can enter the yellow marked
area. The blue defenders have to defend inside their own areas, however they can move
outside of them if the reds have managed to drive the ball or pass the ball outside of them.
Coaching points:
Reading the tactical situation
Synchronized movements
Decision making
Quick and accurate finishing
















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DRILL 2

Objective: To train players in identifying towards which side of the field is the ball going to
be directed. To train players in creating and exploiting space on the flanks.
Players: 18+GK
Description: This is a progression of the previous drill. The attacking midfielder now has to
deal with the pressure of the blue defensive midfielder. So as soon as he makes a move
towards the sideline the blue midfielder follows his run. If the red player (attacking
midfielder), delays to proceed with the attack then the numerical superiority will be turned
into equality in numbers.
Restrictions: Except for the defensive midfielder, only the central defender of the strong
side can enter the yellow marked area.

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The blue defenders have to defend inside their own areas, however they can move outside
of them if the reds have managed to drive the ball or pass the ball outside of them.
Coaching points:
Reading the tactical situation
Synchronized movements
Decision making
Quick and accurate finishing























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DRILL 3

Objective: To train players in creating and exploiting space on the flanks.
Players: 20 + 2GK
Description: The two teams play 11 v 11. There are two yellow marked areas near the
sidelines. In these areas only the fullback and the side midfielder of the blue team are
allowed to enter while the red team can create a 3 v 2 with the winger the fullback and the
attacking midfielder. This rule can be applied until the end of the game or only for an
amount of time (e.g. for the first 15 minutes), after this the blue defensive midfielders are
also allowed to enter the yellow areas. Both teams try to score.




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Coaching points:
Reading the tactical situation
Synchronized movements
Decision making
Quick and accurate finishing

























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4
th
TACTICAL SITUATION
ARSENAL: ATTACK ON THE FLANK THROUGH QUICK COMBINATION PLAY

The midfielder Rosicky passes towards the right fullback Sagna. Ramsey is moving
between the lines and close to the ball zone to be ready to provide support. Ozil drops a
few yards back to receive and as No3 follows his move he receives and directs one touch
the ball to Ramsey. Ramsey passes back to Ozil (wall pass) and Ozil receives behind the
oppositions fullback who is caught by surprise due to the quick passing combination.

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Ozil has three options to pass the ball. The major danger for the whites comes from the
passes towards the players who were placed between the lines and now are just outside
the box (option 2 and 3). Arsenal looks balanced at the back as Koncielny and Mertesacker
have to deal with one forward while Arteta, Rosicky and the two fullbacks are ready to
intercept a potential clearance.

What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players technique while executing the specific passing combination
- To train the attacking midfielders movement in order to be well synchronized




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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1

Objective: To train players in carrying out the specific passing combination with good
technique. To train the synchronization of the supporting players (B) run.
Players: 8
Description: The drill starts with players A pass towards player B. The last one has
already got free of marking by touching the red cone and dropping back to receive. B plays
the back pass towards As path and A passes to C. C drops back and passes one touch
towards Bs path and B carries out the wall pass using also one touch. The ball then is
directed towards the starting point of the drill on the other side. The drill is executed
towards both sides at the same time. Players move one position forward (A to B, B to C).
More players can be used in every station.

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Restrictions: All players should use one touch
Coaching points:
The weight and the accuracy of the pass needs to be correct
Synchronized movements

DRILL 2

Objective: To train players in carrying out the specific passing combination with good
technique and by using well timed runs in the specific area of the field despite the fact that
this combination play can be used everywhere in the attacking third of the field.
Players: 12+GK
Description: The drill starts with the coachs pass towards player D. The last one has
already got free of marking by touching the red cone and dropping back to receive.

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D plays the back pass towards As path. A passes to B while D has already make a move
towards the sideline. B passes to C who drops back and the last one carries out the 1-2
with D who uses a well timed run in order to provide support. Then C makes the cross
either towards the centre forward E or towards the attacking midfielder D. The drill
afterwards is executed towards the other side. All players move one position forward.
Restrictions: All players should use one touch if possible.
Coaching points:
The weight and the accuracy of the pass needs to be correct
Synchronized movements

DRILL 3


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Objective: To train players in carrying out the specific passing combination with good
technique as well as by using well timed runs

Players: 14
Description: The two teams play 7 v 5 in a playing area of 40X40 yards. The team in
possession plays with 7 players who seek to take up the appropriate positions in order to
carry out the specific passing combination using one of the mannequins as their target. The
two final passes (the set up-4
th
pass and the wall pass-5
th
pass) must be carried out using
one touch in order for the team to score a goal. In case the opponents win possession they
should pass towards one of the two outside players. Then two players of the other team
enter the yellow marked areas and the teams play 7 v 5 again.
Coaching points:
The weight and the accuracy of the pass needs to be correct
Synchronized movements
Good positioning















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5
th
TACTICAL SITUATION
ARSENAL: OVERLOADING THE STRONG SIDE AND
OBTAIN A QUICK SWITCH OF PLAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE 2 v 1

Rosicky Arsenals midfielder directs the ball towards the right fullback Sagna who is in an
advanced position.

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Sagna receives the ball and Ozil drops back to provide a passing option as well as to be
the safety player in case possession is lost. Furthermore both No12 Giroux and No16
Ramsey move close to the ball zone. Both white teams central defenders shift towards the
strong side to mark them. No2 takes up a balanced position to control No 28 Gibbs in a 1 v
1 situation. However the distance between No4 and No2 has increased and white teams
right back has to defend having no team mates near him.

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As Arsenals players pass the ball quickly in order to obtain a switch of play, Cazorla moves
forward and creates a 2 v 1 situation against No 2.

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Gibbs passes to Cazorla who makes a move behind No2. The last one receives and makes
a cross towards No16 and No12 in a 2 v 2 inside the box. Arsenal is well balanced at the
back and ready for negative transition.

What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players in passing with speed and accuracy
- To synchronize the players movements towards the strong side to create an overload
as well as creating a 2 v 1 in the weak side
- To train players in creating overloads in specific parts of the field




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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1


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Objective: To train players in creating overload in the strong side using well timed runs as
well as in passing with speed and accuracy during switching play.
Players: 8+GK
Description: The players take up positions which are indicated by the red cones. The
midfielders start to pass the ball with the aim of directing it towards the one side. During
passing the ball towards the side, both the forward and the attacking midfielder move
towards this side. As soon as the fullback receives the ball the winger drops back receive
and starts switching the point of attack. When the ball reaches the weak sides fullback, the
winger makes a diagonal movement behind the mannequin, receives the ball and gets a
cross. There can be more than one player in every cone in order to keep the drill running
immediately after each cross.


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Coaching points:
Speed and accuracy of the passes
Synchronized movements
Good positioning

DRILL 2

Objective: To train players in creating overload in the strong side using well timed runs as
well as in passing with speed and accuracy during switching play.
Players: 8 + 2 v 6 + GK

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Description: The two teams play 8 + 2 outside players v 6. The yellow players with the
help of the outside players move the ball from side to side and try to create overloads in
order to force both the central defenders to move inside the marked area of the strong side.
As soon as this takes place they try to take advantage of the 2 v 1 on the weak side by
moving the ball quickly towards this side. If the white players win possession they try to
drive the ball through the red end line or receive a pass within the dark blue area.
Restrictions: The central defenders should follow the forward and the attacking midfielder
inside the marked area when they try to overload the side.
Coaching points:
Speed and accuracy of the passes
Synchronized movements
Good positioning
















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DRILL 3



Objective: To train players in creating overload in the strong side using well timed runs as
well as in passing with speed and accuracy during switching play.
Players: 20 + 2GK
Description: This is a progression of the previous drill. The two teams play 10 v 10 + 2GK.
The yellows have the same aim while the whites try to score if they win possession.
Restrictions: The central defenders should follow the forward and the attacking midfielder
inside the marked area when they try to overload the side.


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Coaching points:
Speed and accuracy of the passes
Synchronized movements
Good positioning


























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6
th
TACTICAL SITUATION
BORUSSIA DORTMUND: OVERLOADING THE CENTRE
USING THE 4-2-3-1 FORMATION

Hummels, Borussias central defender has the ball. As the team has to deal with two
forwards of the opposition, Bender the defensive midfielder drops back and creates a 3 v 2
situation. This positioning enables Borussias players to find available time and space in
order to obtain a forward pass.


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Hummels finds available space and moves forward with the ball. As Hummelss direction is
towards the right side, the fullback Schmelzer drops back to provide safety at the back by
retaining the numerical superiority (3 v 2) while the other fullback Gros/tz stays in advanced
position. The positioning of the four players who are placed behind the midfielders creates
a 4 v 3.


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Hummels finds the passing lane and directs the ball towards Lewandowski. Mkhitaryan
makes the curved move and receives the back pass from Borussias centre forward facing
the oppositions goal. He has the option to take a shoot or pass to Blasz/wski.

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However in case the central defender No5 shifts quickly together with fullback No3 in order
to close down Mkh/ryan and block the potential through pass, space will be created on the
flank for the fullback Gros/tz.

What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players in creating numbers up situations at the back
- To train players in moving towards the potential passing lanes
- To train players in the specific passing combination
- To train players in making well timed runs to receive the final pass




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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1

Objective: To train players in moving towards the passing lanes and carrying out two
specific passing patterns.
Players: 16
Description: The drill starts with players A pass towards B while D and C take up positions
towards the two passing lanes. They have to be placed in different passing lanes. B passes
back to A and for as long as the combination lasts D and C take up positions towards
different passing lanes and are ready to receive As next pass. After A makes his second
pass the two players have to carry out one of the two combinations shown on the diagram
(depending on who receives the pass from A) and then pass to one of E players. The drill is
executed towards the two sides at the same time.

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Coaching points:
The weight of the passes needs to be correct
Accuracy in passing
Synchronized movements
Constant mobility
Quick combination play
























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DRILL 2


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Objective: To train players in retaining possession at the back in order to find available
time and space to pass the ball forward. To train players in moving towards the passing
lanes and carrying out specific passing patterns.
Players: 8
Description: The four yellow players inside the blue marked area play against the two blue
players. They try to retain possession and find the available time and space to pass the ball
forward towards the attacking midfielder and the forward through the two passing lanes
between the mannequins. These players seek to take up positions towards the two
potential passing lanes and carry out the two passing combinations shown on diagram 1
and 2. They have to time their runs as soon as the forward pass is obtained in order to
carry out the combination perfectly and score. In case the blues win possession they seek
to drive the ball through the red lines in order to score.

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Restrictions: For as long the yellow players inside the blue area try to find a way to obtain
the forward pass, the two forwards should move constantly
Coaching points:
Retaining possession
Accuracy in passing
Synchronized movements
Constant mobility
Quick combination play
Quick and accurate finishing

DRILL 3


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Objective: To train players in retaining possession at the back in order to find available
time and space to pass the ball forward. To train players in moving towards the passing
lanes and carrying out specific passing patterns.
Players: 17+GK
Description: The two teams play 4 v 2 inside the yellow marked area, while the blue
defenders are placed inside the red area and seek to intercept the through passes. The
blue defenders are inside the blue marked area. The yellow players inside the yellow area
try to find a way to pass the ball towards either the centre forward or the attacking
midfielder. As soon as this takes place the blue midfielders as well as the defenders can
move out of their areas. The yellows try to score while the blues seek to win possession
and score too.
Restrictions: The blue players inside the red and the blue area can move out only when a
forward pass is obtained. In case the blues win possession they can move only two players
inside the yellow area (4 v 4) and they should score within 10 seconds.
Coaching points:
Accuracy in passing
Synchronized movements
Constant mobility
Quick combination play











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DRILL 4

Objective: To train players in retaining possession at the back in order to find available
time and space to pass the ball forward. To train players in moving towards the passing
lanes and carrying out specific passing patterns.
Players: 17+2GK
Description: This is a progression of the previous drill and the same rules are applied.
Coaching points:
Accuracy in passing
Synchronized movements
Constant mobility
Quick combination play


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7
th
TACTICAL SITUATION
BORUSSIA DORTMUND: OVERLOADING THE LEFT CENTRAL PART OF THE
FIELD AND ATTACK WITH THE FULLBACKS WELL TIMED FORWARD RUN

Borussia Dortmund tries to build up. Hummels has the ball and as the team has to deal with
two forwards Bender drops back towards the side line to create a 3 v 2. This action enables
Dortmund players to find available time and space in order to make a forward pass. Sahin
moves in a central position to provide balance.


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Hummels passes to Bender. As the new man in possession is able to pass the ball forward,
Mkh/ryan makes a move towards the potential passing lane. Reuss position towards the
centre creates not only a 2 v 1 situation but also free space on the flank. In a situation like
this No2 is forced to leave Mkh/ryan free of marking as he has already a player to mark.
The left fullback Schmelzer is in a balanced position which enables him to move forward
and take advantage of the free space as well as to move quickly back and control No7 in
case possession is lost.






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Bender makes the forward pass and as Schmelzer moves to exploit the free space, Reus
makes a move towards the centre and enters the box. This creates a 3 v 3 inside the box
and increases Borussias chances to score a goal. Borussia is also well balanced at the
back as there is a 3 v 2 and Sahin is in a position to provide immediate help to the
defenders if necessary.








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In case Schmelzer is in a deeper position and No7 can easily track his forward run, Reus
makes a move to create width and make it easier for his team mate to find the right solution
during the 2 v 1 against blue No2. Mkh/ryan passes to Reus in a wide position and the last
one makes the cross for Lewandowski and Blasz/ski in a 3 v 2 situation inside the box.

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If No2 decides to drop back and leave No10 under No5s control, then space and time is
provided to Mkh/ryan to make a diagonal killer pass. The right fullback Gros/tz moves
forward to provide an option for a potential switch of play, as Schmelzer stays back.


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Finally if No 5 takes up a position which blocks the diagonal pass for Blasz/ski, No 10 can
play the 1-2 with Lewandowski who has already taken up the appropriate position.


What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players in creating numbers up situations at the back
- To train players in moving towards the potential passing lanes
- To train players in synchronizing their runs
- To train players in decision making




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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1


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Objective: To train players in synchronizing their movements and reading the tactical
situation (winger)
Players: 12+GK
Description: The coach starts the drill by passing towards one of the central defenders.
The new man in possession will direct the ball towards the other side in order to give time
to the players to synchronize their movements. So when No4 passes to No15 the defensive
midfielders starts his dropping back movement. As soon as he receives the ball from No15,
No10 moves towards the passing lane. No11 has to read the fullbacks position and move
accordingly either towards the box (diagram 1) or towards the side line (diagram 2). The
fullback starts his forward movement as soon as the defensive midfielder makes the
forward pass towards No10. When the drill is going to be executed towards the right side,
No9 and No10 of the left side dont take part in the drill.

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Restrictions: The fullbacks dont make forward runs in every repetition
Coaching points:
Synchronized movements
Reading the tactical situation
Quick and accurate finishing

DRILL 2


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Objective: To train players in synchronizing their movements as well as in decision making
Players: 16+GK
Description: This is a progression of the previous drill. This time the forwards have to deal
with four blue defenders. Again the wingers movement depends on the fullbacks
participation in the attack. However No10 has to read the tactical situation and decide what
is the best option according to the defenders reaction. Diagram 2 shows the potential
options for No10 in case No2 passes the responsibility of his marking to No4. When the drill
is going to be executed towards the right side, No9 and No10 of the left side dont take part
in the drill.




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Restrictions: The fullbacks dont make forward runs in every repetition

Coaching points:
Synchronized movements
Reading the tactical situation
Decision making
Quick and accurate finishing

DRILL 3

Objective: To train players in synchronizing their movements as well as in decision making
Players: 20 + 2GK

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Description: This is a progression of the previous drill. The teams play 11 v 11. There is a
4 v 2 situation inside the low unmarked area. The yellow players seek to retain possession
and find a way to pass the ball through the red passing lanes. The blue midfielders as well
as the yellow fullbacks are placed inside the blue marked area. As soon as the ball is
passed towards the attacking midfielder inside the yellow marked area the blue midfielders
can move out of the blue area. The yellows seek to take advantage of the 2 v 1 inside the
yellow area and score as the blue central defender of the strong side can enter the specific
area only after No10 receives the ball. In case the blues win possession they try to score.
Restrictions: The blue midfielders cannot enter the red marked areas. However as soon
as a forward pass inside the yellow area is obtained they can move out of the blue area. On
the contrary the yellow fullbacks can move inside the yellow area whenever they want but
they cannot drop inside the unmarked area to help their team mates. The blue central
defenders can enter the yellow areas only after No10 receives the ball. If the blues win
possession there are no restrictions as regards the marked areas and all the players move
freely.
Coaching points:
Synchronized movements
Accurate passing
Reading the tactical situation
Decision making
Quick and accurate finishing









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72
8
th
TACTICAL SITUATION
REAL MADRID: CREATING A 2 v 1 ON THE FLANK

Real Madrids central defender Pepe has the ball. Modric makes a move to receive
between the lines. On the right flank there is a 2 v 2 situation.



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As soon as the pass is made towards Di Maria near the side line, Isco moves near the ball
area and creates a 3 v 2. Alonso drops between the two oppositions forwards in order to
create a 3 v 2 at the back.

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Isco continues his run behind No3 and receives the pass from Di Maria. Then he gets the
cross for either Benzema or Ronaldo. Real is balanced at the back and ready for negative
transition.

What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players in synchronizing their runs during the specific passing combination
- To train players create overloads in specific parts of the field






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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1

Objective: To train players in synchronizing their movements during the specific passing
combination
Players: 8 or more
Description: The drill starts with Bs pass to A. A passes back to C and C directs the ball
towards Bs path. At the meantime A starts his diagonal run towards the side line and
receives Bs pass. The passing sequence is repeated as all players move one position
forward (A to B, B to C, C to D, D to A). The drill must be executed in more than 3 big
cones (as it is shown on diagram) and players can carry it out towards the other side at the
same time. The players use one or two touches.


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Coaching points:
Synchronized movements
The weight of the pass needs to be correct

DRILL 2

Objective: To train players in synchronizing their movements, overloading the specific part
of the field and finishing with accuracy.
Players: 10+GK




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Description: The drill starts with the coachs pass to No3 and the passing combination
between No3, No14 and No4, before the ball is directed to No19 and then towards the
winger. As soon as No19 makes the pass towards No22, the attacking midfielder (No23)
moves inside the yellow area and when No22 receives he makes the diagonal movement
behind the mannequin. The cross is directed towards No9 and No7. Afterwards the drill is
executed towards the other side and the coachs first pass is directed to No4.
Coaching points:
Synchronized movements
The weight of the pass needs to be correct
Quick and accurate finishing




















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DRILL 3

Objective: To train players in retaining possession at the back, synchronizing their
movements, and overloading the specific part of the field.
Players: 15 + 2GK
Description: The two teams play 4 + GK v 3 inside the yellow marked area. The yellows
with the help of the GK (who plays as an outside player) try to find a way to pass the ball
towards one of the wingers who at the right time move towards the side line to provide
width. As soon as the forward pass is obtained, either the centre forward or the attacking
midfielder enters the strong sides yellow area to create a 2 v 1 and receive behind the
fullbacks back. The weak sides winger and the player left in the centre of the field move
inside the box to receive the cross in a 2 v 3 situation.

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In case the blues win possession inside the low yellow marked area they can score by
driving the ball through the red end line.
Restrictions: The pass towards the white winger cannot be intercepted by the fullback.
The central defender of the strong side is not allowed to enter the yellow area.
Coaching points:
Retaining possession
Synchronized movements
Quick and accurate finishing






















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DRILL 4

Objective: To train players in retaining possession at the back, synchronizing their
movements, and overloading the specific part of the field.
Players: 20 + 2GK
Description: The two teams play 6 + GK v 6 inside the blue marked area. The yellows try
to find a way to pass the ball towards one of the wingers who at the right time move
towards the side line to provide width. As soon as the forward pass is obtained, the
attacking midfielder enters the strong sides yellow area to create a 2 v 1 and then receive
behind the fullbacks back. When the blues win possession there is no restriction as
regards the marked areas and they try to score within 8-10 seconds.

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Restrictions: The pass towards the winger cannot be intercepted by the fullback. The
central defender of the strong side is not allowed to enter the yellow area. As soon as the
forward pass is made the players of the blue marked area can move out of it.
Coaching points:
Retaining possession
Synchronized movements
Quick and accurate finishing























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9
th
TACTICAL SITUATION
REAL MADRID: THIRD MANS RUN

During Real Madrids building up from the back Pepe has the ball. Modric drops back
towards the free space to receive unmarked.


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As Modric receives the pass and moves forward with the ball, Isco makes a forward
movement. At the same time Benzema drops back towards the passing lane to receive. As
Benzemas direct opponent (No5) follows his move, space is created behind him and Isco
moves to exploit it.

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Modric passes to Benzema and the last one using one touch directs the ball towards the
free space. Isco receives and shoots on goal.


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In case the fullback No 3 shifts quickly towards the centre and fills the gap, Isco can pass
the ball to Di Maria who has available space on the flank. Alonso stays close to the
defenders in order to provide safety at the back by creating a 3 v 2 situation.

What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players in retaining possession at the back
- To train players in moving towards the potential passing lanes
- To train players in synchronizing their runs during the specific passing combination





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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1

Objective: To train players in synchronizing their movements and carrying out the specific
passing combination.
Players: 12
Description: Player A passes to D and D makes a back pass to the same player. A passes
on the run to B who drives the ball between the two blue cones. As soon as he moves
through the cone gate (trigger), D makes a forward run while C drops back. B passes to C
and C using one touch directs the ball towards the blue marked area. The same
combination is executed towards the other side at the same time.



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Coaching points:
The weight of the pass needs to be correct
Synchronized movements

DRILL 2

Objective: To train players in synchronizing their movements and carrying out the specific
passing combination in the specific part of the field.
Players: 8+GK
Description: After a passing combination between the two central defenders (No4, No3)
and the defensive midfielder No19, the last one opens up and receives the ball from No3.
Then he moves quickly forward between the two blue cones (trigger).

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The attacking midfielder who is placed lower in the field makes the forward run while the
centre forward drops back. No19 passes to the centre forward who has moved in front of
the mannequin and the last one directs the ball using one touch towards the blue marked
area. The attacking midfielder receives and shoots on goal. Then the drill is executed
towards the other side using the same passing combination.
Coaching points:
Quality in passing
Synchronized movements
Quick and accurate finishing

DRILL 3


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Objective: To train players in retaining possession, synchronizing their movements and
carrying out the specific passing combination.
Players: 13+2GK
Description: The two teams play 4 + GK v 3 inside the blue marked area. The whites with
the help of the GK seek to retain possession and find a way to obtain a forward pass, while
the blues try to win possession and drive the ball through the red end line to score. Inside
the central unmarked area there are two white players (attacking midfielders) in order for
the whites to be able to carry out the passing combination in both sides. Inside the dark
blue area there is a 2 v 2. The blue defenders have to man mark the two forwards and
follow them outside the area. As soon as the player in possession inside the light blue area
is able to pass the ball forward, the attacking midfielder moves forward and the centre
forward of the strong side drops back. The players try to carry out the specific passing
combination and score a goal. The defenders who man mark dont try to block the passes.
Coaching points:
Quality in passing
Synchronized movements
Quick and accurate finishing













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90
10
th
TACTICAL SITUATION
BAYERN MUNCHEN: STRETCHING THE OPPOSITIONS DEFENCE

Bayern Munchen uses the 4 -1-4-1 formation and Ribery with Robben are placed near the
sidelines. Kroos and Schw/ger take up positions between the lines. Rafinha and Alaba are
placed towards the centre to keep the team balanced. Alaba the ball carrier passes to
Ribery on the flank as the passing lane towards Kroos is blocked.

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Ribery receives the ball and No2 together with No7 move to double mark him. In the
meantime Kroos moves behind No2s back and the central defender No4 follows his move.
This action stretches the blue teams defence as only two players stay in the centre of the
field against two Bayerns players. Furthermore Robben is free on the right flank. The aim
for Bayern now is to move the ball towards Muller or Schw/ger in order to take advantage of
the situation. Lahm moves to provide a passing option towards the centre.

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Ribery passes to Lahm and the last one searches for the forward pass. As the passing lane
towards Muller is narrow Lahms choice is Schw/ger. No3 doesnt move forward to put him
under pressure as this would create space for Robben. So he leaves Schw/ger free of
marking.

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Schw/ger has to make the right decision according to the defenders reaction.

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In case the passing lane towards Muller is not blocked, Lahm can pass to him and Muller if
he is left free of marking he can turn and pass either to Schw/ger or Robben. If No5
decides to put pressure on him, a pass using one touch towards Schw/ger will lead to a 2 v
1 situation with Schw/ger and Robben against No3.
What is necessary to create a similar situation:
- To train players in using runs which force the central defenders to shift near the
sidelines
- To train players in moving quickly the ball towards the specific part of the field by
passing through the available passing lanes or in case there arent any by using
accurate long balls
- To train players in moving towards the potential passing lanes
- To train players in getting familiar with the 3 v 2 situation outside the box

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DRILLS FOR TRAINING THIS SITUATION
DRILL 1


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Objective: To train players in obtaining through passes and in moving towards the
potential passing options. Finally to train players in synchronizing their movements during
carrying out the potential passing combinations.
Players: 11+GK
Description: The red players take up the positions indicated by the yellow cones (there are
two players in each attacking midfielders position). The defensive midfielder starts the drill
by passing towards the winger and then shifts to provide support. At the meantime the
attacking midfielder of the strong side moves diagonally behind the pole. The winger
passes back and the defensive midfielder seeks to make a successful pass between the
mannequins targeting one of the two forwards inside the weak sides marked area (white-
the area indicated by the red cones).

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After the pass is obtained the three red players try to carry out one of the combinations
shown in the analysis. The weak sides winger has already moved in a forward position and
he is ready to take part.
The drill then is executed towards the other side and the forwards should receive inside the
light blue area (indicated by the dark blue cones). The midfielders can also try accurate
long passes towards the weak sides attacking midfielder (diagram 2).
Coaching points:
Accuracy in passing
Synchronized movements
Quick and accurate finishing
DRILL 2


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Objective: To train players in obtaining through passes and in moving towards the
potential passing options. Finally the players learn to make the right decisions during
playing 3 v 2 in the specific part of the field.
Players: 11+GK
Description: This is a progression of the previous drill. This time after the through pass is
obtained, the red players play 3 v 2 (until the strong sides central defender is back again)
inside the white marked area and the man in possession has to decide what is the best
option, according to the defenders reaction. The central defender of the strong side has to
follow the attacking midfielders movement and move at least beyond the red line. After the
through (diagram 1) or long pass (diagram 2) is obtained the central defender can move
back and help his team mates. The red players have to quickly take advantage of the 3 v 2
situation inside the marked area and score.

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The drill then is executed towards the other side and the forwards should receive inside the
light blue area (indicated by the dark blue cones).
Coaching points:
Accuracy in passing
Synchronized movements
Decision making
Quick and accurate finishing

DRILL 3


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Objective: To train players in obtaining through passes and in moving towards the
potential passing options. Finally the players are trained to make the right decisions during
playing 3 v 2 in the specific part of the field.
Players: 20+2GK
Description: This is a progression of the previous drill. This time there is a 11 v 11 game.
The same rules are applied and there are the same restrictions. The reds try to move the
ball quickly from the side and obtain a forward pass inside the weak sides marked area.
Every time the red winger receives inside the yellow marked area, the fullback should move
to close him down and the red attacking midfielder should move behind his back (if his
position enables it). The blue central defender of the strong side must follow the attacking
midfielder every time the last one moves diagonally behind the fullback at least beyond the
red line. After the through pass is obtained, the red players try to take advantage of the 3 v
2 inside the weak sides marked area. If the ball is moved inside this area only the central
defender of the strong side can enter it and make it 3 v 3. No other player from the blue
team is allowed. In case the blue players win possession they try to score within 10
seconds.
Coaching points:
Accuracy in passing
Synchronized movements
Decision making
Quick and accurate finishing