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Jurgen Klopp Coaching Sessions

Jurgen Klopp

Coaching Sessions

“What a footballer can do in and out of possession is easy to establish, but the deeper layers - who they are, what they believe in, how they’ve reached this point, what drives them, what awaits them when they depart training - are the real details.” – Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp

Counter- pressing as an offensive weapon

Overview: This session is about the creation and application of the counter-pressing moment as an offensive weapon. It looks at recovering possession in the shortest way and time, by creating ‘hectic situations’ in the opposition formation. To this end, there are several principles that give us our identity. We want to attack the opponent non-stop when we have the ball, when we lose it and when the opposition have it. Put another way, defending is our first offensive action. Each exercise should have this character, directly defined by our specific way of playing, where everyone is responsible for everything in the form of modern total football. In real terms, that means we have a team of 11 at a time, each of whom is an attacking forward and each of whom is a defender.

terms, that means we have a team of 11 at a time, each of whom is

Jurgen Klopp

Counter- pressing as an offensive weapon

What do I get the players to do?

Tactical rondo In a 12x12 -yard area we use three teams of three playing a 6v3 possession game, as shown . There is no limit on touches and the team that loses the ball should react immediately, pressing the other two teams. The closest player applies intense aggressive pressure and we defend in a triangle, while the other two players control the spaces around the ball and anticipate. In this sense, counter- pressing is the next requirement, and to be clear, this isn’t laid down as a proposal – it’s a law!

Jurgen Klopp

Counter- pressing as an offensive weapon

What are the key things to look out for?

In this exercise we want to create the right focus towards the essential part of the session. We want to create hunger towards ball recovery, creating chaotic moments and controlling these moments by being ‘quick in mind’, with orientation, skill, precision and connection. We want short intense periods alternatin with rest periods so players stay fresh and alert to absorbing information and learning all the time. The closest player goes 100% and puts total effort into the press. One player can always defend two opposition by blocking the line, pressing the ball carrier and checking over the shoulder. The two last yards of the press define everything. As far as aggression goes – yes please! – but this must be controlled with an anticipation of where the next pass will go, and with team mates re - organising as a group constantly and quickly. In terms of typical mistakes, we will sometimes witness disappointment after losing possession whereby players offer no immediate reaction. Development takes time – it takes time for players to make decisions based on the collective interventions and references. We don’t want a linear or mechanical state of play – a good and creative development takes time. A high- intensity and counter- pressing team will often make more mistakes because we attempt more and perhaps accomplish more – ultimately, patience and an expectation of making mistakes is actually okay

How do I put this into a game situation?

Using the full width of the pitch as shown , and in three quarters of a pitch, one team of eight attacks a team of six. The team of six has one extra player who comes alive when they win possession. The team of eight works on their offensive organisation , their protection and the counter- pressing principle, with players chased like they have never been chased before! They do this in 3x6mins bursts, with 4mins rest in between, changing players in between the rest periods. To advance this, we can put two ‘sleeping’ players in, so creating better and more complex ‘protection’. Here, the offensive organisation is to attract and then go. We want to unbalance the two lines by quick and early circulation (offensive aggression), and our players must overlap to create dangerous crossing situations, as shown . In terms of typical mistakes, this can often come down to there being no protection, therefore the team of six can easily find the sleeping player and counter-attack and cover spaces well. Players can forget where the sleeping player is, and there is also that disappointment factor again in losing possession. Instead, we want them to react, viewing any loss of possession as an opportunity (to win it back).

in losing possession. Instead, we want them to react, viewing any loss of possession as an

“A high - intensity and counter- pressing team will often make more mistakes because we attempt more and perhaps accomplish more – ultimately, patience and an expectation of making mistakes is actually okay” – Jurgen Klopp

accomplish more – ultimately, patience and an expectation of making mistakes is actually okay” – Jurgen

Jurgen Klopp

Use of Space And Switching Play

Overview : This is a multidirectional session designed to manufacture and work on the use of space and switches of play when in possession of the ball. This session would be used early on in the week, or as a reintroduction or compensation load for non - regulars, with the idea of working on a tactical topic without the need to worry about specific positions or situations that might apply on the weekend.

on a tactical topic without the need to worry about specific positions or situations that might

Jurgen Klopp

Use of Space And Switching Play

What do I get the players to do?

Switching play rondos (4v1s/4v2s) (15 mins) We set this up using five groups of four players, as shown , with one group acting as defenders and four groups occupying the four squares shown above. The idea is to get the players on 4v1 situations in their own square where they have to complete a minimum of four passes before transferring the ball to a different square. The defending group has to try to intercept the ball as quickly as possible. Rotating teams every two minutes, we count the number of transfers before an interception occurs, therefore identifying the two groups with the most transfers conceded as losing teams. We can vary the conditions between one- and two -touch to alter the difficulty and increase the quality on the switches of play, as well as offering extra rewards if transferring to the opposite square.

increase the quality on the switches of play, as well as offering extra rewards if transferring

Jurgen Klopp

Use of Space And Switching Play

How do I progress the practice?

Firstly, the defending team is allowed to fill all the boxes with a defender. In the next progression the defending team is allowed to put a maximum of two players in the square where the ball is, with defenders also positioned in the middle areas in order to cut off the switch of play to other boxes, as shown

is, with defenders also positioned in the middle areas in order to cut off the switch

Jurgen Klopp

Use of Space And Switching Play

How do I progress the practice?

Firstly, the defending team is allowed to fill all the boxes with a defender. In the next progression the defending team is allowed to put a maximum of two players in the square where the ball is, with defenders also positioned in the middle areas in order to cut off the switch of play to other boxes, as shown

is, with defenders also positioned in the middle areas in order to cut off the switch

Jurgen Klopp

Use of Space And Switching Play

What are the key things to look out for?

Principally, we are looking for the detail of the pass, good movement, and the exploitation of angles so that players are able to transfer the ball from square to square. Players must communicate well, with awareness of team mates and opponents, and be alert to a turnover of possession, be that near to them or in a different area.

8v8+2 possession 4 Squares (25 mins)

This is a multidirectional possession practice with two teams of eight players plus two floaters, who try to support the team i n possession. The team in possession must use the space wisely for keeping possession with the idea of switching the ball. We will follow the principles of not completing more than four passes within the same area, with the team in possession gaining a point every time they successfully complete those four passes and switch the ball to another area. We can limit the number of players in each square if the group is struggling

passes and switch the ball to another area. We can limit the number of players in

Jurgen Klopp

Use of Space And Switching Play

How do I move this into a game situation?

We now set up a 6v6+6 small sided game with central goals, as shown . Two teams of six players compete for possession of the ball inside the area marked between lines, with a third team of six used as floaters on the outside. The goals face opposite ways in the middle of the pitch with a keeper in each, dividing the area in two sub -areas. Both teams inside the areas are free to move their players wherever they like, but they must always adopt the principles of having a shape and an organised balance in using that space cleverly. To be able to score or attack the goal, the team in possession has to switch the play from one space to the other at least once, to then identify the best moment in setting up a chance on goal. To manufacture situations the number of touches can be manipulated with the teams inside the area. So, for instance, by going ‘all in’ we would be trying to manufacture and use the 1v1s produced inside the areas, or by floaters on the outside. If insisting on two touches, we would be looking for switches of play coming from wide; and if directing play as one -touch, perhaps we’d be keeping an eye out for players supporting on the inside.